Caged Monkey Grooms Dog Through Fence in Video That is Both Cute and Sad

This crab-eating macaque might be the same species as the monkey in the video. Jean-François Chénier on Flickr

A video has surfaced showing a monkey in Vietnam grooming a dog through a fence, demonstrating the irresistible cuteness of an interspecies pairing.

The video appeared on the YouTube Channel "Viral Hog" and includes only a date, a location, a quote and licensing details. According to the description, it took place in Ha Tinh, Vietnam, on October 11.

"I raise monkeys and dogs, when they were around each other, I thought it was beautiful so I recorded," the quote reads, presumably from the person who took the video.

In the video, you can see a monkey reaching through a chain-link fence to groom a scruffy brown dog, attempting to pick off any bugs the monkey might find in the dog's coat. The dog doesn't seem to mind at first, staying near the fence (possibly a cage?). Near the end of the video, a young girl puts her foot on the dog's throat and the monkey gets a little too rough. The dog growls briefly and the girl leads it away.

The internet is full of videos of monkeys grooming non-monkey animals, like dogs, cats and even humans. In monkeys, grooming is a social activity that benefits both parties: One monkey looks through the fur of another, searching for and picking off fleas and other insects. Then, the groomer gets to eat the bugs.

Monkeys are also known to be more likely to groom another monkey of higher social rank. The fact that monkeys are so often seen grooming other species indicates they include non-monkey animals in their social graces.

Very little information about this dog-and-monkey incident is included, but the news organization UPI describes the person filming as a farmer. The rest can only be speculated using context.

The monkey may be a long-tailed macaque, also known as a crab-eating macaque, which is a species native to Southeast Asia. In Vietnam and Cambodia, there is a thriving illegal trade in the species.

In Vietnam, a farmer might raise a macaque to sell as food or for research purposes. The animal welfare group Cruelty Free International has worked with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to try to curb the capture and breeding of these monkeys in Southeast Asia. Monkey farmers have also been accused of illegally laundering wild-caught monkeys to sell to research labs.

Dogs are also eaten as food in Vietnam.