Chimpanzee Builds Fire, Toasts Marshmallows

Some background, from The Telegraph (there are a few more captioned photos there too):

“Kanzi makes fire because he wants to,” said Dr Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, his main handler at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa.

“His fascination began when he was a child, watching the film ‘Quest for Fire’. The movie was released about a year after Kanzi was born and was about early man struggling to control fire. Kanzi watched this spellbound over and over hundreds of times.”

“At age five he began making small piles of sticks and tried to light them,” she added. “I had to keep a close eye on him, but I allowed it because he was clearly interested in practising it. His demeanour when he focused on making fire was just like when he watched the movie. He seemed engrossed in it and it appeared that he associated making fires with watching the film.”

“It is not clear that Kanzi can do all aspects of making, controlling and employing fire at this point in time. … For now, for Kanzi, fire is about making cooked food, which he enjoys very much.”

Kanzi, the fanatic cook.

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