This gruesome video captures the moment a pack of hungry chimpanzees rip apart a rival monkey in a desperate search for food.

The footage shows the group of four hungry chimps prowling a wild forest as they search for something to eat.

After their search for food proves fruitless the ravenous chimps are forced to look elsewhere for something to eat.

The chimpanzee then lock eyes on a monkey at the top of the tree, who is cradling a baby in her arms.

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The aggressive apes then bound towards the smaller creature, leaping up towards her.

The terrified monkey puts her baby down and attempts to distract the chimpanzees as they rapidly approach her.

But her attempts are futile, and within seconds the crazed chimpanzees are in the treetops and have snatched up the little monkey and torn it to pieces.

Distressing footage from the attack shows blood pouring down the trees and soaking the leaves as the chimps feast on their prey.

The footage, showing nature at its cruelest, was originally filmed in Africa for the hit BBC wildlife programme Planet Earth, but has recently been circulating online.

Chimpanzees noamally exist on a diet of fruit, leaves, flowers and seeds but are sometimes driven to eating insects, birds, eggs and other monkeys if food is in short supply.

The chimpanzee then lock eyes on a monkey at the top of the tree. Photo / BBC
The chimpanzee then lock eyes on a monkey at the top of the tree. Photo / BBC

The animals have been known to exhibit vicious behaviour, and have even eaten each other on occasion.

Just last month the gruesome remains of a West African chimpanzee named Foudouko were found still bleeding hours after his death, with evidence that he had been beaten, killed, and partially cannibalized by members of his own community.

The aggressive apes then bound towards the smaller creature, leaping up towards her. Photo / BBC
The aggressive apes then bound towards the smaller creature, leaping up towards her. Photo / BBC

While chimpanzees are known to kill rivals from other tribes, intragroup murders such as this are extremely rare, with just nine cases on record to date.

Researchers say the unusual ratio of adult males to females in this particular group may have given rise to the grisly encounter, as competition to reproduce intensified.