Monday, July 16, 2012
Our own worst enemies
Apes can make plenty of trouble on their own. But instead of watching our backs, human scientists like to make excuses for them, like the ones who argued that poop-throwing is a sign of intelligence.
And worse, some even go out of their way to teach them dangerous skills. That's a picture of Kanzi the bonobo, the most famous resident of the Great Ape Trust in Iowa. Kanzi's language skills are terrifying enough - these animals are physically stronger than us, the last thing we need is for them to also be able to win a verbal argument. And now they've given him another potential weapon: they've taught him how to make fire.
The photo above is a closeup of him lighting a match, and you can see a whole slideshow of Kanzi cooking a meal at The Telegraph. Yes, I'd be the first to say that more animals should be able to make their own meals. But we should be teaching them to use the microwave, NOT a skill that can be used in such dangerous ways.
What's more, Kanzi is now teaching his offspring how to start fires as well. All I can say is that whatever happens next at the Great Ape Trust, those researchers have got it coming to them.