What’s your story?
Share and find customer experiences
Connect with the people behind them
feedback made social
Visitors to the Caribbean may enjoy relaxing with drinks on beautiful beaches, but unsuspecting tourists may wind up picking up the bar tab of new friends who look an awful lot like monkeys.
The vervet monkeys of St. Kitts and Turtle Beach like to slurp down alcoholic drinks -- and have a particular fondness for mixed rum cocktails and fruit drinks. Over 300 years ago, the vervet monkeys were brought to the Caribbean from West Africa, in the same timeframe as slaves were brought to serve in the rum industry. Some of the monkeys escaped, with many existing on Turtle Beach of St. Kitts island.
How did the monkeys become so passionate about alcohol and rum? The vervet monkeys grew fond of sugar after they were transported to the island, having learned to pick up and eat sugarcane left in the fields.
The Caribbean’s vervet monkeys are known to raid the local outdoor bars and steal alcoholic drinks from the unsuspecting, like tourists who are more focused on laying in the sun than watching their cocktails. The monkeys enjoy rum cocktails, beer and fruit drinks -- watching and waiting for the prime moment to jump down from the trees and steal unattended cocktails.
Researchers have been studying the drunk monkeys for years, comparing how the monkeys drink with habits of how humans drink alcohol. Some monkeys completely avoid alcohol, like their teetotaler, human counterparts. Research shows that the percentage of how many vervet monkeys avoid alcohol altogether is the same as in humans. Studies also show that, like humans, some monkeys will do anything to obtain alcohol. Most monkeys, as is true for their human counterparts, drink in moderation. 12% of monkeys drink frequently and 5% finish every last drop. The similarities to humans shows that drinking alcohol in moderation or excessively may well be linked to genetics.
For those worried about becoming the “staggering fool,” the Caribbean is one locale where you’re sure to be one-upped: the monkeys who drink too much alcohol tend to stagger and stumble -- again, pretty much like humans.