Monkeys Without Flamethrowers

To Throw a Stone


In my reading involving primates I came across articles about a chimpanzee named Santino. He lives in a zoo near Stockholm, Sweden. Each morning before people would arrive, he would calmly gather stones and put them in a pile. Then once the zoo opened and people would show up he would become agitated. When the humans gawked at him he would go to his pile of stones and throw them at the onlookers. This shows a sense of premeditation, planning his attacks and executing them. Santino also developed a method of testing the concrete in his enclosure for weak spots. He would tap on the concrete and if a weak section was found he would remove it and add it to his pile of ammunition.

Imagine a life where your world is limited to a specific size, one that you not only can comprehend but are also incapable of expanding. Wall living like this strangers come by every day, just to look at you.  After a wile wouldn’t you want to do something? Would you pick up a rock?

What I find interesting is the premeditation and development of a technique. The planing before each of his attacks. The method that Santino learned for gathering his ammunition. The animosity he felt towards onlookers. It is commonly know that chimpanzees get violent as they get older but Santino’s story seams like more then that to me.

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