Unexpected study: zoo monkeys prefer city sounds to natural sounds

As a result of research at the Korkesaari Zoo (Helsinki), scientists have identified unusual sound preferences of the white-faced Saki monkeys. For this, a tunnel equipped with sensors was installed near the enclosure, through which the sounds of rain, traffic, Zen sounds and even dance music were broadcast to primates.

Much to the surprise of scientists, the animals showed the greatest interest in the sounds of passing cars, in which the monkeys inside the tunnel could sleep, take care of themselves or each other. They did not do anything similar in the "presence" of other sounds.

According to research coordinator Kirsi Pinnonen, road noise appears to mimic some of the sounds that animals use to communicate with each other.

Sound experiments have been done on animals in captivity before, but scientists say this was the first attempt to give our smaller brothers complete control over what they want to listen to.

Using this information, zoo staff will in the future be able to give animals more freedom in choosing the stimuli they want in captivity - in particular, it will allow them to control lighting, heat and temperature in enclosures.