Snow monkeys live in Japan, but you don’t have to travel that far to see these newborns

Baby snow monkeys at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History in Sioux Falls, S.D.
(Great Plains Zoo)

Snow monkeys usually call the snowy areas of Japan their home. But two newborns are chilling at a South Dakota zoo where a total of 16 members of the endangered species now thrive.

Snow monkeys
A female snow monkey and her baby at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, S.D. Great Plains Zoo

Snow monkeys, also known as Japanese macaques, weigh about a pound at birth. The babies at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History in Sioux Falls were born May 28 and June 10, a news release said.

Snow monkeys
The babies born this summer bring the total number of snow monkeys at the zoo to 16. Great Plains Zoo

Visitors can see them during regular zoo hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Sundays, when the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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One of the newborn snow monkeys plays in the enclosure at the Great Plains Zoo. Great Plains Zoo

The Sioux Falls zoo has witnessed the births eight young snow monkeys since the exhibit opened five years ago.

Snow monkeys live “farther north than any other nonhuman primate,” according to National Geographic. The red-faced monkeys with grayish-brown fur are known for hanging out in alpine hot springs at high elevations in Japan.

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A mom grooms one of two snow monkeys born at the Great Plains Zoo this summer. Great Plains Zoo

“I was struck by how like us they are. Their expressions and behaviors are easy to relate to. In fact, they’re a lot like what I see when I look in the mirror, or at my daughters,” said National Geographic photographer Jasper Doest, who has photographed the intelligent, expressive primates several times in their native habitat:

Other zoos in the U.S. that host snow monkeys include Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minn.

Info: Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History, 805 S. Kiwanis Ave., Sioux Falls; (605) 367-7003

Twitter: @latimestravel