It seems that most animals run away or avoid fire at all costs. This is especially apparent during wild fires. Humans, obviously, have figured out how to use fire as a tool.

Are we the only known species that is capable of manipulating fire? Do chimpanzees, or other primates, learn to approach fire? Are there any known examples of successfully training primates to use fire as a tool?


Primatologist Jill Pruetz at Iowa State University in Ames was observing savanna chimpanzees in Senegal and found that chimps there have mastered the first step in controlling fire.

However there is this article from worldnewsdailyreport.com, which talks about a group of chimps in the Congo mastering the use of fire through experimentation and observation.

The BBC also had a documentary called Monkey Planet which showed a bonobo chimpanzee in a zoo in Illinois building a fire, lighting it using matches, and toasting marshmallows on it.

  • $\begingroup$ Fascinating. The worldnewsdailyreport.com article seems a bit suspect, but the others are very interesting. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Justas Oct 4 '16 at 16:06

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