Is this haunting picture proof that chimps really DO grieve?

United in what appears to be deep and profound grief, a phalanx of more than a dozen chimpanzees stood in silence watching from behind the wire of their enclosure as the body of one of their own was wheeled past.

This extraordinary scene took place recently at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, West Africa.

When a chimp called Dorothy, who was in her late 40s, died of heart failure, her fellow apes seemed to be stricken by sorrow.

As they wrapped their arms around each other in a gesture of solidarity, Dorothy’s female keeper gently settled her into the wheelbarrow which carried her to her final resting place - not before giving this much-loved inhabitant of the centre a final affectionate stroke on the forehead.

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Animals do have connections to one another…often one dog will die and then the other not far behind it beucase they are accoustomed to living in their “pack” samd with cats.

However…people bring food. None of the apes seem distressed…they see commotion and people and are curious…and most warm-blooded creatures display curiosity.

How sad.

Yes animals feel compassion. This is not a surprise we see this all the time in the animal world. Animals we stay with their died young and grieve their loss.

This doesn’t suprise me one bit. Of course animals grieve. My 18 year-old cat who loved her dad is still looking for my father. He’s been dead for 7 years. She lies by the door and waits for him.

Well on it;s own no the picture doesn;t prove anything. But plenty of research has been done and I think at this point we could probably say that yes chimps as well as some other animals really do express more complex emotions such as grief.

If the chimps were crying, I would think they were sad. In this picture they just look curious.

Crying is just one possible way to show grief.

Yep. I’ve seen photographs of chimps holding the corpse of their baby, and grief seems clear. But I am not sure that the photo in the OP shows grief. It looks an awful lot like curiosity.

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