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Marvin Gaye impersonator hired to help endangered species of monkey 'get it on'

Marvin Gaye
(Image credit: Redferns/Getty Images)

A Marvin Gaye impersonator has been hired to help an endangered species of monkey 'get it on' and mate. 

The novel seduction tactic was used at the Trentham Monkey Forest in England, with vocalist Dave Largie employed to serenade a colony of 140 Barbary macaques.

Initially, the idea was er, conceived as a publicity stunt, but it turns out that some of the monkeys did in fact respond positively to Largie’s soulful performance. 

A statement on the conservation's website reads: “As every new addition is so important for the protection of the species, special guest Dave Largie was invited into our beloved forest to serenade the primates… to help inspire them to ‘Get It On'.

"David, a highly experienced love-song guru, sang several Marvin Gaye classics to the monkeys whilst in amongst them, and they seemed very relaxed and full of love! Some classic Barbary macaque ‘lovey-dovey’ behaviour was on display during the performance such as grooming and teeth chattering.

"Who knows? Maybe there’s something in it, and the park will have a record number of babies come the summer!”

Director Matt Lovatt says, “We thought it could be a creative way to encourage our females to show a little affection to males that might not have been so lucky in love.

"Females in season mate with several males so paternity amongst our furry residents is never known. Each birth is vital to the species with Barbary macaques being classed as endangered.”

On top of having a talent for writing incredibly romantic songs, the real Marvin Gaye, who passed away in 1984, was one of the first R&B artists to deal with ecological issues in his 1971 single Mercy Mercy Me.

Explaining his eventual decision to move away from his trademark lyrical obsessions, the singer said "I began to re-evaluate my whole concept of what I wanted my music to say. I realised that I had to put my own fantasies behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of people. I wanted them to take a look at what was happening in the world.”

The Monkey Forest, situated in Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire, is home to 140 free-ranging Barbary macaques. The conservation aims to help raise awareness of the species' endangerment, as well as what work and research they do to help protect the monkeys. Visitors are welcome to visit the forest and enjoy walking along the pathway and watching the animals thrive in their English habitat.

Find more information about the work they do over on The Monkey Forest website (opens in new tab).

Happy Valentine's day!

Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.