Skip to main content

João Franco from Below Deck Mediterranean has been treating Instagram followers to videos and photos of daily interactions with adorable monkeys who constantly drop in for a visit.

Franco returned home to spend time with his family in Zimbabwe. While he waits to return to the United States he’s helping around the house, but also hand-feeding wild monkeys who almost seem like pets.

Joao Franco
Joao Franco |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“This is Africa and also my balcony:) A sneak peak of my life in Africa! Watch this space:) I will wake up at 5am everyday for this🤗💕 I have been called Tarzan by many!!😂 I love animals. more wildlife adventures coming soon!!!” he shared in an Instagram video and post.

The adorable monkeys, who often arrive with their babies, look almost like tame pets. But Franco told Showbiz Cheat Sheet these sweet creatures are definitely not pets and hand feeding them should be done with considerable caution.

They may be used to humans, but aren’t necessarily domesticated

Franco talks to the primates in his video almost like they are human. He told Showbiz Cheat Sheet caution should always be exercised. In fact, while the monkeys featured in his videos look sweet, he says that’s not always the case.

“There are some troops that aren’t so friendly,” he shared. “They’re not at all domesticated but they’re used to humans. They aren’t like this with everyone either. They are usually chased or find that people are intimidated by them and use that to their advantage when trying to take food.”

However, they now know Franco and know his balcony is a safe place. “But they seem to enjoy the balcony and we don’t chase them, only stop them from coming in the house,” he added. “We don’t feed them always and feed them very little when we do so they don’t expect it. Sometimes they literally come and play on the balcony and with the little dog. Especially when it’s raining! It’s the cutest thing!”

He’s built trust with his new friends

Franco has built enough trust where the mother monkeys will allow their babies to play near Franco. “And it has come to a point where the mommy’s let the little ones play near us, which I have never seen before. I guess it’s trust. I have been mock charged many times by the bigger alphas but I just stand my ground and don’t chase back at all and I think it forms a kind of respect. It can be quite scary.”

Franco joked about how eventually he’s going to end up joining the group. “Just waiting for the day they start grooming me,” he laughs. “Maybe they think I’m one of them! An alpha monkey.”

But he added, “The slightest bit of fear or doubt and they are out of there in less than a second! Or they give the very intimidating mock charge and you’ll be out of there in less than a second,” he shared. “And their teeth are no joke!”