Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair, by National Geographic

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Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair, by National Geographic

Postby admin » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:15 pm

Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair -– Illustrated Screenplay (Vignette)
by National Geographic
©2014 NGC Networks US, LLC

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Re: Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair, by National Geographic

Postby admin » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:43 pm

Part 1 of 3

WILD CONGO: KING KONG’s LAIR – Illustrated Screenplay
by National Geographic
©2014 NGC Networks US, LLC

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KING KONG’S LAIR

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[Narrative] The tracks are fresh.
A leopard is close by.
A real danger for young gorillas.
[Gorilla shrieks]
[Beating on chest]
But no leopard wants to face him,

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the 450-pound silverback.
[Beating on chest]

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Yet this western lowland gorilla is no thug.
Mukumba is a devoted family man,

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doting over three adult females, five youngsters, and a baby.

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Silverback Makumba is the undisputed boss of his clan.

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The ten of them roam a woodland region
one-third the size of Manhattan,
looking for food and finding adventure.

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Today Makumba takes his family to the riverside,
where the trees hang heavy with fruit.

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The baby loves to play in the water.

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And that’s okay,
as long as the little ones stick to the shallows.
The water’s dangerous.
Gorillas can’t swim.
That’s why western lowland gorillas live
only north of the Congo River ---

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they can’t make it across to the south bank.
The gorillas never go in past their waist.
They have no fear of heights, though.

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While the females look for food, Makumba babysits.

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Above him, his youngest mate finds some fruit.

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And the older one wants a piece of the action.

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[Barking]
But the younger one insists it’s strictly finders, keepers.

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The situation starts to turn ugly.

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That’s Makumba’s cue to step in and break it up.

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[Barking]

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Playing referee to multiple mates can’t be easy.
But the chief rules with a gentle hand,
and he knows how to treat a lady …

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… especially when he realizes she’s fertile.

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If he were oblivious, the female could also make the first move.

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Either way, nature takes its course.

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[Low grunting]

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It’s good to be king.

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[Makumba lies down]

Dinner is served at the Lion House, and the appearance of Brigham Young's family at dinner is very similar to that at a country boarding-house, when the gentlemen are all away at business in town, and the wives and children are left together. At a short table, running across the head of the long dining-room, Brigham sits with his favorite wife by his side. In the days when I first used to be at the Lion House, as a partial guest and partial resident, Emmeline Free occupied this place of honor; but after Amelia's advent, poor, loving Emmeline was thrust aside. When Brigham brings guests to dine with him, they have seats at this table also. At a long table, running lengthwise of the room, all the other wives are seated, each with her children about her. At the sound of the large dinner-bell, they all file in, seat themselves quietly, grace is said by the "presiding patriarch" from his table, and the meal goes on. The family table is plainly spread, and supplied with the very simplest fare, while the smaller one is laden with every delicacy that the markets will afford. These, however, are only for the President and his favorite wife, and the rest of the family must be satisfied merely to look at them, and enjoy the dainties by proxy.

A very amusing incident took place once at this family dinner. One of the wives, -- not usually considered among the most spirited ones, -- who, like all the rest, had submissively taken the food which had been set before her for years, was one day seized by the spirit of discontent. She had taken a fancy that she should like some of a particular dish which graced her husband's table. She did not express her wish, but quietly rising from her place, went straight to the other table, helped herself to the coveted article, and returning as quietly as she came, took her seat, and resumed her meal, amidst looks of consternation from the other wives, and of indignant amazement from her husband. Surprise made him absolutely speechless for the moment; but I fancy she was properly reproved in due time, for she never attempted a repetition of the act.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife


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The Mrs., meanwhile, has another hankering …

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for termites.

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The post-coital confection really hits the spot.
Her daughter comes to see what’s up.

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She’s never seen a snack that walks.

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Now she can play with her food.
Gorillas rely on their agile fingers; they don’t use tools.
And termites are about the biggest game gorillas hunt.
They mainly eat leaves, fruit and seeds.
Makumba heads out in search of his supper.

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Sometimes the best dining spot lies outside the neighborhood.
Today he finds a small clearing …

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with a big obstacle …

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forest elephants.

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Makumba has reservations.

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Elephants can charge if they feel threatened,
and he takes no chances with his family.

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Now the family can enjoy their salad …
[Rustling]
… until a sudden sound disrupts the picnic.

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It might be the leopard.
The little ones grab their moms.

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Another silverback!
This could mean all-out war.
Makumba has to make a tough decision.
If he faces off against his opponent and wins,

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he can claim the loser’s mates and expand his harem.

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But if he loses, he loses everything.

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He weighs his options

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before calling his clan back.
[Grunting]

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Turns out King Kong is a lover, not a fighter.

Parley P. Pratt, one of the twelve apostles, and also one of the brightest intellectual lights in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, was sent on a mission to California, where he proselyted with such vigor that many converts were made; among them a Mrs. Eleanor McLean, wife of one Hector McLean, and the mother of three children, who was induced to embrace Mormonism and polygamy as embodied in the person of the seductive apostle. The command to "leave all and follow me" was readily obeyed, especially as she was personally to add to the missionary's present pleasure and future glory, by becoming one of his numerous plural wives.

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PARLEY P. PRATT.

As there was no authority to marry them in a "legal" manner in this Gentile state, they were obliged to defer that ceremony until their arrival in "Zion." But in cases like this, which were often occurring to the missionary Saints, it was considered quite proper for the pair, who were in haste to wed, to covenant together," and thereafter to be regarded as man and wife, without ministerial or judicial aid, until such time as they could celebrate their nuptials in the presence of saintly witnesses, and after the true saintly fashion. This covenant the Apostle Pratt and Mrs. McLean were not slow to make.

The news soon reached the husband that his wife was going to Utah with the Mormon Elder, and intended taking the children with her. This last design McLean frustrated by sending them to some relatives in one of the Southern States. He then informed his wife that she was at liberty to go where she chose, but that she must go alone, as he had placed the children beyond her reach.

She came to Utah, and immediately on her arrival was sealed to Parley, after having lived under a covenant with him for months. The mother-heart, however, yearned for her children; neither her new religion nor the fractional part of an apostle could fill the void left by the separation from them, and she determined to gain possession of them and bring them also to Utah. After much entreating, she succeeded in inducing her new husband to go to the States with her for the purpose of finding them. She went alone to the place where her children were at school, leaving Pratt in Arkansas, -- which, by the way, was her husband's home. On reaching the town where her children were, she was obliged to assume a disguise, as McLean was there, having followed his children from California. She used every stratagem to obtain them, but only succeeded in carrying away one. She quickly made her way with him to Arkansas, and joined Parley, who was awaiting her there. Together they started to return to Utah, but were overtaken by McLean, who, maddened by the breaking up of his home, the seduction of his wife, and the abduction of his child, determined to wreak summary vengeance on the man who, under the guise of religion, and in the name of the Lord, whom he constantly blasphemed by taking His holy name upon his polluted lips, had wrecked his whole life's happiness. Being examined before a magistrate, Mrs. McLean Pratt assumed all the responsibility of the abduction of the children, and the Apostle was honorably discharged. His friends, however, apprehended danger, and advised him to escape, if he could, for McLean was a violent man. They also offered him a couple of revolvers for his defence.

The Apostle fled, but McLean was on his trail. At length the wronged husband came within sight of his enemy, and pursued him like the avenger of blood. Pratt left the public road, endeavoring to reach a house not far distant; but McLean was too swift for him. Following him closely, with revolver drawn, he fired at the saintly seducer, but failed to touch him. Furious at Pratt's escape, McLean urged forward his horse, and, as he passed his enemy, made a lunge with his bowie-knife, and gave him a fatal thrust in his side. The wounded man fell from his horse instantly, and McLean fired again at the guilty wretch as he lay bleeding on the ground, and the ball penetrated his breast.

The bloody deed performed, McLean returned to Fort Smith, walked through the town with his friends, and in the evening took the passing steamer for the South. He took his child and left the mother to return to Utah, now doubly widowed and childless. The people of Arkansas upheld McLean, and it was considered that he had only done his duty in ridding the world of such a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife
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Re: Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair, by National Geographic

Postby admin » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:56 pm

Part 2 of 3

Western lowland gorillas live in the very heart of Africa,
including the Democratic Republic of Congo,
named for the Congo River,
which cuts through it on its way to the Atlantic.
The Congo’s second largest tributary, the Ubangi,
flows from the north,
and here …
… the Congo spreads up to 10 miles wide.

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It acts like a giant moat,
blocking all but the strongest fliers and swimmers
from crossing central Africa.
And because of that, the Congo River is a game-changer
in the evolution of the great apes.
When the river formed millions of years ago,
it pushed our closest living relatives to the north side.
[Distant howling]
[Shrieking]

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Chimps.

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Like us, they use their smarts to solve all sorts of problems.

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Chimps also use tools.
A little ingenuity gives them access
to almost any food source.
But there’s one food they go bananas for …

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[Twig snaps]

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Fresh monkey meat.
Chimps vigorously hunt red colobus monkeys.

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They monitor every monkey jump – a highwire act without a net.

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One wrong move, and dinner is served.

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Chimps live by a strict code, an organized jungle-land gang,
smarter and often meaner than anyone else around.

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Lanjo, the dominant male, gets to eat first.
As long as everyone keeps to his or her place, life is grand.
But this mother chimp dares to scoop the rest of her clan

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on these fresh blossoms.

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[Barking]

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Lanjo is one peeved primate.

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[Shrieking]

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He won’t tolerate such disobedience,

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especially from a female.

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She forgot her place in the rigid chimp family hierarchy,

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which is run like an old boys’ club.
The head of the clan leads a troop of lower adult males.
Females of any age and males younger than 15
rank lowest of all.
Among the males, politics rules the day.
They form alliances with one another to stay in favor,
rise in the ranks, or even grab control of the clan.

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They strengthen bonds by picking off dead skin and parasites –

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the chimp version of golf.
Someday, when the alpha male grows too old and weak to lead,
one of these males will leverage his alliances to take his place.

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These two, left out of the group,
have no future in chimp politics.
Still, they have it better than the females.
For them, it’s every girl for herself
against the aggressive males.

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This mother hides in the forest with her baby
to avoid them hassling her.

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All she wants is peace and quiet,
though here’s the dilemma …
Her absence might anger Lanjo.

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But it’s too late.
The leader, secure in his alliances,
is itching to dominate the wandering female.

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His male subordinates’ grooming session
gets interrupted by a subtle noise.

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[Scratching]

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Scratching is their secret signal.

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Lanjo calls his posse.
The search is on.

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[Thunder]

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A storm blows in, complicating the patrol by masking the sound
of anything moving through the forest.

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The female hunkers down,

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shielding her baby with her body.

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[Thunder]

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Hours later the storm has passed
and the males head back on her trail.

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They spot her.

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A henchman sneaks up under the watchful eye of the leader.

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By the time the mother sees him, it’s too late.

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[Barking, shrieking]

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The baby is lost, but it can save itself.

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Lanjo goes after the female.

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She’ll get her punishment.

Male chimpanzees can be highly aggressive toward female group members, even using branches as clubs to beat them.

-- Chimps hold clues to roots of domestic violence, by Roger Highfield


The battle of the sexes is supercharged in the chimpanzee world. Males charge at females, rip out their hair and kick, slap or beat them.

-- Male Sexual Aggression: What Chimps Can Reveal About People, by Tia Ghose


When a male chimp is about 15 years old,

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he’ll start a lifetime of bossing and brutalizing females.
The only other species to act so violently against its own

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is humans.

AFTER my divorce, I went with my mother to live at my father's farm in South Cottonwood.

Here, I think, I was happier than I had ever before been in my life. My health was much improved, and what with the care of my children and the portion of the household duties which I assumed to assist my mother, my days were well filled. My boys were growing healthy, hearty, rollicking fellows, and they returned my care with all the love which the most jealous heart could desire.

How thankful I was that they were not girls! I knew too well the troubles of my sex in polygamy to wish to bring one girl into the world, who, under the system, would be sure to endure such certain suffering. I made up my mind to teach my boys to shun it, even if it was a vital part of my religion. I was willing to accept all else that Mormonism taught, and to teach its underlying principles to my boys; but that I could teach them was right....

During this time at South Cottonwood, while I was teaching my children, helping my mother, and getting all these peeps into the inside experiences of polygamy, my own life running along in the smoothest channels it had ever known, a great change was preparing for me. I had no thought nor premonition of it, as I went blithely about my daily duties, happy and content in the quiet life which I was leading in my mother's companionship, and in my darling children's love. I dreamed of nothing beyond this peaceful life; I wished for nothing else. Such a sweet restfulness had taken possession of me, and I pictured myself growing old in this quiet spot, with my strong, brave boys near me to make my rough path smooth, and to help my faltering footsteps over the stony places with their strong arms that would encircle and hold me then, as I encircled them now. The improvement of my health was a source of great joy to me. I never was so well in my life. The color had come back to my cheek, the sparkle to my eye, the smile to my lips, the elasticity to my step, and something of the old life to my spirits, although I had suffered too much to have them quite as light as they were in the old frolicsome days when I had gone merry-making with my old companions, had won friends in the theatre, and had wailed "with the girls" over the monotonous fare of the Prophetic table. I was a child with my children, and it would be difficult to tell which of us got the most scoldings and pettings from the fond grandmamma.

She was happy, too, at having me with her again; and though she sorrowed at my sorrow, she could not regret anything that brought me back to her, so long as it did not make me utterly unhappy; and she recognized as well as I the fact, that my life was fuller and freer without my husband than with him, and that my children were better off, and stood far better chances of becoming the men that both she and I wished them to become, under my guidance alone, than under the influence of such a father as theirs. They would never have felt a strong, steady, guiding hand, but would have been, as their mother had been before them, the victim of alternate passion and rough good nature, that was easily shaken.

I had very many offers of marriage. A moderately prepossessing woman in Utah is sure not to be long without them; and I knew that I was that, at least, but I could not be brought to look with favor upon any of my suitors. I did not care to try matrimony again, I had vowed that I would not become a plural wife, and, with my past experience, I was afraid to try even a monogamic alliance again; for I knew that in Utah the step from monogamy to polygamy is very short, and very easily taken. My answer was the same to one and all —"I have my children; I shall live for them alone; they are my only loves."

Some of them appealed to my father and mother to use their influence to make me change my mind; but they refused to interfere, saying that I probably knew my own mind, and, if I did not wish to marry, that was quite enough.

I usually had my own way; and when I knew that any of my persistent suitors had turned to my parents for sympathy and assistance, I laughed to myself to think how little of either they would receive. To tell the truth, they— especially my mother—were no more anxious for me to marry than I myself; and I knew that so long as they had a home, my children and I should share it. I was not allowed to feel that we were in any way a burden, and, to tell the truth, I did honestly try to do all in my power to assist my mother, and make life easier for her to bear.

"I shall never, never leave you," I used to say, as I would nestle at her feet, and lay my head in her lap in the old childish fashion — a habit that I could not bring myself to abandon, even though I was a mother myself, with two bouncing boys to curl down in my own lap in the same loving way, begging for caresses.

"God willing, we will never be parted, my darling."

"Never! never!" cried I, with loving enthusiasm, as I felt her hand on my head, resting in tender benediction there. I kissed the hand that had grown hard with toil for me and for others; and together we sat with no premonition of the future that was so near, and that was to change the whole current of both our after lives.

Brigham Young and some of the apostles were coming to South Cottonwood to hold a meeting. But what was that to me? How did it affect me when he came or went? I had no part nor lot in his movements. Life was nothing to me beyond my mother and children; and all the Prophetic coming and going would not cause a ripple on the surface of my placid life.

So I thought, as I lay cradled in my mother's arms that summer evening in the old farm-house at Cottonwood; and the stars, as they looked down upon me there, revealed nothing more to me.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife
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Re: Wild Congo: King Kong's Lair, by National Geographic

Postby admin » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:14 pm

Part 3 of 3

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As late as 1933, the same year the film “King Kong” came out,
scientists named a new and distinct species
of great ape here.
But most of us have still never heard of it.

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The world’s most recently discovered great ape
is no King Kong.
In fact, it’s smaller than a chimpanzee.

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It’s a bonobo.
While chimps hang out strictly north of the Congo River,
bonobos only swing in the south.

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And they couldn’t be more different.
[Shrieks]

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Bonobos take orders from a loose sisterhood.

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Girl power!
The alpha female looks after her five-year-old son,

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her young prince.
He’s mostly independent,
which is good, because he’s about to be displaced.

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His newborn little sister will win most of mom’s attention.

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Some members of the group enjoy
the sweetest fruit on the tree …
… putting the others in a sour mood.

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So far, all’s calm.
[Shrieks]
Until another hungry group of bonobos approaches.
If this were the chimp side of the river, that would mean war.
But bonobos don’t settle differences by fighting.

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The way to make peace is simple – make love.
Bonobos are one of the few animals who use sex
for more than baby-making.
Right now it’s soothing social conflicts.
Anyone can participate, young or old, male or female,
in almost every combination.
Jungle love does the trick.

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Everyone mellows out,

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and even the newcomers get to enjoy some fruit.
Bonobos rarely resort to violence,
but the males have a shorter fuse than the females,

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who form a friendly sorority.
The females use sex not only to keep the peace,
but also to win popularity contests among the other girls.

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The prince will come to realize he doesn’t have much of a say
in this girls’ world.

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This assertive male already understands he has no status.

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The young prince outranks him.
But the older fellow has ambition.

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Besides, he’s bigger.
Refusing to settle, sensing an opportunity,
he makes a bold grab for power.

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[Shrieking]

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The uppity ape won’t stop bullying the young prince.

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The leader frowns on the power play,

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but chooses to wait and see.
[Shrieking]

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When the commotion spreads to the group, she’s forced to act,

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calming the younger ones, bonobo style.

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But it doesn’t work.
The young male flees.

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The leader pursues …
not to punish him, but to settle the dispute
the only way she knows how.

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Her gentle dedication to keeping order
is the secret to her success.
And it rubs off on the rest of her group.
Then something extraordinary happens.

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Unlike gorillas, bonobos like meat – a lot.
A rabbit-sized antelope would hit the spot.

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A female sneaks up on it.
[Shrieking]
[Antelope wails]

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Surprisingly, the peaceful bonobos hunt, as chimps do.
Hardly anyone’s filmed it before.
Bonobos divvy up their kill.

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No one goes hungry or has to fight for a share.
Bonobo females rely on cooperation, not competition,
to keep the family fit and healthy.

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If chimps are the warriors, then bonobos are the hippies.

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Their location along the Congo over the last million years
might explain why they’re so laid-back

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The rain forest south of the Congo provides bonobos
with all the food they could want
and no gorillas to share it with.
When the pickings are easy, there’s no need to compete.

THE END
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