Chimpanzees trained to use machetes

Posted on July 22, 2011

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I have to give it to 20th Century Fox, its publicity department is working overtime ahead of the summer blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Yet another video has made it onto the net, this time showing a chimp welding a machete. I came across it after a note from one of my readers Christian, who alerted me to it this afternoon. Definitely another stunt!

It’s not as impressive as the AK-47 scenario, but perhaps it’s a tad more sinister, because it’s so suggestive. Chimps regularly pick up felled pieces of logs or branches in the forests. They have been known to use them as so-called weapons whether it’s done as a result of ‘rational’ thinking is another question. I doubt it. I have seen a face-off between two wild female chimps in the Ugandan jungle which resulted in a hell of a lot of screaming, teeth-baring, arms flailing and the lower ranking individual being beaten very badly. Could this behaviour be repeated, yes, consciously, it’s unlikely.

What is interesting is that despite having a propensity for violence, (during certain months chimps have been known to hunt and kill colobus monkeys for food, ripping them from limb to limb)  these apes don’t realise they have the ability to kill each other with their bare hands. There’s actually no need for weapons because they’re much stronger than us, thank heavens for ignorance.

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