THIS is the horror moment a monkey ate her own baby after carrying around the corpse for two days in a world first caught on camera.
Scientists have been left baffled by the horrifying case of cannibalism at Dvůr Králové safari park in the Czech Republic.
Kumasi the monkey cannibalised her own baby
She cradled and groomed the body before eating the child
Footage of the incident was released by experts as part of a research paper published in the journal Primates.
The female drill monkey – named Kumasi – was filmed carrying around her infant who died just 8 days after birth.
Kumasi then proceeded to carry round her baby’s body for two days – grooming it as she went and appearing to care for her lost child.
But then – she then began to consume the baby’s body before zookeepers could intervene and remove the remains.
The research paper described the incident as a world first of “carrying and cannibalism of an infant in a captive group of drills”.
Scientists described how the baby appeared to be ill when he was born on August 24, 2020.
But for the first few days of his life “no aggression” was observed towards the baby.
He then died on September 2 – and scientists said they cannot rule out “infanticide”.
And after cradling the body close to her for two days, zoo staff then observed Kasumi begin to “completely consume” the corpse.
Just before eating it, Kumasi and the other monkeys were checking if he was really dead by “dragging around and spinning the corpse”.
Zookeepers eventually removed the body from the enclosure.
The paper was penned by scientists from the Department of bBology at the University of Pisa, Grazia Casetta, Andrea Paolo Nolfo, and Elisabetta Palagi.
Palagi told LiveScience: “Monkeys and apes often inspect the face of their dead babies like this, possibly to perceive the eye movements.
“When the mothers do not receive any feedback from the baby, it probably means that something is going wrong.”
“The mother maintained high levels of grooming after the infant’s death. Both the mother and other group members interacted with the dead baby by trying to engage its gaze,” the paper read.
“Two days after the death, the mother started to eat the corpse until it was almost completely consumed; there was no sharing with other group members.”
And the scientists admitted in the paper they do not have an answer for Kumasi’s shocking behaviour.
They wrote: “Although we cannot draw firm conclusions about potential benefits of the mother’s behavior, this observation on drills adds a piece to the puzzle of thanatological behaviors and cannibalism in primates.”
Palagi however suggested the eating was down to the “nutritional benefit of cannibalism”.
Monkeys have been observed eating monkey flesh before – but it’s not believed they have ever been seen eating their own young.
“The younger the baby, the less likely the mother-infant attachment has become sufficiently strong to prevent maternal cannibalism on the dead infant,” said Palagi.