Zoo chimp makes elaborate plots to attack humans
Santino," a male chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, is devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors. Here, he postures, looking
tough, in front of zoo visitors. (Mathias Osvath)
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, is devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors.
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks and other projectiles at visitors who annoyed him. Now he has improved his technique, which requires
spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained what the clever
A male chimp in a zoo in Sweden devises complex ways to attack human visitors.
"Santino" hides rocks under piles of hay before people show up to prepare.
At first, the chimp "plays it cool," then launches his surprise attack.
"After a visitor group had left the compound area, Santino went inside the enclosure and brought a good-sized heap of hay that he placed near the
visitor's section, and immediately after that he put stones under it," Osvath said.
PHOTOS: How Santino Attacks Visitors
"He also appeared to have placed projectiles behind, just before he went in after the hay. After this, he sat down beside the hay and waited. When
the visitors came back, he waited until they were close by and, without any preceding display, he threw stones at the crowd."
Osvath, who is the scientific director of the Lund University Primate Research Station Furuvik, and colleague Elin Karvonen noticed the behavior while
studying the elderly chimp, who is the dominant male in his exhibit at the Swedish zoo.
The calculated surprise attacks on visitors demonstrate very advanced thinking usually only associated with humans.
Osvath said, "What is interesting is that he made these preparations when the visitors were out of sight, and also that he incorporated innovations
into the behavior."
This is pretty interesting. Looks like chimps may be evolving. Crazy old chimp planning out attacks on visitors is a bit off the wall. Maybe we will
soon have monkeys learning to speak and think like we do