Three newborn Japanese macaque babies are delighting visitors at Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie.
Despite being small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, the trio of snow monkeys are quite bold and inquisitive.
Mother Angara gave birth to a male baby named Fumio on May 17, and the next day Mang gave birth to a female called Fuji. The entertaining threesome was complete when Djangal gave birth to an as yet unsexed baby on June 14.
Each year, macaque babies are given names starting with the same letter. This year is the turn of the letter F, and Fumio means scholarly child and Fuji is after the well-known Japanese volcano.
Like many primates, snow monkeys have a complex social hierarchy that is led by a dominant female, which for the park’s troop is 12-year-old Angara, who has been known to be a bit of a feisty character.
And her nature is standing her in good stead for looking after little Fumio – her third baby in three years, with staff saying she, Mang and Djangal are taking excellent care of their young.
Douglas Richardson, head of living collections for the Highland Wildlife Park, said: “This is Angara, our dominant female’s third baby in three years, so she definitely has her hands full caring for her young and keeping order within the troupe. Macaque infants do not reach maturity until around five years of age, but Angara can expect some help from her older offspring in looking after her newest baby.
“As we carry out one of the feeds near the enclosure windows, the mothers and their babies are usually very easy to spot – look out for a little dark arm reaching out from the mother as the babies test the various food items. As they get a little more confident, the little ones start to explore, but mum stays close by and will scoop them up if certain members of the troupe get too close.”
The Japanese macaque is a monkey species that is native to Japan. They tend to live in areas that spend a few months of each year under snow – so the Scottish Highlands is perfect for this species. Other than humans, the Japanese macaque is the most northern-living primate.
With the three new arrivals, the Highland Wildlife Park has 24 snow monkeys in its troupe and are so popular they even have their own webcam. Visit