Yesterday we witnessed something special. Finally the Chimpanzees decided the fruit on the Pseudospondia Microcarpa tree in camp was ready to eat. The first Chimps arrived at 11am, during the day over 30 visited the tree next to our office.
Primus the number 3 ranked male is trying to move up the order and we noticed that he arrived in a separate group to the Alpha male, Pimu. With Primus was Nkombo who was in heat but not receptive to Primus’s advances. Also with Primus were Kalunde ‘the King maker’ and Bonobo the number 4 ranked male. Nkombo is a long time friend of Kalunde and she was hiding behind the old male in order to escape Primus’s advances. Suddenly Primus and Kalunde swung to the ground and started grooming each other. After a lengthy session they started playing, unusual in adult males, and then finally finished with a kiss. When they moved back into the tree Primus approached Nkombo who climbed behind Kalunde again, but instead of defending her Kalunde moved out of the way and let Primus do his thing.
I wonder what was said during their private grooming session?