Buy Me a Mercedes

Zoo Gives Monkeys a New Car.
Monkeys Turn Car Into Rubbish

From the department of, “it seemed like such a good idea at that time:” In preparation for the reopening of the Longleat Safari Zoo, in Wilkshire, U.K., and to please its 100 or so playful rhesus resident macaques, management came up with a novel (and expensive) idea: why not give them their own car? Actually, make that a Mercedes and load it with suitcases full of clothes and toys, for good measure.
It turned out the zoo was concerned that, after two years of renovation, the monkeys would need some getting used to its “Monkey Drive Thru” enclosure. Apparently, it didn’t occur to anyone giving them, say, a hearty meal or maybe some species-appropriate toys.
Of course, monkeys being, well, monkeys, the idea was not just a disaster, it went straight to the infamous “what were they thinking?” annals. After a period of careful observation, the intelligent creatures proceed to dismantle the car, exactly as they’d do it with a slow-moving vehicle parading within their enclosure. And it’s not that there aren’t any shortage of example of such behavior by monkeys since, well, since they came up with the Monkey Drive Thru concept.
While some partied with the clothing and ran around with stuffed animals they found in the suitcases, others took apart wheels, mirrors, seats, anything that didn’t require any reasonable brain power to disassemble.
Now for those stingy enough to be thinking about the economy in such a time and who now wonder whether mostly donation-driven institutions such as zoos should exercise a bit more restrain spending taxpayer monies, the not so wise words of a local warden can only compound the general sense of bewilderment about the whole episode.
“It’s clear from our test run that mischief is still very much in the front of their minds and they haven’t forgotten their fondness for cars.” There must be another department where such pearls of wisdom would fit like a glove but, frankly, we don’t care to find out which.

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