If there was anyone in our society who did not know how to use Zoom, now they know. Demand for the top video calling platform has wiped out all others over the course of the pandemic, and its popularity is even crossing the species line.
Chimpanzees at two Czech zoos, like the rest of us, keep in touch through Zoom, as the zoo staff seeks to provide them with some companionship and stimulation during the long hours of isolation.
The gang of chimpanzees Dingo, Babeta, Bonnie, Suzi, Chispi and Mat in Safari Park Dvur Kralove have shown their lives with Zoom on giant screens in front of the apes in an enclosure of the Brno Zoo 90 miles away, and vice versa.
There’s no confusion as to whether the default speaker is selected or the mute button is on, as the sound is turned off entirely, but that hasn’t stopped the two groups from enjoying the company of their cousins.
Reuters reports that it didn’t always feel like a family reunion. “At first they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures,” said Gabriela Linhartova, one of the ape keepers at the Dvur Kralove zoo east of Prague.
“Since then it has gone into ‘I’m in the movies’ or ‘I’m watching TV’ mode. When they see some tense situations, they get up from the couch, like we do when we watch a live sporting event, ”he said.
While observing the everyday lives of others, chimpanzees have adopted other human behaviors, such as putting things like peanuts in their mouths while watching, reminding this author of the “junk food movie nights” of their childhood.
There’s a live stream on zoo website where calls, which air daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm CET, will continue until the end of this month at a minimum.
(CLOCK the Arirang News segment on chimpanzee friends below).
GO APE for the good news – share this sweet webcam feed with your friends …