Belgium zoo bans staring at apes
BRUSSELS (UPI) -- The visitors to the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium are being faced with a new challenge, which is not making eye contact with the apes. The zoo's patron's are faced with signs telling them that if one of the apes makes eye contact then they should look away, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. The staff said they think eye contact can result in the creatures losing their sociability.
"We are saying to visitors that, if our apes hold eye contact with them, then they should look away for a bit or take a step back. Our evidence shows that chimpanzees and other apes who have a lot of contact with visitors apparently tend to isolate themselves from their companions over the course of time," a spokesman for the Antwerp Zoo told The Daily Telegraph. But, some of the zoo's customers wonder if the signs aren't taking animal welfare a step too far. "When we saw the signs, we thought it was a joke," said teacher Dirk Woldt, who was visiting the zoo with his family. "The next thing you know, they'll be having to counsel the apes."
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Don't you hate it when people stare?