The owners of Basildon Zoo have discovered that when exposed to perfume or aftershave, lynxes, leopards and lions become embarrassingly lascivious, while primates such as the spot-nosed guenon are overwhelmed by desire for some monkey business. Staff have been banned from wearing strong scent.
Yolande Surcouf, the zoo's owner, said: 'We have had occasions when the keepers have gone in wearing aftershave and the animals have got a bit too excited. I think it is because of an animal extract called civet and a simulated version of deer musk which are used in many scents. These are similar to the smells which animals produce naturally to signal their attraction to each other.'
A notice warns: 'Would any visitors wearing strong perfume or aftershave please stand well back from the animals.'
At Colchester Zoo, Alexandra Burr, marketing director, said: 'It's the opposite here; we actually use scents to keep the animals happy. We'll douse some old clothes in Old Spice or something and hide them for the animals to find. It's just like giving a child new toys.'Reuse content