This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

ホンザル, Japanese Macaque

Takasaki yama (Mt. Takasaki) is a forested mountain just south of Beppu and home to more than 1500 wild Japanese macaque monkeys.

When local macaques began laying waste to farmer’s fields and foraging for food in neighborhood trash cans, a city official decided to alleviate the problem by luring the monkeys to the mountain with a wistle and food. His plan worked and Takasaki yama has been home to the Japanese macaques ever since.

The monkey park doesn’t function like a zoo. There are no fences or bounderies, no off-limits areas for the macaques. Visitors are cautioned to keep their distance, avoid aggressive behavior and refrain from touching and feeding the monkeys. In return they get the opportunity to observe these animals up close.

Three troupes of monkeys populate the mountain and descend from the summit to eat, groom and play on the equipment the park staff has constructed.


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