Gombe Gets a New Alpha – The Fall of Ferdinand

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Ferdinand, Gombe's now former alpha male.

Ferdinand, Gombe’s now former alpha male.

In the primate world, rank is everything. Because humans are primates, it’s easy to see how power dynamics and relationships in groups play a massive role in our own societies. In chimpanzee societies alike, ranking behavior is also a part of their way of life. The course of history has been changed time and time again by conflict, affecting untold and innumerable outcomes. In the chimpanzee world at Gombe, the events taking place in the name of power may change this group forever.

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Community Engagement Specialist at the Jane Goodall Institute, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. She has a varied background including conservation fieldwork, scenic painting instruction, mural collaboration, public relations, communications, digital media, graphic design, photography, and documentary filmmaking. She has contributed to the digital news production company Zazoom, LLC (Buzz60) and as Communications Coordinator at the youth-centered, social justice organization Scenarios USA. Ashley is a swashbuckling artist and ukuleleist with a passion for sharing information to empower and using media to tell stories. Through growing understanding and empathy, she believes it is possible to ignite positive change, every day.