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Natural World

Drone-busting chimp shows 'forward planning'

September 4, 2015 | Comment icon 9 comments

The chimp in the video used a tree branch as a makeshift weapon. Image Credit: YouTube / Burgers' Zoo
Scientists have been studying the case of a chimp that used a branch to knock a drone out of the air.
The incident, which took place at the Royal Burgers Zoo in Arnhem, saw an inquisitive chimpanzee pick up and use a tree branch to swat a camera-equipped drone that a TV crew had been using to record footage for a documentary.

The behavior of the chimp, in particular its apparent ability to plan in advance what it was going to do, has since become a topic of significant interest to researchers.
"The precise coincidence of the facial grimace with the strike suggests that it is a concomitant of an assertive and determined exertion of force, homologous to what humans do in comparable situations," the study authors wrote.

"This episode adds to the indications that chimpanzees engage in forward planning of tool-use acts."

In the video, which can be viewed below, the curious primate can be seen swinging the branch at the drone and then examining the device up close after it had been knocked to the ground.

Source: NBC News | Comments (9)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Not seeing the original news item, was the drone a hovering one? Those typically don't fly very fast making them easier to hit. It's still amazing the chimp was bothered enough by the camera drone that she attacked it, methodically. Can the "Planet of the Apes" be far away?
Comment icon #2 Posted by questionmark 7 years ago
Animals are smarter than we give them credit for... and forward planning in chimps has been established quite a few years ago by the famous dangling banana experiment (having a banana to high to reach and a box in the room), that is not new.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Goodnite 7 years ago
It seems more spur of the moment, rather than forward planning.
Comment icon #4 Posted by OverSword 7 years ago
It seems more spur of the moment, rather than forward planning. So you think the chimp just happened to be standing there with a branch? No, it planned it.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Athena1979 7 years ago
Well, would he do the same thing if swatting away a bee or fly or a perceived predator? That's what they do when they feel threatened. Its still planning...but normal.
Comment icon #6 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
Good chimp.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Saitung 7 years ago
Who's smarter? I guess the chimp showed the drone operator it clearly understood the dynamics of artificiality extending its reach. I guess the operator forgot Chimps regularly use tools?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Father Merrin 7 years ago
I dont know what the fuss is ! Ham the chimp flew a space shuttle to Saturn and back
Comment icon #9 Posted by MyOtherAccount 7 years ago
Swinging by using the vines randomly available high in the jungle requires some forward planning, too. Else the jungle floor would be a carpet of monkey pelts. Why is it that we assume animals are totally dumb rather than assume they may be smart. Perhaps we can't deal with animals being better at some things than we are? =============== One day I was enjoying my Beta, Purple Munchie, by dropping little round food pellets into the fish bowl. He would lung at each one as if they were some kind of enemy he was at war with. He lunged at one very energetically, but his aim was off. It lodged in th... [More]

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