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Friday, December 07, 2007

Monkeys in Japan

Monkeys in Japan

So..., I was sitting quietly at my desk when I was disturbed by a noise on the roof above me, so I popped my head out the door just in time to see a big male monkey jump off my roof with a persimmon in his hand and bound off into the woods. From the other noises and movements in the trees I could see that the whole troop of about 20 monkeys were paying us a visit, or rather were engaging in a raid not only on my persimmon trees, but also the gardens, where daikons are a favored choice.


The Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) are common and widespread throughout Japan, and its estimated that there may be as many 150,000, having enjoyed a population explosion from about 15,000, 60 years ago. I grabbed my camera and went outside and was lucky enough to get some shots thanks to my trusty zoom lens. I’ve spent many an enjoyable hour sitting looking out of my window and watching the monkeys behaviour,… the moms with their babies on their backs, the adolescents, not yet frightened of man and therefore approaching closer. A couple of years ago there was a constant ruckus for 3 continuous days as two males battled it out for the “Alpha Male” position, complete with tree-shaking and an audience of the females who appeared to be egging them on.

Monkeys in Japan

Monkeys in Japan

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