Chimps v. Gorillas

I like animals. Some make great pets, some make for great meals, and some are just beautiful and fascinating to watch. In the 3rd category, my favorite animals are the apes. Monkeys too, but monkeys are cute and funny, whereas apes are magnificent, and inspiring. We are descended from apes. Our relation to monkeys is probably a few million years further back.
I could watch documentaries about Orangutans, Baboons, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Bonobos for hours. Chimps, they say, are the most like humans, with something like 97% of our DNA being identical. That’s what makes this recent news so believable, and so disturbing. Recently, two attacks by chimps on gorillas have been witnessed. As far as scientists know, this has never happened before.
Of course, the attacks were by groups of 20-30 chimps, against like 5 or 6 gorillas, but that’s a common chimp tactic. They even mention it in the jungle book, that the other animals all hate them because they don’t fight fair. And one surprising, and rather horrifying, aspect of the attacks was that they drove the adult gorillas off, only to kill (and eat) the infants.
The theories mentioned in the article are global warming, food shortages and habitat shrinkage. I’d like to add one more. Maybe the chimps have started thinking of gorillas as a food source because they’ve evolved, and simply see the gorillas as animals, whereas they, the chimpanzees, see themselves as the dominant, enlightened species. They have developed some primitive tools, and with all the chattering they do it seems they have a rudimentary language (but gorillas surely can’t be far behind them in this), so maybe they have started to think of themselves very much like we humans think of ourselves., and we humans often eat the young of other animals. That’s what veal and lamb are. And eggs. Don’t forget eggs.
In any event, this is something that bears watching. Especially if the gorillas start fighting back.

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