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Mans' closest relationship under strain? New research reveals why chimpanzees attack humans
Date:8/11/2010

Scientists from Kyoto University, Japan, studying chimpanzees in Guinea have published research revealing why primates attack humans and what prevention measures can be taken. The study, published in a special issue of The American Journal of Primatology, suggests that while rare, attacks by primates on humans may increase as wild habitat is increasingly converted for agriculture.

The team were based in the village of Bossou in south-eastern Guinea, West Africa, where humans and chimpanzees coexist as the primates' 15km2 home range is fragmented by fields, farms roads and paths. Unlike most other places in Africa, local people at Bossou have strong religious beliefs concerning the chimpanzees that have resulted in their continued protection over the years. Chimpanzees in Bossou have been studied by the Kyoto University Research Team since 1976 and systematic data about attacks on humans by the apes has been collected since 1995; however it is believed that attacks occurred at Bossou before the researchers' presence

Unlike most other places in Africa, local people at Bossou have strong religious beliefs concerning the chimpanzees that have resulted in their continued protection over the years.

Chimpanzees in Bossou have been studied by the Kyoto University Research Team since 1976 and systematic data about attacks on humans by the nonhuman apes have been collected since 1995; however attacks it is believed occurred at Bossou before the researchers' presence.

The team investigated eleven attacks, carrying out victim interviews and found that although the families of attack victims felt angry and fearful toward chimpanzees after attacks, some drew on their traditional beliefs to explain why chimpanzees were respected, protected, and could not hurt them, even when attacks occurred.

Furthermore attacks occurred during periods that coincided with a lack of wild foods, increased levels of crop-raiding, and periods
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Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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