A chimpanzee at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, was swaying from side to side on the stone steps in its enclosure. What happened next did in fact shock everyone.
Because the chimpanzee decided to hurl some poo at the visitors.
The video above shows the simian moving restlessly before gathering some (eww!) poop and throwing it at the crowd of people. It even lands at on the nose of an elderly woman on a wheelchair.
While the video, titled It Got Grandma, has inspired the a series of memes, this is not the first time this chimpanzee has pulled such stunts. Below are videos from 2013.
In the first, the excitement of the crowd turns to consternation after the chimpanzee displays visible aggression. In the second, the visitors laugh as the poop doesn’t hit anyone.
Such actions usually indicate irritation and depression, especially when they are being constantly stared at in captivity. However, a 2011 study also says that the act of throwing poop is a sign of communication, and an indicator of intelligence.
“They get a pile of something to throw, and usually the person tries to run. The captive chimpanzee learns, ‘If I can do this, I can have some control over the world outside my cage’,” says Bill Hopkins of Emory University.
In a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Hopkins and his collaborators argue that this act of control shows how humans developed their intelligence.
The brain scan of the primates concluded that the closest living relative of humans has the ability to display sophisticated planning skills.