4 June 2010

Killer Monkeys

I've been thinking about monkey experiments. What would happen if you gave a .38 to a troupe of macaques?

"As Lionel had expected they were all, especially the young males, intensely curious about the new object in their enclosure. The male they had named Bobby was the one who eventually managed to pull the trigger, blowing a hole in a log and scattering screaming monkeys in every direction. After that the gun lay on the ground and was given a very wide berth by the whole troupe. Eventually though Bobby began playing with it again, at first gingerly, but after some weeks with increasing confidence, until eventually he grasped the fact that if he pulled the trigger then there was a loud, frightening noise, and a piece of the enclosure would explode. Lionel had doubts that Bobby would ever make the conceptual leap that would allow him to aim the weapon, but he was proved wrong one morning when Bobby, trying to mate with one of the females was chased off by Matumbo, the alpha male, and then scratched and bitten when Matumbo chased him into a corner from which Bobby could not escape. Lionel watched, fascinated, as Bobby scampered across the enclosure, picked up the weapon and sat, turning it in in his nimble, leathery hands. Bobby sat for a full minute, rocking, turning the gun, then moved across towards Matumbo, dragging the heavy weapon through the wet grass. Matumbo, seeing his approach, began to go into classic aggressive dominance poses, puffing his chest and baring his teeth.
Bobby lifted the gun, aimed and shot him in the head, then dropped the weapon and ran.
After this horrifying incident the whole troupe ostracised Bobby, who became withdrawn, and refused to eat. Then, 4 days later, one of the immature juveniles picked up the gun, which had lay in the long grass since Matumbo's death, and began playing with it. Curious, he twisted it in all directions while his mother screamed a warning from behind him. Lionel decided the experiment was over when the juvenile sniffed the handle, looked carefully down the barrel and pulled the trigger."

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