Are chimpanzees mourning the deaths of a nine-year-old male and infant? Researchers have released never-before-seen video of a chimp community in Zambia reacting to the loss. Though the scientists hesitate to use the human understanding of the word “mourning,” at least one imagines the footage will make people “think for a moment what might be possible in the minds of other primates.” Edwin van Leeuwen of The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics says:
“They behave differently as a group as in any other situation as we have seen before. Whether we can call that ‘mourning ‘or what that entails exactly based on what we know in humans as mourning is difficult to say for anybody.”
The scientists have released this video in the hope that other researchers will see it, and have the chance to videotape similar scenes. It’s hoped that a compilation of data and video evidence will help answer questions about our primate cousins, and whether they might have similar thoughts about death to ours.
Source: National Geographic