Mum comes to rescue during monkeying around at Longleat

Onboard at Longleat, but how steady is the young macaque monkey?

Going...

...going...

But mum is at the ready...

...and baby is whisked away to play another day at the safari park near Warminster

First published in News
Last updated

It’s a situation parents everywhere will recognise only too well.

This female macaque monkey at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, near Warminster, had to come to the rescue after her overly-confident infant leapt on to her back only to discover it’s not quite as easy as it looks.

As the infant starts to slide off, mum puts out a helping hand and grabs hold of the youngster just before it hits the ground.

It’s not long before the suitably chastened young macaque monkey heads back to the safety of its mother’s front.

Infant macaques can be carried and nursed by their mothers’ for up to a year. As they mature they will be handled and carried by other close female relatives within the wider troop.

Often younger females will carry out this form of babysitting which is thought to prepare them for the rigours of motherhood in later life.

Found throughout south east Asia and across the Indian subcontinent rhesus macaque monkeys thrive in a wide variety of habitats and climates.

In some parts of India they are believed to be sacred with the result that they have lived in close contact with humans for countless centuries - particularly in and around Buddhist and Hindu temples.

Rhesus monkeys are extremely intelligent, naturally inquisitive animals which can learn to manipulate simple tools and distinguish colours and shapes.

In studies at the Columbia University in America scientists have discovered that they even have the ability to count.

Highly sociable they live in family troops of 20 or more led by a dominant male.

Food is gathered as a group - one monkey acting as "look-out" for danger, while the others fill their cheek pouches with as much food as they can.

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