Bored chimpanzees who miss having people around have instead started chatting with each other via Zoom.
During the Covid lockdown, video calls were set up between primates in two zoos to keep them entertained.
Now the animals have started to take a keen interest in each other’s lives – with aggressive attacks that are compared to “sporting events”.
Zookeepers say the monkeys initially did not respond well to seeing the live images on big screens and that the sight of strangers made them aggressive.
But now it’s the highlight of their day, with young chimpanzees excited to see each other.
They spend eight hours a day calling with the two chimps watching each other.
The zoom calls take place throughout the day between Safari Park Dvur Kralove and the troop at a zoo in Brno, both of which are almost 100 miles apart in the Czech Republic.
Keeper Radek Hlavka USA Today said : “It is quite complicated to entertain you for a long time.”
Keeper Gabriela Linhartova from Dvur Kralove said CNN It was fascinating to see how the monkeys interact.
She said: “In the beginning they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures, there was interaction.
“Since then it has switched to” I’m in the cinema “or” I’m watching TV “mode.
“When they see tense situations, like us, they get up off the couch when we watch a live sporting event.”
The long video conferences are shown daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the safari park’s website.
They should continue at least until the end of this month when pet owners decide whether to continue.
In the Czech Republic, zoos have been closed since mid-December, prompting the project to start last Thursday to give chimpanzees an invaluable interaction.
It is not yet clear when zoos will be allowed to reopen in the country.