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Monkeying around with the photographer’s camera

Self-portrait of a crested black macaque in the rainforest of Indonesia

If a monkey with a typewriter will eventually write a great poem, will a monkey with a camera produce some great photos sooner or later?

Apparently, yes.

Photographer David Slater spent three days in a national park in Indonesia, getting to know the animals, in particular the crested black macaques.

One of the macaques took this photo of David Slater and his friends

“I walked with them for about three days in a row,” Slater said. “They befriended us and showed absolutely no aggression – they were just interested in the things I was carrying. They aren’t known for being particularly clever like chimps, just inquisitive. Despite probably never having any contact with humans before, they didn’t seem to feel threatened by our presence.”

As soon as Slater set up his camera on a tripod for one of his photo shoots, one of the monkeys started taking photos.

“The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it,” Slater said. “He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back. Not many of them were in focus – he obviously hadn’t worked that out yet.”

Crested black macaques live in family groups in the rainforests of Sulawesi and a few other small the Indonesian islands. They are highly endangered and their future is uncertain since the forests are being cut down to free up the land for palm oil plantations.

What do you say? Have your pets or any other animals ever taken a photo with your camera? How did it come out? Let us know in a comment or on Facebook.