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Chimpanzee Behavior
Hunting & Meat-Eating
One of the first and most significant discoveries made by Dr. Jane was that chimpanzees hunt for and eat meat. During her first year she observed an adult male, an adult female, and a juvenile eating what Jane realized was a young bushpig. Before this, it was thought that chimpanzees were primarily vegetarians, eating fruit and leaves and occasionally insects and small rodents. Additionally, chimps hunt, kill, and eat lizards, bushbuck, colobus monkeys, and baboons; the meat of such prey is usually shared.
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Jane's observation:
It happened one morning when Rodolf, Mr. McGregor, Humphrey and an adolescent male were sitting replete with bananas and the baboon troop was passing through the camp area. All at once Rodolf got up and moved rapidly behind one of the buildings, followed by the other three. They all walked with the same silent, purposeful, almost stealthy pace that Figan had shown as he approached the palm tree harboring his intended prey. I followed, but even so I was too late to observe the actual capture. As I rounded the building I heard the sudden screaming of a baboon and a few seconds afterward the roaring of male baboons and the screaming and barking of chimpanzees. Running the last few yards through some thick bushes I glimpsed Rodolf standing upright as he swung the body of a juvenile baboon above him by one of its legs and slammed its head down onto some rocks. Whether or not that was the actual death blow I could not tell. Certainly the victim was dead as Rodolf, carrying it in one hand, set off rapidly up the slope. The other chimps followed him closely, still screaming, and a number of adult male baboons continued to harass Rodolf, lunging at him and roaring. This lasted only for a few minutes. Then, to my surprise, they gave up. Presently, the four chimpanzees appeared from the undergrowth and climbed into the higher branches of a tall tree, where Rodolf settled down and began to feed, tearing into the tender flesh of the belly and groin of his prey. Other chimpanzees in the valley, attracted by the loud screaming and calling that typifies a hunt and kill, soon appeared in the tree, and a group of high-ranking males clustered around Rodolf, begging for a share of his kill. Often I have watched chimpanzees begging for meat, and usually a male who has a reasonably large portion permits at least some of the group to share with him. Rodolf, on the contrary, protected his kill jealously that day. When Mike stretched out his hand, palm upward in the begging gesture, Rodolf pushed it away. When Goliath reached a hand to his mouth, begging for the wad of meat and leaves Rodolf was chewing, Rodolf turned his back. When J.B. gingerly took hold of part of the carcass, Rodolf gave soft threat barks, raised his arm, and jerked the meat away. And when old Mr. McGregor reached up and tentatively took hold of the end of a dangling piece of gut it was only by pure luck that yards of intestine fell into his eager hands and festooned his bald crown and shoulders. Rodolf looked down and pulled at his lost food; the gut broke, and Gregor hurried to a distant part of the tree, where a group of females and youngsters quickly gathered around to beg tidbits from him.

Source: In The Shadow of Man, pp. 199-201.
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