- Scientists see chimpanzees attack and kill gorillas in the wild
- Two fatalities occurred in 2019 in which two infant gorillas were killed
- The first event lasted 52 minutes and the second 72 minutes
- The second incident also ended with a female chimpanzee eating a dead gorilla.
- Experts say the behavior may be due to food competition
Chimpanzees living in Africa’s Longo National Park in Gabon are attacking and killing gorillas that also call the region home in what researchers say is a first in the scientific community.
A team of scientists from the University of Osnabrück and the Max Planck Institute suggested two deadly attacks The result of animals competing for food is shrinking due to climate change, researchers note. Press release.
Before the fatalities, the researchers observed nine occasions during 2014 to 2018 where chimpanzees and gorillas interacted peacefully and even co-fed in fruit trees.
Harmony came to a screeching halt in 2019, when, on two occasions, chimpanzees formed an alliance and attacked a group of gorillas for a combined 124 minutes, which ended with two dead baby gorillas.
The second encounter ended with a dead, mutilated infant almost entirely eaten by an adult chimpanzee female.
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On two occasions, chimpanzees formed an alliance and attacked a group of gorillas which ended with two dead baby gorillas. And the second encounter (pictured) ended with a dead, mutilated infant almost entirely eaten by an adult chimpanzee female.
Primatologist Tobias Deschner of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology said in a statement: ‘It may be that the sharing of food resources by chimpanzees, gorillas and forest elephants in Longo National Park leads to increased competition and sometimes deadly interactions. Happens also. Between two great apes species.
‘The increased food competition may also be due to the recent phenomenon of climate change and the decline in fruit availability seen in other tropical forests of Gabon.’
The first fatal encounter, which lasted 52 minutes, was observed on February 6, 2019 and was followed by ‘a territorial patrol during which the men infiltrated deep into neighboring chimpanzee territory,’ wrote the study. scientific report.
Image showing a map of where the fatal encounter took place within Africa’s Longo National Park in Gabon
A group of 27 chimpanzees encounters a herd of silverback gorillas, in which the herd of chimpanzees starts screaming and barking at the others.
This appeared to excite Silverback, with one accusing a teenage female chimpanzee and ‘blowing her air out.’
Then, two minutes later, a group of nine male chimpanzees and at least one adult female chimpanzee surrounded the silverback.
The chimpanzees jumped up and down violently and started attacking the silver back Joe eventually survived and returned to his own group.
shortly after Vicious In the encounter, the researchers observed an adult male chimpanzee, named Littlegray, sitting on the ground holding a baby gorilla, which was then observed by three other chimpanzees.
The first fatal encounter (pictured), which lasted 52 minutes, was witnessed on February 6, 2019 and ‘was followed by a field patrol, during which the men infiltrated deep into neighboring chimpanzee territory.
‘Littlegray sniffed the infant, laid it on the ground in front of him, and struck the infant three times with his right hand. At this point the gorilla infant was still alive as small squeaks and whispers could be heard.
5:27 pm [25 minutes since the encounter began], and directly after the distressing tone of the infant gorilla, the whispers of a different gorilla were heard closely,’ the study reads.
The baby was then passed between two other chimpanzees, but at 5:53 p.m. it stopped screaming and scientists saw its little body lying lifeless there.
The second fatal attack, which lasted 72 minutes, was seen on December 11, 2019 Observation teams followed a group of 27 chimpanzees moving across the region.
The researchers wrote in the study, ‘Given the direction and covert behavior of the attendees, including frequent sniffing of the ground and vegetation, a territorial patrol seemed imminent.
The incident began at 12:26 pm, when a chimpanzee named Freddy stopped in his tracks and sounded a loud alarm.
Two minutes later, the chimpanzee saw a rustling tree in which a female gorilla was resting.
When the gorilla saw the chimpanzee down, it began to lick its chest and bark, and in less than a minute, a group of other gorillas rushed to its aid in the tree.
A team of scientists from the University of Osnabrück and the Max Planck Institute suggest that the two deadly attackers are the result of animals competing for food that are shrinking due to climate change.
However, the sight of four gorillas and two infants did not deter the aggressive chimpanzees, who began to climb trees to attack.
All the gorillas managed to escape except for a female and her infant, who started roaming across the tree hoping to escape from their opponents.
‘At 12:50, the gorilla female (AF1) was seen without her infant (I1) climbing a nearby tree, which was witnessed by several chimpanzees (Freddie, Gump, Louis, Mimi, Moana and Thea). She managed to escape through the canopy,’ the study reads.
A minute later, a juvenile chimpanzee named Caesar was seen holding the body of a dead baby gorilla, which had a large open cut in its abdomen and partially protruding intestines.
When the scientist took a closer look at the body, the spotted female chimpanzee was eating small pieces of meat from the ends of the dead baby gorilla.