Animal protein is back on the menu for the Chimpanzees of Mahale. It’s been many months since we’ve watched the Chimpanzees hunting, possibly due to emotions running on high after Pimu’s demise.
Our guests trekked into the forest after breakfast with an estimated half hour walk to meet the Chimps. They arrived to exciting news from the trackers who had just watched Alofu snatch an opportunistic breakfast in the form of a Blue Duiker. The Blue Duiker is the second smallest antelope in Africa and very fast, it is not an animal the Chimps will pursue on an organized hunt due to its allusiveness.
Alofu being the ultimate politician then proceeded to hand out tasty morsels of meat to almost all of the Chimps with him. The notable exception was Primus who he totally ignored.
This seemed to spark some life into the male Chimpanzees and the real hunt was on. The big males then proceeded to surround a Red Colobus troop high in the canopy. Surprisingly young Orion was at the center and once the Colobus were surrounded he shot up and snatched a young monkey. Darwin then sauntered up and stole the monkey out of Orion’s hands confirming Darwin’s number 3 position within the community. Darwin shared his spoils with 2 girls Canato and Vera, nothing was offered to the males involved in the hunt.
Then moments later the males were off again but this time it was Primus who led the hunt. He wasn’t satisfied with a juvenile monkey, he went for an adult and easily killed it, eating by himself up the tree. When full he casually dropped the half eaten Colobus for the other males to fight over. Interestingly, Alofu sat and watched, not taking part or competing for the scraps.
Many are favoring Primus as the new Alpha male but I’m not so sure yet!
The Chimpanzees are powerful and fast when moving through the trees in pursuit of prey.