Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Macaques at Takasaki-yama

Takasaki-yama(高崎山) or Mt. Takasaki is located near the Beppu Bay in the Beppu City. It is best known for the abundance of Japanese Macaque(Macaca fuscata) which naturally live there. The place attracts lots of visitors, usually Japanese families, in weekends. There is also a feeding area inside the park where people can see all the macaques gather together in one place. Although it is quite a popular place in Beppu, I'd never visited before, so I think I should go and see it before I go back to Thailand during the spring vacation.

There were so many people at the place, since it was Sunday. Just in front of the entrance, there is another huge traveling spot, the Umi-Tamako, or literally means Sea-egg, an aquarium which is always packed with visitors daily. As a result, people going to Umi-Tamako always walk up to the opposite side and visit Takasaki-yama to see the macaques. My intention was to see the monkeys, so I didn't get into the aquarium. I rode a bicycle from my new place in downtown to the entrance of Takasaki-yama, which takes about 30 minutes. After paying the entrance fee(about 500 yen - I think), I walked up the road that is covered with dense canopy. There were monkeys everywhere as I was told before, but the most numerous place was at the feeding area, where most visitors also gather there to see them. There was not much light because it's already 4pm, but I just loved the cool atmosphere which fitted well with the appearance of these monkeys, and especially when they hugged each other. It gave a warm feeling through the chilly air...

As I was busy taking photos of the macaques, a bird suddenly dropped to the ground in front of me. I was surprised to see that it was a young male White-bellied Green Pigeon(Treron sieboldii) or formerly called Japanese Green Pigeon. Even though I have seen this species several times in Thailand, it was my first time to see it in Japan. The bird didn't look much injured, but it just sat still on the ground. I have no idea what's wrong with it, but the only problem was it couldn't fly well, though both of the wings were not broken. Suddenly a group of young monkeys jumped down to the ground and started chasing the bird. One of them even catch the bird's tail and pulled it around. At that time, people were started gathering around the area. The bird couldn't helped itself much, so I thought this might end up as a tragedy. But luckily, the bird hopped closer to the people. The macaques here don't usually get too close to human, so they finally ran away. The bird sat still for a moment before helping itself soar down to the canopy below. So good that I did not have to see any crime scene that day.

3 comments:

S.C.E. said...

Some great photos there especially the Japanese Green Pigeons......

Phil said...

Those pigeons look unreal, amazing colours.

Random thoughts said...

So fabulous wildlife pictures!! I am enthralled!!