• monkey babysitting goa

Just your average “monkey babysitting” day

There are two supermarkets in Anjuna: Oxfords and Orchards. I wanted to go to Orchards and Ben was all, “no it sucks”, but he is forever in my debt that we went because we saw this: Monkey Babysitting 

monkey babysitting goa

First of all, who doesn’t love monkeys? Second of all, who loves them more than Ben? No one. I was pretty sure we wouldn’t actually call them but like lightening Ben was on the case getting driving directions so he could play with these monkeys.

Before going we knew nothing about them or why they needed babysitting. Ben was like a seven year old on Christmas Eve. “How old do you think the monkeys are? Where do you think they come from? Wonder how many there are? Do you think I can keep one? I want to take one home. Can I?” 

He started to drive very slowly because he can’t multi-task (like most men) and his brain was 100% on monkey talk. There was room for nothing else.

When we showed up we learned all about the monkey’s unfortunate situation- they are orphans and have to be caged or they would have been left to die in the wild. The owners of the house (well, mansion) are the people who started Animal Rescue in Assagao. It was in some backroads way past Siolim and very hard to find.

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

The owners and monkey rescuers were on vacation in the UK so they had two Italians at the house watching the monkeys. The big ones need taken for walks, played with in the pool, fed, their cages cleaned, and more. The one little baby stays in the bedroom with the Italian couple and literally cannot be alone for a year. She has to always have someone with her or it will traumatize her.

Basically, the Italians need some time off and want someone to come be with the baby monkey.

Something new I learned is that monkeys HATE women. The male monkeys want to dominate women, and the female monkeys are threatened aka jealous! So, Ben could play with the big ones but I wasn’t allowed unless I wanted to lose a finger or more.

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

So, where do the monkeys come from?

Most are rescued as babies because their mom has been hit by a car or left the baby on it’s own. The babies cannot make it in the jungle alone so these people keep them. The other monkeys are ones that were brought into Goa as pets and then abandoned once they got bigger and hard to control. Some of the monkeys were very mean and were kept separate in cages.

Although the would have died on their own in the jungle, the alternative is that they are caged for life here. Once saved as a baby and taken care of like a child for a year, they cannot be reintroduced to the wild. It’s a huge project that the couple who own the place have taken on (imagine loving something so much you devote your whole life to it). What they do here isn’t easy work, so it’s all pretty amazing.

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

There was a large wild monkey they were trying to get rid of (by catching it and letting it out somewhere else) because it was coming around and biting the caged monkeys fingers through the cages! If they let the monkeys out now, they would be attacked by wild monkeys.

We played with Nassi for an hour or so after we toured around the complex. She crawled around, ate okra, peas, and lettuce. She was very playful and you can swing her by her tail! If you try to pick her up though and pull her in close she’ll kick off your chest and run to her Italian mama. She did let me hold both her hands and throw her up in the air a couple times.

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

monkey babysitting goa

So, that was my Monday morning last week.

Ben went back after that the following day and let the monkey groom his hair, and then had to wipe the little monkeys ass when he changed the diaper. I passed on all that… knowing most the monkeys there wanted to hurt me kind of turned me off the whole thing. I wasn’t really interested in volunteering as I’m too busy with work now, but Ben was really considering going in a few times a week, but alas work got in the way and he’s spent most of monsoon in Kochi.

To learn more about the Primate Trust India (the place I just told you about) or to donate check out the website. You can volunteer as well when you’re in Goa! You have to volunteer a minimum of one month though which makes sense because this isn’t a tourist attraction, this is really there to help the monkeys- and it takes time to learn HOW to help. Even in one day there, I felt bad that I only toured and didn’t take on more responsibility.

If you want to help and have the time, you should should out their site and see if you fit the criteria.




About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Dana Newman August 6, 2014 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Sounds like an absolutely awesome experience! But yeah, I hear ya about the mosquitoes and not feeling so welcome with the whole “monkeys hate women” thing. Come on, monkeys!!

    • Rachel Jones August 7, 2014 at 2:23 am - Reply

      Yeah the monkeys hating me thing kinda put a damper on it as soon as I got there!

  2. Jo August 6, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Generally speaking, I think monkeys are pure evil. You can see in their eyes that they’re planning something. But that little one is the cutest thing I’ve seen all week. I still don’t think I’d be up for changing her diaper though!

  3. Ashley August 6, 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Ahhh they’re so cute! Sounds like the best babysitting job ever!

  4. Hannah August 6, 2014 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Oh Rachel! That sounds like the best morning, that baby monkey is adorable. I had no idea that baby monkeys had to have such intensive care, it’s really good of everyone who volunteers.

    • Rachel Jones August 7, 2014 at 2:24 am - Reply

      Yeah I was shocked how much care they need. Really spoiled they are ;)

  5. Julia August 6, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Naww, super cute! I would be all like “aww, baby monkeys!”

  6. Agness August 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Cuteness overload!!!! These little monkeys are just way too adorable. I am really jealous of your experience :)! Wish I could do that soon!

    • Rachel Jones August 7, 2014 at 2:25 am - Reply

      I bet you could! there must be primate centers in every country helping out pet monkeys that were abandoned!

  7. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown August 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I just died of the cuteness. BABY MONKEY!!!!

    And yeah, monkeys are total assholes. I learned that here on Roatan in a place where they have monkeys…there are certain places female visitors can’t stand around in or it just starts a shitshow (unfortunately, sometimes literally).

    • Rachel Jones August 7, 2014 at 2:25 am - Reply

      I would not want to see a monkey shitshow, literal or not! lol

  8. Jo August 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Not such a monkey fan but that one is kinda cute.. I once got attacked by them in Uganda and that was enough monkey for me.

  9. Empty Rucksack August 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Another thing which I think can only happen in India. :)

  10. Laura August 7, 2014 at 1:19 am - Reply

    What a cool experience! I do love me some monkeys. I’ll definitely favorite that site for if I ever head that way, it sounds like a really good cause!

  11. Justine August 7, 2014 at 4:39 am - Reply

    I thought volunteering to care for rescue kitties when I was in high school was a good gig, but babysitting monkeys is so much better! Nassi is the cutest thing ever. Sad that they can’t be reintroduced to the wild :( And I had no idea that monkeys don’t like women. Lame!

  12. Heather August 7, 2014 at 5:34 am - Reply

    That baby is the cutest! I got to hold one once and it was the best thing ever. Not sure about changing it’s diaper, though!

  13. Sabina @GirlvsGlobe August 7, 2014 at 6:20 am - Reply

    I can’t believe the monkeys were such mean girls to you, that’s hilarious! I hope it wasn’t a traumatic experience for you though – I was once attacked by a butterfly and now I totally avoid them. A BUTTERFLY. I once had a male gorilla try to seduce me so I totally believe you though! What an interesting way to spend a day though – I’d totally try this out if I got an opportunity!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:28 am - Reply

      a BUTTERFLY! lol that is a hard one to picture. It was a good way to spend the day especially in monsoon we get really bored.

  14. Alex, Speaking Denglish August 7, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

    What a treat! I am definitely surprised to hear that women have more trouble interacting though – I would think that only if they’d been taken at an older age. So adorable! I’ve never gotten to play with a monkey!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:24 am - Reply

      Well the baby ones love women & hug one as their mama for a year.. but after that they get jealous of women thinking that they are competition for mates!

  15. The Guy August 7, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

    This looks like an ultimate MUST DO for any bucket list! Very cute but also very dangerous and uncontrollable!

    Glad you had so much fun.

    It is very sad how they came to be there and that they cannot return to the wild :-(

    And as for that stuff about us guys not being able to multi-task, that is absolute nonsense! You heard it here first. Now, what was I saying?……… ( ;-) )

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:21 am - Reply

      It was bitter sweet since they are caged forever & sometimes I wonder if it’s better to let nature take it’s course, but then again if I foudn a baby monkey abandoned, I couldn’t just let it die!

  16. Colleen Brynn August 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    The little faces!
    Makes me wish I were there to experience monkey babysitting. I miss India like crazy…

  17. Emma @ emmalincoln.com August 8, 2014 at 3:03 am - Reply

    That’s crazy about monkeys hating females. I always thought they were tricky buggers!

  18. Courtney August 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    SO COOL! But also not cool that monkeys hate women. I would have never known that! At least you got to enjoy some quality monkey playtime without getting bullied by any sexist primates. What an experience!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:18 am - Reply

      haha you’re right at least a little monkey time was worth it!

  19. Nadja August 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Sounds awesome! I’d love to do that:)
    Greetings from Melbourne,

  20. Victoria August 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    That little baby monkey is so cute. From a distance oh yes. I’ve had a bellyfull of monkeys and they do. not. like. me. at.all!
    I’m sorry Rachel. No monkey business for me.
    My first experience was when a monkey jumped on my (then long) hair, and pulled it, in Bali!
    A big monkey wouldn’t let me pass by the temple and stared me down. In India!
    A monkey almost jumped into our jeep, on the Table Mountain, in Cape Town, in South Africa!
    And don’t get me started about the monkeys in the Berlin Zoo where I live. In Berlin. Not the zoo! As soon as they heard me coming they started screeching. I refused to go in! Yuck!

    • Rachel Jones August 10, 2014 at 5:10 am - Reply

      haha wow you haven’t had any luck at all with monkeys! I liked the baby, but like you I didn’t want to play with the big ones.

  21. the epic duo August 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    wow must have been an awesome experience!

    Id monkey sit all day long lol

    the baby ones are fine not the big ones!

    Here in Costa Rica, we have the howler monkeys and they’re not the nicest

    great and cute pics :)

    Pura vida


    • Rachel Jones August 11, 2014 at 1:38 am - Reply

      Yes only the baby! haha the big ones were a little scary.

  22. Elora August 13, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Oh wow!! That’s incredible! So CUTE! But man–all the monkeys hating you. Jeez. What a tough break.

  23. Amber October 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Hi! We are in Goa at the moment and have been trying to find this place! Is it possible for to give us some kind of direction or clue?! Thanks!

    • Rachel Jones October 22, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

      Hi, google or go to the link on the page for the “primate trust of Goa” and it’ll have their phone number, address etc :) I’m in the jungle at the moment with limited internet or would look it up and send it over

  24. Kate February 18, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Seriously, this is like the coolest thing ever! I am so jealous but also so happy you did this so that I could read about it, haha.

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