Tuesday, September 27, 2005


26 September, 2005 (Burundi): Zoologists and anthropologists alike are stunned by a recent discovery in the dense jungles of the Cankuzo region of Burundi. Late last month residents of the region had reported gunfire deep in the jungles near the Tanzanian border. This region has been ravaged by violent conflicts between rival ethnic groups and violent armed gangs for years so it was no surprise to authorities when they learned of a possible training camp hidden in the jungle. The UN operation in Burundi, the ONUB, was quick to dispatch a reconnaissance team. Upon reaching the jungle region the group immediately took on fire. After a short gunfight with hidden assailants lurking behind the trees the UN forces secured the area.
It was after the unit secured the jungle area that they made a shocking discovery: no human bodies were found. Lying next to the still smoking weapons were not militants but a troop of mountain gorillas. After an intensive search it became clear that no militants were in the area and the weapons had been discharged by the gorillas.
Shocked by this discovery, the UN immediately sent for UN scientists and local zoologists and anthropologists. After a search of the surrounding jungle several clues were found. Explorers on scence found what looked to be a cache of German small arms most likely hidden during World War II by German troops fleeing an allied advance. Much of the ammo had been depleted. Also found near the sight was a crashed Cessa loaded with small arms most likely intended to be delivered to local warlords. The conclusion drawn by local researchers is that the troop of gorillas had been in contact with weapons for close to 60 years and that over the past three generations had learned to use them. Researchers are baffled by the gorilla's proficiency with the weapons but believe that they might have been in close contact with human combat and observed how to operate firearms.
American zoologist and gorilla expert Chuck Ng is not too shocked with the findings. "Gorillas can be as smart as a human child," Ng said, "and if kids can watch TV and figure out how to shoot up their school, it is not beyond belief that these magnificent creatures could emulate a human."

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