Orangutans: Lethal aggression between females

Researchers have for the first time witnessed the death of a female orangutan at the hands of another female. Even more extraordinary is that the perpetrator recruited a male orangutan as a hired gun to help her corner and attack the victim. Before this observation, lethal fights between females had never been observed in orangutans; in other primates such fights occur mainly between males, according to Anna Marzec of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She is the lead author of a report on the fatal incident, which appears in Springer’s journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

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