The vicious war of succession for the baboons of the Toronto Zoo is finally over

When zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo euthanized Betty, the zoo's 16-year-old baboon-troop matriarch, it touched off a vicious war of succession among the troops female members that saw them mutilating one another in savage combat — the war was finally settled when zookeepers implanted the warring baboons with estrogen-releasing implants that reduced the viciousness of the fighting.

The new ruler is Kalamata, who vaulted from the bottom of the hierarchy to the top with the help of her mother, Putsie, the troop's eldest surviving female. Putsie appears to be ruling through her daughter, who still looks to her mother for help.

Minor skirmishes persist, with Molly, Betty's oldest daughter, getting the worst of it.

The fighting, which culminated in March last year, according to medical records obtained through freedom of information legislation, left Molly's tail so damaged part of it had to be amputated. It also led to dozens of injuries among the other females of the 12-member troop, some that required surgery.

But Molly and Susan fought back, zoo staff said, targeting Kate, Kristina and Kalamata.
It's unclear exactly who inflicted which wounds on whom, as the attacks usually occurred at night, but the zoo said the factions were clear: Putsie, Kalamata, Kate and Kristina on one side and Molly and Susan on the other.

"Molly didn't have the backing," Franke said in an interview.

In total, Molly's been injured at least 17 times over the past two years, the records show.

On March 2, 2016, a keeper noticed "a large fresh wound" on her tail, according to the medical records. The next day, "Molly is holding her tail in her hands."

Long-running baboon war at Toronto Zoo comes to an end
[Liam Casey/Canadian Press]

(via Super Punch)

(Image: Baboon, Paul, CC-BY)