Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chimpanzee caught planning attacks on zoo visitors

A male chimpanzee in a Swedish zoo planned ahead for his hundreds of stone-throwing attacks on zoo visitors. Keepers found Santino collected stones prior to the zoo opening in the morning and hid them to use later, throwing them at zoo visitors. In the off season, When the zoo is closed, Santino neither hoards stones nor throws them.

Also, Santino has learned how to spot weak parts of the concrete boulders in his enclosure. When water seeps into cracks in the concrete and freezes, portions become detached that make a hollow sound when tapped. Santino taps on the boulders, and when he hears a suitable hollowness, hits harder to break off pieces. He adds these to his stashes of ammunition.

Full article is at the BBC web site.

And just when you're thinking that this clever little bastard certainly knows what he's doing, the article says that his behavior "suggests" a "form" of consciousness.

Oh, come on now. What is so fragile about the human ego that every example of an animal knowing what he's doing has to be reduced to something like a "suggestion" of a "form of consciousness"?

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