Pickpocketing is perhaps the most common crime that befalls tourists. What is decidedly less common, however, is having one’s wallet or pack of Marlboros snatched by macaque monkeys. But organized monkey crime is currently on the rise at the Uluwatu Temple on Bali.
Primate experts in Indonesia have taken note of a syndicate of furry tricksters that have taken to stealing from tourists and holding the pilfered sunglasses and flip-flops captive until the tourists pay up in the form of unmarked, non-consecutive snacks. That’s right, if you want to pry your baseball cap out of that macaque’s clever little hands, you better be prepared to barter with whatever food you have on hand.
However, this specific behavior is not exhibited by macaques outside the Uluwatu Temple. Which means the behavior is learned, no doubt passed down through generations of monkey-Corleones.
Though their grifts are currently small time in scale, if evolution teaches us anything, an all-monkey version of Ocean’s Eleven can’t be far off.
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