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"Chimp TV" Comes to BBC

(Furuvik Zoo)
They may have a ways to go before getting Oscar consideration, but chimpanzees are getting into the film business.

The world's first video shot entirely by chimps is set to air on the BBC Wednesday – the result of studies into primate behavior by University of Stirling primatologist Betsy Herrelko.

According to the BBC, Herrelko introduced video technology to 11 chimpanzees at the Edinburgh Zoo over 18 months. She first trained the chimps to use a video touchscreen to select videos they wanted to watch – with choices including footage of their enclosure and of zoo workers preparing the apes' food.

Then she gave the group a "Chimpcam" – a video camera protected within box. The top of the box had a view finder screen, so the chimps could see what was being filmed.

While the chimps probably didn't actively choose to film a specific subject, the footage may give researchers some insight into chimpanzee perspective.

And the chimps get to make their television debut on their first try, which isn't bad either.

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