Time to chill out! Baby snow monkey sighs with relief as he plunges into Japanese hot spring to warm up


Frosty: This infant Japanese snow monkey curls up his paws to protect them from the icy cold weather

This little fellow looked a bit down in the dumps shivering in freezing cold weather in the mountains of Japan.
But these stunning photos captured the moment when it quickly changed to an expression of delight after he jumped in to a hot natural spring to warm up.
And if this young monkey's reaction to slipping into a warm bath is anything to go by, these primates really are like humans.

Delight: But the Japanese snow monkey's expression turns to one of bliss as he submerges into the hot spring

The juvenile Japanese snow monkey was photographed enjoying the famous hot springs at Jigokudani monkey park in Nagano.
Photographer Ben Torode captured these intimate scenes of grooming and social interaction among the group of Japanese macaques - who are drawn to the welcoming waterhole to warm up during the winter.
The group descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen - hotsprings - before returning to the security of the forests in the evenings.

Monkeying around: And this young Snow Monkey seemed in no rush to get out - happy to stay enjoying the warm water
'Their hands are extremely delicate and dextrous, they are very social and they are capable of intense concentration. In fact, Japanese macaques spend 27.9 per cent of their waking hours engaged in social grooming, as opposed to just 23.5 per cent feeding. 'While you photograph these monkeys, you are not supposed to stare at them too long with your naked eyes because they take it as a sign of aggression, but they don't mind lenses.

Touching: Photographer Ben Torode also captured heart-warming scenes of grooming among the group of Japanese macaques

'The young ones, however, are much more inquisitive about everything, including the humans.'
Jigokudani is located in a mountainous area in central Japan and at 850 meters in elevation, it is a harsh environment where snow covers the ground for one-third of the year.
It is named Jigokudani, Hell's Valley, due to the eerie spectacle of boiling water and steam rising from the steep cliffs.

Family fun: A group of Japanese Snow Monkeys descend from the forest to sit in the warm waters of the hotsprings

source: dailymail