This story about the consumption of Bonobos is getting a lot of circulation today. Several years ago there was a book published on this topic, Eating Apes, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. To some extent the “ape eating” stories are partly fueled by P.T. Barnum like fascination, I believe that ape consumption is cognitively redolent of cannibalism, without quite fitting the bill. The stories about ape consumption in Africa highlight two opposing tendencies, the first to treat apes as just another food source, and the second to consider apes a form of human. It seems likely to me that threats to biodiversity and “niche competition” are likely a greater threat to our sister species than primary consumption, nevertheless, what is happening today to the great apes is perhaps an echo of the past of our own species as it expanded throughout to the world. To make it explicit, it seems plausible that Homo sapiens simply ate our sister species when they were on hand. This might not have been the primary means by which the hominid bush of life was “pruned,” but it was probably one of the tools on hand.
Addendum: There is some genetic evidence for persistent human cannibalism as a common feature of our species’ behavior, though there have been recent disputes over the statistical methods used in the initial study.