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The critically endangered crested black macaque spends most of its day foraging for food, socializing, and — apparently — sharpening its photography skills.

Wildlife photographer David Slater witnessed these skills first-hand while on a three-day trek through an Indonesian national park. With the help of a local guide, he was able to encounter and walk with a group of these rare and inquisitive monkeys. Upon leaving his tripod-mounted camera unattended for a moment, a bold member of the group swooped in and commandeered the prize. As can be expected, chaos and hilarity ensued.

They were quite mischievous, jumping all over my equipment. One hit the button. 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.

Photos: David Slater

The thief ended up taking hundreds of photographs, including several amazingly in-focus self portraits and one of Slater himself attempting to regain possession of his property.

Crested black macaques aren’t particularly celebrated for their intelligence, but it’s pretty clear that their eye for photography far surpasses mine. I can never achieve anywhere near these kinds of results from the arm-stretchy self-portrait technique employed here.

(Via PetaPixel & The Guardian.)



About The Author

Sarah Park

Sarah Park is currently spending her quarter-life crisis in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. She spends her days snowboarding, hiking and not at all slipping into a soul-devouring existential dilemma. Don't worry, she's kidding... kinda.

  • Nime Cloud

    It takes better photographs than me…

  • Eurobubba

    That’s cuz your arms are shorter.

    • Sarah

      I need to get some long-ass monkey arms.

  • Mike

    Some blatant copyright infringement in this article. Clearly the photos should be credited to the monkey who took them. ;)

    • Sarah

      Haahaha, amazing. 

    • Nguyen, Le

      No, the banana eaters do not own the camera. Clearly they are his assistant for a short moment khec khec

  • Flybynight512

    Finally we have proof – even a monkey is bound to take a good photo eventually if he presses the button enough times.

  • roy |

    This is so awesome! Up next, Monkey writes a Shakespearean play.

  • knottygirl

    “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times”….

  • Sujogya

    Please post some more photos taken by money…they are awesome :)

  • Trixiracer65

     I call BS!!!!

  • Alexandra F

    Aww.. what a pretty smile….


  • Jess

    I’m inclined to call BS on this, too… not to be a buzz kill… : )

  • Carl Oscar Aaro

    Should it really say “Photo: David Slater” in the byline? :D

  • Alanchiu

    So let’s get these monkeys some type writers and watch them write the next Michael Bay film

  • Matt Zepp

    That is clearly CGI. If you think otherwise you are stupid. 

  • Antoine Dodson

    Looks shopped….I would know, I’ve seen quite a few in my day.  Cool story bro.

  • Mary Sojourner

    Almost Weston-like in their simplicity, and yet filled with documentary power as a statement on the human condition.  

  • Tammy Hill

    love monkeys

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