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Nature

Captive Chimp Found Planning Attacks on Zoo Visitors

A chimpanzee at Sweden’s Furuvik Zoo has been observed chipping at concrete to create discs to throw at visitors. He even made weapons at night to throw at visitors when the zoo opens in the morning.

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While Santino the chimp’s retaliatory ways are amusing, they’ve also impressed scientists who believe this is the first evidence of a non-human animal being capable of making plans for the future.

“It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including life-like mental simulations of potential events,” said Mathias Osvath, a scientist who studied Santino for over a decade. “They most probably have an ‘inner world’ like we have when reviewing past episodes of our lives or thinking of days to come. I would guess that they plan much of their everyday behaviour.”

Osvath’s observations are only one of many studies that show that non-human primates are capable of some human-like thought. Another recent study showed baboons are capable of matching pictures and recognizing objects.

Unfortunately for Santino, the zoo didn’t think his stone-throwing ways were very cute. They’ve castrated the 31-year-old chimp, thinking it may lower his hormone levels and make him less aggressive.

The Humane Society of the United States along with other wildlife protection groups are working to pass the Great Ape Protection Act in the US. They recently exposed the horrible conditions that 300 chimpanzees live under inside a pharmaceutical lab in Louisiana. Is it not abundantly clear that these animals deserve to be treated with more respect?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/u9gr65wKNXY&hl=en&fs=1]

Via: Telegraph
Photo: Jim Epler on Flickr under Creative Commons license.



13 comments
  1. Michael Ricciardi

    This is really amazing, yet also, not really surprising that we would find such behavior in our closest primate relative. Thanks for publicizing the Great Ape Protection Act too…every story like this helps keep the public pressure on the human primates with all the power over the non-human ones.

  2. tlbinsd

    Anthropomorpism. The ape is far more comfortable castrated. With some of the rabid comments herein, perhaps they should give castration a try. It might improve their dispositions.

    There are too many ‘accidental’ ape births now. The castration was well-done by any standards.

  3. brian

    why would we have ever thought that animals are not capable of thinking ahead or planning there day? everyday animals go throug the same routine they eat hunt go to the bathroom they play ( or should be able to atleast) then they sleep sounds about like what humans do everyday doesn’t it! and for a zoo to castorate an chimpanzee for throwing a few rocks is crazy he was 31 years old! how about we take humans who break the law and castorate them i mean i’ve seen people get off or walk out of jail ree men and women for much more then throwing some stones!!

  4. parrotgypsy

    free these brothers and sisters who are tortured for no good reason! we are one. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

  5. White coat monster

    Every agricultural chemical is tested on a variety of animals: dogs, rabbits, rats, mice, goats, etc. All kinds of horrible experiments. Some scientists are really nasty. Then they say “yeah, there were lots of birth defects, cancers, etc., but not too many”. So start pumping the chemicals!

  6. JohnnyZu

    I watched the whole clip. It was horrible. These are thinking, feeling, living creatures. Just like our cats and dogs and friends and children. If you agree that torturing animals is wrong, where do you draw the line? Is just a little torture OK? How about only imprisonment? It makes we wonder how these kinds of people treat their children.

  7. will

    hmm did you notice the part about how the castrated the poor guy hoping to lower his agressiveness? all for throwing some little rocks and yet when an ‘animal’ie. violent criminal rapes women and children they chemically castrate them sometimes which is reversible and sometimes works.
    Come on when are we going to give animals the rights they deserve or treat dangerous criminals like the ‘animals’ they are?

    Sad…..
    Though I do wonder how the chimps in the testing lab have anything to do with this story.

  8. Amanda Daniell

    It is so funny for those of us who live, work and play with animals to hear how scientists suddenly think animals have brains!

    Why does it take a scientist to figure this out?

    Anybody who has a real heart and open mind can instinctively understand all of these things.

    Never the less Science is God on our planet and hopefully this will help the cause to end exploitation of animals.

  9. Brenda

    Did anyone watch the clip? I couldn’t watch all of it. It is so sad when we lose sight of what life is. When there are no more primates to do test on what will they use then? Humans? I think that the place in Louisiana be shut down.

  10. Georgia Dove

    “Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is “Because the animals are like us.” Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: “Because teh animals are not like us.” Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction. -Charles R. Magel

    This is especially true of Great Apes. They have 99% of our DNA and it is widely known how intelligent these apes are. To see them isolated in tiny cages with no toys or companionship is not humane, and is not following AWA guidelines. How can NIH argue with a video? That Ape Auschwitz camp should be closed immediately. We ALREADY HAVE MUMP, CHICKEN POX ETC VACCINATIONS! We already have Hepatitus vaccs. They are just milking millions in grant money for nothing.

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