Rolling in the deep: The Arctic monkeys that have learned how to make snowballs

By Mail Foreign Service

Rolling with it: The Macaca fuscata, or Snow Monkey, playing with snowball at Jigokudani National Park in Japan

With a devilish look in his eye, this macaque rolls up his snowball and looks poised to unleash it.

These primates may not look as human as others in their family, but they clearly have the same instincts when it comes to having fun in the snow.

The naughty-looking monkeys were caught in a series of hilarious pictures by a British photographer at the Jigokudani National Park in Honshu, Japan.

'Macaques are intelligent primates who are able to make discoveries and pass them down the generations,' said Steve Bloom, 58.

'They are naturally inquisitive and play with the snow, sometimes rolling it into balls or just examining the texture.

'People underestimate the intelligence of animals, so people are often surprised when they see this behaviour.'

Seen you: Kent-based photographer, Steven Bloom, 58, took these amusing pictures while taking wildlife pictures at the Jigokudani National Park in Honshu, Japan

Two can play that game: A young rival decides he wants a piece of the action

Three's a crowd: The monkeys are well used to entertaining themselves in the white stuff - snow lies on the ground for four months of the year in Honshu

The island is famous for its four months of snow as well as its hot springs, where during winter the macaques gather to wallow and warm themselves in the steaming water.

They are the most northerly living non-human primate and are famous for washing their food in water before they eat it.



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