Monkey apes human behavior after zoo visitor drops iPhone

Just a couple of weeks after a Formosan macaque was spotted apparently hard at work at his desk at Sun Yat-sen University, a Southeast Asian relative was recorded attempting to use an iPhone at Hsinchu Zoo, today, Sunday, February 21.

Zoo visitors were amazed and delighted when a crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) picked up a gold-colored iPhone and began to swipe, tap, and stare at the device’s screen.

Monkey holding phone and looking at screen
A monkey mimics human behavior at Hsinchu Zoo, in Hsinchu City, Taiwan, February 21, 2021.

The monkey’s behavior appeared to mimic that of humans, although, perhaps due to frustration at not being able to successfully turn on the device, at one point the macaque tried biting the phone.

Zoo managers suspect that the phone was accidently dropped by a visitor. Zoo staff have taken the phone into custody, but as they are not able to turn it on to find the owner, are taking care of it in the hope that the owner makes contact.

In the end, the monkey found the phone to be useful as a sun-visor on this sunny day, Sunday, February 21, 2021.

The crab-eating macaque has an IQ equivalent to a two or three-year-old human child, the zoo managers said.

The Southeast Asian crab-eating macaque is a close relative of the locally native Formosan macaque, both being members of the genus Macaca. Hsinchu Zoo has 12 individuals in the park.

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