Monkeys With Attitude
Seeing the scads of monkeys that call St. Kitts home was at the top of my to do list when I arrived on the island. You can imagine my excitement when I not only spotted the fast-moving creatures but actually interacted with one. That's Junie on my shoulder. I'd describe him as cute, adorable, sweet. But according to our trusty and lovely guide Lavern, the monkeys on St. Kitts are best described as having attitudes.
Look at the evidence. That's a guava (Lavern's favorite fruit) on the ground. Notice the large bite that has been taken out of it.
Apparently, monkeys routinely roam through guava trees, sampling just one bite of a fruit and throwing the rest to the ground. Lavern is convinced that they don't eat all the fruit because they don't want it. They take just one nibble to spite humans so that they can't have any of the juicy guavas. I think that qualifies as having an attitude.
This is Junie's owner Glen Keith, who's nine-year-old. Junie didn't appear to have an attitude at all but then again, I didn't see him near a guava tree. Monkeys like Junie are part of the Vervet species that have a greenish hue to their fur. They were brought from West Africa by colonials as pets during the 18th century and now they outnumber humans on St. Kitts. I saw glimpses of them every day on the island, scampering across roads and rustling in the trees. They are apparently too smart to come out during the heat of the day, they roam during cool early morning and evening hours. According to this BBC video, they also love to steal fruity alcholic drinks. I never witnessed this but I did see them on the beach while I was clutching exactly that sort of beverage.