10
Mar
09

I Have Never Been Prouder Of Any Animal


Chimp found to have planned attacks on zoo visitors.

A while back I visited the Bronx Zoo. I remember seeing the kids and adults there acting like complete and utter asshats to try to get the animals attention. Never have I felt sorrier for a group of creatures. As I continued down by the primates, I saw a male gorilla treating his persecutors to the sight of him voraciously humping one of his female counterparts (he had 4, the lucky bastard). Childrens’ eyes were being covered, horrified parents were pulling them away, but the kids remained long enough to watch the gorilla come like a train, immediately thereafter grabbing the female by her neck and throwing her into the moat surrounding their habitat. It was then I knew that their consciousness had to be more elevated than suspected because That. Was. Classic.

This hunch of mine (and myriad scientists) has been confirmed by good (bad?) ol’ Santino the chimp, who has been systematically orchestrating hundreds of stone-throwing attacks on his Swedish visitors, if they step out of line.

Crucial to the current study is the fact that Santino, a chimpanzee at the zoo in the city north of Stockholm, collected the stones in a calm state, prior to the zoo opening in the morning.

The launching of the stones occurred hours later – during dominance displays to zoo visitors – with Santino in an “agitated” state.

This suggests that Santino was anticipating a future mental state – an ability that has been difficult to definitively prove in animals, according to Mathias Osvath, a cognitive scientist from Lund University in Sweden and author of the new research.

Ah, premeditation, motive, opportunity…Santino would make a perfect Bonnie in the Bonnie and Clyde remake! Or, at least, he’d be better than Hilary Duff.

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