Remember playing airplane as a kid with your siblings/parents/besties? You know, where one person would lay on the floor while the other would try to balance on their arms and legs? We all did it, and it turns out apes do too, as this heartwarming footage shows:
Highlighting just how closely related humans are to chimpanzees, a video has emerged showing the magical moment between an adult and an infant chimp, in which the pair appear to be playing the airplane game.
The chimp even steps it up a notch by gently shaking her baby to simulate turbulence. And to top it all off, the pair embrace in a lovely cuddle right at the end.
If that video doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, you’re officially dead inside.
The footage was taken by The Taï Chimpanzee Project (TCP), a research group that has been following a group of chimpanzees for the past 30 years – as you might expect, its members are experts in the animals’ behavior.
The website states: “At present the project is following three habituated neighbouring communities totaling some 100 individuals.
“Each group is followed by a team of several Ivorian field assistants, international research assistants, PhD students and researchers on a daily basis.”
It’s not known whether the chimps are related, and it could be that the adult is simply playing around with another’s baby. Either way, it’s a heartwarming display of affection, one that serves to show the complexity and intelligence of this incredible species.
The footage is made all the more valuable by the fact that chimpanzees are at risk of extinction due to human actions.
As pointed out by WWF: “Chimpanzees have already disappeared from four African countries, and are nearing extinction in many others. Deforestation and commercial hunting for bushmeat are taking a terrible toll on most populations.”
Hopefully the video will remind people of why it’s so important we protect these regions of the world as they face damage from human activity – not just for the chimps, but for every animal that inhabits this planet.
And on a lighter note, we hope the video has reminded you how much fun playing airplane can be, chimpanzee or not.