Chimps in Guinea rainforests (Western Africa) are learning to set off traps intended for them by hunters, without getting caught or injured. Hunters set snares and traps for the chimps to capture and kill them to eat or sell in the bushmeat trade.
Japanese researchers Gaku Oshashi and Tetsuro Matsuzawa followed wild chimps in Guinea observing them both break the traps and set them off without getting caught in them.
The traps to capture the animals are often made of a wire loop and resemble a noose.
These particular chimps appear to have learned which parts of the snares are dangerous and how to avoid them. Mr. Ohashi said, “This is the first report of chimpanzees breaking snares without injury.” (Source: BBC News) Their research study is titled, Deactivation of Snares by Wild Chimpanzees and was published in the journal Primate. Chimpanzees and other primates are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, and the bushmeat trade which is killing many of them.
Image Credit: Kabir Bakie