The macaque also took some pictures of her fellow primates and a picture of a confused photographer who was trying to bribe a macaque with bananas in order to get his camera back.
David Slater, 46, was visiting a park north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, when he decided to try to get close to the animals. He spent three days with a local to know the creatures.
“I walked with them for about three days in a row,” Slater said. “They befriended us and showed absolutely no aggression – they were just interested in the things I was carrying,” he said.
Slater added: “One of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy. “At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection.
“They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button. The sound got his attention and he kept pressing it. At first it scared the rest of them away but they soon came back – it was amazing to watch.”
“He must have taken hundreds of pictures by the time I got my camera back, but not very many were in focus. He obviously hadn’t worked that out yet. I wish I could have stayed longer as he probably would have taken a full family album.”
David added: “I teamed up with a local guide because I knew about the apes and wanted to photograph them. They aren’t known for being particularly clever like chimps, just inquisitive.”
“Despite probably never having any contact with humans before they didn’t feel threatened by our presence, and that’s why I could walk with them during the day.”
The crested black macaque is a rare and threatened species that lives in the northeast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and smaller neighbouring islands.
The macaque spends more than half of its day on the ground looking for food and socializing. It tends to live in groups of between five and 25 animals.
The authenticity of the images was questioned on Twitter but Slater says they are genuine. “They do look strange anyway because of their punk hairdo and their reddish eyes.” [via The Telegraph and Guardian]