Chimpanzees have languished in laboratories for decades, sometimes subjected to painful experimentation and often warehoused in barren cages. But now the fate of these remarkable and highly intelligent beings has taken a monumental turn for the better.
I never intended to be a myth-buster, but I'm not disappointed, however sorry Fox is. The trip is too interesting for that, the landscape, yes, too otherwordly, far too awesome in the word's original sense before its current one-stop usage.
If you think "biodiversity hotspot" sounds like a science class or a commercial for a vacation destination, imagine this instead: The chimps living on land that Herakles Farms hopes to "develop" have as many forest friends as The Jungle Book's Mowgli.
Tracking rehabilitated cheetahs and leopards through the African bush as they learn to hunt and survive again in the wild. Riding on the backs of rescued elephants on a sunset stroll to their favourite watering hole, where they finally feel safe from poachers...
Tetsuro Matsuzawa, a researcher at Kyoto University, showed that a chimpanzee named Ayumu clearly out-performed humans on some working memory tests, a category of short-term recall. What is surprising is that anybody finds this surprising.
People tend to believe that our species is superior to and separate from the animal kingdom, that we are the end point of the evolution of life on earth. That notion is not only false but extraordinarily dangerous.