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Sites and Sounds of Uganda
Ngamba Island Chimps battle over KingshipPublish Date: Dec 23, 2013
Ngamba Island Chimps battle over Kingship
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By Gerald Tenywa 

Ever since the death of Mika, the group of 47chimps is still failing to get a leader also known as an alpha male. A number of Chimps that is Maisko, Umutama, Kalema, Robbie, and Kisembo have been observed trying to take charge but still have challenges.

Mika disappeared on September 21st and his decomposing body was discovered on October 8th. After mourning the passing of Mika, Ngamba has become a battleground and sometimes has exploded into fights, according to the Lilly Ajarova, the executive director of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Short profiles of chimps in the race

Kalema: He saw the opportunity of taking charge in the first few days after Mika’s disappearance but is still failing to get that command. He displays around and also has the support of a number of chimps like the Juvenile males for instance Okech, Umugenzi and a number of females. However he is distracted by his high appetite for food. For example during feedings when there is charge displaying, Kalema most of the time cares less on calming the chimps and minds about collecting food. He however has an upper hand in that when he is for example returning chimps make submissive calls like they used to do for Mika.

Robbie: He has ever led this community and has also been observed displaying with an interest of gaining the support but even when he displays most of the chimps have denied him respect by not bobbing.

Indi: Of recent Indi has gained respect from a number of other chimps mainly the juvenile males. They always pant grant and make submissive moves and calls when he is passing by and he displays once in a while. He is yet to catch up.

Umutama: He has a higher chance at the moment because of his good relationship he has with the high ranking chimps such as Eddie, Tumbo, Robbie and Maisko and when he displays he gets the respect but he again gives up quickly. His other disadvantage is that when he is displaying the other low ranking move away but rarely makes submissive moves.

Eddie: Also a former alpha male has been observed commanding respect but he cares less, He in most cases displays more of aggressive moves towards the other chimps and the chimps fear him more than respecting him. He seems to be having no clear vision.


He has also shown interest to lead; He is so determined, strong and shows clearly his intentions to be a leader. However his alliance with the big males is still not good. Every time he displays, Maisko checks him and tries so hard to stop him. He is also not making alliances with other chimps for support.

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