4 min read

Baby Monkey Shocked At White Stuff Falling From Sky

For the animals born in the past year or so, this winter marks the first time they've ever seen snow.

During the most recent snowfall, a photographer captured the expression of a newborn golden snub-nosed monkey who appeared positively awestruck by the white landscape before him.

Living in the mountainous forests of central China, these monkeys spend about 97 percent of their lifetime in trees. Who can blame them? You probably would too if you had hands, feet and a tail perfect for grabbing branches.

But it takes more than climbing skills to survive in China's snowy Shennongjia Nature Reserve, where these photos were taken. During the winter, the temperatures here drop lower than they do in any other place where nonhuman primates live.

Long hair, colored golden and peanut-brown, helps keep the monkeys warm during the winter, which typically lasts from November through March for this region of China.

Facing habitat loss due to deforestation, the small monkeys experienced low population numbers in the 1980s. Since then conservation efforts have doubled the population, bringing it up to about 8,000 to 20,000.

Not even 1 foot long (not including the tail) as babies, these monkeys will never grow to be more than about 26 inches and 25 to 40 pounds.

When they do reach adulthood, the females will keep their shorter, darker hair. The males will grow longer, yellow hair on their backs, one of the defining features of their name.

That's a long ways away for this group of newborns who are still learning how to adjust to daily life such as traveling through snow and finding food in this cold season.

To the baby monkey in all of us reading this article: Don't stop being amazed by the wonders around you. Whether it's the changing of seasons or turning new chapters in life, many surprises await you. Face them with the same sense of joy and bewilderment as a baby monkey seeing his first snowfall.