I’ve described my monkey macaque encounters on Shodoshima previously, and while I knew there was also a monkey park on Shodoshima I had been a little reticent to visit it. Partly because I was afraid it might be a zoo, which are often sad places… but also because I had so enjoyed my random encounters in the wild… But as it was my second to last day on Shodoshima I was keen to try & capture a lot of macaque sounds so I figured it was worth a visit…
First stop was the ticket office, where they and some adorable posters – I couldn’t tell whether they actually put a show on at some time with these particular monkeys
Along with the tickets was this great warning – love the second image on the left: is that some kind of mind control the monkey is using?
We wandered up the path…
And wow!! Macaques and lots of them!!
A large group of maybe 100 macaques were hanging around this shed, and when a little truck drove up they started to get excited, and sure enough a minor riot broke out when some food was thrown out for them!!
Performing a macaque vulcan mind meld?
None of the macaques seemed to take much notice of us being there, although the baby monkeys were inquisitive…
I noticed after the feeding was finished some of the monkeys would dig around in the dirt, maybe looking for food, but then would pick up two stones & play percussion on them!!
A group of tourists arrived and some more food was thrown out but it was hopeless for record as the people were making as much sound as the monkeys! So we wandered up the track and came to another large group of macaques, who seemed quite separate to the group feeding, but this was where I heard the most amazing macaque sound yet!!
While this group weren’t moving at all towards the feeding area, every time one of the workers went near the shed where the food was stored, this strange group cry developed! It was weirdly emotional and only a few semitones away from being human, have a listen:
I know the feeling!!