David Attenborough’s latest nature tour de force ‘Dynasties’ began on BBC 1 over the weekend and the first episode focussed on the chimpanzee dynasty and in particular David, the courageous leader of his troupe who survived a bunch of vicious travels from his riders during the show.
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Sadly though, one of the directors of the Fongoli Savannah Chimpanzee Project named Jill Pruetz, has confirmed that David has been found beaten to death months after the shoot wrapped. Here’s what she said about the situation:
He died from wounds inflicted from what I’m sure are these young males. There aren’t other animals that would have inflicted wounds like that – especially when you have multiple individuals attacking a single individual.
He was very aggressive that’s why he held onto his dominant status for so long.
He was pretty clever but our best interpretation of what happened is that these adult males jumped him.
Jumkin who was a beta male is now the alpha. There’s a huge absence. It’s like more than one chimp is gone.
The dynamic is really different. I imagine Jumkin will be alpha for a while. However, you can see Luther [another beta] already challenging him a bit.
Nobody stays at the top forever hey, especially when we’re running by the law of the jungle. RIP David and thanks for the memories. Hopefully Jumkin can be remembered as as great a leader as him, even though we won’t be able to see it ourselves.
For more of the same, check out this video which shows why you should never get too close to a chimpanzee enclosure. Serious danger.