This alpha male gelada doesn't want to cede control of his harem to a band of bachelors. So he'll pull out all the stops. But will it be enough?
In the high mountain meadows of Ethiopia, marauding gangs of male gelada monkeys are on the lookout for females.
These bachelor bands are an alpha male's worst nightmare.
This alpha is clearly outnumbered. But he steps up to defend his position.
Gelada harems can range from small family units of 12 to troops numbering in the hundreds. That's a lot of monkeys to take care of.
He fires his first warning shot, flipping his lip in a clear display of aggression. But the invaders ignore it. So he takes matters into his own hands...and flees to higher ground.
But he has to come down eventually.
The only solution-make a break for it.
When he returns to his harem, he reaffirms his bonds with some grooming.
Gelada females stay in their family units for life, banding together to forage, groom and raise their young.
It's a woman's world...where the males can be replaced.
With the mob closing in, the harem's leader resorts to a chilling tactic.
He picks up an infant and jumps back into the fight.
He may be trying to entice the females to leap to the infant's aid and help chase the bachelors off.
But the plan backfires.
The single males attack anyway, and the baby is hurt.
When he drops the injured infant, he faces an even more enraged enemy-his own family.
He tries some last-ditch grooming to appease his females.
But, when the bachelors return, this time, it's for keeps.
The old leader heads for the hills.
These fierce fights can go on for days and inflict fatal battle wounds.
With the old alpha thoroughly vanquished, the new leader wastes no time in establishing dominance over his harem.