Sunday, April 24, 2011
Drunk Caribbean Monkeys
The monkeys arrived in Barbados in the 1600s in slave boats coming from West Africa. Since living in Barbados for centuries, the monkeys are vastly different than their West African ancestors.
Since the monkeys don't appear to be green outright, you might wonder how they got their name. The answer lies in the monkeys' black faces. They appear green in the right light.
It's estimated that there are 14,000 green monkeys in Barbados. Just for comparison, the island's population is about 300,000.
On nearby St. Kitts, the monkeys help themselves to hotel guests' cocktails. The monkeys do get drunk. In the wild they eat fermented sugar cane. About two in ten monkeys display symptoms of alcoholism, including abusing their spouses.
In spite of their alcoholic tendencies, islanders revere the monkeys. Tourists love their antics.