Lion-tailed macaques: Mischief makers
They grimace at their keepers and have been known to trash their exhibit. But lion-tailed macaques are strikingly beautiful animals and one of the most endangered species on the planet. Their wild habitat is decreasing as timber is harvested and plantations for tea, coffee, and eucalyptus are established and the macaques are hunted for food. The macaques’ name comes from the tuft on their tails, similar to a lion’s, and their beautiful silvery “manes” that help protect them from showers in their native rain forest habitat in India.
Three viewing areas offer plenty of opportunities to view the macaques. The troop is fun to watch as members stroll along the logs and rope bridges of their large enclosure, sway on one of the cut-wood swings, or lounge in the rope hammock. No two macaques are alike: each has its own personality.
Their natural curiosity has led them to fiddle with and even undo parts of the exhibit: the first day on exhibit, the troop reached through the wire mesh and successfully redirected the operating sprinkler heads toward visitors!