Skip to Content

These Cool Chimps Watch Other Cool Chimps Like Sports

DVUR KRALOVE NAD LABEM, CZECH REPUBLIC - MARCH 19: A Chimpanzee watches a live-stream on a screen set up in an enclosure at the Safari Park on March 19, 2021 in Dvur Kralove nad Labem, Czech Republic. The park has set up live-stream broadcasting from the zoo in Brno to enrich the daily life of their chimpanzees amid lockdown. The Safari Park launched the experimental project to give the chimpanzees something to watch to give them some stimulation while crowds are not allowed to visit the zoo due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)
Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

Enterprising zookeepers in the Czech Republic have figured out a way to entertain their chimpanzees, who were missing out on social-intellectual stimulation once the pandemic cut off the flow of human zoo visitors: Let them watch other chimps. The smart, social apes in Safari Park Dvur Kralove now watch smart, social apes at a zoo in Brno, some 90 miles away, on large TV screens. Though the animals originally approached the screen with "defensive or threatening gestures," according to ape keeper Gabriela Linhartova at Dvur Kralove, they now basically watch their fellow chimps like sports.

Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

Here's Reuters:

“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 sport event.”

This also describes the authors' behavior when Knicks-Kings is on at a bar.

The chimpanzees have also adopted other human behaviours such as grabbing goodies like nuts to chew on while watching the action.


Yeah, same.

Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter