IT might look like monkey business – but simple hand signals are helping keepers take care of their chimps’ needs.

Dudley Zoo keepers are using chimp sign language to communicate with its seven female chimpanzees.

The seven simple commands enables the zoo’s staff to easily perform health checks and give any necessary treatment without causing unnecessary stress.

Keepers can give commands to the chimps to get them to show their bum, back, mouth, shoulders, ears, feet and chest.

The Lower Primates team, made up of senior keepers Jodie Dryden, Stacey Evans, Jade Reddall and keepers Harley Hunt and Stephanie Ballard, have developed the signals passed on from London Zoo where the chimps came from 20 years ago.

Jodie said: “The whole team uses the commands routinely to give our chimps the once over and check for any injuries or problems.

“We can get them to show their chest to use a stethoscope or their ears to take their temperatures with an ear thermometer and they always get treats in return.”

The sign language proved invaluable when 41-year-old chimp Mandy was injured and the keepers were able to communicate with her and give her an injection in her shoulder without any stress involved.