Zoo gorillas have invented a new type of vocalization to communicate with zoo staff. This is stated in a study by scientists from the University of Georgia, published in PLOS One magazine.
Experts conducted an experiment involving eight gorillas from the Atlanta Zoo. The tests were divided into three parts: the first had a worker present, the second had food out of the monkey’s reach, and the third had the caretaker holding the food. It turned out that in the latter case, the animals more often used a sound that is a cross between a sneeze and a cough – the researchers designated it as “hmm”.
The scientists clarified that they received reports of similar cases from other zoos in the US and Canada: a total of 33 gorillas in 11 locations also used the sound “hmm” when they saw an employee holding food. The scientists added that these data are yet to be verified.