Ezo kuroten and foxes…living tough through the harsh winter! Cute animals living in the snowy landscape | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ezo kuroten and foxes…living tough through the harsh winter! Cute animals living in the snowy landscape

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New Year Special Spectacular Colors
With the arrival of winter comes beautiful snowy landscapes that shine in white. Here are some special shots of the animals that live robustly in this environment and are somehow adorable!

Japanese macaques slumbering in the secluded hot springs of Jigokudani Yaen-koen
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano Prefecture

The monkeys in Jigokudani Onsen (hot springs) are soaking in the paradise. 63 years ago, a baby monkey chased a fallen apple and took a bath in the open-air hot spring, which triggered other monkeys to take a bath in the hot spring one after another. Most of the bathing monkeys are females and their offspring. Males, who are in charge of protecting the troop, seldom bathe in the baths.

Photo: Hiroyuki Yamaguchi/Afro

Ezo-kurotens (Ezo sable) poking their heads out of the snow
Shintoku Town, Hokkaido

An Ezo kuroten emerges from the forest near the Tokachi Dam at the foot of the Daisetsuzan Mountains. Their fluffy bodies covered with cream-colored winter fur and dull eyes are adorable. Despite their cute faces, they are omnivorous, eating insects, reptiles, and fruit. It is surprising that they even eat squirrels and rabbits larger than themselves!

Photo: Norihisa Inomata/Afro

Whooper swans standing on a lake
Teshikaga Town, Hokkaido

Hokkaido is a stopover for migratory birds that winter in various parts of Japan. At Lake Kussharo, whooper swans can be seen resting their wings. The lake is a sand bath, where hot spring water comes out of the sand when it is dug, so it does not freeze even in the middle of winter. The clear winter sky reflected on the surface of the water creates a fantastic blue-and-white reflection of a spectacular view.

Photo: Hanako/Afro

Sunset on Notsuke Peninsula with a fox
Betsukai Town, Hokkaido

January through March is the season for foxes to fall in love. You can see males chasing females on the snow. At dusk on the Notsuke Peninsula, a couple seemed to have made love, with the male gazing at the female lying on the snowfield (photo right). When spring comes, the male will also participate in child-rearing, for example, by procuring food for the offspring.

(Photo: Osamu Takebayashi/Afro)

A flock of Steller’s sea eagles resting on a block of ice
Rausu Town, Hokkaido

Steller’s sea eagles are gathering on the drift ice off Rausu during the winter. The female Steller’s sea eagles are Japan’s largest birds of prey, and the female is larger than the male, with a wingspan of up to 240 cm. With their large yellow bills and sharp talons, they feed on salmon, cod, waterfowl, and dead animals. Their silhouette against the morning sun is also dynamic.

Photo: Hanako/Afro

From the January 26, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

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