Trap-breaking chimpanzees found in Guinea

Sep 09, 2005

Wild chimpanzees capable of passing on knowledge of how to detect and destroy traps have been found in the West African nation of Guinea.

Japanese researcher Gaku Ohashi surveyed a group of more than 10 chimpanzees near the village of Bossou over 15 months between 2002 and 2004.

Ohashi, a researcher at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute, began the project after learning that 30 years of research discovered no chimpanzees in the area had ever been seriously injured by traps, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Friday.

In one case, when a trap made with sticks and wires used to catch large rats was found, two male chimpanzees of the group would avoid the trap, vigorously shake it and try to destroy it.

Three other males also tried to shake the trap.

Tetsuro Matsuzawa, a professor at the Primate Research Institute, said the Bossou chimpanzees were highly intelligent and used many tools, including stones for opening nuts.

"They probably also have the ability to spot danger," he said.

Chimpanzees injured by traps have become a serious problem in Africa in recent years. In 2002, a long-term study found 32 of 422 chimpanzees in 10 areas had been injured by traps.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: John Nash, wife, 'A Beautiful Mind' inspiration, die in NJ

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

May 22, 2015

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.