What happens when a wild animal sees itself in a mirror for the first time? French photographer Xavier Hubert Brierre decided to find out by setting up a giant mirror in several locations in the wilds of Gabon, Africa.
He and his wife then attached a camera trap on a nearby tree to capture the amusing reactions from the wild animals. This is what they saw, courtesy of Caters News Agency:
When approaching the mirror, a baboon was scared off by its reflection. A group of chimpanzees stared at the mirror and seemed to figure out they were looking at themselves. A gorilla attacked the mirror and went off in a huff. A leopard pawed at the mirror and another bellowed a deep growl.
“I had to wash the mirrors on which leopards and monkeys left greasy streaks,” Brierre told Caters News. “Myself and my wife spent many long days at the site, often being attacked by different types of fly and bees.”
And it was all in the interest of research while answering the question, what happens when a wild animal sees itself in a mirror for the first time? Now we know.
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