Chimpanzee power struggle


It’s been 6 months since the community on Ngamba Island lost their leader, Mika. This left a vacuum that has to be filled. Therefore through this time we have witnessed a series of changes in the group. We now bring you the top contenders for the position and their tactics 


Eddy at one time led the group before Mika overthrow him. He now wanted to have a comeback. This has not been welcomed by the other adults. He has counteracted the rejection by forming an alliance with Maisko but it has turned out to be a wrong move as the latter is weak.

Kisembo showed interest for the top position from the beginning.  He is so determined, strong and clearly shows intentions. However his alliance with the big males is still not good. Whenever he tries to display he is checked by Maisko. This, and the fact that he is not rallying for support from other chimpanzees puts him at a lesser advantage over others.


Kalema was excited about the opportunity of taking charge in the first few days. However, he is still failing to get that command. He displays around and also has the support of a number of chimps but he gets distracted by his love for food. Feeding time comes with an opportunity to display and take charge but Kalema most of the time cares less on calming the chimps and instead draws his attention to collecting food. Nonetheless, he is generally respected by the group and often gets submission calls when he is in vicinity.

Umutama on the other hand is at a higher advantage because he has a good relationship with high ranking chimps such as Eddie, Tumbo, Robbie and Maisko. When he displays he gains more respect. We have also noted that when he is displaying, the other low ranking chimpanzees get out of his way and no one dares to challenge him. Recently he has shown a lot of dominance.


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