Today in interspecies sex: A male snow monkey was observed attempting to have sex with female sika deer on Japan’s Yakushima Island.
The journal Primates describes how “a low-ranking male monkey” was observed repeatedly mounting two different female deer. One doe was seen to bolt and run off, but another female did not appear to object, and licked her side after the monkey ejaculated.
As you do.
“This macaque was a non-troop adult male, in other words low in hierarchy,” said Marie Pelé, the lead author based at the University of Strasbourg in France. “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.”
The scientists said that “mate deprivation” was the most likely explanation for the unusual behaviour, after also considering the possibility that the male was learning to copulate or had failed to recognise that the deer was a member of another species.
“It is only the second recorded example of sexual relations between two distantly related species. Snow monkeys and sika deer generally have a symbiotic relationship, with the deer eating fruits dropped from the trees by the monkeys and the monkeys grooming the deer and occasionally riding on their backs.”
The only other case of sexual interactions between two distantly related species, was an Antarctic fur seal who sexually harassed king penguins – and in one instance, ate a bird after having sex with it.