This blog has moved!

Please go to my new Psychology Today blog to see what I'm up to. To buy the book, Bonobo Handshake, please visit my website. To follow the adventures of the Lola ya Bonobo orphans, please visit Friends of Bonobos

Thursday, January 7, 2010

chimpanzee funeral

I've been meaning to show this to you for a while, it's about a chimpanzee funeral in Sierra Leone:

I think it's funny that some researchers still question an animal's ability to experience true grief. Everyone who has a dog knows that animals are capable of great emotion, so for apes, who are so closely related to us, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

I remember seeing a bonobo die at Lola, it was Lipopo, and several of the other bonobos, inlcuding Mimi, clung to his dead body and refused to let go. Even when the vet turned up with a dart gun, which looks like a gun, right? Which was the last thing these orphans saw before their mothers were killed, they still wouldn't let the body go. I still cry every time I see the video.

And some people say that because humans are the only ones who cry tears, only we can feel true sorrow, true grief. If that's true, then it's us and crocodiles, because their eyes leak salt water too.

I truly believe that bonobos understand death, and they mourn it, like we do.

Watch y'all think?