Czech zoos are closed due to coronavirus measures and that means animals are lacking interaction with visitors, including the chimpanzees at the Brno Zoo.
In order to help alleviate the boredom, the chimpanzees at Brno Zoo can now have fun via an online stream with their counterparts from the Safari Park Dvůr Králové. The chimpanzee videoconferences on Zoom immediately proved to be both popular and attracted the attention of foreign media outlets around the world.
“We used the idea and the initiative of enthusiasts from Brno, who installed large screens in both zoos and thus connected the two chimpanzee groups. It is a new and interesting stimulus for these very intelligent animals,” said Martin Hovorka, director of the Brno Zoo.
Mariana Hubíková, a breeder of chimpanzees at the Brno Zoo, stated that the chimpanzees already belong to the group of animal seniors, but they will be interested in any novelty.
“Sometimes they come in front of the screen to show each other food, or I noticed how chimpanzees from Dvůr Králové watch me while I clean the enclosure,” said Hubíková.
Animals in zoos are deprived of the attention of visitors due to coronavirus measures, which was the inspiration for the authors of the idea of Pavel Cupák and Petr Vídeňský.
“Pavel was inspired by news that some animals in the zoo may be bored at this time, and it occurred to him to at least partially replace the missing visitors. Therefore, I contacted the director of both zoos, and as part of the trial run, we first connected the chimpanzees with children in the kindergarten,” said Vídeňský.
People can watch chimpanzees live every day via a YouTube channel between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The online stream will be up until the end of the month.