Bossou the 9-year old Chimpanzee in Dublin zoo has become a celebrity overnight due to a random act of kindness.
He spotted a nest of ducklings at the side of the lake surrounding Chimp Island in the zoo and thinking that they were in danger, he scooped them up and cradled them until zoo officials realised what was going on. He cared for them until he was persuaded to swap them in exchange for some bananas.
The ducklings are now being looked after by the DSPCA and Miriam Kerins of the Communications and Public Relations Department had this to say,
“This large chimpanzee, who was a male, cradled the ducklings, looked after them and minded them, thinking they were in danger […] I think it’s so touching.”
This isn’t an unusual occurrence however. Chimps have been known to often care for other young animals, even from other species. It is an act known as altruism, which means that the animal will exert itself to care for another without any gain from their efforts. Up until recently, scientists had believed that this was just a human characteristic, but studies have proven otherwise.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons