Cheeky monkeys hitch a ride on giant rodent

These cheeky monkeys managed to hitch a lift from an unlikely source when they clambered on to the back of a giant rodent.

The tiny squirrel monkeys at the Beekse Bergen Safari park in the Netherlands climbed on to a large capybara who was plodding along nearby.

The South American mammal - the largest living rodent species in the world - has forged a bizarre friendship with the mischievous monkeys at the park.

Dutch photographer Corey van Loon captured the adorable scene, having noticed the monkeys clutching on to the capybara four at a time and riding it like a miniature horse.

She said the monkeys were so close to their barrel shaped friends that they ate, slept, played together - and even helped groom one another.

Corey added: "The capybaras and the monkeys share one enclosure and tolerate each other perfectly.

"The capybaras don't seem to mind the monkeys climbing all over them and riding on their backs at all. I think they love each others company.

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"They often lie down in the grass and let the monkeys clamber all over them.

"It is really very cute to watch them together. I love to see the monkeys interact with the capybaras - it's so much fun to see the two species get along so well."

Capybara's are the world's largest rodent and are native to South America, they can grow up to 4.3 feet in length, and weigh up to 65 kg (140 lb).