Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Ape That Cried "Fire!"

Now that we have a gorilla in the house, I'm very interested to see what kind of problems they cause, and what is the correct discipline for them.

Here's an interesting story: Panbanisha the bonobo (pictured at left)pulled a fire alarm at her facility. The fire fighters arrived to discover a serious lack of fire. Panbanisha was promptly scolded, and the facility is now putting covers on all their fire alarms to prevent the apes from pulling the alarms.

My response: Well, I think that scolding the ape afterwards is much less effective than a little education on the front end. They should teach the apes that it's okay to pull the fire alarm, so long as there is actually a fire. Boy will those researchers feel stupid if a fire comes in the night, and when they get there in the morning they find this charred ape carcass right by the alarm, but its poor ape fingers couldn't lift the cover to call the firefighters.

Education is the key here. Unlike stupid robots, apes can be taught these things.