This chimp asking for a woman’s drink shows just how intelligent these primates are.
In a video from a few years ago that has recently resurfaced, a chimpanzee in a zoo cleverly asks a visitor for some of her drink.
The video begins with a chimp either drinking something or pretending to do so from a specific spot in the glass separating him from visitors. He then points to a shopping bag several feet away on the visitor’s side, clearly asking for something.
Based on the person in the background saying “some more,” he most likely was already drinking some of the soda from the bag and knew where it was stored. He walks over to the shopping bag and points at it directly at 0:12. As soon as a woman takes the soda out of her bag, he starts moving back to his previous spot.
This chimp clearly communicates exactly what he wants.
First, he points to the bottle in the woman’s hand. Immediately after, at 0:21, he points to the gap that lets liquid pour through and reach him. When the woman doesn’t comply right away, he repeats the request.
The primate gets his way as the woman pours him a bit of the beverage, which he immediately begins to lap up at 0:33. Other chimps come over as well to see what is happening, but he doesn’t share.
In fact, when the chimp finishes the soda, he asks for more by pointing again at 0:46. He repeats the entire process, walking closer to where the bag is and pointing at it.
Instead of taking out the drink again, however, the woman removes a banana from the shopping bag. The chimp approves of this idea, pointing upwards at 1:00 as if to indicate she should throw it over the barrier and give it to him.
When it’s clear he isn’t getting his way, he points to the plastic bag again, asking for another drink.
As soon as the woman takes it out, he walks back to the convenient spot she had previously poured it in. Once again, the chimpanzee doesn’t share with his friends; not even the one who was sitting next to him the whole time.
Even after a second (or possibly third) drink, the chimp wants more. He returns to the plastic bag yet again, pointing. The woman repeats her offer of the banana, to which the chimp repeats his earlier motion of moving a hand up above his head. When she replaces the banana with the drink, it goes exactly as expected.
The chimp goes back to the right spot so he can get a drink. This primate clearly knows exactly what he wants.
Reactions to this viral video are mixed.
Some comments on the clipped version Storyful posted to Facebook are encouraging, saying the woman should have given the chimp as much of the drink as he wanted. Others point out that the drink is likely bad for him or offer insights into the situation. Alexis March, for example, commented:
“They are so smart and beautiful. It breaks my heart seeing them in cages… I almost cried at the zoo a few years ago when we took my daughter; Although their homes are being destroyed… so this may, unfortunately, be the safest place for them at this time.”
While some in the comments lament that the animal is in a zoo, others are quick to point out that the chimps appear to be in an enclosure with plenty of space to roam around, much better than a standard zoo. The consensus from veterinarians who posted, including Christy Moore, who according to her post has 15 years of experience, is that:
“People need to think about more than the fact the chimp wants it”
No matter how much (if any) soda you think the woman should have given the primate, it is clear that chimps are highly intelligent animals who know exactly how to get what they want.
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