20. New Chimpanzees
Just like in human culture, animal culture can be a bit intense in regards to the treatment of individuals who have a “different” appearance. If an animal appears to be abnormal, many times they will be rejected by their herd, pack, or group. When one zoo received a new chimpanzee in their enclosure who wasn’t quite like the others, they became concerned…
Regardless of their fears, the zookeepers knew the introductions had to happen, so they nervously watched as they intermingled. In the worst case scenario, the introduction could end violently…
18. Twycross Zoo
Twycross Zoo in Atherstone, England, is home to many primates. The zoo has rather large enclosures for their many primates and is known for having a large population of Gibbons. However, two of the Zoo’s chimpanzee’s quickly stole the show…
17. Jambo And Mongo
Jambo and Mongo are the two chimpanzee’s who caught everyone’s attention. The pair was filmed and their video went viral, due to their unusual, yet striking appearance…
16. Father And Son
Jambo and Mongo are father and son and are both hairless, giving them their unique appearance. Due to the lack of hair, the skin shows a reddish pigment and their muscles are more defined…
The reason the chimps are hairless is due to a condition that humans can also develop, called alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease which causes hair to fall out creating bald patches. Alopecia can also be inherited, which is true in this case. Jambo passed on the hairless gene to his son, Mongo.
14. Not Alone
In fact, it’s not actually all that surprising to see animals affected by alopecia. Other animals like rats, dogs, cats, and even rabbits have all been seen with some form of the disease. The reason it can be so shocking in chimps is that, without hair, their bodies look even more human-like.
13. The Video
However, it wasn’t just the hairless factor that caused people to pay attention, it was the video that went viral. It appeared as if Jambo and Mongo were in an intense battle with the other chimps…
12. The Attack
At first, the father and son duo seemed to be trying to assert their dominance with a single troop of chimpanzees. After the initial aggression was noticed, all other chimps decided to join in against the pair. It didn’t look good for anyone involved…
11. Intense Violence
As the fight went on, all chimpanzees were in a rage. The duo continued to fight for their right to be there, while the others refused to give in easily. At one point, Mongo and Jambo could be seen beating on the backs of the other chimps, as well as literally jumping on top of them…
10. Victory For The Newbies
Although Jambo and Mongo were the newest members to arrive at the enclosure, they seemed to have won the brawl as they chased their opponents off into the trees. For some, the video was so intense, that they were concerned with allegations of abuse at the hands of the zookeepers. So much so, that the zoo had to release a statement…
9. Not What We Thought
The zoo was horrified at the allegations and wanted to set the record straight. The statement regarded the video, and what was actually going on,“We see that our Chimpanzees Mongo and Jambo have taken the internet by storm! We’d like to clarify, to put all your minds at rest, that this is completely normal behavior”, according to the zoo’s Facebook post in 2014.
8. The Trained Eye
To the normal onlooker, the video may cause you to think there is an intense violent battle going on, but to the trained eye, something much different is going on. The post further explained,“The behavior shown in the film footage was what we refer to as ‘displaying’ rather than fighting. If you watch closely, there was actually very little physical contact”.
7. Chimpanzee Behavior
In fact, the behavior shown in the video is actually quite normal, because of the way in which chimpanzee culture is structured. They live in a hierarchal social structure, where there is one dominant male “leading” the troop. He not only makes final decisions about most social issues, but he must have a following that supports him.
6. Say What?
What’s interesting about a chimpanzee community, is that the dominant male isn’t necessarily the biggest, or strongest. Research suggests that the most manipulative and political male may take control, as he is most likely the smartest. After a dominant male is established, the lower-ranking chimps will show respect with their body language…
5. Complicated Relationships
In fact, relationships in the chimpanzee world are actually quite intricate and complicated, as many form bonds, friendships, and allyships for many different instances. These relationships can change and develop over time, much like human relationships. It’s not surprising that Jambo came in strong trying to assert his dominance…
4. Social Structure
In a society that is so focused on social standing, displays of dominance like the one taped are rather usual, as one must keep their spot in line,“Chimpanzees display like [they did on the video] to retain their places in the social hierarchy”. Even female chimps have a hierarchy, which is recognized as food privileges.
3. Alpha Male
The zookeepers also had to inform the public of the roles of the hairless chimps, because to them, it made perfect sense,“It is about intimidating the opponent with lots of noise and bluster instead. They are both very active members of the social group, with Jambo being the alpha male”.
2. Tragedy Strikes
Unfortunately, in July of 2016, Mongo passed away due to complications from an enlarged air sack. Everyone who knew or worked with the chimp was deeply saddened, but maintain that there is a lesson to be learned…
1. We’re All The Same
Although Mongo and Jambo were deemed different by their appearance, the community of chimpanzees they lived with didn’t view them any different than themselves. They lived normal lives within their community and even had vivacious romances. This is something that all humanity can learn from, as it has never been more important to not only treat each other with the utmost respect but to celebrate our differences and not shun them.