STATES CHRONICLE – A new paper released earlier this week in the journal Primates documents the odd behavior of a mother macaque, one that was monitored as she carried around and then ate parts of her mummified baby.
Tonkean macaques, found in Indonesia, are a monkey species that are usually herbivores. This particular specimen, dubbed Evalyne, nonetheless lives in an Italian wildlife park.
Most macaques’ first babies die either at or shortly after birth, and Evalyne’s was no exception. Her first child passed away five days after being born. However, Evalyne seemed unusually distraught. Researchers describe her as having become agitated and “repeatedly staring and screaming at her own image.”
Macaque Mother Exhibits Strangely Cannibalistic Behavior
“We don’t know why she would behave this way,” De Marco said. “The change in behavior from extreme attachment to cannibalism is astonishing. There may be physiological reasons, it could also be interpreted as an extreme attachment to the corpse’s remains, but we still don’t know.”