by Ian Gilby:

Frodo is Fifi’s second son, and was born on June 30, 1976. Frodo was a mischievous youngster, and often threw rocks at chimps and people alike. Frodo has grown into the largest chimp in the history of the Gombe chimpanzee project, weighing in at roughly 115 pounds. Frodo has used his size to his advantage, and with his impressive displays and violent attacks, quickly advanced in the male dominance hierarchy. In 1997, when many of the Gombe chimpanzees suffered from an outbreak of sarcoptic mange, Frodo remained healthy and strong. His older brother, Freud, the alpha male, was significantly weakened by the disease, and on October 2, 1997, Frodo dominated his brother and became the highest ranking male. He has been alpha ever since, and is very secure in his position. It is not unusual to see him being groomed by three or four chimps at once! He rarely grooms them back.

Frodo is very fond of meat, and despite his large size, is very agile as he leaps through the canopy after colobus monkeys. He deflects the defensive efforts of the male colobus monkeys, punching them or flinging them to the ground as he chases the mothers and juveniles. If he is unsuccessful during a hunt, he often steals a carcass from a successful hunter, or intimidates them into sharing a large piece with him.

Frodo’s violent tendencies have made him a rather unpopular character, both among the researchers and the chimps. One day in September, 1999, Frodo performed a series of extremely impressive charging displays during which he attacked several other chimps, and sent them all screaming to the tops of trees. When he was finished, he immediately sat down and demanded to be groomed. Several chimps begrudgingly groomed him for a few minutes, and he refused to return the favor. He fell asleep, and the group moved off. When he awoke, he was completely alone, and began pant-hooting. There was no answer. It seemed as if the other chimps were tired of him, and although they were still close by, no-one answered his calls. Frodo sat for several minutes, pant-hooting forlornly, until someone finally answered. Frodo charged off into the valley, and repeated his display and attack performance. He may never learn...