A new study has been released that delves into the story of Tushi the chimpanzee who hit a drone out of the air.
Tushi’s story came out last April and caught the attention of animal lovers around the globe. Tushi is a chimp at the Royal Burger’s Zoo in Netherlands. A television crew sent out drones above the chimp enclosure to film the animals up close. The footage taken shows Tushi, stick in hand, hit the drone after swinging at it twice.
The study, published Thursday in the Primates journal, looks at Tushi’s behaviour before, during and after the incident. It explored the idea that Tushi hitting the drone was not an automatic reflex to something she found unpleasant but rather that it was a calculated decision to take it down.
Jan van Hooff is a co-author of the study and she wrote:
“The use of the stick as a weapon in this context was a unique action. It seemed deliberate, given the decision to collect it and carry it to a place where the drone might be attacked.”
Researchers found that Tushi and the other chimps actually noticed and reacted to the drones during the initial test run. Once they saw the drones, they began collecting willow tree branches. After Tushi and her friend Raimee collected the long sticks, they climbed to higher ground where they could wait for the drone to return. When it did, they were ready. Tushi took her six foot long pole and in two swings managed to get the drone out of the air.
The study noted that Tushi’s face contorted as she swung. There was no anxiety or panic in her expression so it’s believed the look she gave was simply from physical exertion.
Once the drone was knocked out of the sky, the chimps went to check it out. They poked and prodded at it until they got bored and moved on.
Chimpanzee’s are not the first animals to “attack” drones. In October 2014 a hawk was recorded going after a drone in Cambridge Massachusetts. In August of this year, a wedge-eailed eagle also reportedly brought down a drone. Even a great white shark was filmed attempting to bite underwater cameras!
I think the moral of the story here is…if you see a chimp with a stick in their hand, it’s probably time to leave!
Associated Press “Raw: Camera-shy Chimp Swats at Drone With Stick” Youtube. 14 April 2015. Web. 5 September 2015.