The Trentham Monkey Forest, a British zoo in Stafford, England, recently took an unusual step to bolster its population of endangered macaque monkeys. It hired David Largie, an experienced Marvin Gaye impersonator, to visit the monkey’s enclosure and croon love songs. Largie sang some of the soul legend’s sexiest songs, including "Let's Get It On" and "Sexual Healing," inside the Barbary macaque habitat.
Park Director Matt Lovatt (!) noted on the zoo’s website: "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.” He added, “Each birth is vital to the species with Barbary macaques being classed as endangered."
Zookeepers expect to discover whether Largie’s covers of the iconic Gaye songs had the intended effect on the monkeys when birthing season arrives in late spring and early summer.
If it turns out Marvin Gaye’s music didn’t put the imperiled primates in the mood, perhaps the zoo could play Bread classics over its sound system. If “If,” “Everything I Own,” “Baby I’m A Want You,” and “Make It With You” don’t horn up the stolid simians, they deserve to become extinct.
The Trentham Monkey Forest might also consider hiring Dr. Ruth Westheimer to answer any of the macaques’ questions regarding intimacy. Maybe it should also put some Viagra in the monkey’s food, place some candles around the enclosure, and give them a few bottles of a particularly nice chardonnay. I mean, is it really that hard to get monkeys to do it?
Be that as it may, do you know how you know you aren’t Marvin Gaye? I’ll tell you: when you find yourself singing “Sexual Healing” to an enclosure full of macaques.