Each week, we bring you the top 5 amazing, ridiculous or just plain awesome pet and animal stories from around the web. We call them, the Furry Five:
5. Escapee Penguin Found In Bay
Image Via: http://www.pawnation.com
A couple months ago, a one-year-old Humboldt penguin scaled a 13-foot wall, squeezed through a barbed wire fence and escaped from the Tokyo Sea Life Park. After discovering back in March that the Penguin had gone missing, the aquarium sent keepers out daily to hunt for the escapee. Hundreds of people reported sightings but Sakamoto said that most of them were probably of cormorants. Fortunately the Penguin has been returned to the aquarium.
4. 86-year-old man shares his private island with 120 turtles
3. 10 most shocking animal attacks
2. Woman owns 130 cats!
1. Zoo chimp makes elaborate plot to attack humans
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks at visitors who annoyed him. Now, he has improved his technique, which requires spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained what the clever chimp did:
“After a visitor group had left the compound area, Santino went inside the enclosure and brought a good-sized heap of hay that he placed near the visitor’s section, and immediately after that he put stones under it,” Osvath said.
“He also appeared to have placed projectiles behind, just before he went in after the hay. After this, he sat down beside the hay and waited. When the visitors came back, he waited until they were close by and, without any preceding display, he threw stones at the crowd.”
The calculated surprise attacks on visitors demonstrate very advanced thinking usually only associated with humans.
Osvath said, “What is interesting is that he made these preparations when the visitors were out of sight, and also that he incorporated innovations into the behavior.”
“What makes this a bit special is that he actually had not experienced before what he seemed to anticipate,” Osvath added. “He, in a sense, produced a future outcome instead of just preparing for a scenario that had previously been re-occurring reliably.”
In terms of why the chimp wants to bother human zoo visitors, Osvath said that’s nothing new.
“A lot of great apes, especially dominant males, throw stuff at people at zoos,” he said. “And I would think that this is something that comes naturally to them when performing their dominance displays. These are often aimed at making other apes move out of the way and, in effect, accept him as the boss.”
After observing the chimp for days, the scientists also suspect that Santino just also “finds it fun” to bug humans. He even appears to target certain people that perhaps really get on his nerves. The attacks are all the more successful because Santino plays it cool, holding back on posturing before whipping out the stone or other projectile.