Evalyne, a mother’s drama

These pictures depict an extraordinary and emotional event that I scientifically documented as a researcher at the Fondazione Ethoikos. Evalyne, a young female belonging to a group of Tonkean macaques, gave birth to a baby and took full care of it for the first four days of life. On the morning of the fifth day, the infant was dead. The mother appeared agitated throughout the first few days after the death and was unable to leave the body of the baby. She determinedly took care of the infant’s corpse, despite the fact that it was gradually mummifying and disintegrating. For twenty-five days, Evalyne stubbornly continued to carry the increasingly shapeless remains of her baby, before finally cannibalising them.