Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monkey Mountain

Many years ago the city of Oita had a huge problem with monkeys... The Mayor at the time devised a plan to feed the monkeys at the same time each day on a nearby mountain in an attempt to move them away from the city's growing population. Now there are approximately 2000 monkeys living on Mt Takasaki (a 20 minute train ride from our house). These monkeys are still wild but through increasing numbers of people visiting the park they have become relatively desensitised to humans. Heading to Monkey Mountain seems to be the 'done' here in Oita so we trundled off there on Sunday with a few of our new found friends. Not being awfully fond of animals I was pretty terrified at the thought of being surrounded by unpredictable live-wire monkeys but it actually wasn't too bad. We arrived just in time for feeding which was pretty cool to watch although the fighting that went hand-in-hand with competing for food put me on tender hooks a bit! There were also lots of little babies running around in between our legs and hanging off trees etc... definitely a highlight of the trip!