First Ever Wild Albino Chimpanzee Spotted In Uganda
The first known wild chimpanzee with albinism was spotted in Uganda, but the rare 19-day-old animal was brutally killed by its fellow pack just days after the initial sighting.
Researches at the University of Zurich in Switzerland walked into a horrific scene on July 19, 2018, when they heard screaming and cries of the mother and her infant that were being chased by others in their community.
Just after 7:30am, the team saw an alpha male trek out of a nearby thicket while holding just an arm of the baby albino, according to the findings, which have only just been published.
A number of other chimps came rushing in, which began biting the fingers, leg, and ears of the screaming infant that was eventually taken by an adult female who started gnawing at its head – putting an end to the baby’s life.
The chimpanzees took the carcass up into a tree, where they inspected it by sniffing the infant, stroking it and sticking their fingers in its anus.
The scientists were able to recover the body three hours after the infant’s death, allowing them to assess injuries made by its fellow pack.
‘Substantial injuries were present in several body parts including the absence of the left hand and forearm, the index and middle fingers on the right hand, and the right ear,’ Maël Leroux, lead study author, and colleagues wrote in the study published in the American Journal of Primatology.
‘In addition, several deep cuts were visible on the head and the skull was cracked on the right side.
‘The right hemisphere of the brain was damaged. The cause of death was established to be due to a head injury caused by a bite given by an adult female chimpanzee.’
Albinism is a condition where pigment is absent in the skin and hair and is found among a number of animals, including humans.
The condition is caused by a defect in one of several genes that produce or distribute melanin causes albinism.