Murder in the Troop

About

Amid the pristine wilderness of Africa’s Zambezi region unfolds a sinister tale of political upheaval, sexual intrigue, and Murder in the Troop.

Along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in the high plains of northern Zimbabwe, a troop of chacma baboons tend to their daily routines in accordance with the rules of social order that make for a stable and cohesive community.

Alliances can mean the difference between life and death, as each day brings a myriad of challenges. Months of searing heat and drought grip the land, and ambushes by rival troops and predators such as leopards, crocodiles, and pythons pose imminent threats.

A rare set of twins born to the dominant male and female face an especially difficult trial. In an environment where only a quarter of infants survive their first year, the odds are stacked against them. But their “royal parentage” could carry some advantages for their survival.

In the Zambezi, privilege can be lost as quickly as it is gained. A large male from a neighboring troop enters their ranks, determined to unseat the dominant male. In a swift and decisive battle, the king is deposed and the entire stability of the troop is thrown into turmoil. Under the rule of the new alpha male, the twins are no longer safe — the intruder has cast his eye on their mother. But the infants are not yet weaned and until they are, their mother will remain sexually unavailable. For the tyrant, the equation is simple and brutal, but just how far will he go?

The rains are late and the dry season stretches into its eighth month. Competition for food brings the troop’s inherent rivalries to the surface, and bouts of infighting break out. The alliances that were once the binding thread of the group begin to come undone.

Meanwhile, only one of the twins has survived, and he must grapple with his brother’s murder, his father’s overthrow, and a mother whose affections have been commandeered by the one responsible for the heinous deeds.

Online content for Murder in the Troop was originally posted April 2006.

Production Credits Print

Television Credits

Narrated by
JAY O. SANDERS

Producers
LYNNE & PHILIP RICHARDSON

Cinematographers
PHILIP & LYNNE RICHARDSON
RIAAN LAUBSCHER
JEFF HOGAN
GIL DOMB

Editors
DAVE DICKIE
TINY LAUBSCHER

Composer
GRANT McLACHLAN

Sound Edit and Final Mix
PANORAMA SOUND - MIKE BERRIDGE

On-line Editors
RIGNOLD HAYWOOD
SAM ALESSANDRI

Field Sound Recordings
PHILIP RICHARDSON

Production Coordinators
FIONA McKENZIE
EMMA DAWSON
HEATHER MASTERSON
ALISON BEST

Field Assistants
STEFAN CILLIERS
DANIE DU PREEZ
CHRIS MUVENGWA
CHRISTOPHER MUDZAMATIRI
SHELTON MUNYORO
VICE KAGODA

The Producers Wish to Thank:
Zimbabwe Department of Wildlife & National Parks
Zimbabwe Ministry of Information & Tourism
Professor Peter Henzi
Dr Louise Barrett
Elickson Ndlovu
Norman Monks
Vernon & Lynne Booth

Post Production Facilities
THE REFINERY - CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

For DEVILLIER DONEGAN ENTERPRISES

Production Manager
TAWANDA MORRIS

Programme Development
REBECCA GOLDFIELD

Supervising Producer
GREG DIEFENBACH

Executive Producers
RON DEVILLIER
BRIAN DONEGAN

© 2003 Africa Wildlife Films

For NATURE:

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Producers
JILL CLARKE
PATTY JACOBSON

Associate Producer
IRENE TEJARATCHI

Production Secretary
RACHAEL TEEL

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Online Editor
KERRY SOLOWAY

Sound Mixer
ED CAMPBELL

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

Produced by Africa Wildlife Films in association with Devillier Donegan Enterprises

This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content

© 2006 Educational Broadcasting Corporation

 

Web Credits

Producer
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Writer
GIANNA SAVOIE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

About the Writer

Gianna Savoie is a New York based freelance writer and documentary film producer specializing in science and natural history. Her work has appeared on the award-winning PBS series, NATURE as well as on The Discovery Channel. She has also written and illustrated a book on rainforest plants.

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.