Baby and Chimp Reach Out To Each Other (Video)

A video of Mabasu, a 2-year-old chimp, interacting with 6-month-old Preston Little through the glass at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita has gotten over 80,000 hits so far. Preston sits with his grandmother, Cindy Little, as Mabasu tries to make contact; the little chimp and the little boy make eye contact and hold out their hands to each other:

Mubasu also seems to dance and to attempt to lick Preston’s feet.

The New York Daily News notes that, according to a zookeeper, Mubasu was especially glad to encounter someone his size as the next-youngest chimp is his sister, who is 15 years old. Sadly, zoogoers said that Mubasu looked “depressed” after the baby was gone.

The video was first shown on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning of last week.

A neighbor of ours has a grandson who is about a year old; I just learned that among his first words is “Coco,” the name of my neighbor’s little white dog. Animals undeniably have a special hold on young children and young humans hold the same fascination for young animals, too — the video also makes one wonder, would not Mubasu be happier somewhere else, with other chimps his age to interact with?

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Image from a screen shot of a video posted by littlesisblog


Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Carole, if you check the links provided to the zoo, it will clearly show how large the enclosure is where the "baby" chimp is kept. That glass is merely a way to allow visitors to be up "close and personal" with some of the animals. I think you are completely misinterpreting the actions of that chimp. It is not "driven mad by imprisonment" but annoyed as HELL over having another "animal" it's size sticking it's feet against the glass and the chimp is responding with "display" aggression to say, "back OFF, this is my space".

Carole H.
Carole H.4 years ago

I do not find this 'cute' - far from it - I find it heartbreaking to see the absolute frustration of the young chimp with its incarceration behind glass - whether if free it would have attacked the baby or merely played with it is, in my opinion completely superfluous, the real tradegy here is the behaviour of an intelligent being nearly driven mad by imprisonment in an unnatural environment - we fool ourselves and belittle the chimp with attempting to reduce it's behaviour to a sugarcoated 'cuteness' - there is, I repeat, nothing 'cute' going on here.

Sheri D.
Sheri D.4 years ago

Cute. Just don't remove the glass.

Sheri D.
Sheri D.4 years ago

Cute. Just don't remove the glass!

Vasu M.
.4 years ago

John Stuart Mill observed, "The reason for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves— the animals."

In his 1987 book, Christianity and the Rights of Animals, Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest, writes:

"In some ways, Christian thinking is already oriented in this direction. What is it that so appalls us about cruelty to children or oppression of the vulnerable, but that these things are betrayals of relationships of special care and special trust? Likewise, and even more so, in the case of animals who are mostly defenseless before us."

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch4 years ago

The baby chimp goes from being aggressive, to rolling over in a mock play session. Baby chimps, however, are aggressive towards other chimps if not brought up with, or socialized by their mother. I would have to see much more video to make a blanket statement regarding it's actual behavior, whether it is play, or aggressive.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Look again, Sue. He's banging very aggressively with the BACKS of his hands. He wasn't reaching out. Watch "Escape to Chimp Eden" will show how chimps "display" like that and it's aggressive, not merely wanting contact. If he'd reached out with palms up and using the tips of the fingers, that would be far different. That is not what I saw.......I saw aggressive BANGING and kicking with one foot and very hard, against the glass. Until I watched the video, I didn't realize how much of a "dingbat" Grandma was coming across as being, but she seemed to be encouraging that baby to reach out to the chimp. I'm betting the chimp took the baby's behavior as threatening (harrassing) and was showing dominance. That's what chimps do. Last night on "Chimp Eden", one of the workers had her hand grabbed by a youngser and one finger bitten completely off when she merely tried to "interact" when the chimp "reached out" thru the bars of her enclosure and at the time, the chimp had shown no signs of aggression. Eugene carries a tazer and a gun with him when he's loose with the chimps, even though he's an expert on their behavior. He respects their power, even the infants.

Sue Griffiths
SUE Griffiths4 years ago

I thought that the chimp banging on the glass wasn't aggressive but desperation to have contact with a little friend. Zoos are such sad unnatural places.

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Just scrolled down far enough to read Alison's post.......yes, I agree with you, Alison. Much of that young chimp's behavior was aggressive and what Eugene on "Chimp Eden" refers to as "displaying".