Back in April, this year. A female chimpanzee named Tushi living at the Burger’s Zoo in Netherlands became an online celebrity for her somewhat witty stop to a nuisance drone that was buzzing inside their confinement.
Four months down the roads, researchers have analyzed the video recording and published a fascinating report on the primate’s actions. While chimps are known to possess a pretty impressive upper limbs dexterity that allows them to operate tools much better than most animals. The chimps, in this case, showed the ability to plan ahead, by getting sticks and positioning themselves near where the drone was earlier seen flying by.
The researchers say the drone that was taken down by the chimp has already flown by that position earlier while doing a practice run. It was at those times; they say the chimps got the idea of carrying sticks and positioning themselves near drone’s flight path. It is quite remarkable when you consider the chimp took sticks long enough, firm enough and positioned themselves just at the right place to take a swipe at the hovering drone.
The next time the drone flew by using its normal flight path. The chimpanzees were armed with sticks ready for it. In the video, Tushi was the closest to the drone and behind her was another female chimp, Raimee, who was also armed with a long stick. Tushi took a good swipe at the hovering drone damaging the drone flight support mechanism and downing it. Although the camera was in good condition and continued recording the events inside the zoo.
It was not only Tushi and Raimee who wanted to bring down the drone. Other chimps as well were seen taking up sticks and climbing the tree to position themselves in areas that will enable them hit the drone.
According to primatologists, the two female next to where the drone flew had faces showing exertion and not fear of the hovering foreign object. This action shows they were quite deliberate in their actions.
“The use of the stick as a weapon in this context was a unique action. It seemed deliberate, given the decision to collect it and carry it to a place where the drone might be attacked,” said Jan van Hooff, an author and a primatologist with a long history at the zoo.