People find monkeys fascinating because they’re so like human, but just that little bit different.

The differences may be smaller than we think: images have emerged of a monkey in the state of Madhya Pradesh, in central India, raiding a bottle shop and enjoying a bottle of booze.

As the pie-eyed primate enjoys what looks like a bottle of Kahlua the bemused offie owner looks on, seemingly powerless to prevent the simian shoplifter from raising his stock.

The shop owner did at one point try to tempt the tiny raider with a biscuit, but the furry little booze fan wasn’t fooled and stuck to the good stuff.

The shopkeeper was wise to keep his distance. While monkeys look cute enough from a distance, they can become quite aggressive if they feel threatened.

In one particularly horrifying incident earlier this year a pack of wild monkeys broke into a home in the Indian city of Thanjavur and snatched two newborn twin girls. One of the 8-day-old girls died as a result of the attack.

The girls’ mother, a 26-year-old woman identified in local reports as R. Buvaneswari, said the marauding monkeys lifted some of the tiles in the roof of her house while she was using the outside loo.

She rushed back into the house when she heard a commotion and was shocked to find her babies missing.

Quickly, her neighbours came to help but the creatures had already made off with the two girls. One was saved but her sister was found floating face down in a nearby pond.

“Once we got the information about the incident, we rushed to the spot and searched for the second baby. We finally located the infant on the moat,” police Inspector S. Chandramohan told the Times of India.

He added: “We have sent the body to the government Medical College Hospital for post mortem”.

There were some suspicions that the monkeys may not have been entirely responsible though.

M. Ilayaraja, the district forest officer, told reporters the incident was “rarest of rare” occurrences and said there were some doubts about Ms Buvaneswari’s account.

“It is very difficult for the animal to remove the tiles to enter and come out through the same hole,” he said.

“Moreover," Ilayaraja added, “as per the doctor’s statement, the infant which is under observation, as well as the baby which died, had no marks of being grabbed by the animal on their bodies”.

“Since they are infants, when animals like monkeys lift them, their joints may get dislocated. There is no bruise or scratch or dislocation of joints. However, we cannot come to any conclusion.”

Nevertheless, there are numerous reports of small children being attacked or kidnapped by monkeys in India. In one particularly upsetting case in 2018, a 16-day-old infant was grabbed from his mother's side in the village of Talabasta in eastern India, sparking an immediate hue and cry.

The baby boy was later found dead at the bottom of a well covered in scratches.

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