Friday, September 15, 2006

Chimp attack: Kanyawara update by Kyleb Wild

Here is a recent message I got from a colleague of mine, Kyleb Wild, who is still with the Kanyawara chimps in Uganda. He is a student at UCSD doing his field research with the Kibale Chimpanzee project on the way females react to male aggression.


From: Kyleb Wild
Subject: Stout

So, the Stout attack. I didn't see it but it happened on Sunday when the stranger chimps were seen around the Karambi-Butanzi area (deep insideKanyawara territory). James saw unhabitutated chimps chasing, and being chased by, our chimps. On Monday the field assistants found Stout, and he was all ****ed up. Damage to his ears, forehead, hands, arms, and feet were visible. He spent most of the day on the ground, was not seen to eat, and some ofthe other chimps peered at him and groomed him. Somehow the FAs lost him before nesting.

On Tuesday they found him in a Mumisops tree. I saw him that day. He ate fruit for less than five minutes, then spent the rest of the day in a nest trying tokeep the flies off. There were lots of flies around him all day.

On Wednesday I was with Francis when Stout came downfrom the tree and walked for about 20 minutes on theground. He walked slowly but at an OK pace, and all downhill towards the water. We noticed during the walk, and when he was resting at the stream that he smelled really bad - which is why the flies were attracted to him. He drank water and sat swatting flies for a couple hours. Then it started to rain and he moved into very dense THV. We lost him in the combination of huge THV patch and over two hours of heavey rain and hail. He has not been refound yet.

Today (Thursday) the chimps heard the strangers calling from the same area again. They all rushed out of the tree they were in and sat on the ground silently for about half an hour; then they went back to feeding. If Stout is still alive, and the strangers find him, then he is finished for sure.

In other news Aunt Rose and Big Brown dissapeared last week traveling together in a consortship. A couple of days ago Mandella (her son) showed up alone in the big party. I don't know what this means other than: 1) Mandella has finally grown up, or 2) Aunt Rose is dead. Only time will tell.