Chimp plots stone throw
By CLIO FRANCIS
A Chimpanzee in Sweden stockpiled stones in a pre-meditated plan to hurl them at zoo visitors, according to researchers.
Keeper's at Furuvik Zoo discovered the male chimp had built up a collections of rocks - which he had gathered by pulling apart bits of his enclosure - with the intention of later using them as missiles, the BBC reported.
The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology.
There has been little past evidence that animals are capable of planning for future events.
A crucial component of the study is the way that the chimp, called Santino, collected the stones in a calm state before the zoo opened in the morning.
Santino then launched the stone projectiles later in the day, during a display to zoo visitors.
Lund University cognitive scientist Mathias Osvarth said the evidence suggested Santino was anticipating a future mental state, an ability that has been difficult to definitively prove in animals.
Dr Osvath began the study after zoo staff discovered collections of rocks facing the public viewing area inside Santino's enclosure. The stone hoarding seems to be directly related to visitors, in the off season Santino neither collects the projectiles nor hurls them.
"I hope that other zoos or those in the wild will look more closely at what is happening," he added. "I bet there must be a lot of these kinds of behaviours out there, and I wouldn't be surprised if we find them