London, Oct 6 (ANI): The 'talking' ape, who has had articles written about him and has even been the subject of a book, recently reached the pinnacle of his packed showbiz career when he became the subject of a feature on Oprah Winfrey's talkshow.
A 29-year-old bonobo, Kanzi is able to understand and communicate with humans and is believed to understand around 450 words-30 to 40 of which he uses on a daily basis.Kanzi has been a celebrity ape since the late 1980s when his astonishing ability to communicate was first discovered.
Oprah Winfrey correspondent Lisa Ling travelled to meet Kanzi at the Trust. On the show she told Oprah that the symbol for 'flood' was not on Kanzi's keyboard .
"So when Iowa was hit by the storm and was flooding, he would point out 'big water'," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
She added: "He had a hard time chewing the kale, so he pointed at 'slow lettuce'."
For the word 'pizza,' he pointed at 'cheese,' 'tomato' and 'bread.'
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh has been teaching Kanzi to 'speak' by pointing at symbols on a computer
Savage-Rumbaugh says she taught Kanzi to communicate the same way she taught her son to speak.
"I just talk to Kanzi like you see me talking now. He just was around me and learned it like a child," she said.
Kanzi is also able to blow up a balloon, demonstrating that he has control over his own breath, something that it was previously believed that only humans were able to do.
The Trust also takes care of Teco, Kanzi's three-month-old son.
Teco's mother passed him to another bonobo, who passed him to Savage-Rumbaugh .
She said: "For all practical purposes, I'm Teco's mother. Teco sleeps right with me. We're in that little room where we watch TV. We each have a futon."
The first ape to be able to show that he truly understands spoken English, Kanzi is also adept at stone toolmaking, helping scientists to better understand levels of skill in our early prehistoric ancestors. (ANI)