Cameroon | Nature | News



Via National Geographic: "Cameroon—At the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, more than a dozen residents form a gallery of grief, looking on as Dorothy—a beloved female felled in her late 40s by heart failure—is borne to her burial."

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  1. i saw this earlier today and cried. its so sweet and moving.

    Posted by: chris | Oct 28, 2009 10:42:40 AM

  2. I love your animal and environment-related posts, Andy. This is so touching.

    Posted by: E. | Oct 28, 2009 10:52:11 AM

  3. Grief? Possibly.

    More likely, though, it's a bunch of apes watching the relative commotion of a gurney going by.

    It reminds of the famous Nat Geo cover a few years ago showing two adult penguins on either side of a penguin chick. So many people anthropomorphized this threesome into Mom, Dad, and baby that the Nat Geo had to publish a statement saying that, no, these were just three birds standing near each other.

    Posted by: alan | Oct 28, 2009 11:02:37 AM

  4. With blurry eyes, i wonder who could watch this and not think that animals have feelings and emotions?

    Posted by: Matteo | Oct 28, 2009 11:04:24 AM

  5. I clicked to comment that this is the perfect post to see after the hateful "gays die before they get old" story. Even Alan's Debbie Downer comment couldn't ruin it for me. Thanks Andy!

    Posted by: aj | Oct 28, 2009 11:06:06 AM

  6. So sad. :(

    Posted by: J.P. | Oct 28, 2009 11:15:06 AM

  7. Wow, Alan, you seem like such a lovely person. I bet the fellas are clamoring to get a piece of you. Heartlessness is so hot.

    Chimps are known to mourn.

    Posted by: crispy | Oct 28, 2009 11:28:49 AM

  8. I had the same reaction as AJ.
    Thanks Andy!

    Posted by: notshychirev | Oct 28, 2009 11:31:29 AM

  9. Oh, and Alan, I can understand your doubts, but if you follow the link to Nat. Geo. and then the link to the story, you'll learn that Andy's description comports with the eyewitness accounts.

    Posted by: notshychirev | Oct 28, 2009 11:35:23 AM

  10. Claiming that animals have no feelings is simply a way of trying to make yourself feel superior.

    Look at those beautiful Chimpanzee faces and the differences in them. I heard that other than a few sounds, the Chimps were mostly silent as they grieved for their lost friend/sister/mother.

    Posted by: Bobby | Oct 28, 2009 11:48:42 AM

  11. @Notshychirev: Actually, Andy's description is Nat Geo's description.

    Posted by: Jon B | Oct 28, 2009 11:52:21 AM

  12. They could just as easily be thinking: "Hmmm..I think I'll throw some of my shit at those people."

    Notshy, the "scientist" who insisted this was a mass show of grief is a photographer/volunteer. Also, some of the chimps showed signs of aggression, or other grunts of unintelligible communication. "Almost tangible silence" in describing the scene is not scientific proof of anything but anthropomorphism.

    I have no doubt chimps express and feel grief, but this picture is no more proof of that than the gawking crowds shots of people as Ted Kennede's hearse passed that those people were self-evident displays of mass grief rather then just morbid curiosity.

    Asking questions like this doesn't make a person heartless, either. I save my deep feelings for reality, thank you.

    Posted by: JIB | Oct 28, 2009 11:55:14 AM

  13. Goes to show how animals are sometimes smarter than people. I don't see any Westboro Baptist Chimpanzees picketing this funeral.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Oct 28, 2009 11:55:24 AM

  14. Gee, Andy, what a catch you must be for your significant other. The both of you must ALWAYS be so cheerful and upbeat.

    Andy, even though this is obviously a very sad and touching moment for all involved; chimp and man alike, it is at the same time an uplifting and hopeful scene. It's made my day!

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 28, 2009 11:58:39 AM

  15. Oops...I meant Alan not Andy is the heartless slob

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 28, 2009 12:00:38 PM

  16. Truly stunning.

    Posted by: Chris in MN | Oct 28, 2009 12:01:32 PM

  17. The evidence that many animals are capable not just of feeling emotion, but complex emotions, is overwhelming. I highly recommend the work of Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinologist from Stanford University, who has studied wild baboons for decades as part of his research into stress and neuronal degeneration. Some of his lectures are available on iTunes (iTunes U) for free, and if you can you *really* should find a copy of this video:

    Although he might not put it this way, he actually predicted the effects of stress on humans from his observations on the animal model, including the extremely complex stress patterns of British governmental workers.

    You will never think about stress the same way again, and it will knock your socks off.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 28, 2009 12:08:28 PM

  18. I have heard that chimps throw their crap at passers by, ALAN & JIB you two should go and stroll by the chimps center. If they miss I'm sure many of ANDY's fans here can find some shit to throw your way.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 28, 2009 12:11:06 PM

  19. What a sweet and heartbreaking picture. Thank you so much for sharing the picture and the story.

    Posted by: Chris | Oct 28, 2009 12:11:32 PM

  20. After anyone watches the documentaries about coco, the gorillia who learned sign language, it is obvious that apes have emotions and can communicate them.

    Posted by: KFLO | Oct 28, 2009 12:45:29 PM

  21. Hey JIB, where did you receive your degree in science, zoology, or even biology? If you don't have one, stop trying to pretend you know enough to dispute actual scientists. K THANKS BYE

    Posted by: KFLO | Oct 28, 2009 12:47:50 PM

  22. KFLO, it was Koko, not Coco. You're thinking of Chanel, sweetums. If you're going to try and lecture others, at least get your information down. No wonder the people at the graduate school where I work are nearly all foreigners. Americans are such dolts about these matters. And then they have the moronic chutzpah to get all huffy when simply someone points out the errors in their thinking. Now, run along and buy a magic pony....

    Posted by: JIB | Oct 28, 2009 1:26:37 PM

  23. Alan might be technically correct, but seems to have completely missed the larger point.

    (also guessing he has a MAJOR inferiority complex)

    Posted by: Dan | Oct 28, 2009 1:30:04 PM

  24. Remember when Towleroad comments didn't so closely resemble those found on Datalounge?

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 28, 2009 2:19:15 PM

  25. Wow, cat fight on Towleroad. Maybe chimps do take the high road.

    Posted by: Juicy | Oct 28, 2009 5:35:49 PM

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