Tear my heart out
May 5, 2006 11:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an old news story about apes taking revenge on a poacher.

What I remember: it was a poacher who had been killing primates (what kind i don't recall) to sell their hearts on the black market. He was living in a cabin out in the woods near where he hunted them, if my memory serves me. The primates found his cabin and beset him, killed him and tore his heart out.

It could have been anywhere between 5 and 15 years ago that I read this. I could swear that it was in a reputable news source, but I admit it sounds pretty incredible, and I haven't been able to dig up a reference. Anyone else remember this? Any sources for concrete facts about the story?
posted by louigi to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Primates live in the woods? I vaguely recall a story like this about bear poachers in Russia who were killed by bears....
posted by tristeza at 12:12 PM on May 5, 2006

Maybe ask monkeywire.org. They are the bomb and offer tons of primate news via email every week. It doesn't look like there's an easy way to search their archives, but if you email direct maybe they can help...
posted by ibeji at 1:11 PM on May 5, 2006

Please post back here if you find the article. I would love to read it.
posted by zgott300 at 1:15 PM on May 5, 2006

You might wish to have a look at this disturbing contemporary parallel.
posted by jamjam at 2:24 PM on May 5, 2006

Opening an adult human chest in order to remove the heart, without tools or means of generating great force, is very, very difficult. Even the common field gutting approach through the belly, is not easy without knives and some way of suspending the carcass during gutting to get the help of gravity. Not impossible for an animal such as a hyena or a lion or tiger, whose canines and jaws are adapted for piercing skulls and severing necks as kill strokes, but still difficult even for these animals. Internal organs like the heart are among the last things eaten by carcass scavengers, since the rib cage often discourages initial predators, until some rotting of the carcass occurs, making the job easier.

This is perhaps not impossible for large chimps, baboon troops, or mountain gorilla silverbacks, but it is a level of carcass stripping that I don't think has ever been factually attributed to attacks by wild primates. I would be very interested in reviewing reports and evidence of such a documented attack.
posted by paulsc at 6:27 PM on May 6, 2006

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