Swedish zoo chimp frighteningly clever

monkey3A 31 year-old chimp named Santino, who resides in Stockholm’s Furuvik Zoo, is generating a flurry of excitement in the scientific community because he has demonstrated the ability to consciously plot and execute plans. While scientists have known for decades that chimps are clever creatures, Santino has forced them to re-evaluate their baseline concerning primates.

Biologists at the zoo watched Santino one morning as he collected rocks and various pieces of debris before the zoo opened, then stored them in a hidden but strategic spot. Just after noon, Santino moved to his stash of rocks and began hurling them at visitors standing across the moat.

“These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way,” Lund University doctoral student Mathias Osvath, told the Associated Press. “It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events.”

Santino managed hit a few of his targets, but did not seriously injure anyone; and his ability to plot and carry out a plan stands to shake the foundations of the animal kingdom as we know it. A debate is now raging over whether Santino is just an exceptional genius within his species, or if all primates have the potential to be that smart. Only time will tell, so be nice to the primates you meet.

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