Tag Archives: zoo

Monkey day

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As it turns out, there is a huge monkey park in the Netherlands, only about an hours drive from where we live, called De Apenheul. The zoo started in 1971 and is completely dedicated to monkeys. They have large groups of gorilla, orang-gutan, chimpanzee and last but not least over 200 squirrel monkeys running freely within the park just to mention a few good reasons to visit. I just knew I had to see this place once I heard of it and made Rob and my friend Marleen tag along even if it was sunday and odds were the park would be really busy.  As we entered the park we were asked to put our personal belongings in special monkeyproof bags, to avoid harming the squirrel monkeys – I think the bags looked kind of cool so that was no problem at all ^^

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We kept on going and after just a few meters we saw a squirel monkey with a little baby holding on to her back climbing on eager visitors. I stretched out my arm and just like that she moved on to me 🙂 I managed to give her to Marleen as well before she jumped on to the next person. This all went very quickly so it was hard for us to get good photos. We were really happy to experience this though and amazed to have done so within 5 minutes of entering the park.

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We moved on to watch the orang-utans that were in a really large area consisting of several islands. I was really impressed with just how large the group of animals was and I got quite a few nice shots of them climbing around.

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There was even a really cute baby 🙂Image

We moved on to watch the keepers feed the gorillas. Again I was amazed with just how large the family was, not to mention how big the leader of the group, Jambo is: Image

After walking around watching all the different kinds of monkeys in the park, we decided to go back to the start of the trail and see if we could manage to have one of the squirrel monkeys climb on us again. We were in luck, and one of the slightly bigger ones decided to play with us for a while. After trying to steal Marleens earring without sucess (we managed to steal it back just before his friend ran off with it) he tried to get into my monkeyproof bag. This also didn’t work out so he settled for climbing on me for a little while instead 🙂

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This park is definitely worth a visit, but I do reccomend to try and avoid sundays – it was a bit too crowded when we went there.

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Monkeys in the Mountain

One of the absolute highlights of my trip to Japan was our visit to the Arashiyama monkey park. The day we decided to go see this park it was actually snowing quite heavily and as it turned out you have to walk for about 20 minutes uphill to get to the viewing platform, where you can also meet some of the 133 Japanese monkeys that live in the area.  As we walked up the pretty steep path I started to wonder if the park would be worth the long walk, but we had already paid to enter the park and I wanted to see the monkeys so I kept on going of course. I think what really got to me was that Rob didn’t seem tired at all – just look at him waiting on me completly relaxed!

When we got to the top I forgot all about the long way up there though, the view would have been worth the hike on its own even, as it was pretty amazing. We could see all of Kyoto and the mountains surrounding the city.

While the view was an awesome bonus, the reason we came was of course the monkeys. We could see quite a few of them as we climbed the last few hills up to the top, and even more up on the viewing platform. Visitors to the park get to go into a shelter where they can rest up a bit after the climb. It is also possible to buy monkeyfood, but the only place your allowed to feed the monkeys is from inside the shelter. This way the monkeys can come get food approved by the zoo when they want to, but people won’t harass them – I think it is a great way to let people interact with the animals without  bothering them too much. Rob and I absolutely loved feeding the monkeys and we got two packages of monkeyfood – one with nuts and one with fruit.

I got a few nice pictures of the monkeys outside of the shelter as well, here are some of my personal favorites: