David was featured on last weekend’s edition of the new show and was shown to be one of the dominant male leaders of the troupe.
However, a matter of months after the cameras left the group of primates behind, David was found beaten to death, presumably by another one of the gang.
The sad news was confirmed to the Daily Telegraph by Jill Pruetz, who is one of the directors of the Fongoli Savannah Chimpanzee Project.
Pruetz thinks that David was beaten up and killed by two other chimps featured on Sunday’s programme, Luther and Jumkin. She said: “He died from wounds inflicted from what I’m sure are these young males.
“There aren’t other animals that would have inflicted wounds like that – especially when you have multiple individuals attacking a single individual.
“He was very aggressive that’s why he held onto his dominant status for so long.
“He was pretty clever but our best interpretation of what happened is that these adult males jumped him.
“Jumkin who was a beta male is now the alpha. There’s a huge absence. It’s like more than one chimp is gone.
“The dynamic is really different. I imagine Jumkin will be alpha for a while. However, you can see Luther [another beta] already challenging him a bit.”
David had previously been the longest serving dominant male to be in charge of the troupe. He had been in charge for several years, including the two year period that the BBC Earth cameras were there to document the lives of the group.
They were filmed in the jungles of Senegal and Guinea, in West Africa.
Each episode will see Attenborough and his team examine closely the lives and social structures of a different group of creatures.
The first week saw them follow David and his chimpanzee chums around, the coming weeks will see them delve closely into the lives and relationships of Emperor penguins in Antarctica, tigers in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, and lions that roam and hunt on the plains of the Maasai Mara nature reserve in East Africa’s Kenya.
David the chimpanzee from Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Dynasties’. Credit: BBC
We can only hope that some good news stories star to emerge, rather than the horrific reality of David and his unruly gang of apes.
The British public surely won’t stand for any murdered penguins, will they?
Featured Image Credit: BBC