Oh deer! Snow monkey caught on camera trying to mate with deer

The deer and the monkey face each other after one of their meetings. Photo/YouTube
The deer and the monkey face each other after one of their meetings. Photo/YouTube

In an animal pairing not even Disney could think up, a snow monkey in Japan has been filmed trying to mate with deer on multiple occassions.

The monkey, which lives on Japan's Yukishima Island, was filmed jumping onto the back of several deer and attempting to have sex with them.

It is only the second ever recorded instance of interspecies mating between vastly different animals. Fur seals were recorded in 2014 trying to mate with emperor penguins in the sub-Antarctic.

In this latest instance, the deers and snow monkeys live harmoniously together. The monkeys are known to groom the deer and ride on their backs, in return dropping food from trees for the deer to eat.

Details of the sexually adventurous monkey appeared in the journal Primates. Lead writer, French lecturer Marie Pele, says there are many reasons why the monkey did what it did.

"This macaque was a non-troop adult male, in other words low in hierarchy. He was therefore probably either peripheral or belonged to a group of peripheral males, as other males were observed in the vicinity of the deer."

Pele says that "mate deprivation" is the most obvious explanation for the event, saying: "The most realistic hypothesis would be that of mate deprivation, which states that males with limited access to females are more likely to display this behaviour."

In the video, the monkey is shown to be territorial over the deer, chasing away other males. While one deer did not enjoy the interaction, a second was shown to respond positively to the brief act.

The video can be seen here, but note that it has graphic content.

- NZ Herald

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