Drunken monkey business: Meet the cocktail-loving primates who raid Caribbean bars

By Ted Thornhill

Thirst for fancy drinks: This vervet monkey cheekily sips a tourists' cocktail

Monkeys may be closer to humans than we previously thought – because they even ape our drinking habits.

There are gangs of vervet monkeys on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts that regularly raid the local beach bars for cocktails to satisfy their thirst - and they can be seen getting their paws on them in a hilarious YouTube video.

The cheeky boozers first arrived on the island 300 years ago with slaves from West Africa who were shipped there to work in the rum industry.


Shipped in: The boozing monkeys first arrived on the island 300 years ago

They developed a taste for alcohol from eating fermented fruits on forest floors – and have now been filmed for the BBC’s Weird Science show moving on to stealing beachgoers’ fancy tipples.

However, not all of them like alcohol.

The show discovered that their drinking habits match that of human populations.

The voiceover explained: ‘Some monkeys are teetotal and reject alcohol in favour of soft drinks.

This monkey was caught enjoying a cocktail - but some are teetotal

Thieves: The monkeys regularly steal drinks as beachgoers sunbathe

‘The percentage of teetotal monkeys matches the non-drinkers in the human population.

‘In line with human habits, most drink in moderation, 12 per cent are steady drinkers and five per cent drink to the last drop.

‘It shows that our liking for alcohol is determined largely by our genes.’

Just like humans, the monkeys that have been drinking end the day by falling over a lot and getting involved in scuffles.

But unlike humans, the monkeys that drink are respected by those that don’t.


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