Friday, September 30, 2005

Gorillas To Take Your Job?

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – For the first time ever, wild gorillas have been observed and photographed using sticks as tools – testing the depth of a pool and turning a detached tree trunk into a walking cane. What’s next? Typing?

Colleen McCann, the Curator of Primates at the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), says these Great Apes – which were studied in the Republic of Congo – are “very intelligent animals,” but not nearly sophisticated enough to replace humans in the job market.

In her words, “You shouldn’t worry about your job.”

Still, McCann says capturing the tool use on film is a milestone for primate research because “Gorillas [in the wild] are very elusive and difficult to watch.”

The primate curator says she was “elated and excited” to see photos of gorillas transforming wood into tools because, “It shows that very little separates us from them.”

Except for the poop throwing. McCann reluctantly admits that gorillas like to throw “objects,” and calls the act “a display behavior to get a response.”

She says it’s their way of saying, “I’m strong and powerful.”

The gorilla photographs can be seen tomorrow (Oct. 1) on PBS’ Wild Chronicles.

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