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Violence, politics and power struggles in Rise of the Warrior Apes on Animal Planet

Close-up of a chimpanzee's eye from Rise of the Warrior Apes
Rise of the Warrior Apes tracks the largest ever found troop of chimpanzees for 23 years

Rise of the Warrior Apes on Animal Planet tonight is an epic tale of a troop of Ugandan chimpanzees, following them over 23 years as their complex society sees leaders rise and fall.

The troop live in the country’s Ngogo region and have four warrior leaders who use every trick in the book to stay in power.

These ape leaders would put some of our most devious politicians to shame as they use alliances, shaky morals and betrayal to stay in charge.

A chimpanzee holding a spear
Dexter the chimpanzee holds up a spear. Pic credit: DNI

The troop itself is the largest every discovered and controls a vast area of territory.

They regularly patrol and defend this area and use various weapons to establish their dominance.

Over the years their number has swollen to over 200 and they have killed so many of the neighbouring troop that they are able to take over their land.

A line of chimpanzees 'on patrol'
The troop from Rise of the Warrior Apes on patrol. Credit: DNI

The documentary offers a unique look at these remarkable and occasionally scary animals as they show us just how much in common they have with our own societies.

Rise of the Warrior Apes airs tonight, Tuesday July 11, on Animal Planet.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact... read more
James Wray

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