In an unprecedented case of the animal kingdom mimicking international politics, a group of chimpanzees have overthrown their tyrannical leader “Saddam.” While it’s rare for chimps to kill one of their own, apparently this alpha male had it coming for the brutal oppression of his clan.
But what’s most shocking, is what they did with his body…
Here’s the scoop from National Geographic:
It was a grisly sight: a murdered chimpanzee, his body beaten, bloodied—and partially cannibalized—by members of his former social group.
Researchers who found the gruesome scene in Senegal in 2013 knew that chimpanzees are no strangers to lethal violence. At every chimpanzee site that’s been studied for more than a decade, scientists have observed conflicts that end in death.
The incident—described in January in the International Journal of Primatology and whose aftermath was caught on video—is just the ninth recorded case of a chimpanzee community killing one of its own.
And here’s more from the New York Post:
A tribe of chimpanzees killed and cannibalized their former leader — nicknamed Saddam for his “imperious air” — a rare incident possibly motivated by sex.
“It was striking,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Jill Pruetz, director of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project, which released disturbing video footage of the incident.
In the 54-second video, the dead chimp, identified as a 17-year-old male named Foudouko, is dragged around like a rag doll by his hungry comrades, who turn him into Sunday dinner, feasting on his torso and limbs, the footage reveals.
The primates finish off the attack by pounding his corpse with rocks and sticks.
Foudouko was considered an alpha male who was known as “somewhat of a tyrant” among the other apes, the researchers noted. But he lost power when his second-in-command, Mamadou, was injured.
Chimps will attack rival tribes, but it is uncommon for them to attack members of their own social group, the researchers noted. Pruetz said Foudouko’s killers could have been motivated by sex, with one theory being that the ex-alpha male approached a female chimp in heat.
Here’s the shocking video!
Were you shocked by the chimps in the video?