Employees of two Czech zoos are organizing video calls for primates so that they do not get bored without representatives of their species.
This unusual way of having fun was used in two Czech zoos in the Dvur Kralove safari park and in the zoo in Brno. This was done so that animals received an additional level of social interaction with representatives of their own species in a neighboring town at a distance of 150 km.
Zoo workers said the video was muted for safety reasons, but the monkeys are showing an increased interest in what their relatives are doing elsewhere.
At first, the staff say, the primates approached the screen cautiously with defensive or threatening gestures. But then we found understanding and began to interact with each other remotely. Young females react especially violently to video calls.
The authors note that the behavior of primates is very similar to that of humans. During stressful situations, they also jump to their feet, begin to react violently to the situation, or, for example, before starting to look at the screen, they pick up nuts to eat while watching.
Zoo officials explained that they decided on such an experiment to entertain chimpanzees who have begun to yearn for daily visitors since the zoos closed due to the pandemic last December.