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Japanese Macaque Shatters Monkey Glass Ceiling

Yakei, 9, bested her group's alpha and now gets to eat peanuts first
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2021 3:41 PM CDT
Japanese Monkey Troop Has a Female Leader
File image of a macaque monkey in Japan. There are about 100,000 macaques living in Japan.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

(Newser) – A monkey in Japan got first crack at some peanuts and made history. Yakei, a female macaque monkey at the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden on Kyushu, is the alpha of a troop of 677 monkeys. When her troop let her eat peanuts put out by keepers at the park, it proved her position, the Guardian reports. She’s the first alpha female observed there since the facility opened in 1953, the Mainichi reports. Yakei had a fight with her mom in April and won. That gave her alpha status among the female macaques.

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But her campaign for power wasn’t over yet. She picked a fight with Sanchu, the 31-year-old alpha male of the troop and bested him. “Since then, Yakei has been climbing trees and shaking them, which is an expression of power and a very rare behavior in females,” Satoshi Kimoto, a guide at Takasakiyama, said. There’s another troop of monkeys at the zoo, so Yakei’s campaign of conquest might not be over yet. (Read more weird news stories.)

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