Thursday, December 28, 2006

Monkey Magic!

After a hectic week of Christmas build-up and the Kiora Cottage guests we escaped the house today and braved the freezing temperatures to go and see some monkeys! Just out of Beppu City (about 50 minutes from here) there is a mountain called "Mt Takasaki" and in this mountain there are many monkeys.... They have developed an area where the monkeys are free to come and go from in which you can go and literally get up close and personal with them. There are no fences and there are two different groups of monkeys which come down from the mountains alternatively (there used to be three groups, but one has gone off somewhere else) to spend time in the area. They wander around the place happily playing, picking fleas etc. and then all swarm into the main area when the clock hits feeding time to get a peanut or two. It is kind of like in one of those horror movies where there are huge numbers of mice come and take over an area. The group of monkeys there today had about 780 in it.....
I have been a couple of times in the past, but this time was the best I have ever seen (no screeching loud speakers today Dad and Dawn!). There were so many baby monkeys around that had been born over the summer and who were really enjoying just being kids. They have built them a "kindergarten" where there are swings, slides etc. for them to play and they seem to have a ball. I know there are problems with monkeys in the wild in some areas of Japan where they have taken over towns - going into houses etc. to get food. In Beppu there doesn't seem to be that problem and I am impressed at how natural they try to keep everything. No cages, no pressure to stay and no overfeeding so when they spend time in the wild they are unable to survive.
A nice change from washing Christmas dishes anyway!

1 comment:

  1. Which one is the monkey?