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In a scene taken right out of the Planet of the Apes movies, scientists have observed a group of chimpanzees attacking and killing some gorillas in the wild for the first time ever.
As if nature wasn't scary enough, humanity's closest relative is now making coordinated attacks on other species, and quite frankly it's terrifying.
The shared habitat of the apes is being threatened by diminished food supplies and climate change, which explains why the chimpanzees attacked and killed the gorillas during a fight for food.
The scientific first was observed by researchers in the Loango National Park, Gabon, where the groups of chimpanzees were described as forming 'coalitions' to take down the gorillas.
Publishing their findings in scientific journal Nature, the researchers said the chimpanzees then went on to kill the infant gorillas as they tried to escape.
The violence was shocking given that the apes have been observed at the park over the last seven years, where the relationship between chimpanzees and gorillas has been 'relatively relaxed'.
This comes after the researchers documented the first act of violence between the species of ape back in 2019, though this is the first time that any apes have been killed in a conflict between the two species.
Lead researcher, Lara M. Southern said: "At first, we only noticed screams of chimpanzees and thought we were observing a typical encounter between individuals of neighbouring chimpanzee communities.
"But then, we heard chest beats, a display characteristic for gorillas, and realised that the chimpanzees had encountered a group of five gorillas."
According to reports, nearly 20 chimpanzees surrounded the five gorillas, when the silverback gorilla charged into a female chimpanzee and knocked her into the air.
Ten chimps then descended upon the gorilla and 'repeatedly jumped down on and hit him whilst screaming and barking'.
It seems likely that these incidents may become more and more common, given the fact that the issues of climate change and food supplies seem to only be getting worse.
Tobias Deschner, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, said: "It could be that sharing of food resources by chimpanzees, gorillas and forest elephants in the Loango National Park results in increased competition and sometimes even in lethal interactions between the two great ape species."
Copy: Tom Bedworth
Topics: World News