Vali and Sugrive are both two-year-old chimps living at the Myrtle Beach Safari park. They watch movies as part of their regular entertainment, but Vali and Sugrive don’t really get to go out… Unless it’s for the opening night of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at their local theater, then they get to watch like everyone else.
At the Attendance of the Movie with the Apes, Vali and Sugrive got to “purchase” tickets and sit with nearly 1,000 other moviegoers to see the new film. The two chimps supposedly clapped during lighter sections of the film and turned away from the action sequences and the violence, reacting to the movie as we would.
Check out a video of the chimps’ trip from ABC News below:
As cute as it is, there is a bit of anthropomorphizing going on here–Vali and Sugrive could purchase tickets and popcorn but they wouldn’t understand the concept of commerce, and I’ll wager that the chimps’ reactions to the film were largely random. But seeing two primates share a theater with a thousand of their closest genetic cousins, more or less behaving as we do, is incredible. Though it may only have been an exhibition to get people to a zoo, bringing along Vali and Sugrive is adorable PR that lets us explore and understand our primate brethren.
As the video notes, some viewers weren’t as excited about the ape attendees. Apparently, people asked whether or not the chimps should be watching the film at all, lest they learn “how to take over the world” from Caesar and the other highly intelligent apes. But don’t worry; though science does have some clever ways to make chimps more intelligent, remember that a toddler is smarter than the average chimp.
IMAGES: Myrtle Beach Safari via The Daily Mail