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File:Gorilla tool use.png

Description A first time for everything: This adult female gorilla in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, northern Congo, uses a branch as a walking stick to gauge the water's depth, proving that gorillas use tools too. From the magazine: as part of an ongoing study of western gorillas in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, Thomas Breuer, Mireille Ndoundou-Hockemba, and Vicki Fishlock reveal that gorillas are just as resourceful as the other great apes. From an observation platform at Mbeli Bai, a swampy forest clearing that gorillas frequently visit to forage, Breuer et al. observed an adult female gorilla named Leah (a member of a long-studied gorilla group) at the edge of a pool of water, “looking intently at the water in front of her.” Leah walked upright into the water, but stopped and returned to the edge when the water reached her waist. She then walked back into the water, grabbed a branch in front of her, detached it, and, grasping it firmly, repeatedly jabbed the water in front of her with the end of the branch, “apparently using it to test the water depth or substrate stability.” She continued walking across the pool, branch in hand, “using it as a walking stick for postural support.”
Date Published: October 1, 2005
Source Wild Gorillas Handy with a Stick. PLoS Biology Vol. 3/11/2005, e385 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030385
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