Japanese Macaques Monkey Snow ball Fight

They look like a cuddly ball of fluff and they certainly seem equipped for the cold. And these fun-loving Japanese macaque monkeys certainly seem to enjoy aping around in the snow.
A photographer caught the joyous moments the troop of monkeys enjoyed a snow day in the mountains.

Leaping over each other, chasing and quick-stepping over the cold flakes, the macaques mesmerised wildlife enthusiast Masashi Mochida.

The amateur photographer captured the almost child-like antics of the monkeys in their snow bound playground in the mountains of Japan

Hot springs in the region mean the group can survive the low temperatures and even find time to fool around.

Masashi, 40, from Tokushima, Japan, took the pictures over three months this winter during time off from his job as a civil engineer.

He said: 'I love watching these macaques playing and dancing in the snow, they are like funky monkeys.
'Monkeys are usually found in the tropics but these are famous for living in the snow in the mountains.

'These macaques are renowned around the world for their fun-loving behaviour, I believe many people in Japan love to watch them like myself

'When I watch them I think they look a lot like children playing and it amazes me how they are so similar to us.

'Their little pink faces have such great expressions, it is like they are really having a snowball fight.'

Masashi said he took the photos at the Jigokudani Monkey Park, which is located in Yamanouchi Town, in the mountainous Nagano Prefecture, or county.

He said: 'It is usually the younger monkeys that play like this, sometimes it is difficult to say whether the play is good-natured or not.'

At the time the Monkey Park was opened, each was known by a different name such as Torikbuto or Mozu.

But for observation purposes they have been given names that combine their mother's name with year of birth, such as Mozu91