Are These Chimpanzees Using Insects as Medicine?

In 2019, Alessandra Mascaro, a research assistant at the Loango Chimpanzee Project, was filming the chimps for fun when she saw a female named Suzee grab a mysterious speck out of the air and hold it to an open wound on her son’s foot.

“It was very difficult to understand what was going on, because it’s something very quick and was never observed before,” says Mascaro, who works at the Loango National Park in Gabon, Africa. And even worse, the images weren’t very high resolution; to avoid influencing the wild animals’ behavior, her footage had been taken dozens of feet away, and her view was obstructed by nearby brush.

“We weren’t

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