I recently had the pleasure of introducing my own little monkey to the macaques of Monkey Forest, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent. She was both excited and a bit nervous as the macaques wander free in a big forest and it was our responsibility to steer clear of them and their habitat for once; a fabulous and no doubt valuable experience for her to see animals in a slightly more natural setting!
I was also pleased as it gave me the opportunity to try and get some decent animal photos; I had to find a way through the difficulties of taking a picture of a constantly moving animal whilst in a relatively large crowd of adults and children! I loved the way I managed to see some incredibly intimate experiences between the macaques such as a cuddle between a family with a newborn and the sharing of food between a mother and a baby – it felt as though I was viewing ‘Family in the Public Eye’ in an almost sociological sense. Some of the older male monkeys were just fantastically blasé about it all and sat very close to the path staring off in what looked to be a wistful manner…. although I will concede my tendency to anthropomorphise here!