We Don’t Dabble In Monkey-Business

, , , , | Right | March 26, 2021

I work at a well-accredited zoo in guest services; my duties include taking calls, answering questions about the zoo, and selling animal sponsorships and annual passes. It’s a slow, snowy day so we haven’t gotten many calls or guests and we’re bored out of our minds, so when the phone rings, I’m on it right away.

Me: “You’ve reached [Zoo]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking to adopt a… um… a monkey or something.”

Me: “Great! Did you have any specific animal you were looking to sponsor? We have quite a few different ones.”

Caller: “I’m not sure; I’m just looking to adopt some kind of primate.”

Me: “Okay, well, we have quite a few species available for sponsorship, including Orangutans, Black-handed Spider Monkeys—”

Caller: “The spider monkeys sound cool. How much is it to adopt one?”

Me: “Our sponsorship packages start at $25. Higher donation amounts will grant you more benefits and have varying levels of tax-deductibility. All packages include your name on a digital sign stating that you sponsored the animal, as well as a few other goodies.”

Caller: “So how much is it to purchase one? I don’t need my name on a sign or anything, just a monkey.”

Throughout this call, I have been using the term “sponsor” specifically because some other zoological facilities will use other terms, like “adopt,” for the same purpose. At this point, I realize he may have other intentions.

Me: “Sir, were you looking to purchase an animal from the zoo?”

Caller: “Yeah… how much is it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we are an AZA-approved zoological facility. We don’t sell our animals.”

Caller: “Really? D***. I’ve been looking all morning for a place to buy a monkey.”

Me: “You’ll have to look a bit more, then.”

Caller: *Hangs up*

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