Zoo Hires Marvin Gaye Impersonator to Help Endangered Monkeys 'Get It On'

A conservation park in Stafford, England recently hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to help a population of endangered monkeys "get it on."

The Trentham Monkey Forest stated in a news release on Saturday that it hired Dave Largie—"a highly experienced love song guru"—to serenade a group of Barbary macaques in the hopes that he could help "boost the monkey love" this mating season.

According to the Barbary Macaque Awareness & Conservation, a U.K.-based non-profit organization, Barbary macaques are native to Algeria and Morocco. Sadly, due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade, its population has dwindled in recent decades, said the Trentham Monkey Forest. As it stands, there are around 8,000 individuals left in the wild.

"The loss of significant numbers of Barbary macaques can have wide repercussions throughout the ecosystem," said Margarita Astrálaga, Director of the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation on the IUCN's website.

"Macaques are vital to disperse seeds in the forest. Without them, the very composition of the forest would change dramatically. Its disappearance could also affect the economic situation in Morocco as Barbary macaques attract a large number of tourists every year," Astrálaga continued.

To help raise public awareness for the species, the Trentham Monkey Forest opened its doors in 2005 to allow people "the opportunity to observe the Barbary macaques in a setting very similar to their natural habitat," the conservation park said on its website.

And to help encourage mating amongst the macaques, the park hired Largie this past weekend.

A video shared on the park's Facebook page showed Largie singing Let's Get It On in one of the park's habitats as a Barbary macaque wanders around behind him.

"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," park director Matt Lovatt said in the park's release.

"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," he continued.

The birthing season for Barbary macaques occurs between late spring and early summer, so the Trentham Monkey Forest still has several months to go before it can determine whether or not this weekend's concert had a positive impact on procreation.

"[H]ere's hoping that we have a record number of babies this year down to David and his serenading!" Lovatt concluded.

Barbary macaque
A zoo in Stafford, England recently hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to help a population of endangered monkeys “get it on.” According to the Trentham Monkey Forest, there are around 8,000 individual Barbary macaques left in the wild. Andrea Kraus-Wirth/istock