Hoaxes & Rumors

Video of Ape With an AK-47: Real or Fake?

Video of Ape With an AK-47: Real or Fake?

A video shows a group of men who hand an AK-47 to an ape, who then turns the weapon on them. Is this video real or fake?

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It is a promotional video.

The video first appeared in July 2011 as part of the promotion for the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was released on August 5 of that year and starred James Franco.


The film begins with an official-looking title screen, which reads:

R. Wyatt Nov. 08, 2009
Primate Behavior Reference 21 of 27

It also includes “20th Century Fox Research Library.” Note that 20th Century was the distributor of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

A second title reads,

Footage from West African Soldier

A group of soldiers can be seen laughing as a chimpanzee approaches them. After apparently taunting the chimp, one of the men hands the ape his gun. At first the men laugh as the chimp holds and swings the weapon, but when the creature begins firing, the men flee for their lives. The ape then holds the gun over its head in a sign of victory.



Here is the video, entitled “Ape With AK-47” posted on July 6, 2011. The video’s description includes Fandango and Facebook links relating to the film.

2013 Resurgence

The video saw an increase in sharing in late 2013 when a “fact” page posted the video with the following description: “The short film clip shows a chimpanzee coming into a camp with African soldiers who are all holding rifles. Watch the video to know what happens when a gun-toting soldier hands over the AK-47 to the chimp. In a matter of seconds, several rounds have been fired off and everyone has scarpered except for the cameraman who’s now cowering behind a log.” The fact page did not mention that the film was made for promotional reasons.

Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was followed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel which was released in July 2014.

Is it a monkey or an ape?

Some descriptions claim the video depicts a monkey with an AK47, which is inaccurate. This is clearly a chimp, which is an ape. Short explanation: Monkeys have tails, apes do not. 

Bottom Line

The video showing an ape with an AK-47 was released in 2011 as part of the promotion for the film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It does not depict a real event.

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