Hawa heads for the top..

October 21, 2009

Over the years we’ve seen Hawa grow from a shy sub-adult male into a more confident member of the male hierarchy, but he has always been a laid-back easy going individual who with his long limbs and dark face was almost more reminiscent of a bonobo than a chimpanzee. He was still very much dominated by the other young males of his own age such as Squibs and Kato and could often be found hanging out with the younger juveniles.

IMG_2273

The recent increase in hunting over the past 18months revealed another side to his personality; a very keen hunter he was often to be found up in the trees chasing the black and white colobus monkeys through the high canopy. Sadly for him though his low rank meant that even when he caught the monkeys he rarely got to keep any of the meat and instead would spend hours begging for the smallest scrap of bone from the adults.

Whether or not it was this newfound interest in hunting that awakened his competitiveness or whether it was just his ‘time’ a radical change has happened. His body started to fill out and as those long thin arms suddenly bulked up everyone else in the community started to sit up and take notice of just how big a chimp he has grown into. He started to display at everyone apart from the top three adult males and even when the alpha Nick came crashing through with one of his typically boisterous displays sending other chimps scattering, Hawa barely batted an eye-lid. Now having dominated his old rivals such as Squibs and forged new alliances with young females like Nora, he has risen to the 4th ranking position and a couple of weeks ago succeed in holding on to a monkey even when the alpha male Nick started to display at him. At the time Zefa seemed almost to assist him by leaning over him, and while Nick eased off momentarily Hawa seized his moment and took off with the meat. Nick and Zefa were quick to chase after him, pant-hooting and drumming loudly but all to no avail – Hawa was long-gone. We’re sure getting to pick at the choicest bits of his dinner in peace will only encourage him to continue in his new political career!

%d bloggers like this: