(ORDO NEWS) — The behavior of primates in zoos closed during the pandemic has changed – monkeys rested and were alone more often, ate less, had sex more often and were more prone to dominant behavior, a team of British zoologists with the participation of specialists from the University of Wolverhampton found out. The scientists wrote about this in an article in the journal Animals.
The researchers analyzed observations of bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and baboons at two zoos.
Compared to the period when zoos were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, bonobos and gorillas have been less isolated since the reopening, and the gorillas have had less rest.
Chimpanzees began to eat more and communicate with relatives more often.
Baboons at the safari park exhibited less sexual and dominant behavior and were more likely to approach visitor cars than staff cars during the closing period.
It is difficult to say whether the changes in behavior were positive or negative, the authors note. On the one hand, greater sociability between monkeys can be seen as a positive development.
On the other hand, the more infrequent periods of rest in generally sedentary gorillas are rather a negative factor.
One way or another, the presence of people affects the behavior of monkeys, the researchers conclude.
It is important to study this influence further in order to make the stay of animals in zoos more prosperous.
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