Wamba Diary #7
“Who run the world?” I don’t know why but that song came to my mind after what just happened. It was the afternoon and the bonobos got excited because they discovered a place full of bimbo (big fruits resembling somewhat to jackfruits). They were feeding noisily, showing their appreciation for these treats when the yummy grunts transformed into screams –very strident and long screams. A fight had occurred and from a distance, it was difficult at first to understand who was suffering from the attack but quickly we could see a group of females taking over one individual. Jiro, a young adult male, was on the ground, bitten by females while other males were surrounding the scene from nearby trees, vocalizing without intervening. It was a long and very loud attack, quite scary actually. I was thinking they were going to kill him when suddenly Jiro escaped and ran away, the females after him and the males left behind. We approached the crime scene and found some blood on the ground. So, even if Jiro escaped, he was probably injured. After the attack, the group split into two parties: Jacky, Jiro’s mother, plus her offspring and Kiku with other females as well as their offspring. Jiro disappeared. He was spotted the next day ranging alone. I saw him two days later avoiding the group and licking a wound on his forearm. He seemed ok. Since then, both parties join at times but Jiro keeps his distance. So, to answer Beyonce’s famous question: in bonobo society, females run the world. They share power while males’ social rank depends on the status of their mothers. When I asked the trackers their opinion on what happened, they said that Jiro is often seen displaying and provoking the rest of the group. He did so just before the attack and that time was probably too much for the females…
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