Watch This Very Smart Ape Demonstrate How to Roast Marshmallows

Ralphie Aversa
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Watch This Very Smart Ape Demonstrate How to Roast Marshmallows

For one very talented ape, having no trainer and no assistance is no problem when it comes to making a favorite fireside snack.

Kanzi the bonobo is not your average animal. The ape knows some American Sign Language, can create stone tools, and apparently cooks. That last trait is highlighted in a viral video from BBC One. The U.K. network's show "Monkey Planet" explores "your animal family as you've never seen it before." In the series, the characteristics that primates share with humans are explored. A shining example comes courtesy of Kanzi.

George McGavin, the host of the show, narrates the video. In the minute-long clip published to the BBC's YouTube channel, Kanzi is shown building a fire. The bonobo breaks debris and wood before piling the pieces neatly. He then lights a match and uses a small branch to ignite the fire.

Presumably it is what happens next that has sparked this video's popularity online. Kanzi proceeds to grab a few marshmallows, place them on the end of a stick, and roast the snacks to near burnt perfection before attempting to take a bite.

Naturally, commenters on YouTube are skeptical, alleging that this is a hoax from the BBC. But Kanzi is no stranger to the media. In 2010, Lisa Ling filed a report for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on the ape. The talk show host and the reporter had a laugh over her findings that bonobos share all types of human characteristics, from the ape sucking his thumb like a baby to acting out sexually in a humanlike fashion. A doctor that Ling spoke with noted it is also not uncommon for bonobos to identify as bisexual.

"Monkey Planet" aired in three parts this month on BBC One. Full episodes are online but available only to U.K. residents. More show clips are available on the network's YouTube channel.