The macaques of Gibraltar are famous. For many, seeing and interacting with the monkeys is a top reason for visiting the Top of the Rock. On our visit, my husband got a little more interaction than he’d bargained for.
We came upon a cluster of macaques, joining a small crowd of people who were already interacting with some of the monkeys. The monkeys are remarkably tame so, although specifically instructed not to feed or touch the monkeys (they are wild and sometimes unpredictable animals, after all), many were attempting to pet or get very close to the monkeys to pose for photos.
One macaque sat low in a tree, but apart from the rest, seemingly doing his or her best to ignore and stay away from all the human attention.
My husband put his water bottle down in order to adjust his jacket when, like a flash, the apparently inattentive monkey sprang from its perch and grabbed the water bottle. But equally quick and nimble, my husband grabbed hold of the bottle just as the monkey was turning to head off with its prize. A struggle ensued. There was a lot of tugging. And some laughing.
My husband is a very generous, warm-hearted man. I’d bet he faced some internal conflict when looking into those beseeching eyes. But after a short moment, the monkey must have realize that it had been bested, so it returned to its perch in the tree and promptly ignored us forever more. Cheeky monkey.