Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's talk about chimps, man

Chimps are brutal. And today we learn they're cunning. Whether it's the closest relative we have or not, why anyone would want to own one as a pet is beyond me.

Last month's chimp attack that left a Connecticut woman severely disfigured is nothing new. Although the brutality of the attack even makes me cringe. The woman, Carla Nash, lost both eyes, most of her face, her jaw, and both of her hands after the chimp attacked her. The chimp's owner, Sandy Herold, says she gave the animal Xanax shortly before the attack. I'm not so sure that the drug would have had anything to do with the attack, but it wouldn't surprise me. Still, though not as frequent as dog attacks, chimp attacks do occur.

In 2005, a California man was attacked by two chimps. They chewed off his nose, testicles, one foot, and parts of his buttocks. In 2006, 27 chimps escaped from an animal preserve in Sierra Leone, killing a cab driver and injuring 4 others. That same year, an Ohio State student was bitten by an 80 pound female chimp. Even in 2003, chimps in Tanzania were observed stealing and consuming human babies.

And just today, Science Daily released an article that reveals the results of a 10 year study of chimpanzees. Chimps held at zoos are displaying more intelligence than we give them credit for, calmly hoarding stones to throw at zoo visitors. Scary.

Seriously, chimps will jack you up.

Update: Not only are chimps cold, ruthless, calculating killers, they're also rather good at geometry and navigation!

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