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Research Has Shown That Zoo Monkeys Prefer Traffic Noise More Familiar Than Nature Sound

Research Has Shown That Zoo Monkeys Prefer Traffic Noise More Familiar Than Nature Sound

Zoo monkeys in the Finnish zoo have shown a "significant" preference for traffic noise over jungle noise or natural sounds like the jungle, when an experiment has been conducted on how technology can be used to improve the well-being of animals in captivity. 

For this experiment, researchers have installed a tunnel fitted with sensors in a monkey enclosure at the Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki to see how technological advances have affected captive animals.

This allowed white-faced Saki monkeys to choose whether to listen to a playlist of traffic noises, nature, and rainfall-or whether to choose zen music, and dance music. The result was shocking zoo monkeys prefer traffic noise over the sounds of nature and other soothing music.

Sound experiments have been done in the past, but this is the first time captive animals have been given the choice of what music they want to listen to.

Kirsi Pynnonen, the Zoo Research Coordinator, said that the sounds of the road mimic some of how monkeys communicate naturally.

She also said, in the wild, the animals use high-pitch hissing, squeaking, and croaking to keep in touch, indicating that they could hear these noises in traffic sounds as well.

Dr. Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, a researcher at Aalto University in Finland, said, "They thought monkeys would enjoy more calming sounds, such as zen music or natural sounds like the jungle, but the result was opposite as they are more triggered by the traffic noise", and the traffic playlist was the most popular choice among the monkeys, as sometimes they are caught inside the tunnel sleeping or grooming themselves, which they do not typically do.

Hirskyj-Douglas also added, In the future, this research could help zoos in providing extra stimuli inside their enclosures, and animals could control their lighting, heat, or temperature settings, or maybe even play games. This technology is still new, and the researchers are still trying to study it for further improvements.

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