Meet Yakei, the first alpha female in the 70-year history of a 677-strong colony of Japanese macaque monkeys.

An extraordinary incidence happened in the Takasakiyama reserve on the Japanese island of Kyushu. For the first time in the institution’s 70-year history, a female became the macaque’s leader. There are 677 members in the squadron. All of these animals now obey Yakei, the female.  Yakei began her ascension to the top in April. Then, in order to become the alpha female among other females, she assaulted her own mother. Most monkeys would be content with that, but Yakei was hungry for more. Sanchu, the pack’s 31-year-old leader, was challenged by the 10-kilogram beast.

Meet Yakei, the first alpha female of a 677-strong troop of Japanese macaque monkeys in 70-year history

For five years, Sanchu “led” the monkeys at the zoo. There has never been a female commander of the troop in the reserve’s 70-year history. “Since then, Yakei has been climbing trees and shaking them, which is a sign of power and a highly unusual female behavior,” said Satoshi Kimoto, a Takasakiyama guide.

Yakei, who is nine years old, also walks with her tail erect, which is uncommon for females. Employees at Takasakiyama conducted a peanut test. They did this by scattering peanuts in the monkeys’ habitat and seeing who would eat first.

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