Why chimps attack humans

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Washington, Aug 12 (ANI): Increasing encroachment of natural habitat is the reason for conflicts between man and his closest relative, the chimpanzee - says a new study.

Scientists from Kyoto University, Japan have said that chimpanzees in Guinea are attacking humans as wild habitat is increasingly converted for agriculture.

The village of Bossou in southeastern Guinea has been home to both humans and chimps for a long time. And the locals of the village consider chimps as their protectors.

However, recent trends have shown increasing instances of violence from chimps. These attacks occurred during periods that coincided with a lack of wild foods, increased levels of crop raiding, and periods of human cultivation.

The team concluded that the conservation of primate habitat is crucial to preventing resource based attacks on humans by primates.

"In general people should keep calm, try not to scream and avoid running off or scattering, especially within groups," said Dr Kimberley Hockings.

"In the village we recommended that children should not be left alone near forest boundaries," she added.

The research is an example of how human ecology and behaviour can influence, and be influenced by, the ecology and behaviour of primates.

On the other hand, human alteration of the landscape for farming, hunting, religious beliefs, and even pet keeping can affect the behaviour and ecology of primates.

The study is published in a special issue of The American Journal of Primatology. (ANI)

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