Tibetan Macaques on Mount Emei, Sichan Province

31st March - 2nd April

Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) on Mount Emei

Mount Emei in Sichuan Province is one of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains famous for its temples, but it is also one of the few places where endangered Tibetan Macaques still survive. Macaques are omnivores, their natural food consisting of fruit, seeds and invertebrates, but the Emeishan macaques have worked out that the best source of food is the human visitors and if there isn't enough waste left around they'll even steal it from people's bags. The young macaque below has stolen a pack of Oreo biscuits from a tourist, unwrapped them and is busy stuffing them into it's throat pouches.

Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) eating biscuits

Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) family

Macaques can be very affectionate to each other, but at times they can also be very aggressive.

Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) family

The female above is chasing away a rival who came too close and while I was photographing the female below with her baby, I foolishly turned my back on the male who came up behind me and sank his teeth into my left calf. Fortunately I was wearing waterproof trousers over my trecking trousers and he failed to penetrate them, otherwise I'd have been facing an urgent trip to the nearest hospital... I still had heavy bruising from the power of his grip.

Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) mother and baby Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) threatening