The baby died, the grieving mother hugged the baby’s body until it withered and then acted shivering, the headache expert explained

Primates such as apes, monkeys, chimpanzees … are often recorded human-like behaviors in the way they behave with the outside world. Before the death of their fellow human beings, they also express the same emotional grief as humans. In particular, every time her child dies, their mother will carry the child’s body with her for a while, although it is not clear whether this behavior is due to grief or if they are not aware of their death. However, the case of the Tonkean long-tailed monkey named Evalyne is much more special, if not quite terrifying and confusing.

Evalyne gave birth to a baby monkey at the Parco Faunistico di Piano dell’Abatino zoo, Italy, but unfortunately her baby died after only 4 days. This is Evalyne’s first time being a mother and sudden death in a baby long-tailed macaque is considered quite rare. That’s why Evalyne’s reaction was so remarkable and it made researchers go from emotional to slightly shivering.

The baby died, the mother monkey sadly hugged the baby's body until it withered and then acted shivering, the headache expert explained - Photo 1.

During the next 2 days, Evalyne was observed to be very sad, she would often stare at her reflection on the glass divider in the zoo and scream loudly.

Evalyne then turned her attention to her unborn child, carrying the dead body around the cage, paying particular attention to her head and face.

By day 8, the baby monkey’s carcass had dried and the skull was exposed on day 14 after the animal died. During the second week, Evalyne continued to place the baby’s body on her stomach and hold it in her lap, despite the fact that the flesh of the corpse had gradually disappeared.

The mother monkey still did not give up her baby, she used one hand to carry the baby around the cage, sometimes holding it in her mouth. Every time the baby monkey ‘falls down’, Evalyne quickly runs to help her up. The other monkeys in the cage didn’t seem to care about Evalyne, nor did they even intend to touch the baby monkey carcass.‘ – the researchers wrote in the report, published in the journal Primates.

The baby died, the mother monkey sadly hugged the baby's body until it withered and then acted shivering, the headache expert explained - Photo 2.
The baby died, the mother monkey sadly hugged the baby's body until it withered and then acted shivering, the headache expert explained - Photo 3.

On the 19th day, the creepy thing happened, Evalyne was seen eating some parts of her dead baby. On the 22nd day, the body completely disintegrated into pieces, scattered throughout the cage while Evalyne always had a part of her baby in her mouth or in her hand. Three days later, the mother monkey ate all of the baby’s carcass.

It is known that this is not the first time primates have been caught eating the carcass of their young. Baboons, orangutans… have also performed this behavior, but what is the reason is still a question that causes headaches for scientists to find answers. However, for Tonkean long-tailed macaques, this is considered unusual, especially when they are native to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, mainly eating only fruit.

“There is no indication that cannibalism in Tonkean mother monkeys is due to nutritional or social stress. In such cases, cannibalism is considered normal but is still very rare. It happened to monkeys. Most likely at that time, the mother monkey had completely lost consciousness that in her hands was the body of the baby monkey.” – the researchers wrote in the report.

The baby died, the mother monkey sadly hugged the baby's body until it withered and then acted shivering, the headache expert explained - Photo 4.

Experts believe that after a while, the mother monkey did not realize that it was her baby’s body anymore, so she started eating the baby’s carcass like this.

(Source: Science Alert)

footerFbSdk.init(); }); .

Leave a Comment