One of the first and most significant discoveries made by Jane Goodall was that chimpanzees hunt for and eat meat.

During her first year she observed a male chimp, David Greybeard, an adult female, and a juvenile eating what Jane realized was a young bushpig. Before this, it had been assumed that chimpanzees ate only fruit and leaves.

On that first occasion it was not clear whether the chimpanzees had caught and killed the prey, or merely come upon a carcass. But a short time later Jane actually observed the hunting process when a group of chimpanzees attacked, killed, and ate a red colobus monkey that had climbed high into a tree. The hunters covered all available escape routes while one adolescent male crept after the prey and caught it, whereupon the other males rushed up and seized parts of the carcass.

Successful hunters typically share some portion of their kill with other group members in response to a variety of begging behaviours. Most of the captured animal is eaten, including the brain. Meat is a favoured food item among chimpanzees, but does not make up more than two percent of their overall diet.