When a monkey tried to make a new friend in her zoo enclosure, it was clear that the relationship was not an equal one. Grabbing a toad as it rested by a pond, female swamp monkey Swoozie stunned visitors by spending the rest of the day clutching it to her breast. The unhappy common toad only escaped when it managed to wriggle free at Paignton Zoo in Devon. Crowds gathered as the seven-year-old monkey cuddled the toad and even rubbed the cold-blooded creature to try and warm it up. The bizarre event was captured on camera by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein, 64, who was visiting the zoo.
She said: “The monkey was trying to shield it from view, she was treating it as if it was her baby and she was trying to protect it. The enclosure is surrounded by water and there are lots of toads in there. She must have just picked one out. She was rubbing it as if she was trying to warm it up, but of course it’s a cold-blooded reptile. It was very strange.”