Incredible Video Captures a Relentless Monkey Trying to Kidnap a Toddler

Collared Mangabey
© Peter Morton

Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 19, 2023

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When you see a headline like this, the natural reaction is to dismiss it as made-up or at least assume that it is very exaggerated. Yet, when you watch the video, it appears that a monkey is indeed trying to take a small human child. Can this really be happening?

Do Monkeys Try to Steal Human Children?

A quick search of recent news reports reveals that this is a true phenomenon. There are multiple reports of monkeys allegedly ‘stealing’ babies and young children. They include a report from Fox News from July 2022 of a group of monkeys grabbing a four-month-old baby and throwing them off a roof in India. Tragically, the baby died.

In another Fox News report, a 12-day-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms and killed by a monkey. This allegedly also took place in India where monkey attacks are seen as an increasing threat. However, reports are not just from India. Also in 2022, the UK BBC reported that a one-month-old baby was snatched from his mother by a troop of monkeys who invaded their home. This was in Mwamgongo village in Kigoma, near the Gombe Nation Park in western Tanzania.

In this particular video, the primate appears to target the small child after a group of older children run away. Two adults arrive and wrench the child from the monkey but the primate persists with their attack. Of course, some on-line videos are fake but if just some of these reports are true, it is a worrying development.

Two monkeys figthing on a sidewalk

Monkeys are now more comfortable in urban environments


Monkey Attacks on Humans

The exact monkey species has not been identified in many of these attacks. There are more than 250 species of monkey on earth. They like to live in tropical forests, grassland and mountainous plains. Monkeys are social creatures and live in groups often comprised of females – the males tend to come and go.

Some monkeys are now much more confident around humans as they become used to living in and near urban environments. According to primate experts, it is not uncommon for them to kidnap each other’s young. Baby monkeys are actually called infants and mother monkeys hold them in a similar way to human mothers. However, there is still no clear explanation for why attacks have increased so much lately and why the groups of primates seem to be more aggressive.

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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