You will hear part of a radio discussion about the intelligence of great apes.
At first, Paula the chimpanzee looked as if she was going to the mirror.
Paula’s use of the mirror to examine her was proof that she understood what it was.
Ray describes the apes he works with as both and intelligent.
Ray explains how one chimpanzee used both food and to win friends.
Ray says that from a human perspective, it’s possible to put a interpretation on Tammy’s behaviour.
Ray gives the example of the dropped to show that gorillas possess bargaining skills.
Annabel describes the apes which take part in experiments as for their species.
Ray questions the validity of experiments which involve giving to apes.
Man 1: It wasn’t so very long ago that we thought the main dividing line between humans and the great Apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas was affected we use tools and they don’t. Put a recent TV documentary called ‘monkey in the mirror’ show the mounting evidence that not only do used tools. They even use different tools to do different jobs. I spoke to Ray Debenham who is a zookeeper with responsibility for Apes and Annabelle Jones who was involved in the making of the programme. Annabelle began by describing one of the most memorable scenes
Woman 1: A young chimpanzee called Paula comes into a room where there’s a huge mirror in front of her and you can see her thought processes initially she thinks perhaps. It’s another chimpanzee. She gets ready to attack it but then Paula stops.
Looks, swerised from side to side beginning to test this thing in the mirror and it does the same thing. this is what little children around the age of 2 and chimps go through just the same transition. And before you know it she’s there fingering high looking into it using a mirror to examine a part of herself. She can’t see any other way and that’s one of the really crucial tests of intelligence .if animals can recognise themselves it proves to us that they know they have a self and the only Apes do it apart from humans.
Man 1: Ray you’ve been working with Apes from many years, does this sort of behaviour surprised you?
Man 2: I’ve come to know them as not only extremely intelligent but also highly sensitive animals very much aware of who they are.
The society is hierarchical and you can see this in their behaviour for example many years ago a chimpanzee call Tammy who is now the dominant female and her group went through a period when Kelly ingratiating herself with the other females she would give them my items of food and also bedding material as well, but she was also careful to hold Back the choices pieces and always the largest share for herself
Women 1: Sounds like she was buying friends
Man 2: Exactly it was a sort of behaviour that we would interpret as political and we recognise it is very human because we do it too
Man 1: and didn’t one of your gorillas demonstrate bargaining skills to you Ray?
Man 2: That’s right. This is who lean over the wall of the enclosure app to drop things guidebooks cameras and someone anyway one day a lady’s sunglasses fell off and a gorilla immediately went over to them pick them up and looked at me. I threw him a couple of grapes to distract him, but he ignore them. So I threw in another one and he just kept looking at me. I think we got up to about 10 great before eventually he surrendered his bargaining tool.
Man 1: He got the measure of the situation
Man 2: Undoubtedly
Man 1: And Annabelle, there are lots of scenes in the film where we see experiments with chimpanzees. If they are so intelligent, how can we really justify experiments like that?
Woman 1: Well, it depends on what you mean by experiments. a lot of what we know, a lot about on your respect for the Apes comes from people who work closely with them and find ways of asking them to show us what they can do and what they thinking. that kind of experiment I think it’s wonderful. You know, faced the Apes living in a world that’s put of humans. It’s good if there are some Ambassadors for this species
Man 2: The kinds of experiments that are a lot more questionable, of the things that we do just for our own good. For example, if chimps are the only animals that can cash certain types of human illness. You know people can argue that the greater good is to look for a cure for the illness and that experiments with drugs are valid. I’m not so sure because you have to realise that it’s a terribly intelligent being you experimenting on.
Woman 1: At the other extreme, when we see Apes behaving in ways we recognise we start indulging and sentimental feelings. I mean there is a danger that maybe we try to imagine them as more human in a sense because we find it cute
Man 2: No way. In the past, people went wild the board drawing lines between us and animals. And I think it’s time for a bit of back-swing. Recognising how much they are like us.
Woman 1: But, there are obvious differences. I mean here we are talking to each other on the radio. You know and we have a society and technology and it is allowed us to do all of this. It’s a long way from spending three years learning how to use a stone as a tool to crack a nut.
Man 2: Yeah, but we can’t just draw a line. There’s just no one thing that we do that is totally conceptually different from anything they do.
Women 1: Well, there are…..
Man 1: I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it Annabelle, thank you very much.