Thought piece: Countdown to Heston

Big news in the Netherlands recently was the escape and rampage of Bokito, gorilla resident at Blijdorp zoo. He leapt a wall, swam a moat and all but jumped on horse back to escape. Once out, he grabbed a woman and dragged her around the zoo. He was soon caught and sympathy for the poor animal has been rising since it emerged the same woman used to come into the zoo very often and taunt the gorilla. As the zoo keepers pointed out this was a warning as otherwise she'd be in several pieces and her bones used for toys by the young gorillas. So far from putting Bokito down as some people have called for (including the woman herself), I hope that the woman is banned from every zoo, safari park and pet shop in the world. Not that she has much inclination to go now.

This morning, there was news that in Taiwan a 19-year-old orang-utan has also escaped. I don't want to be alarmist, but do I need to remind you that this is EXACTLY HOW THE PLANET OF THE APES STARTED! If we don't watch out, in a few years, the highest form of life on the planet could be Charlton Heston, currently president of the National Rifle Association.

Meanwhile for decades scientists have been teaching chimps sign language. Good God, People! How long before they start talking, sounding like Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter, and riding horses? And I honestly thought it would be the Triffids that got us.