Bonnet Macaque

Juvenile Bonnet Macaque
Juvenile Bonnet Macaque

During last summer I had been to Kudremukh national park. Whole park was quite dry. Did not get any great photo opportunity. Returning back in the evening I knew that a family of bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) near Kadambi water falls. I have been seeing these macaques for quite a few years. They have turned more human friendly due to contact with tourists who feed them. Highway passing though the National park that too connecting quite a few religious places, brings hordes of tourists. Some macaques have resorted to stealing food from open vehicles. This time I saw many young babies with their mothers. Alpha male who usually bosses around the juveniles and others males for food was not to be seen around. Many of these macaques showed injury either due to their fight or road accidents trying grab food from a running vehicles. Few have even been run over by speeding vehicles and have lost body parts in the process.

Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby
Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby

Evening light that day was very pleasant and quite diffuse. Luckily no tourists were visible on that day. I took my Canon EOS 7D with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM to capture these macaques. It is a risky business to approach them as they can be quite aggressive. I was aware that however friendly and cute they look they can jump on you and can attack you if provoked as they have lost the fear of humans. First I saw a young juvenile sitting on top of a sign board expecting me to hand over food. Once he realized that I am not there to feed him he jumped away to nearby tree. Later I approached cautiously towards a mother feeding its baby on the side of the road. She was cautious but cooperative and allowed me to take quite a few pictures without getting annoyed.

Bonnet Macaque Baby
Bonnet Macaque Baby

I saw another mother baby pair which was sitting on side wall of the bridge. As I approached closer to take the curiously wrinkled face of the baby, mother panicked and started grimacing at me. So I was able to capture both the baby’s innocent face as well as mother’s panic. As I did not want to provoke her further I withdrew. As I backed off she calmed down and gave another pose along with her baby sitting quietly farther away. Tricky part in macaque photography is to get eye contact. Babies and juveniles allow you to look at their eyes. Adults will think looking straight into them is a threat and gets panicky. So you need to be quick while they glance at you to get the photos.

Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby
Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby

Soon my peace was spoiled by car loads of tourists who landed near me and started teasing and feeding these monkeys with peanuts. Disappointed on lost opportunity to photograph rest of the macaque troop I headed back home. I knew I had quite a few of good pictures but I wanted to take more emotional expressions out of these mother & baby pairs.

The bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata) is a macaque endemic to southern India. Its distribution is limited by the Indian Ocean on three sides and the Godavari and Tapti Rivers along with a related competing species of rhesus macaque in the north. The land use changes in last few decades has resulted in changes in its distribution boundaries with the rhesus macaque, raising concern for its status in the wild.

Bonnet Macaque Mother Threatening
Bonnet Macaque Mother Threatening

The bonnet macaque feeds on fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, invertebrates and cereals. In southern India this macaque exists as commensal to humans, feeding on food given by humans and raiding crops and houses.

Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby
Bonnet Macaque Mother With Baby

Two subspecies of Bonnet Macaques have been identified: Macaca radiata radiata occurs in peninsular India (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu). It is found in the major portion of the species’ range south to the Palni Hills and southeast as far as Timbale, inland of Pondicherry.
Macaca radiata diluta occurs in southeastern coastal India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). It is found from the south tip and southeastern coast of India, north to Kambam in the Western Ghats, at the southwestern foot of the Palni Hills in the center and Pondicherry in the east.

EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS 7D | Taken : 31 March, 2011 | Exposure bias : -1.5EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 175mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 14′ 8.3842800048444″ N 75° 10′ 36.680880330124″ E | Shutter speed : 1/750s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

3 thoughts on “Bonnet Macaque

  1. ಛಾಯಾಚಿತ್ರ ಕೃಷಿಕರೇ
    ಒಂದೇ ಒಂದು ವಾನರವೂ ನಿಮ್ಮತ್ತ ಹುಬ್ಬುಹಾರಿಸಿ ವಿಚಾರಿಸಲಿಲ್ಲವೇ – ಸೀತೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಳೇ, ಸೀತೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಳೇ? ನಾನೆಲ್ಲೋ ತಾಳಮದ್ದಳೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಳಿದ್ದೆ – ಅಂದ ಕಾಲತ್ತಿಲೆ ಮಾಹಾರಾಜ ಸುಗ್ರೀವ ತನ್ನ ಕಪಿ ಸಂಕುಲವನ್ನು ನಾಲ್ಕಾಗಿ ಒಡೆದು, ಒಂದೊಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದೊಂದು ದಿಕ್ಕು ವಹಿಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟು ಸೀತಾನ್ವೇಷಣೆಗೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟನಂತೆ. ಜೊತೆಗೆ “ಸೀತೆಯನ್ನು ಪತ್ತೆ ಮಾಡದೆ ಬಂದವರಿಗೆ ತಲೆದಂಡ” ಎಂದು ಸುಗ್ರೀವಾಜ್ಞೆಯೇ ಹೊರಟಿತ್ತಂತೆ. ಇದ್ದ ಒಬ್ಬೇ ಒಬ್ಬಳು ಸೀತೆಯನ್ನು ದಕ್ಷಿಣಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋದ ಹನುಮಂತನ ತಂಡ ಕಂಡದ್ದು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ ನಿಮಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತೇ ಇದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಪಾಪ ಉಳಿದ ಮೂರೂ ತಂಡಗಳು ಅತ್ತ ಸೀತೆ ಸಿಗದೆ ಇತ್ತ ಮರಳಲಾಗದೇ ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಕಂಡ ಕಂಡವರನ್ನೆಲ್ಲಾ ಮೂಕವೇದನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇವಲ ಹುಬ್ಬು ಹಾರಿಸಿ ಸೀತೆ ಕಂಡಿರಾ ಸೀತೆ ಕಂಡಿರಾಂತ ಕೇಳುತ್ತಲೇ ಇವೆಯಂತೆ. ಶ್ಯಮಂತಕಮಣಿ ಪ್ರಸಂಘದಲ್ಲಿ ವೃದ್ಧ ಜಾಂಬವನಿಗೆ ಯುಗದರ್ಶನ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಕೃಷ್ಣಾ ಮೋಹನಾ ಪ್ರಭುವೇ ಸಪತ್ನೀಕನಾಗಿ ಕಡಾಂಬಿ ಬಳಿ ಹೋದಾಗ ಈ ಅನಾಥಜೀವಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಲಿಗಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕಂತೆ ಒಂದು ಎಸ್ಸೆಮ್ಮೆಸ್ಸಾದರೂ ಕಳಿಸಿದ್ದರೆ “seema’s to be seethe” ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡು ಮೋಕ್ಷಪಡೆಯುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲವೇ?
    ಅಶೋಕವರ್ಧನ

Leave a Comment