Camera-carrying drones are the best thing documentary makers can think of when they have to get shots of wildlife animals. But one chimp at the Royal Bugers’ Zoo in the Netherlands learned how to damage and nullify such gear with the help of some sticks.
The camera crew of a Dutch television must have thought they were pretty on the ball with the situation, when they sent fancy drones in the cage of a chimp to do their dirty work. However, the chimps were pleased with the trespassing of their home, and casually grabbed some sticks with which to smash up the camera-carrying drones. The crew’s jaws dropped on the floor when a large female chimp called Tushi successfully destroyed their drone.
Their expensive gear was forever lost, but the scientists were so excited about the event, that they decided to turn it into a scientific paper, which they later published in the journal Primates.
Jan van Hoof, one of the two co-authors of the study, said that the chimp’s action in this context was very interesting, because primates do not usually use sticks as weapons. It appears that the action was deliberate and very natural, given the primate’s decision to take it from the ground and move in the front of the drone in order to hit it with it.
Later, after analyzing the footage of the drone, the scientists interpreted that the animal was more upset than it was afraid at the moment of the attack. Tushi put on an angry face then clenched her teeth, which is typical for a frightened chimp. However, the difference is that she didn’t run away but rather thought out her attack and then proceeded. To the researchers, it seemed more than a reflexive act of fear.
After damaging the drone almost beyond repair, Tushi and her cage companion, Raimee, the two chimps toyed around with it before losing all their interest and carried on with their usual chimp doings.
Rather evidently, this isn’t the first time when chimps are using tools for other activities than feeding. Other cases were reported all across the world but they have not been verified. The incident stands as another evidence of the human-like traits of chimps.
Photo credits: flickr