VBS.TV producers were so concerned with the mass gorilla slayings that happened a year ago in Virunga, that they went to Bwindi, in southern Uganda, and made a three part documentary on mountain gorillas. It is titled, “Gorillas in the Midst.”
They’ve put up their show for everyone to watch online. If you don’t know much about the problems with conservation efforts in Uganda, I recommend you watch because they also touch on the political conflicts and controversial issues that looms over the conservation efforts.
Charlie Rose interviewed Emmanuel de Merode of WildLifeDirect, Brent Stirton and Godefroid Wambale four days ago — three men who know about the massacre of gorillas that happened last year in Virunga National Park. Their interview covers their account of the day where six gorillas were killed.
I’m very pleased with this interview, and even more displeased at Georgianne Nienaber’s comment. Nienaber is an ‘investigative environmental writer’ and tactiless opponent to WildlifeDirect and the ICCN rangers. She says that the arrest of Honore Mashagiro in March of 2008 in relation to these killings was all a setup and masterminded by the strategic interests of white supremacists — and the hero, Paulin Ngobobo is nothing but a figure head. I think she’s smoking crack. She’s using this excellent discussion on gorilla conservation with a major news source to leverage her own conspiracy theory, that is ‘founded’ on no evidence, whatsoever.
Last month Ayumu and five other chimpanzees made the news because of their outstanding cognitive performance. They even beat out college students in their tests. The results of the study was reported in Current Biology, “Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees.”
If you don’t believe me check out the video of Ayumu rocking the test:
Very impressive performance. Luminosity Games has remade Ayumu’s game. If you wanna try to see if you’re any better than Ayumu, give it a shot here. I’m not very good at the game.
The following video is a bit dated, it’s from 2004… but still I’m sharing it with you because it is very informative and rare. The video is of Susan Savage-Rumbaugh’s TED talk, in which she presents human traits and behaviors in bonobos, specifically the bonobo that made her famous, Kanzi.
Gorilla Protection links us up to an excellent report done by Al Jazeera on the threats to mountain gorillas. It’s a bit long, but it is really well done. Before you check out the video, another dead gorilla has been found.
A PLoS One study of chimpanzees at Bossou in Republic of Guinea, shows that the male chimpanzees raid farms and orchards for fruit that they steal and bring back to the females. In exchange, the males shared their fruity booty with the females in a food-for-sex trade.
Of all the evolutionary psychological studies involving chimps I shared with you this past week, this one “Chimpanzees Share Forbidden Fruit,” is the most remarkable. Here’s the abstract, the full text of the article is openly accessible for anyone to enjoy reading in first hand,
“The sharing of wild plant foods is infrequent in chimpanzees, but in chimpanzee communities that engage in hunting, meat is frequently used as a ‘social tool’ for nurturing alliances and social bonds. Here we report the only recorded example of regular sharing of plant foods by unrelated, non-provisioned wild chimpanzees, and the contexts in which these sharing behaviours occur. From direct observations, adult chimpanzees at Bossou (Republic of Guinea, West Africa) very rarely transferred wild plant foods. In contrast, they shared cultivated plant foods much more frequently (58 out of 59 food sharing events). Sharing primarily consists of adult males allowing reproductively cycling females to take food that they possess. We propose that hypotheses focussing on ‘food-for-sex and -grooming’ and ‘showing-off’ strategies plausibly account for observed sharing behaviours. A changing human-dominated landscape presents chimpanzees with fresh challenges, and our observations suggest that crop-raiding provides adult male chimpanzees at Bossou with highly desirable food commodities that may be traded for other currencies.”
If you don’t believe what you’re reading the authors provided two video clips showing some sly and slick male chimp entering what is obviously and occupied by humans (because of the buildings) climbing a tree, stealing fruit, and making a mad dash as if he were a bandit. Then he shares an intimate moment with his lady friend, munching on some fruit.
I’ve edited the clips together and put them up on YouTube for all y’all who can’t play the file types they provided.
Pattty, one of our regulars, emailed me with this hilarious advertisement involving a man dressed up as a gorilla and rocking out to Phil Collins. I’m pretty sure it will liven up your Monday blues.