A very angry macaque monkey on a motorcycle tried to steal a human child in Jakarta

I don't know anything about the context here except that Topeng Monyet — forcing macaques to wear human clothes and ride bicycles for entertainment — is a somewhat-common practice in Jakarta that's also (understandably) frowned upon by the animal rights community.

When I frame it that way, I can kind of understand why this badass monkey is so pissed.

(Just a heads-up: it's a strong, scary monkey going after a kid.)

As of this writing, this video has nearly 11 million views, because it's just so WTF.

Top image: Anton Ardyanto / Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0) Read the rest

Move over, Florida Man, and make room for feral Florida monkeys with herpes

Back in 1938, a local Florida cruise operator called Colonel Tooey — "Colonel" was in fact his first name, according to the New York Times — let loose about a dozen rhesus macaque monkeys onto a man-made island inside Silver Springs State Park. According to National Geographic, Colonel had big plans to build a Tarzan-themed attraction there.

But naturally, the monkeys escaped, and over the years, multiplied. The International Primate Protection League tried to keep their eye on them, and they (apparently) became a bit of a tourist attraction. Eventually, wildlife officials tried to tame the population, approving the removal of more than 1,000 of these feral macaques. As of 2018, a study in the Journal of Wildlife Management estimated that there were still around 300 of them now roving around the strip malls of suburban Florida. And some of them have migrated more than 100 miles away, as far as Jacksonville.

And about 30 percent of the remaining feral rhesus macaques also have Herpes-B, also known as "monkey herpes."

Monkey herpes is rare in humans, with only about 50 known cases (none of which were actually contracted from monkeys). But it can kill a person in just six weeks.

More and more of these rhesus macaques have been found roaming around residential neighbors in Florida. While they tend to be pretty skittish, they can also get aggressive around humans; they've even been known to organize mass raids of deer feeders in Florida. So local authorities are raising red flags, in hopes of preventing the inevitable Florida-Man-Gets-Bitten-By-Feral-Herpes-Monkey headlines. Read the rest

Banksy painting just sold for $12 million

Banksy's massive "Devolved Parliament," a 2009 painting of chimpanzees in Britain’s House of Commons, just sold for $12.1 million at a Sotheby's auction. It was put on the block by a private, unnamed seller. The painting was previously titled "Question Time" but that was before Banksy made subtle changes to it after it was included in an exhibition at the Bristol Museum. From the New York Times:

After a dramatic 13 minutes of competition, in which as many as 10 bidders were involved, at least five of them in the room, it was finally knocked down to a telephone buyer. At one point the hammer was poised to fall at £6.4 million, but a bidder at the back of the room flung up his hand at the last second, before finally giving way to the winning telephone bid...

The artist’s previous auction high was set in 2008 for the painting, “Keep It Spotless,” a collaborative work by Banksy and Damien Hirst, which sold for $1.9 million at a Sotheby’s charity auction.

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest