Group hug! Photographer captures touching moments macaque family embrace

A photographer captured the touching moment a family of monkeys enjoyed a group hug.

The Japanese macaques were snapped snoozing and snuggling into one other at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, Japan.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

The shots, taken by photographer Yasu Sekimori, show three young monkeys embracing on a roof while others show an impatient-looking macaque sitting while his mum grooms him.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

Translator Yasu, 70, from Peterborough, said: “I’d never been to this monkey park before so I decided to visit at the end of my trip to the Tohoku area of Japan.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

“The park is famous for wild monkeys who come down from the mountains to enjoy a hot spring by a river, particularly during the cold snowy winter.

“I visited here in summer, so the monkeys didn’t soak themselves in the hot spring but were enjoying some food, relaxed among their families.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

“People come here from all over the world to photograph these monkeys.

“After being fed, the two Japanese macaques started grooming each other.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

“It was a nice, sunny day and they were very relaxed. They had plenty of food so were just calm and enjoying themselves.

“They spent about 20 minutes grooming each other, it was very peaceful to watch them.

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

“They don’t care about humans being around them.

“They were hugging each other and picking bugs off each other and eating them,
I think they find them nutritious.”

MERCURY PRESS. Japan.

The dad of two, who moved to the UK from Japan in 1995, said he’s been photographing wildlife for around five years and regularly travels back to his home country to take snaps of the animals over there.