First Sighting of an Albino Chimp in the Wild — and his Tragic Death

In the dense forests of Uganda, researchers have noticed the first albinism-related phenomena of wild chimpanzees. Sadly, however, the group quickly turned the white-clad child and his mother around and killed him in a brutal and heinous attack. The observation was recently documented in the American Journal of Primatology by a team from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the Budongo Conservation Field Station. 

The white-bright male baby was first spotted in July 2018 in the Budongo Forest Reserve in northwestern Uganda. Considering her size and the time of her mother’s pregnancy, the research team’s estimate was between 14 and 19 days from the time of the first visit. “We were very interested to see the behavior and reactions of other team members to this group in a very unusual way,” Maël Lerux, lead study author at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, told IFLScience.

First Sighting of an Albino Chimp in the Wild — and his Tragic Death

Over the following few days, the albino child and his mother (known as UP) were seen several times. However, the researchers noticed that other shimps in this group were already showing signs of apathy and aggression. In a face-to-face encounter, researchers see members of a group close to the mother and baby create “hu and wa bark,” which usually produces shimps when confronted with dangerous or strange creatures, such as snakes or strangers.

Then a fight ensues and an adult male hits UP and the child, before others push him to the tree before others mock and shake him down although not all individuals are hostile. During this confusion, an adult male approached UP and extended his hand towards him “probably to reassure him,” the survey said. Another adult woman calmly and silently watched the albino baby attentively.

The baby died on the morning of July 19. It’s half-past one. Later in the day, researchers heard aggressive screams and a baby screaming. The alpha male grabbed the missing albino baby with one hand and came out of the bush. At least six more chimps joined him and began biting the screaming baby’s fingers, toes and ears. Eventually, the shrimp was given to an adult woman who began repeatedly biting the baby’s head. At this point, the baby becomes silent and stops moving.