The primate went to investigate the equipment before becoming fascinated with his own reflection in the lens. It wasn’t long before the crested black macaque hijacked the camera and started snapping away, sending award-winning photographer David Slater bananas.
David said, “One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy. At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection. They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button. The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back – it was amazing to watch.”
David, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, was on a trip to a small national park north of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi when he met the incredibly friendly bunch. The crested black macaque is extremely rare and critically endangered. David added, “I teamed up with a local guide because I knew about the apes and wanted to photograph them. I walked with them for about three days in a row. They befriended us and showed absolutely no aggression.”