In the Takasakiyama reserve on the island of Kyushu, Japan, a remarkable event unfolded. For the first time in the reserve’s 70-year history, a female macaque named Yakei has become the leader of the troop, which consists of 677 individuals.
Yakei’s journey to the top began in April when she displayed her determination by challenging her own mother to become the alpha female among other females in the group. However, her ambitions didn’t end there.
The 10-kilogram macaque then took on the head male of the pack, 31-year-old Sanchu, who had been leading the troop for the past five years.
This groundbreaking change in leadership is a first for the reserve, with no previous record of a female taking the role of the troop’s leader in its 70-year history.
According to Satoshi Kimoto, a guide from Takasakiyama, Yakei has been displaying rare behaviors for a female, such as climbing trees and shaking them to demonstrate strength.
Additionally, Yakei has been observed walking with her tail held up, an uncommon trait among female macaques.
To ascertain the new leadership, the reserve’s employees conducted a peanut test, where they scattered peanuts in the area where the monkeys reside and observed who would eat first. Surprisingly, Sanchu stepped back, and Yakei confidently claimed the treat, solidifying her position as the alpha female of the troop.