Chimpanzees Kill Gorillas For The First Time Without Provocation: Scientists
Chimpanzees were seen killing gorillas in unprovoked attacks for the first time, scientists said.
The deadly encounters between the two species occurred while they were observed in Loango National Park in Gabon, according to a study conducted Monday in the " Nature journal.
In the first attack in December 2019, more than two dozen of chimpanzees went after five gorillas.
"At first we only noticed chimpanzee calls and thought we were observing a typical encounter between individuals from neighboring chimpanzee communities," said said Lara M. Southern, lead author of the study, in "a statement .
" But thenite, we heard chest pounding, a characteristic manifestation of gorillas, and we realized that the chimpanzees had encountered a group of five gorillas.
While the adult gorillas were able to escape, the infant separated from its mother did not survive, the study found.
The researchers said that a similar attack occurred in February 2019 which also left a baby gorilla dead.
In December 2019, more than two dozen chimpanzees attacked five gorillas. LCP figcaption>
But instead of the killed gorilla being left alone, the "infant of the second encounter was almost entirely consumed by an adult female chimpanzee," the study said.
The researchers, who are from Osnabruck University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said the encounters were very different. It depends on how the two species generally interact with each other.
Although both species can be territorial and violent, the fighting takes place almost exclusively within their own species.
The adult gorillas were able to escape the group of chimpanzees, but an infant separated from its mother did not survive. Images / iStockphoto
"Interactions between chimpanzees and gorillas have so far been considered relatively relaxed " said Simone Pika, cognitive biologist at the 'University of Osnabruck, in a statement.
"We have regularly observed the two species interacting peacefully in the trees foraging for food. Our colleagues from Congo even witnessed interactionsgames between the two species of great apes.
The group said more research is needed to determine what is causing the behavior change.
Chimpanzees and gorillas can be territorial, but fierce fighting occurs almost exclusively within their own species . LCP
"Our oObservations provide the first evidence that the presence of chimpanzees can have a fatal impact on gorillas. We now want to investigate the factors triggering these surprisingly aggressive interactions, "said Tobias Deschner, primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in a statement.