There are several famous cases of great apes demonstrating a surprising degree of wherewithal in communication and tool use - even monkeys can learn some tool use from each other observationally, even if "teaching" would be an exaggeration.

The ready availability of this information will preclude me from bothering to cite a palate of examples.

Has anyone ever considered, as an experiment, taking such primates which display exemplary tool use in the lab and (at least partially) reintroducing them into the wild and seeing if (perhaps specially crafted) tool lessons learned form us humans propagates among their fellows?

If not, why not?

  • $\begingroup$ Those that exhibit those behaviors are far too valuable to release. Also, biologists never interfere with natural processes if they can help it. E.g. they don't help a severely wounded animal in the wild because that would meddle with the natural order of things. $\endgroup$ – Dan Horvat Jun 7 '14 at 12:17

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