Visitors at Zhengzhou Zoo in Central China were witnesses of an amazing happening: a cute and smart monkey was using a stone to break the glass wall of the section where it was enclosed.
But, it weren’t just the visitors that were surprised- the Columbian white-faced capuchin was also shocked once it realized what it had done.
However, many visitors were wandering if what the monkey was doing was nothing more than an accident or the monkey pretending to be scared so that they wouldn’t suspect its intentions.
What Does the ZOO Staff Say?
Tian Shuliao, part of the ZOO staff, says that this monkey isn’t like others. This one knows how to use tools and it can even break walnuts. When they give walnuts to other monkeys, they just bite it.
But, the monkey hadn’t been seen breaking the glass before.
However, this is quite a strong glass so the monkey couldn’t succeed even if he tried further. After the monkey’s breaking effort ended, the staff collected the rocks around it and took away the monkey’s ‘weapons’.
Not many Animals Can Use Tools
Believe it or not, only some animals are able to use tools and not all of them are monkeys.
Chimpanzees can use stone tools and can even construct spears to hunt other primates.
Crows are also seen using tools, from their own feathers to twigs. The beloved sea otter used rocks to move abalone shells from stones and to open them up.
Moreover, octopuses use coconut shells as armor.
What Do Experts Think?
Professor Ian. C. Colquhoun from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario explains that the capuchin is using a stone tool to shatter the glass panel, but what shocked him the most was the fact that this is a white-faced capuchin, which to his knowledge, has only recently been seen using tools in the wild.
On the other hand, stone tool usage by the bearded capuchin which is native to northeastern Brazil has been documented and the first reports of using tools to open palm nuts date back to 2004, the professor further explained.
He also added that the tool usage and manufacture among primate species is low. In addition to capuchins, some other monkeys like the crab-eating macaques were observed using tools to open up shellfish.