Spoiled Monkey Named Couple's Sole Heir

Ostracized pair say Chunmun is like son they never had
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2015 11:19 AM CST
Spoiled Monkey Named Couple's Sole Heir
An Indian rickshaw puller Rajendra Shukla, 42, feeds his pet monkey water from a bottle on a hot summer day in Allahabad, India, Thursday, June 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Indian couple Brajesh and Shabista Srivastava consider their pet monkey to be the son they never had. Purchased as a baby for $8 roughly a decade ago, Chunmun the monkey has helped erase the loneliness the childless couple felt after being shunned by their families over their inter-faith marriage, the BBC reports; Brajesh, 48, is Hindu, while his 45-year-old wife is Muslim. So, like any son might, Chunmun will be recognized in the couple's will following their deaths. In fact, the monkey, expected to live another 25 to 30 years, is their sole heir, and will get everything from the couple's home to their land and savings, reports the AFP.

"We want to ensure that even when we are not alive, Chunmun's life is not affected and he continues to live the way he does," Shabista says. It turns out the monkey leads a fairly charmed life. He lives in an air-conditioned room with his "wife," a female monkey named Bitti Yadav. The pair dine on Chinese food, fruit, and home-cooked meals; drink tea, milk, and mango juice; and have hundreds of human friends invited to their annual wedding anniversary party. "People might say we are mad," says Shabista, a lawyer. "But we know how valuable Chunmun is to us." After he dies, any remaining assets will go toward caring for monkeys in India. (More monkey stories.)

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