Japanese town includes monkey inhabitants
Mar 29, 2011
For the past 46 years, snow monkeys have lived in close proximity to humans at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan, according to a report by CNN.
"It's pretty incredible. At first, it's a little frightening. But it's special that the monkeys can eat their food, be here without being pestered by humans. And yet we can be this close. I think it's special," Kate Bokan-Smith, an American in Japan, told the news source.
The monkeys lie in the steaming outdoor hot spring, with many of them shoulder-deep in the bath.
Photographers as well as tourists come to the site to observe the relaxing monkeys, in what Vince Manna, a nature photographer, calls something "unique."
The snow monkeys started out as pests to the residents of Nagano, but man and monkey have learned to live side by side.
The natural habitat of snow monkeys, also known as Macaca fuscata, are the sub-tropical to sub-arctic forests, according to the Central Park Zoo. They are intelligent animals and lucky symbols in Japanese culture.