You take a sip of your delicious ski resort coffee, set it down on the outdoor table and walk off to the bathroom. Upon your return, your coffee has disappeared! You have been a victim of one of the Kea’s raids.
The Kea is one of the world’s smartest parrots. Native to New Zealand, the Kea is rarer than the Kiwi yet smarter than the chimpanzee. Keas have been put through hundreds of tests by scientists, testing the limits of their intelligence, cooperation and strength, such as the test represented below. In this particular situation, a kea is challenged with four different tests to retrieve a nut. First it must push a ball down a chute to nock the nut out of the box. Second it must pull a string with the nut tied to it, through a hole in the box’s wall. Third it must open a door and reach inside. Fourth it must nock the nut down with a stick of the correct length.
Together Keas can accomplish great feats of strength. One example of this is removing a car of it’s windshield, simply by chewing away at the rubber seal around it.
Not only are Keas intelligent and cooperative, they also have complex emotions. They have a distinctive call emotionally equivalent to a humans’ laugh, that encourages other Keas to play. When scientists played a recording of a Kea’s laugh for two Keas they immediately began to play wrestle and laugh as well.
In conclusion the Kea is one of the gems of nature. With its intelligence, strength, cooperation, and emotions, the Kea is definitely a masterpiece of creation.