Loveless monkey adopts chicken at Israeli zoo
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The bird could easily escape but chooses to stay near Niv

Loveless monkey adopts chicken at Israeli zoo

Four-year-old Indonesian macaque named Niv opts to adopt a fowl after having difficulty finding a partner at the Ramat Gan Safari

A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017 after she adopted the bird when it wondered into their enclosure. 
(Jack Guez/AFP)
A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017 after she adopted the bird when it wondered into their enclosure. (Jack Guez/AFP)

A lonely monkey at an Israeli zoo has found a way to soothe her maternal urges: by adopting a chicken.

Niv, an Indonesian black macaque, has spent the past week caressing, cleaning and playing with the bird at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv.

“It seems that Niv, who is four years old and has reached the age of sexual maturity, has difficulty finding a partner,” the zoo’s spokeswoman Mor Porat said.

“This probably explains the maternal instinct she expresses to this chicken,” he said.

The bird, which doesn’t have a name, could easily escape through the bars but chooses to stay near Niv.

A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv (L) holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017 after she adopted the chicken when it wondered into their enclosure. ( Jack Guez/AFP)
A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv (L) holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017 after she adopted the chicken when it wandered into their enclosure. (Jack Guez/AFP)

“These kinds of relationships are rare,” Porat told AFP. “Sometimes macaques kill and eat chickens that enter their pens or play with them until they die.”

To avoid such a tragic end, officials separated Niv and her feathered companion from the other macaques — apart from her mother, who is often the target of hostilities from other females.

Porat said the chicken “seems very happy to have found a surrogate mother. At night they sleep together.”

A few months ago, Niv attempted to adopt another chicken, but it spurned her advances.

A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017 after she adopted the chicken when it wondered into their enclosure. ( Jack Guez/AFP)
A four-year-old Indonesian black macaque named Niv holds a young chicken at the Ramat Gan Safari Park near Tel Aviv on August 25, 2017. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Seemingly unlikely animal friendships are often the result of different species being put together by humans.

A bear, lion and tiger discovered during a drug raid in the United States remained inseparable for life after they were moved to an animal sanctuary.

But Porat said it wasn’t clear where the chickens at the zoo had come from.

The black macaque is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The domesticated chicken is the most common bird in the world.

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