You should go to the habitat when you want see monkeys. The Japanese Macaque inhabits everywhere in Japan. However it is difficult to find monkeys in mountains because of deep forests and steep cliffs. Even if you luckily find them, they keep a safe distance from you and run away quickly. Also, because they move constantly in their territory they do not stay at the same place where you met them on the other day.
So we adopt monkey feeding. We feed monkeys to bring in them to our park where we can observe them closely. The feed we give them is a little bit better than the food that monkeys usually get in mountains.
Monkeys are truly talented in learning so they retain that they can get better food at anytime when they are in the park. At the same time they already know that human in the park is not dangerous to them.
You can see monkeys under a natural condition in the Jigokudani Yaen-Koen, here is not a small world like a zoo.
There are different kinds of feed and way of feeding (depends on facilities), we give monkeys barley with chaff, soy beans or apples, depends the situation like weather and season. For example, barley and soy bean are a sort of better than monkeys’ usual food like grass, tree leaves and flowers. But in autumn season, they can get good food like grapes and chestnuts in the mountains. In that case we sometimes give them apples. But food for human is too attractive to them, so we balance on feeding to avoid plethora of nutrition and ecocide.
Feeding is just a method to keep monkeys under the observable situation.
Feeding is not an show
Feeding is not an entertainment show. You may know there are facilities which sell feed to anyone who want to feed monkeys by hands. Monkeys in that place expect to be fed from anybody, so if you do not give them feed they would terrorize you or sometimes take your bag away. Only strong monkeys flock around feeding person and get feed but weak monkeys have no chance to get feed. Also the person who feed them looks only the monkeys who ask feed. If you try to give feed to baby or weak monkeys over head of strong monkeys, it just causes conflict among monkeys. Feeding with just curiosity or self-satisfaction is nothing but harmful. It is far from observation of monkeys’ ecology.
Enjoy observing monkeys’
We do not sell feed in our facility. And feeding on one’s own way is strictly prohibited. We know that many visitors want to see feeding but you only see the monkeys who are very intense and focus on eating at feeding time. It is not an interesting ecology of monkeys. Please be curious when monkeys act like nothing on the surface. You will find many interesting ecology which should take a closer look.
Feeding time is not fixed, depends on monkeys’ condition, weather and season. Also we do not announce the feeding time in advance. We hope you will enjoy observing monkeys’ ecology under a natural condition.