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"What's Dr. Zira trying to prove?"
―The Hunt Leader

When Taylor, Dodge and Landon reached the primitive human inhabitants of this planet, they were almost immediately interrupted by the sound of hunting horns and ran away with the terrified humans. Taylor could not believe his eyes when he saw the Hunt Leader - a gorilla, dressed, armed, and on horseback.

The Hunt Leader appeared in close-up shortly into the hunt scene, dropping his arm to signal the use of the nets. He was then the middle gorilla when the three gorilla hunters got their picture taken by the photographer, and was seen again chatting with Zaius in the 'outside cages' scene, where he said he "doesn't understand these animal psychologists."


  • In the the final shooting script, a scene appears in which a group of gorilla hunters stop Zira and Lucius and try to commandeer their cart (which holds the escaping Taylor and Nova). The Hunt Leader is only dissuaded when informed that the humans are rabid, and as they ride away he spits "I still say the only good human is a dead human".[1] Photos of the scene exist, suggesting that it was filmed but deleted from the final cut of the movie. The Hunt Leader's bitter comment was later used by General Ursus in the follow-up, Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • In Pierre Boulle's original novel the hunters arrive in landrovers and dressed in the uniforms of the British hunting elite, but the overall essence is much the same.
  • Though the Hunt Leader and Marcus are often assumed to be the same character, this is not the case, as they were played by two different actors.
  • The gorilla in the middle of the photograph at the hunt scene is identified in the 2011 novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes as Sub-Chief Cerek, Marcus' deputy as leader of the Simian Secret Security Police Force. Though loyal to Marcus, he sympathised with - and offered his support to - Ursus' cause and felt that the orangutans had maintained control by dividing the gorillas against each other. He became Chief after Marcus' death, his first duty to dispose of Zao and Mungwortt.


  • The Hunt Leader speaks to Zaius as a friend and almost as an equal, unlike any other gorilla; he must be one of the most senior ranking gorillas and a leading member of society, somewhat similar to the role of Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • In Rod Serling's earlier script treatments, the Hunt Leader was an ape named 'Mr. Digby'. Zira telephoned him when her newly-discovered astronaut captive wanted to find his crew-mates.
  • According to The Ape newspaper distributed in theatres showing the movie in 1968, the hunt was carried out by the 'Gorilla Scouting Corps', "whose responsibility is the control of the large bands of human animals known to be roaming the more remote but fertile areas to the North of the Capital foraging for food". The corn field where the humans were captured was "skirting the Eastern edge of Forbidden Zone." The same publication also suggested the hunters were under the direction of Head of Security Marcus.[2]


Taylor's first sight of the planet's new rulers


A gorilla stops Lucius and Zira as they escape the city, in a scene that was cut A gorilla stops Lucius and Zira as they escape the city, in a scene that was cut The Hunt Leader in 'Marvel's Adventures on the Planet of the Apes'; illustration by George Tuska, Michael Esposito & George Roussos

Planet of the Apes - The Original Pentalogy Series
Planet of the Apes (APJ) Movies
Planet of the Apes | Beneath the Planet of the Apes | Escape from the Planet of the Apes | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Main Ape Characters
Zira | Cornelius | Zaius | Ursus | Milo | Caesar | Lisa | Virgil | Aldo | Cornelius II | Lawgiver
Supporting Ape Characters
Hunt Leader | Julius | Marcus | Galen | Honorius | Maximus | President of the Assembly | Lucius | Minister | Minister | Frank | Mandemus
Main Human Characters
George Taylor | Nova | John Landon | Dodge | John Brent | Mendez XXVI | Caspay | Ongaro | Albina | Fat Man | Lewis Dixon | Stephanie Branton | Otto Hasslein | Armando | Breck | MacDonald (Conquest) | MacDonald (Battle) | Kolp | Mendez I
Supporting Human Characters
Stewart | Maddox | Verger | General Winthrop | General Faulkner | The President | Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry | E-1 | E-2 | Inspector Hoskyns | TV Newscaster | Mrs Riley | Mutant Captain | Jake | Jake's friend
Horse | Gorilla in Zoo
Items / Weapons
Sacred Scrolls | Human Doll | Alpha-Omega Bomb | Grape Juice Plus
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion
Bellatrix | Orion | Earth's Moon | Ape City | Forbidden Zone | Statue of Liberty | Queensboro Plaza | Radio City Music Hall | Grand Central Terminal | New York Stock Exchange | St. Patrick's Cathedral' | New York City | Jefferson Public School | Los Angeles | Los Angeles Zoo | Forbidden City | Ape City (Caesar's City) | Council
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes | Exile on the Planet of the Apes | Planet of the Apes: Ursus| Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern | Kong on the Planet of the Apes | Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Music Of The Planet Of The Apes