Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Monkey Park

That was a relief, just picking up some nuggets by Frankie, no plans to nip at him in the immediate future! (pic #2)

Aw, poor Frankie was a bit nervous in this one - we had just gotten there and he wasn't sure what the monkey was going to do! (pic #1)

Methinks this one senses some kindred spirits!

This weekend we took the boys on a tour of Matsumoto Castle and Wild Snow Monkey park in Nagano.

The park was amazing - here was a place up in the mountains of Nagano, where wild, free snow monkey come in the winter to enjoy the natural hot springs. They are plentiful (several hundred!!) and not afraid of humans. To tempt them down, workers scattered buckets of barley seeds. There just are not words for this experience - being so close to these monkeys and being able to watch their behavior...

There are more pics on facebook because honestly, it is alot easier to load them up.

Most of the monkeys were a bit shy, and avoided eye contact. A very few bigger ones made more aggressive challenging stares, and the key was not to stare back. Yep, people have certainly been bitten, pinched, pushed at, and had snacks taken away by the little critters. So we were cautious, but wouldn't have missed the experience for the world. the monkeys were having a blast eating the treats, soaking in the hot springs...

It was great to watch the behaviors and interactions, and our time at the park whipped by too fast. The babies were sooo cute, especially their delicate little ears that stuck out from the sides of their heads. I had a strong ache to pick them up and hold them, but I know I'd get in big trouble if I tried :)

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