The Sideshow

Video: Bonobo ape lights campfire, cooks hamburgers

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

In this video, a resident of the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa lights a fire and cooks himself a meal while his human handlers watch on:

Kanzi, a 31-year-old Bonobos, also known as the pygmy chimpanzee, reportedly became obsessed with the film "Quest for Fire" at an early age.

"Kanzi makes fire because he wants to," Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, his main handler at the Great Ape Trust, told the Telegraph. "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."

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Kanzi roasts a marshmellow

Of course, there are limits to Kanzi's understanding of fire and cooking. For example, in the video, it's clear that Kanzi understand's Dr. Savage-Rumbaugh's instruction to put water on the fire, but less clear that he understands the reason why. And having grown up in captivity, Kanzi's interests in fire been more recreational than for survival purposes. Instead of using the fire's heat to keep warm or ward off predators, Kanzi seems more interested in cooking hamburgers.

"For now, for Kanzi, fire is about making cooked food, which he enjoys very much," Savage-Rumbaugh said. And for now, even that is well worth watching.

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