Kanzi, the bonobo that surprised researchers with its linguistic skills (he had learned lexigrams naturally, simply by watching its mother), added a new skillset that will be handy when the apes rise up to take over the world: he can start a fire to cook meals!
Dr Savage-Rumbaugh, of the Great Ape Trust, in Des Moines, Iowa, adds: ‘Kanzi makes fire because he wants to. He used to watch the film Quest For Fire when he was very young which was about early man struggling to control fire. He watched it spellbound over and over hundreds of times.’
He was also fascinated by the camp fires his keepers made to cook food. And he was encouraged to interact with humans and copy them. At the age of five, he was making small piles of bone dry sticks.