News Coronavirus Bored chimps Czech out each other on video calls

Bored chimps Czech out each other on video calls

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It’s not just humans who are bored in lockdown – our close relatives chimpanzees are sick of jigsaws and sourdough, too.

A zoo in the Czech Republic town of Dvur Kralove is trying new ways to keep its chimps entertained, introducing them to the art of video calls, so they can connect with other primates around the world.

The zoo has brought in a big screen in the chimps’ enclosure, live-streaming feeds of chimps in a zoo on the other side of the country, in Brno.

(Kinda like a locked-down Melbourne face timing their free Sydney mates.)

Chimp czech zoo
The youngest of the female chimps, ‘M’, enjoys video calls the most. Photo: AAP

Zoo keeper Radek Hlavka said they hoped the experiment would provide some stimulation and company to the six chimps, who have been a bit lost without daily visitors since the zoo closed under restrictions in December.

“It’s pretty complicated to entertain them for a long time,” Hlavka said.

The project is on trial for a week, and if it’s deemed a success, could continue for another month while Europe eyes an end to lockdowns.