Not Quite Wild: Snow Monkeys
Shot at Jigokudani Park (near Nagano), Japan in June 2007 with the Canon 1Ds II and 70-200 f/2.8
The Japanese snow monkey, aka Japanese macaques, are another victim of shrinking habitats. Wild snow monkeys are found in four mountain regions in Japan; and, the most popular is in the Nagano mountains. This area has natural hot springs where the monkeys love to soak and bathe. Snow monkeys were listed as a Threatened species when I visited. But due to successful conservation efforts, they are now considered Least Concern or Stable.
Most photographers flock to Jigokudani Park during the snowy winter months because the monkeys love to stay warm in toasty hot springs. The steam surrounding their heads make them look surreal and mystical. But, I chose to visit in late May/June because there are more babies in the area. The monkeys are wild and come down from the mountain because they knew that the Inn where we stayed at leaves food out. The monkeys were assertive and loved to jump into the outdoor guests baths; and, we had to be attentive around them.
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 - 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.