Kanzi is a bonobo chimpanzee living at the Great Ape Trust. He was reared in a ‘bicultural’ environment and has an impressive understanding of spoken English.
Kanzi and Panbanisha are the latest in a long line of intelligent apes studied by Dr Sue Savage Rumbaugh, now at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa.
Kanzi was the first of his species to acquire language as children do: by being exposed to it.
As a young bonobo Kanzi accompanied his mother Matata to language lessons and picked up the skills his mother was being taught. He excels in research featuring novel sentences and is also adept at stone tool-making, giving scientists a better understanding of the levels of skill required by our early prehistoric ancestors.