Kalunde’s dubious habits

06 October 2010

By Paul Siololo - Guide, Greystoke Mahale

Chimpanzees like humans do perform a lot of amusing behaviors. We see them assuming different poses for grooming; bowing to greet as the higher ranking individuals come towards them. But a unique behavior that I have seen is that of Kalunde the oldest Male of the M-habituated Community of chimpanzees feeding on his own feaces. I witnessed this with a group of guests here in Mahale.

We have had a lot of unanswered questions when we saw him feeding on his own feces. Kalunde is the only Chimpanzee seen to do this in the habituated community. We think that he may be behaving in this manner because of his age, 47 years, or there are minerals he could get by doing this. Some think it may be feed scarcity that led him to behave like this.

It will be very interesting to know why Kalunde is the only Chimpanzee who has been seen doing this as far as the trackers, other guides and researchers are aware.

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