When endangered Barbary Macaques have taken their blue-balled status to the metaphorical extreme, what is a zookeeper supposed to do but turn to a Marvin Gaye impersonator to spice things up?
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it is worth noting that if scientists are even turning to Gaye’s silken sound to stimulate our Simian siblings then he may well be the right soundtrack to your two meals for £10 dine-in romantic extravaganza.
The Gaye impersonator in question goes by Dave Largie in the day-to-day world and he describes himself as “a highly experienced love song guru”. However, it came as somewhat of a surprise to Mr Largie when he received a call from Trentham Monkey Forest to see if he could help to “boost the monkey love” this mating season.
“We thought it could be a creative way to encourage our females to show a little affection to males that might not have been so lucky in love,” said park director Matt Lovatt.
Adding: “Females in season mate with several males so paternity amongst our furry residents is never known. Each birth is vital to the species with Barbary macaques being classed as endangered.”
With deforestation and a rampant illegal pet trade decimating Barbary Macaque numbers in their native Algeria and Morocco, a dose of sexual healing is of vital importance to raise the population above the current figure of only about 8000 in the wild.
The conservation program is trying everything it can to ensure more monkeys will be swinging through the grapevines of North Africa in the coming years.
Trentham Monkey Forest first opened its doors in 2005 with a view to raising public awareness of the species and allowing people “the opportunity to observe the Barbary macaques in a setting very similar to their natural habitat,” albeit the Mediterranean forest is not littered with wild musical impersonators.
With a serious cause at stake, let’s hope that Gaye gets them in the groove, the Macaques start mounting, and soon numbers skyrocket thanks to a sweet, swinging conception.