Do Monkeys Eat Coconuts? Explained!

Last updated on November 4th, 2022

Monkeys love to eat fruits, and you must have seen them eating bananas. 

Monkeys are known for their intelligence, but did you know they also enjoy eating coconut? This fruit has become a favorite snack for these primates because of its sweet taste and high nutritional value.

I always wondered about this because coconuts are hard to break, and it is difficult to extract the flesh of a coconut.

Coconuts can be eaten by monkeys since it isn’t toxic to them. Their long arms and the ability to climb trees allow them to pick this fruit. Some monkeys will either smash it against a tree or rock to tear it apart while others will peel off the thick outer layer of the ones that have fallen to the ground.

Moreover, monkeys eat ripe and young coconuts. So I took these questions to a friend who works in the local zoo.

Do monkeys eat young coconuts?

Some monkeys like the Pig-tailed macaque and the grey langur eat young coconuts.

These monkeys peel off the fibrous outer layer of the coconuts and consume the flesh of young coconuts.

Monkeys are excellent climbers; they can break coconuts from trees and throw them to the ground.

The force of the fall can cause the fruit to break open, making it easier for the monkeys to eat the young coconuts.

Do monkeys like eating coconuts?

monkey eating coconut 20092021

Studies show that coconuts are not one of the favorite fruit of monkeys.

Coconuts are not a favorite of monkeys.

They will not search for coconuts but consume the fruit without other fruits. But it is a favorite fruit for certain species of monkeys like the Pig-tailed macaque and the grey langur.

How do monkeys open coconut?

How a monkey opens a coconut is quite interesting.

The monkey will chuck the coconut in the air and use what is known as an ‘underhand throw’ to break open the coconut. This process is repeated until the coconut opens.

According to the BBC, this complicated way of opening a coconut used by the Rhesus monkey is quite effective in getting the fruit open.

Once the monkey can open the fruit, it can easily access the flesh it wants to consume.

Is there any monkey that eats the husk of coconut?

You would be surprised to know that the Aye-Aye monkey is known to consume the husk of a young coconut.

The monkey will tear open the coconut and consume the fibrous part of it. The coir of raw or young coconut can be consumed but not that of a fully ripe one.

Can monkeys drink coconut water?

Recently, heat waves made it difficult for animals bred in captivity to survive in many parts of the world.

So zookeepers gave animals like monkeys and bear tender coconut water to help them survive the heat.

Tender coconut water helped the animals cool down and kept them hydrated.

It was found also found that monkeys loved coconut water, and it helped them manage the heat wave better. However, they seemed to wait for their regular supply of coconut water.

Do monkeys eat coconuts in the wild?

Monkeys do eat coconuts in the wild but are drawn to them when there is a lack of other food sources.

When I asked this question to my zoologist friend, she took quite some time to answer it because there were several factors she needed to consider.

First, according to her, most species of monkeys will not consume coconuts in the wild under normal circumstances.

Monkeys that are omnivores can enjoy a plant and insect-based diet whereas herbivorous monkeys can eat fruits and leaves of plants.

Hence, they will avoid coconut, which is hard to gather, and a fruit whose flesh is equally difficult to access.

Are monkeys used to harvest coconuts?

Sad but true, monkeys are used to harvest coconuts in countries like Thailand. Here monkeys are exploited to harvest coconuts from trees.

They are trained and even tortured to ensure that they bring the fruit down from the trees intact without consuming them.

However, PETA and other bodies that prevent animal exploitation are working against using monkeys to harvest coconuts.

Do monkeys pick coconuts?

Monkeys can be trained to pick coconuts.

According to PETA, a monkey can pick nearly a thousand coconuts in a day while a human can pick only eighty. However, this amounts to exploitation and torture.

Monkeys are kept chained and forced to pick coconuts as a daily chore. This amounts to animal exploitation as it is not their natural behavior.

How are monkeys trained to pick coconuts?

Monkeys are tortured and intentionally bred to pick coconuts.

They are often punished and trained like circus animals to pick coconuts from trees. PETA is carrying out a movement to ban this process.

A monkey remains chained to a handler during the process and its training.

The entire process is not only inhumane but is dangerous for young monkeys to pick coconuts from tall trees.

How will you know you know that your coconut milk is cruelty-free?

If you are a vegan or prefer to use products that do not endorse cruelty towards animals, then ensure that the coconut milk you use in your cooking is also cruelty-free.

The best way to ensure it is to check the manufacturing details of the coconut milk.

If it is manufactured in Thailand, monkeys may have been used to harvest the coconuts. So if you want to ensure that your coconut milk is cruelty-free, avoid those manufactured in Thailand.

Is there any other animal that eats coconut?

If you have been wondering about what animals eat coconuts, look no further and check out that article for more information.

Additionally, there is the coconut crab! It is the largest terrestrial Arthropod, and coconut is its typical food.

It belongs to the hermit crab species, and you find the coconut crab climbing the coconut trees to access the fruit.

It can break open a coconut with its sharp pincers to access the flesh and the liquid inside. The coconut crab is the most common consumer of coconuts in the wild.

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