The internet was moved after images surfaced of an African monkey appearing to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a fallen female companion. But as it turns out, the ape’s seemingly altruistic act was actually something more sinister — he was trying to make a move.
“On reflection, I think the performance was all a cry for attention from the female,” said William Steel, 28, who captured the primatological moment in the Gaborone Game Reserve in Botswana.
Steel, who lives and works in the African country, told the Daily Mail that he watched the female velvet monkey topple to the ground in “dramatic fashion” with both legs and arms splayed out. Then, as he picked up the camera, another male primate “came sauntering in grabbing the monkey on the floor by its mouth and seemingly administering CPR.”
However the photographer has since reversed his stance, arguing that the supposed life-saving gesture was actually a cheeky monkey looking to take advantage of a prone female. Think the reverse of the forced kiss scene from “The Sandlot.”
“‘There is a clear and important hierarchy in the troop. Like humans, this social community is largely based around ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,’ ” said Steel, adding that bonds are “formed largely through grooming.”
Unfortunately, he explained that “this compassion can sometimes be manipulated by attention-seeking individuals.”
“It was an amusing moment to capture,” he said.
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