Canon EOS 30 D; 70-200 mm f/2.8 L with 2X Ext.
A male silverback gorilla or Lowland gorilla.
Lowland Gorillas are highly Intelligent. Many gorillas have been observed exhibiting behaviors which require a high degree of intellegence. One example is a female gorilla exhibiting tool use by using a tree trunk as a support whilst fishing. The skeleton of a gorillas are closely related to humans and are considered highly intelligent. A few individuals in captivity, such as Koko, have been taught a subset of sign language.
The following observations were made by a team led by Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society in September 2005. Gorillas are now known to use tools in the wild. A female gorilla in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo was recorded using a stick as if to gauge the depth of water whilst crossing a swamp. A second female was seen using a tree stump as a bridge and also as a support whilst fishing in the swamp. This means that all of the great apes are now known to use tools.
In September 2005, a two and a half year old gorilla in the Republic of Congo was discovered using rocks to smash open palm nuts inside a game sanctuary. While this was the first such observation for a gorilla, over forty years previously chimpanzees had been seen using tools in the wild, famously ‘fishing’ for termites. It is a common tale among native peoples that gorillas have used rocks and sticks to thwart predators, even rebuking large mammals. Great apes are endowed with a semi-precision grip, and certainly have been able to use both simple tools and even weapons, by improvising a club from a convenient fallen branch.