Trump’s Behavior Similar To Male Chimpanzee, Says Jane Goodall

A Chimpanzee jumps at a glass screen as primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall holds a press conference at Taronga Zoo July 14, 2006 in Sydney, Australia.

Donald Trump’s antics remind famed anthropologist Jane Goodall of the primates she spent decades studying in the wild.

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Goodall told The Atlantic. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks.”

Goodall added, “the more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

To date, we’ve not seen Trump drag branches or throw rocks, although anything is possible. Instead of physical displays, the Republican presidential nominee has stuck to verbal ones ― bragging about his penis, launching personal attacks and resorting to racist and sexist insults.


Trump is set to debate his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, on Sept. 26. When it happens, Goodall told The Atlantic she’ll be thinking of “Mike,” a chimpanzee she studied that displayed dominance by kicking kerosene cans, creating a racket that sent would-be challengers fleeing.

Unsurprisingly, Trump has already boasted that he will come out on top, telling The New York Times “I know how to handle Hillary.”

Whether his strategy includes childish tidbits has yet to be seen. Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s book The Art of the Deal, however, bets it will.

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” Schwartz told the Times. “Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,


7 thoughts on “Trump’s Behavior Similar To Male Chimpanzee, Says Jane Goodall

  1. I consider myself to have a good sense of humor, but denigrating other animals’ behavior by comparing it to a person like donald trump is not funny. Ms. Goodall should know better; ha ha, its funny to see gorilla hands made into ashtrays. Come on, lets not let this dysfunctional charade called a presidential election turn us into more unfeeling creatures than we already are.

  2. Chimpanzees have an excuse for acting like, well, chimpanzees.

    Maybe we should all send some bananas to Trump Tower.

    I must say I was disappointed in Dr. Goodall, whom I uusually admire, for saying Harambe had to die. I wish she would have said nothing rather than excuse the zoo and the mother for their carelessness.

    • I was too; it seems that many feel that in order to foster acceptance of animal welfare, they must say and do things to placate humanity, and reassure them of their place in the hierarchy. The problem with that is not only that It doesn’t work, and I feel actually impedes and stifles any progress.

      I’ll never forget a person saying ‘wolves make things difficult for people’. Boo-hoo and where’s my violin. Not as difficult as people make it for wolves!

      • The thing recently that made me chuckle was that the Cincy Zoo had to shut down its Twitter account, due to criticism and just asinine human comments generally I guess. Yay!!!

      • Wolves make things difficult for people? I think we know thousands of dead wolves would disagree.

        I thought I was the only one who thought that about Harambe. I read every article I could find, with hundreds of comments. Many people felt bad, but . . . . Harambe was an animal, or only an animal, etc., etc. As you note, he was put in his place.

      • They must have taken her out of context – surely since we are all primates too, we share these behaviors, and a hell of a lot worse. Anyway, he’d fit right in in Washington. Look at Sen. Imhofe, for example! 😉

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