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Meet the Chimp That Learned to Build Fires After Watching TV


"Kanzi makes fire because he wants to."

Researchers at the Great Ape Trust have found Kanzi, a bonobo, unlike other chimpanzees they are observing. He has an obsession with building fires.

Ever since he watched Quest For Fire, which he has seen more than 100 times, Kanzi has learned to successfully perform tasks to help build fires.

The Daily Mail reports Kanzi is one of eight pigmy chimpanzees being researched by Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh with the Great Ape Trust, in Des Moines, Iowa. Savage-Rumbaugh says that other chimps she has studied have tried to make fire, but none have been as successful as Kanzi.

Watch Kanzi help crack sticks, build, light, roast marshmallows and snuff out the fire:

Savage-Rumbaugh, who was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, is studying the animals to learn more about early human learning and believes Kanzi building fire is a sign of a greater intelligence. The Daily Mail reports that Kanzi is one of the more intelligent apes being researched at the Great Ape Trust. He has learned to communicate with researchers using pictures that he points to on a keyboard, knowing more than 500 words. Researchers believe he can understand more than 3,000 word spoken to him.

Here's Kanzi showing off his lexicon skills a few years ago:

Kanzi shows how he understands sentences in this clip:

The scientists make sure to supervise Kanzi when he is building fires for his safety. According to the Great Ape Trust, Kanzi and other bonobos were recently filmed for a BBC documentary called "Animal Einsteins," tentatively scheduled to air in 2012 in the U.K. and at a later date in the U.S.

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