Natasha

From Academic Kids

Natasha is a macaque at the Safari Park zoo near Tel Aviv, Israel. Macaques usually ambulate by alternating between walking upright and walking on all four limbs.

Natasha had caught a serious stomach flu that almost killed her. She recovered after receiving intensive care treatment, and while her other behaviour remained normal, she began walking erect solely on her hind legs, which gained her immediate media attention; the Maariv daily newspaper showed a picture of her striding through the grass, with the tongue-in-cheek caption "The Missing Link?".

The zoo's veterinarian, Yigal Horowitz, remarked: "I've never seen or heard of this before... One possible explanation is brain damage from the illness."

New York commentator Charlotte Stoudt mused that the Israeli monkey's stance should be regarded as a silent protester's political statement urging for revival of the stalled Middle East peace talks, and for further evolution, while she (more seriously) continued, that the macaques (which are genetically near to humans) show some social behaviour we might still be able to learn from, despite the fact that they have only a plum-sized brain.

External links

  • AP (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UPRIGHT_MONKEY?SITE=VAFRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT) (Dan Waldman: "Monkey Apes Humans by Walking on Two Legs" – 2004-07-21)
  • NPR "All Things Considered" (http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=3613530)
    (Charlotte Stoudt: "Israeli Monkey's Lessons in Evolution" – audio – 2004-07-23)
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