Ugandan researchers rarely witnessed albino Chimpanzee Wild, but a few days before a young monkey dies in the hands of an old chimpanzee in the community.
Scientists described the horrifying encounter in a recent study published on July 16. American Journal of PrimatologyAnd noted that only a handful of non-human primates with albinism have been found in the wild in the past. These included some Toque Monkeys (Makakushinika), Bonnet macaque (Macaque diata) And spider monkey (((Ateles geoffroyi), And among the great people Apes, Albino Nishiroland gorilla (((Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) Once captured in the wild as an infant, it was then kept in captivity until it became an adult.
The only albino chimpanzees reported so far were western chimpanzees (Chimpanzee verusThe name Pinky, who was discovered as an infant and was protected until his unexpected death at the age of nine in the Takugar Machinpanzee Reserve in Sierra Leone. Pinky was collected from the wild in the first few weeks of life, so scientists should observe her interaction with wild chimpanzees. Now, new research gives a unique glimpse into the short life of wild albino apes.
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Albino chimpanzees were found in the population of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) Located in Uganda’s Budongo Central Forest Reserve. At the time of the birth of young chimpanzees in the summer of 2018, the chimpanzee community consisted of about 75 people.
A 19-year-old female chimpanzee, whom researchers called “UP,” is known to be pregnant in January 2018, and on July 15, 2018, she was holding a “white” baby. Was seen. Become a man. Judging by the size of the baby and the last recorded UP sightings, the team estimated that the newborn albino was about two to two and a half weeks old.
In the second half of July 15, two adult chimpanzees encountered UP and an albino baby and began to cry “Alarm Fu and Waabark”. Another male chimpanzee rushed into the area, hearing these fus, barks, and UP screams. He climbed a tree and launched it before he began to bark the alarm clock Fu and Waa.
In the next few minutes, a few more adult chimpanzees entered the area and joined the turmoil. However, some adult chimpanzees remained quiet, simply watching UP and the toddler carefully. A calm person approached UP with his hand and reached out. At some point, UP was invisible in the dense bushes, with the baby clinging to his chest and running up to the tree, staying there for a while and then descending. That morning, researchers found her and her baby several more times. At one point, an adult man said, “When UP and the baby met at close range (perhaps unexpectedly), they screamed Tantram.”
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Just a few days later, on July 19, the young chimpanzees came to an end.
Early in the morning, Bosco Chandia, a field assistant at the Budongo Conservation Field Station, and Mael Lulu, a researcher at the Field Station and the University of Zurich, came across a horde of chimpanzees erupting in a chorus of Fu, Warburk, and screams. .. The sound of physical attacks and the screams of toddlers drifted from the bushes, but the team was unable to see the individual chimpanzees involved in the encounter.
Soon, a man known as “HW” emerged from the vegetation, hugging an albino baby in his chest. The baby’s left arm was missing and the wound looked fresh. Six adult chimpanzees of various ages and three young chimpanzees followed HW, and researchers found UP in the herd. When he climbed the tree, picked up the baby and “started to bite the baby’s fingers, legs and right ear,” everyone was producing waa bark at HW. At this point, UP was chased from the party by one of the adult men.
A few minutes later, an adult woman took the baby out of the HW and other chimpanzees began to bite their limbs and head while sniffing. The woman then wrote, “Because the baby remained silent and stopped moving after being bitten, he repeatedly bit the baby’s head, apparently killing him.”
After the baby’s death, an adult male covered the branch with a corpse. During the next few hours, 10 chimpanzees approached the body, sniffed, examined, and sometimes cared for and stroked dead babies. Eventually, the chimpanzees left and the team found that the baby’s skin, hair, and eyes lacked pigmentation and gathered their bodies for autopsy. A 4.6-pound (2.1-kilogram) chimpanzee suffered “serious injuries” such as deep crevices in the head and cracks in the skull, revealing damage to the underlying brain tissue.
Reflecting the community’s reaction to albino chimpanzees, the authors said that “the initial reaction of community members to infants seemed different from the typical situation in which chimpanzees first encounter women and newborns.” ..
Chimpanzees usually respond to their curiosity about newborns by touching and caring for their babies, as well as their mothers. Occasionally, chimpanzees can react with excitement and aggression, especially in communities where infanticide is common, but the apparent fear reaction to newborns is “abnormal.” The group’s method of examining post-mortem albino babies was also unusual. Infant mothers and relatives can usually take care of their bodies after being killed, but in this case, when the carcass is carefully inspected, the chimpanzee recognizes it as a new object, or at least as an out-of-area individual. I found out that there is. , The author suggested.
The white color of the chimpanzee was also a bit like the color of the black and white colobus monkeys (Korobus Guereza), Prey on spare prey with chimpanzees. The baby’s “prey-like” color, combined with a chimpanzee-like odor and appearance, “could explain some individuals’ behavior towards the baby.”
Of course, “it is impossible to draw a firm conclusion from this one observation,” and because this particular chimpanzee community has a history of infanticide, young men may have been killed “regardless of appearance.” there is. I have written. Pinky, a captive albino chimpanzee, has lived with other chimpanzees in the Takugarma Chimpanzee Reserve for some time, but the official account for her introduction to the group has not been published. Therefore, it is unclear whether this community’s reaction to albino babies can be considered typical or strange.
Originally published in Live Science.
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