It is always difficult to capture wild animal intelligence on film or in actual observation, but it is not impossible nor is it to be consider non-existent. Many times wild animals are caught and nurtured back to health when injured by humans and then set back free, during the minor periods of captivity they are taught new skills. Yet so often once back in the wild they do not teach their local grouping the skill or even their offspring. It does happen and has been documented, but still it is rare.
Much therefore is often hidden from view. And my point being that we do not see this in animals as it is hidden from view as well; Never the less, a study of them up close in the wild is of value. And if an animal is taught a skill by lets say a higher order mammal or being and they have little need for it having evolutionarily already solved that problem in their current living environment or habitat they will lose it if they do not use it and fail to teach it to their offspring as it is not needed.
But if the animal is creative it will take that skill and modify it for some other purpose and that is the point at which you could really say that that Wild Animal Intelligence is more than we think, as they will use the new skill if needed and it comes in handy for a particular purpose and will not use the new learned skill if it is not. And wouldn’t that be the smartest thing to do? Interesting indeed, now let’s take a potential scenario of a new learned skill of a wild animal in captivity.
For instance lets say you teach a Chimpanzee how to mow the lawn, well pretty cool and the Chimpanzee is intrigued by this and gets a kick out of it really, thinking it is funny and laughing at the process, while he or she gets a free banana. When you put them back into the wild let’s say, well there are no CCRs or neighbors telling them to cut the grass.
But perhaps they find a sharp object and think well, there are snakes down there and if we cut the grass back we can see them if they try to sneak up on us. So they cut the grass back. Now to some this may seem like a so what? Yet, in reality it shows quite a bit of planning and adaptation and this is a skill that would be passed on and not the skill of the operation of a modern day lawn mower or push mower, as there are no gasoline stations they can use, no electrical plug ins, no lawnmowers either. So in that regard although perhaps un-noteworthy to some, it is a sign of higher level thought, strategizing and planning, reasoning and creativity to problem solve. Interesting indeed, so consider this in 2006.
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