Sad news in from the animal kingdom: David the chimp, who found fame on David Attenborough’s recent excursion Dynasties, has been found dead.
David, or Dave to some, captured the hearts of a nation as leader of his troupe, surviving vicious challenges from rivals.
Alas, months after wrapping on the shoot, the chimp was discovered beaten to death.
One of the directors of the Fongoli Savannah Chimpanzee Project, Jill Pruetz, confirmed the news.
She told The Telegraph:
He died from wounds inflicted from what I’m sure are these young males. There aren’t other animals that would have inflicted wounds like that – especially when you have multiple individuals attacking a single individual.
He was very aggressive that’s why he held onto his dominant status for so long.
He was pretty clever but our best interpretation of what happened is that these adult males jumped him.
Jumkin who was a beta male is now the alpha. There’s a huge absence. It’s like more than one chimp is gone.
The dynamic is really different. I imagine Jumkin will be alpha for a while. However, you can see Luther [another beta] already challenging him a bit.
Dynasties follows the lives of five species of animals: lions, chimpanzees, hunting dogs, emperor penguins and tigers. The first week of which followed chimpanzees. Namely, David.
The show, which has been in the pipelines for a whopping four years, looks at the challenges each faces from climate change and other human factors.
The BBC describes it as ‘an intense portrayal of the lives of these animals as they unfold, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, where the tiniest incident may end up having a huge consequence on their future.’
Executive producer Mike Gunton said:
After making Planet Earth II, it’s very exciting to now have the chance to show another, and I think even more intense and gripping, perspective on the lives of our planet’s most impressive yet vulnerable creatures.
The BBC’s director of content Charlotte Moore added:
The wonderful David Attenborough will inspire audiences once again when he brings the natural world to life on BBC One with Dynasties.
Four years in the making, capturing extraordinary family dynamics and behaviour, I hope these intimate animal dramas will connect with audiences just as Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II did.
Rest easy, David.