Crowds go ape over ‘humans’ zoo exhibit

Scantily clad homo sapiens act natural in London zoo enclosure

Updated: 4:33 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2005

LONDON – Caged and barely clothed, eight men and women monkeyed around for the crowds Friday in an exhibit labeled “Humans” at the London Zoo.

“Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment” read the sign at the entrance to the exhibit, where the captives could be seen on a rock ledge in a bear enclosure, clad in bathing suits and pinned-on fig leaves. Some played with hula hoops, some waved.

Visitors stopped to point and laugh, and several children could be heard asking, “Why are there people in there?”

London Zoo spokeswoman Polly Wills says that’s exactly the question the zoo wants to answer.

“Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals … teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate,” Wills said.

The exhibit puts the three male and five female “homo sapiens” amid their primate relatives. While their neighbors might enjoy bananas and a good scratch, these eight have divided interests, from a chemist hoping to raise awareness about apes to a self-described actor/model and fitness enthusiast.

For others, the aping around is just another forum for rampant exhibitionism and self-promotion.

Pointing at one heavy muscled and gleaming body on the ledge, one visitor joked that the zoo should consider a breeding program.

“You can tell why some people came here, like the big muscly men who clearly like parading around in thongs,” said Damien Largey, 23.

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About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place".
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