The Grief Of Animals

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Jennifer Viegas relays two new studies on the behavior of chimps:

"In the days before Pansy died, the others were notably attentive towards her, and they even altered their routine sleeping arrangements to remain by her, by sleeping on the floor in a room where they don't usually sleep," lead author James Anderson told Discovery News. Blossom, another elderly female, and Pansy's daughter, Rosie, both stroked and groomed the dying Pansy, and sometimes just sat, subdued, beside the elderly female. Blossom's son Chippy checked to see if Pansy was alive by manipulating her arms and trying to open her mouth.

All of the chimps tossed and turned at night, much more than normal, during the dying female's final few days.

Video caption:

Three adult chimpanzees gather around an elderly chimpanzee as she dies peacefully. They contact her and closely inspect her face at the presumed moment of death. One chimpanzee in particular manipulates the dying females head and shoulders. In the absence of signs of life, two of the chimpanzees leave. The remaining chimpanzee remains for longer, forages, and then moves away.

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