Like many other apes, chimpanzees are known for their intelligence, which often manifests itself in the form of feats more commonly associated with humans.
A chimpanzee at the Welsh Mountain Zoo proved just this as he clearly requested a visitor for a drink – by the simple expedient of pointing repeatedly to a bag in which she had a bottle.
As the video above shows, once the visitor realised what the chimpanzee wanted – it wasn’t a banana – and pulled the bottle out, he guided her over to an opening into which she could pour him some of the drink. The visitor happily obliged, and he slurped it up.
The video also makes the vital point that the chimpanzee would not have to ask anyone for a drink in the wild.
Earlier, another chimpanzee in a zoo was seen in a video (below) seemingly asking visitors to help him escape from his enclosure.
The video shows him pointing at a window bolt and mimicking the movement required to open it. He makes another gesture with his fingers which, in American Sign Language (ASL), means “gate”. Alex Bailey, the man from Manchester who recorded the video, interpreted it as an appeal to be freed.
A worker at the Wales zoo, Peter Dickinson, had previously observed similar communicative behaviour from chimpanzees at the zoo, who tried to communicate with visitors. He told The Telegraph, “I have watched our animals sign to visitors, asking them to carry out certain behaviours. What is more the visitors react and do exactly what they are told. If a visitor is reproached by a member of staff the excuse is always, ‘But the chimp asked me to do it!’”