Vicious Chimp Attack

  I remember sitting in my physical anthropology class about a year ago listening to the professor lecture on how chimps have been documented to systematically kill off the males in rival groups.  This led to a nice little lecture on how violent the little critters actually are, cute faces and diapers aside.  I was reminded of this fact yesterday, after reading of this attack.

St. James Davis lost all of his fingers, an eye, part of his nose, cheek and lips and part of his buttocks while visiting his pet chimpanzee, Moe, at an animal sanctuary in Kern County.

They forgot to mention that he had a good part of his ‘nads chewed off as well. I’ve taken primate evolution and physical anthro, and learned about how strong and territorially defensive chimps are, but still ooohed and aahhhed and the zoo.  The next time I take my niece to the zoo, I’m not sure if “they’re so cute and look so human!” is the thought that will cross my mind.


19 thoughts on “Vicious Chimp Attack

  1. Damn, I used to think Lancelot Link was cool.  Makes you wonder, though, if the chimps comment to each other how cute and ape-like humans seem.

  2. Yeah, Shana, I agree.  On my better days I like to think we evolved quite well. On my worst days I think that the next Extinction-Level-Event is long overdue; that the cockroaches should inherit the earth.

  3. Yep.  Nature is Not Necessarily Nice.  Cultural restrictions and augmentations of human nature are a double-edged sword- on the one hand, we have lower murder rates than chimps; on the other, as shana points out, we’ve got bombs and landmines, not to mention the capability to render the Earth unliveable for anything but grass and cockroaches.

    To be fair, it should be pointed out that the other great apes are pretty peaceable.  I had a memorable experience once with an orangutan- a friend of mine who worked at the SF Zoo let us in after hours, and I had my fingernails cleaned thoroughly but gently by an orang who could have easily taken my hand off at the wrist.

  4. “We know that one of the most reliable predictors of increased male aggression is the presence of sexually receptive females,” said Jeffrey French, a psychobiologist who studies primate behavior at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

    Yes they sound exactly like human males to me hehehe!!! wink

  5. Uh, Serai, I agree, except that your “hehehe” is unwarranted.  Human males are primates too, for good and ill.

  6. Ah.  In that case, Serai, your “hehehe” is warranted.  It’s good to be able to maintain a sense of humor about what ails us.

  7. It’s good to be able to maintain a sense of humor about what ails us.

    I concur, with a caveat lest “a sense of humor” evolve into “acceptance”.

  8. Fair enough, although I can think of a chemical intervention towards aggressiveness that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of; it’s administration looks a lot like what you’re doing in your avatar, zilch.

    Just kidding kids

  9. I’m with you there, Ulfrekr.  You’re not the first one to allude to what we’re alluding to, but as I’ve pointed out before, the volume of air in the piece of kelp I’m holding places severe constraints on its alluded usage (allusage?).  wink

  10. I really liked your orangutan story, zilch.  I like it in general that other primates groom each other.  More humans should do that.

  11. Yes, shana, I found it very moving that this orangutan, who didn’t even know me, who was jailed for life for the crime of being wanted to entertain other primates, would go to the trouble.

    That same evening at the zoo, I also wanted to play with the chimps, but my zookeeper friend Lisa told me that if they liked me they might not let me out.  Once she was detained for several hours by a chimp who gently but firmly held her by the wrist before finally being lured away by the promise of a banana.  I guess we were both lucky.

  12. I like it in general that other primates groom each other.  More humans should do that.

    Every time I try, I get slapped…

    Well, not every time……..

  13. KPG:  get a job as a hair stylist or other spa technician.  That’s how we sublimate our grooming urges these days.

  14. Even as a child I was afraid of chimpanzees, i never thought they looked cute, more evil, black/brown eyes, horrible stares………..yuk
    they are evil and never to be trusted

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