Rare photo shows a macaque riding a deer for fun in a Japanese forest
- Wildlife photographer Atsuyuki Ohshima captured a rare interaction between a macaque and a deer.
- The photographer says the macaque took a ride on the deer just for fun.
Photographer Atsuyuki Ohshima captured a rare photo of one monkey's cowboy behavior. The photo, taken on Japan's Yakushima Island, is titled "Forest Rodeo."
Macaques have been observed riding sika deer before, scientists said. As Ohshima suggested, sometimes the monkeys just take the rides for fun.
These native Japanese species have long coexisted and even share a symbiotic relationship, Inverse reported.
The deer clean up after the monkeys, eating the fruit the primates leave behind. In return, the monkeys groom the deers, hopping on their backs to pull off bugs.
But other times, a macaque's motivations may be less pure.
Ohshima said that didn't seem to be occurring in this case in the official caption for the photo on the Natural History Museum's website.
The frame is one of 16 highly commended photos in this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.
The judges for this year's contest sorted through 49,957 entries from hopeful photographers across 95 countries. The panel of judges chose 100 photos to display in London on October 13.
The winners of the 59th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be announced on October 10.
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