Health

The monkey’s “smile” may not be sweet

Monday, June 12, 2017 (HealthDay News)-Researchers warn that wild monkeys can be bitten if they mistake their aggressive facial expressions for smiles or kisses.

“There is growing interest in wildlife tourism, especially primate tourism,” said Leticia Maréshall of Lincoln University.Although people travel to meet wildlife, many trying to interact closely with monkeys, This is often banned. ” Faculty of Psychology, England.

“Our findings show that people unfamiliar with macaque behavior have difficulty recognizing monkey emotions, which they think are happy but threaten them instead. It can lead to dangerous situations, “Marechal said in a university news release.

Researchers surveyed 124 tourists at destinations where people interact freely with wild Barbary macaques and found that visitors made serious mistakes in interpreting monkey emotions. ..

For example, tourists believed that monkeys were smiling and kissing when they were actually showing aggression. This is despite seeing pictures showing what the animal’s facial expressions mean.

Researchers said such misunderstandings could injure people and impair animal welfare.

“Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of tourists interacting with wildlife. In fact, recent reports suggest that monkey bites are the second leading cause of animal injuries. dog In Southeast Asia, bites are one of the major vectors of disease transmission between humans and animals, “Marechal said.

“Education, guided visits, and maintaining a safe distance from animals can be implemented as a means of alleviating these problems and improving both animal welfare and tourism experiences. It can be a particularly effective tool for recognizing animal emotions based on it. Actions and vocalizations reduce misunderstandings, “Marechal concludes.

This study was recently published in a journal PeerJ..

–Robert Preidt

MedicalNews
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References

Source: Lincoln University, News Release, May 31, 2017

The monkey’s “smile” may not be sweet

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