War, famine, and disease are common dangers of life in the Congo, but a new threat has villagers on guard. On the heels of a rekindled conflict in the chimpanzees of Virunga National Park have started their own war: on humans. Starting in June, a young girl was killed my chimps after being ripped off her mother’s back.
Chimp attacks are now so common in Tongo that villagers claim that at least one person per month is being killed by the angry animals. Locals have reported a total of ten deaths this year along with 17 attacks that have resulted in serious wounds.
Still, authorities are more focused on the armed rebels in the area, not the chimps who are a protected endangered species. Park rangers think some of the claims against the apes are just a plot by poachers and rebels to make the jungle safer and easier to navigate.