Feb 122012

Visitors watching the chimpanzees frolicking in their outdoor enclosure were dismayed to see one of the chimps grab a bird that had gotten a little too close. The chimp seemed more curious than anything else, and although he was holding it tightly, the bird appeared to be unharmed.

A keeper, seeing what had happened, went in to try to rescue the bird. Knowing that it is impossible to simply take something away from a chimp if it doesn’t want to give it up, the keeper grabbed a banana to offer as a trade.

The chimp was tempted by the banana, but apparently wasn’t convinced. He looked longingly at the banana and then back at the bird. He wanted the banana, but wasn’t ready to give up his prize. He looked back and forth from the bird to the banana several more times. Each time he reached for the banana the keeper made it clear that he could only have it if he handed over the bird.

Eventually the banana won out. The chimp lifted up the hand with the bird in it and took one last longing look at the struggling bird. Then he calmly bit the bird’s head off and nonchalantly handed the body to the keeper in exchange for the banana.

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