Who knew primates had photography skills? A monkey stole a wildlife photographer’s camera, and then started taking pictures of himself, even smiling in the photos. The crested black macaque monkey (black ape) swiped the camera and took self-portraits at arms length, like you’d see on a 15-year old girl’s Facebook page.
It happened when wildlife photographer David Slater was visiting a national park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, he left his camera unattended and a crested black macaque monkey grabbed it and proceeded take Facebook-style monkey self-portraits. Who knew “black apes” took pictures? It’s actually a decent monkey self-portrait!
If you’re curious, I found out some interesting facts about these inquisitive monkeys below:
- Some crested black macaque facts:
- They’re promiscuous - with both males and females mating multiple times with multiple partners
- They live in groups, and tend to either be all males or be 4:1 females to males.
- Their diet is 70% fruits
- They’re extremely rare and critically endangered
- They’re found in Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia, and some tiny islands near it
- Many names – crested black macaque, Sulawesi black macaque, Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi crested macaque, or the black ape. Scientific name: Macaca nigra
I love his expression in the above portrait; it reminds me of the closeups of long-tailed macaques that I snapped in Malaysia.
Macaques can be unpredictable (like these monkeys having sex while I was photographing the view of the Ulu Watu cliffs in Indonesia).
The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back – it was amazing to watch. He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn’t worked that out yet.
Other primates from my travels: I was amazed how the mannerisms can be so similar to humans. Although they’re technically less closely related to humans than orangutans, I was surprised by how human-like proboscis monkey behavior could be. The baby monkeys (long-tailed macaques) in Borneo were cute, but the tarsiers (aka “Gremlins”) still may have been the cutest primates I’ve seen in person.