Brutal Footage Shows What Happens When Chimps Turn On Their Leader

Shocking footage from Senegal in 2013 shows a group of chimpanzees brutally attacking and cannibalising a previously respected member of their group.

Whilst there's plenty of footage out there of chimpanzees - one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom - being cute, this shocking footage shows the brutal reality of what these wild animals can be capable of.

Captured in Senegal in 2013, the footage shows what happened when a group of chimps turned on one of their number - an alpha male named Foudouko, who had led the group of around 30 chimps until 2007, before being driven out by a group of younger males.

After spending five years in exile from the group, Foudoukomet a grisly end in 2013, as researchers discovered his dead body covered in bite and scratch marks - suggesting that he had been held down and beaten by chimps from the group he used to lead.

The researchers then observed Foudouko's body being partially cannibalised by his former group. In the gruesome attacks, they ripped out his throat and bit off his genitals. The incident was described in the International Journal of Primatology. This was just the ninth reported case of chimpanzees killing one of their own. 'Killing enemies is pretty easy to explain, but killing your friends is a puzzle…' said anthropologist Michael Wilson from the University of Minnesota.

Whilst chimpanzees are known to be violent, this incident surprised researchers because of the chimps' former ties. Michael Wilson continued: 'Intra-group killing looks like it’s really about reproductive competition, males killing other males. The signals of reproductive competition are really quite abundant; the killings are just an extreme point.'

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