Conservation & environment

PRIMUS LOSES ALPHA STATUS…a ‘chimpolitics’ update

08 January 2020

A Mahale chimpolitics update from our guide Butati Nyundo.

Read the report from Butati and the team below...

"PRIMUS has finally lost his Alpha Status of the M Community of chimpanzees, in late December 2019. We gave ourselves some time to get a clear picture before before confirming this big news. For a number of months he has been avoiding the main group leaving Michio to be in charge of the group. His condition deteriorated more in the last two weeks of December and he also sustained some wounds that continued to weaken him. He started to be submissive to the current two most energetic males (Michio & Teddy) which clearly signalled his loss to the position held by him for 7 years since 2012.

So, who is Alpha now?

MICHIO who held the number 2 status for the past 6 months of PRIMUS' reign, has taken charge of the M community as an Interim Alpha.

What's our verdict?

MICHIO will hold the Throne for a period of between 2 to 5 months. He may even stay longer than that but it is very unlikely as he isn't a commanding enough authority as a top male, despite being acknowledged by many as the One. He also isn't putting enough pressure on PRIMUS to make sure he doesn't think of regaining his lost status once his poor health is improved.

TEDDY still is the potential male to take over as long term Alpha. He now still is nursing a disturbing wound on his foot, possibly sustained from the fights that lost PRIMUS his Alpha Status. Once he fully recovers he will take his chances. He still holds the majority support from both males and females, and of course us too ��. PRIMUS himself seems to favour Teddy more than Michio. And, it also seems that Michio understands the threat that Teddy poses to him as he avoids him in many occasions.

What do we think of PRIMUS?

As it stands things are not that bad for PRIMUS. He has reluctantly accepted his defeat and lucky for him he has not been ostracised or forced into exile. This helps him a lot as he can still monitor how things progress with the top two battling males. Although, this could become his own setback as his rivals keep a close eye at every of his move. If he manages to recover in time while the two top competing males are yet to sort out who is on top, then he stands a chance to regain his lost Status."

What a Way to Begin The New Year!?

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