Chimps at Two Czech Zoos Set Up Daily Video Chats to Stay Social During COVID-19 Shutdown

·2 min read

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Zoom fatigue hasn't reached these primates.

According to CNN, the chimpanzees at Safari Park Dvur Kralove and Zoo Brno in the Czech Republic recently started video calling each other to stay socially active since both zoos are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The zoos started the virtual primate playdates last week, each setting up cameras and big screens so their chimp troops can watch each other.

"At the beginning, they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures, there was interaction," Gabriela Linhartova, an ape keeper at Dvur Kralove, told Reuters of how the animals initially reacted to the video chats.

Now, Linhartova says that the chimpanzees treat the calls with the other apes like reality television.

Petr David Josek/AP/Shutterstock

"It has since moved into the mode of 'I am in the movies' or 'I am watching TV.' When they see some tense situations, it gets them up off the couch, like us when we watch a live sports event," she added.

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Petr David Josek/AP/Shutterstock

Humans can enjoy these virtual chimp meetings too. Safari Park Dvur Kralove airs the video calls on their website and also posts the interactions on their Facebook page.

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