GORILLAS who display signs of human-like emotions and reasoning are still no closer to building a Delorean that can travel through time, experts have claimed.
Work on the 'Project Lightning' experiment began in July 2003, after one of the large males at London Zoo got hold of a model of the car from Back To The Future that had been dropped into his pen, and began to assemble a crude mock-up of the exhaust manifold using twigs and excrement.
But project director Dr Andrew Mellor yesterday spoke of his anger at having his hopes raised by the disappointing primates.
He said: "We played them the movie, which they seemed to love, and it appeared that most of them understood the basic principles involved in using a lump of Plutonium to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity required to send an 80’s sports car back to 1955.
"One of them, a large silverback called Basher, even started to urinate into his own mouth – something he only does when he gets very excited.
"We sat the gorillas down in a specially designed pen full of car parts, wires and bits of old washing machines and stuck a whopping great poster of the car on the wall.
"I turned to the animals and repeated ‘you must build this’ three or four times in a very clear and coherent tone so there’s no way they could have misunderstood me."
But zoo curator Dr Sarah Johnson said: "Since 2003 we've spent almost £3.5 keeping them up to date with tools and the latest literature on the space/time continuum but they clearly have even less knowledge on how a flux capacitor works than the crested macaques.
"They're all going back to their enclosures and if any of them start asking for extra bananas to power the car's 'Mr Fusion' device, I shall taser them."