Sustainability Environment

Zoo encourages endangered monkeys to ‘get it on’ with Marvin Gaye hits

Barbary Macaque iStock

Story at a glance

  • A zoo in Staffordshire, England, hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to serenade the monkeys.
  • The impersonator was brought in as a creative way to try to boost the Barbary macaque population
  • Currently, the park is home to 140 free-range Barbary macaques, which are considered endangered.

An English zoo looking to boost their population of monkeys hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to serenade the primates during mating season.  

Earlier this month, the Trentham Monkey Forest in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, brought in the impersonator, whose real name is Dave Largie, to sing the prince of soul’s greatest hits and encourage the park’s 140 Barbary macaques to “get it on.” 


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“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 in a statement. “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.” 

Forest employees won’t see if the power of Marvin Gaye worked its magic until the macaques’ birthing season in the late spring and early summer.  


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