(ORDO NEWS) — A rare photograph taken on the Japanese island of Yakushima shows a macaque monkey showing off the wonders of nature with truly cowboy-like behavior. Photographer Atsuyuki Oshima titled the image “Forest Rodeo” because it shows a monkey using a tree as a springboard to climb onto the back of a deer.
This incredible image provides a glimpse into the amazing relationship between these two species.
Macaques and deer have long coexisted on Yakushima Island, and their relationship goes beyond mere proximity. As Inverse reports, these native Japanese animal species share a symbiotic bond. Deer clean up after the monkeys, eating fruit left by the primates.
In turn, the monkeys look after the deer, using them as mobile platforms to remove annoying insects.
While this behavior may seem innocent and mutually beneficial, there are cases where the macaques’ motives may not be so pure. During the mating season, male and female macaques tried to have sexual intercourse with deer. However, Oshima noted that this was not evident in his photograph.
Forest Rodeo was one of 16 highly commended entries in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, organized by the Natural History Museum in London. The judges had to analyze about 50,000 works received from photographers from 95 countries. From these they selected 100 photographs that will be exhibited in London on October 13th.
The winners of the 59th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be announced on October 10, showcasing the incredible talent and dedication of photographers who capture the beauty and intrigue of our natural world.
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