, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 319–330

A case of offspring desertion by a female chimpanzee and the behavioral changes of the abandoned offspring

  • Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa
  • Toshikazu Hasegawa

DOI: 10.1007/BF02380955

Cite this article as:
Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M. & Hasegawa, T. Primates (1988) 29: 319. doi:10.1007/BF02380955


In the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, a chimpanzee mother moved to a neighboring unit-group leaving her 5-year-old son behind in the original group. The mother remained in the new group for ten months and then after conceiving, returned to the original group. The mother and son were reunited again but the son died of illness two months later. The mother gave birth to a baby in the original group but eventually transferred to the neighboring group after that baby disappeared. This is the first record of an immature chimpanzee abandoned by its emigrating mother, although a similar phenomenon has been reported for gorillas and Hanuman langurs. The abandoned offspring followed an adult male of the unit-group and the male was the individual who gave most of the care to the offspring. The offspring's time spent on grooming others increased, the time spent on being groomed decreased, and the rate of aggression toward him increased after his mother's desertion. This report will occasion to reconsider the previous notion of all-powerful mother-offspring bond in chimpanzees.

Key Words

Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes Orphan Female transfer 

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa
    • 1
  • Toshikazu Hasegawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, Faculty of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTeikyo UniversityHachioji, TokyoJapan

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