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Cheeky Monkey Steals Woman's Purse in Bali

A cheeky monkey stole a tourist’s purse as she attempted to take a selfie with it at the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali, Indonesia, in June.

This video was taken by the sister of Jovita Coppage, the woman whose purse was snatched.

Coppage said she was lining up the selfie when “next thing I know, the monkey is right next to me and touches my hand to grab my handbag,” she said.

“I tried to reach, and it showed its teeth in a threat. All I could think about was ‘He can not run off with my handbag’,” she said, adding that the items in the purse were what she was most concerned with.

“I had a very, very, very small window of opportunity to take it back,” she said.

Coppage was able to yank her bag back, but the monkey pursued her and tugged on her dress.

“I’m thinking, ‘The monkey is about to climb me and bite my hand’,” she said, explaining they were still close to other monkeys and feared they may join in, “I tossed the purse and was prepared to take a loss at that point.”

Coppage said her sister was able to grab the bag and hide it in her shirt.

“As we are walking, she opens her shirt and shows me that she has my handbag,” she said. “She was not only the one recording, but also the hero at the end of the day.”

The Ubud Monkey Forest, a free-range sanctuary with three ancient Hindu temples on its grounds, urges visitors to remain calm, and not to panic or run should the animals approach or jump on them. They also urge visitors to avoid looking the monkeys in the eyes, and to take care of valuables. Credit: Jovita Coppage via Storyful

Video Transcript

JOVITA COPPAGE: Oh my God. No.

- Did it get you? Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I need that purse. I need that--

- Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: --purse.

- Girl, you better grab it quickly.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I can't.

- Grab it right now. Get your purse. Don't throw it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: Where's he at? Where's he at?

- He's right behind you.

- Stand still. Stand still.

- Come on. Walk, Vit. Walk, Vit. Walk.

- That's not funny.

JOVITA COPPAGE: Oh my God. No.

- Did it get you? Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I need that purse. I need that--

- Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: --purse.

- Girl, you better grab it quickly.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I can't.

- Grab it right now. Get your purse. Don't throw it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: Where's he at? Where's he at?

- He's right behind you.

- Stand still. Stand still.

- Come on walk, Vit. Walk, Vit. Walk.

- That's not funny.

JOVITA COPPAGE: Oh my God. No.

- Did it get you? Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I need that purse. I need that--

- Get it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: --purse.

- Girl, you better grab it quickly.

JOVITA COPPAGE: I can't.

- Grab it right now. Get your purse. Don't throw it.

JOVITA COPPAGE: Where's he at? Where's he at?

- He's right behind you.

- Stand still. Stand still.

- Come on walk, Vit. Walk, Vit. Walk.

- That's not funny.