Rocky

2017: Orangutans have learned to box.

 

The ring opened in 2004 and continues at  Safari World animal park in Thailand. Orangutans are among the most intelligent and gentle apes but we can train them to entertain people with aggressive fights people do to others.
Boxing is difficult for the urangutan. There is, however,  a mostly forgotten and denied, enormous tradition of training chimpanzees in early 20th century America.

The wonderful Oofie, for example, has unbelievable balance! And that’s not all he can do, not by a long way. He is famous for “riding a unicycle backwards; jumping a rope on stilts; driving a jeep; operating a motorcycle; jumping hurdles on roller skates.” (postcard, c1950)

Oofie
Oofie. Acrobat and much more. Postcard, c1950

It’s an astounding accomplishment both for the trainer and for the captive chimpanzee. Why we train anthropoids to imitate (and supersede) human stunts is much more astounding.

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