Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) have been caught on camera, feeding on Mongoose (also known as twelve-in-line) and other small mammals in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS).
According to the camera trap videos downloaded and analysed recently, an adult chimpanzee was observed eating a mongoose. Though the method used in catching the prey was not captured by the camera, it was however observed that the meat of the mongoose was not shared among the group of 7 chimpanzees involved in the hunt.
As at now, no scientific studies have been carried out to determine the feeding habits of the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimps. The Western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus)and Eastern chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes shweinfurthii) have been recorded feeding on small monkeys such as the red colubus (Procolobusbadius), but little or nothing is known about the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimps.
Elsewhere, the Western chimpanzees use group hunting method where the chimpanzee encircle the prey and target the most vulnerable, especially babies. The Chimps also use light weapons such as carved spears made from sticks sharpened with teeth and use to target mammals in small holes on trees. When the prey eventually is caught, the Western and Eastern chimpanzees share the meat among group members even if an individual did not take part in the hunt.
As yet, no conclusion has been made in the case of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee given that only a single observation has been recorded on their hunting behaviour. Thus, the need for further research.
By Enokenwa Allen Tabi