Monkeys have many known predators in their natural habitat, depending on the size, species, and location of the monkey. So what animals eat monkeys? These include birds, big cats, hyenas, crocodiles, alligators, and even humans.
Known Monkey Predators
There are small monkey species that are ideal meals for different types of large birds. These flying animals can easily reach the treetops where monkeys live.
Expert Tip: The birds can swoop down fast and take the monkeys away with their powerful claws. They have a great vision that helps them find their prey even deep into the forest.
Various Big Cats
Big cats like lions, leopards, and tigers may live in the same areas where monkeys reside. These cats move around both on land and on trees with great ease. They are fast, agile, and superior hunters.
They will often feed on younger monkeys who have wandered away from their families. Even larger monkeys are not safe from hungry big cats.
In some areas, hyenas also pose problems for monkeys. While they aren’t as skillful hunters as the big cats, they usually hunt as a group. This gives them the edge most of the time.
There are some primate species like Chimpanzees that are known to feed on smaller types of monkeys. When eating infant monkeys, chimps consume the head first, particularly the brain. When preying on older monkeys, they start with the organs like the liver, kidneys, and heart, which they find nutritious.
Alligators and Crocodiles
Some monkeys love to spend time in or around the water. They sometimes go swimming or cross rivers. This habit makes them vulnerable to alligators and crocodiles that live in the same streams and rivers.
Expert Tip: These predators know how to hide in the water, blending well into the surroundings. This way, the monkeys are unaware of the dangers that lurk around.
The biggest threat to the monkey population today is humans. Their natural habitats are constantly under threat due to logging. The trees are uprooted and replaced with plants that provide a good source of human food. There are also cultures that kill monkeys for food. Some body parts are also used to make medicine.
In some areas, monkey species come to human villages in search of food. They come looking for sheep, eggs, and fruits that they know humans keep for their own food supplies. Monkeys are creatures of habit so they come back repeatedly. Many villagers try to eliminate the problem by killing the invading monkeys.
Some are even killed for their meat. Monkey-eating cultures refer to monkey meat as bushmeat. This practice is prevalent even in countries where killing monkeys is illegal. Another concern for monkeys is poaching.
In the animal world, monkeys are considered next only to humans in terms of intelligence. However, this intelligence is no match for hungry predators, especially in the wild like birds, big cats, hyenas, crocodiles, alligators, and even humans.
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