Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Primus Era

After a power vacuum that lasted nearly 11 months, following the murder of alpha male Pimu last year Oct, it seems that Primus has started his reign as the alpha male. However, his alpha position is still different than that of his predecessors.

Primus walks into Greystoke camp 7th Sept

As power often has shifted between Alofu and Primus during the past 11 months, it’s certainly safe to say that Alofu is not alpha male. Primus – who is physically the fittest – challenges other males and keeps coming out as the winner. But for all the respect he now enjoys in the male corners of M group society, Primus misses the vital support from the other corner; the females.

Wakusi (left) gets groomed by her son Alofu, who is the powerful the nr 2.

The females of M group - lead by strong individuals such as Wakusi, Gwekulo and Nkombo - seem not to accept Primus in the nr 1 position. Although physically Primus might be the alpha without question, this is a force in play that he will need to watch. It seems the main reason for the females to oppose his rule is because of Primus‘s aggressive behavior. That is towards other chimpanzees, both male and female.

Kalunde oversees the grooming party, close to the Greystoke's guestrooms.

So, the fact is that Primus rules a rather large social unit of approx 60 chimpanzees without outright female support. If he is up to the challenging task we’ll have to see. Some of his competitors have already successfully reigned as alpha male for many years; Kalunde, Alofu, Fanana. Therefore Primus can be sure that if he lets his guard down, someone will try step in. 

The new alpha male, Primus

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