Love Triangle Challenges Reign of Japan’s Monkey Queen

After Yakei’s altercation with Nanchu, reserve employees carried out what is called a “peanut test”: offering the monkeys with peanuts and seeing who eats first. Males and females stepped apart to let Yakei eat first, a affirmation of her alpha standing.

Since then, “Yakei has shown some behaviors typically seen only in dominant males, such as walking with her tail up and shaking tree branches with her body. It sounds as if she is behaving like an adult male, being more aggressive than other individuals,” stated Mr. Kaigaishi, who just isn’t affiliated with the reserve.

Although Yakei appears to be leaning into her position, she is prone to face challenges. The reign of an alpha can final from just a few months to over a decade. But observers of the troop say that mating season might change issues for Yakei.

Mating time on the reserve, which usually runs from November till March, is in full swing. During the breeding season, female and male macaques, that are polygamous, kind pair bonds. They mate, feed, relaxation and journey with their companions for a mean of 16 days. After this era, the bond dissolves, and the females search new companions. Females sometimes mate with a mean of 4 males every breeding season.

“Mating season generally heats things up in Japanese macaque society,” stated Katherine Cronin of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, who research animal social conduct and cognition, together with of her zoo’s personal Japanese macaques. “The environment becomes more competitive and tense.”

During earlier breeding seasons, Yakei paired with Goro, a 15-year-old male ranked sixth inside the troop. According to the reserve, the Japanese newspaper Manichi Shimbun reported, Goro bit Yakei within the face in 2019, a transfer that brought about her backside to flush shiny crimson — an indication she was prepared and keen to take him as a mate. However, since Yakei has claimed the troop’s prime spot, Goro appears to have misplaced curiosity in her.

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