Capturing and toying with hyraxes (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Bossou, Guinea



Chimpanzees (Pantroglodytes verus) were observed capturing and toying with western tree hyraxes (Dendrohyrax dorsalis, Order Hyracoidea) at Bossou, Guinea. An adolescent female carried one hyrax for 15 hr, slept with it in her nest, and groomed it. The captive was not consumed. Nearby adults ignored the hyrax. In another case, two adolescent males timidly inspected a small hyrax. These observations indicate that the chimpanzees at Bossou do not regard the hyrax as a prey animal, supporting the idea that lack of opportunity does not seem to be the only reason that chimpanzees do not consume an individual of a potential prey species. Am. J. Primatol. 53:93–97, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.