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Chimpanzee in Zoo Hurls Rocks at Gawkers

Written by PETA | March 10, 2009
telegraph / CC

In case you needed any more evidence that chimpanzees don’t want to be locked up in zoos, a chimpanzee named Santino in a Swedish zoo has been collecting hundreds of stones to throw at zoo visitors. On many mornings, Santino calmly gathers rocks into a pile, waits until the zoo opens, and then uses them to dispel the crowd of gawkers surrounding his enclosure.

Can you blame him? If I’d been snatched from my family and forced to live on public display, I’d probably start throwing things too. Santino has also been observed tapping on concrete boulders to find weak spots and breaking off loose chunks to add to his arsenal.

Researchers say that Santino is demonstrating the ability to plan and think about the future. We thought this was already obvious, but some people persist in the mistaken belief that animals act only on “instinct,” while we humans always act with intelligence. Well, guess what? Chimpanzees are clearly intelligent, and yet they are still bred and raised to be shown off in zoos, circuses, and other forms of so-called “entertainment.” What will it take for these animals to get the respect that they deserve?

Written by Lianne Turner

Commenting is closed.
  • Eileen says:


  • Chelsea Patterson says:

    Rock on Santino literally! One day they will understand.

  • Joanna says:

    My local news cast used this story and made a joke out it. It was so not a joke to me. Even in this animal’s distress all we can do is laugh at him and wonder….how intelligent he is. Humans are so unkind its stunning.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Perhaps this is Santino’s only form of entertainment…I certainly found it amusing….

  • Lisa says:

    Woohoo! Go Santino! I think it’s awesome that he’s fighting back. It’s a bit worrying what will happen to him if he hurts one of those gawkers or worse yet one of his captors but hey he got the attention of the researchers. And ‘the public’ and proved to them that animals aren’t stupid. Hopefully the humans will be clever enough to stop treating them as if they are soon.

  • anonymous says:

    i remember this monkey at Busch Gardens that looked absolutely miserable…he just sat under this cliff thing with his arms crossed i felt so bad for him

  • Kelley says:

    He is expressing himself perfectly normallyhe has every right to be furious at his imprisonment.

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    Laura When I was little at a local zoo there was a monkey named Barney that would spit at anybody my mother told it to for some reason… was scary…especially considering one time it almost ended up enciting a mob to beat the crap out of my mom. Good times. But yeah monkeys+wildhappy monkey.

  • Laura says:

    I read this in the news this morning too! Why don’t people get that he is throwing rocks because he is pissed he is enclosing in a zoo? I don’t get it.