Integrating individual monkeys together as a group
The introduction of the Japanese macaques Maximus, Darwin and Lexy took place a few months ago. Primates are social creatures and Japanese macaques do live in social groups in the wild. Therefore, it is crucial that even in captivity, they get the opportunity to join a group to be able to express their natural behaviour.
Whenever there is more than one monkey in an enclosure, a hierarchy will develop. Max turned out to become the "alpha" of the new group. As far as we know, Max has never been with other monkeys before in his life. Darwin, since his arrival at the sanctuary has, at least, always been surrounded by monkeys in enclosures adjacent to his, allowing him to study their behaviours. Lexy, in her relationship with the late Julien, was quite dominant. However, she now follows Max around and seems to be quite smitten. Darwin is content to hang out with both of them and they are all happy to groom each other – the ultimate test of acceptance and mutual respect. We are proud of this successful integration of these three monkeys who don’t have any familial bond so that they don’t have to live alone.