Responses to a stranger mother-son pair in the wild chimpanzee: A case report
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A stranger mother-son pair of the chimpanzee was observed twice interacting with conspecifics of a neighbouring unit-group: first, when the mother and son accidentally encountered them within the core area of the former; second, when the mother and son temporarily immigrated for about one week. On both occasions, the mother and son were severely attacked by adult males of the neighbouring unit-group, and would have been killed had it not been for human intervention. The main target of the aggression was not the infant, but the mother. Some adult males intervened and prevented other males and females from attacking the mother-son pair. Moreover, most adult males displayed an ambivalent attitude since they showed aggression towards them on one occasion, but groomed, reassured and played on another. The reasons for the variable responses of adult males to a stranger female are discussed in terms of possible differences in their mating strategies.
Key WordsPan troglodytes Xenophobia Female transfer Aggression Protective intervention
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