Empathy in Apes!

From  I fucking love science

I fucking love science

From Support For The Elderly:

“Binti Jua is a western lowland gorilla female in the Brookfield Zoo, in Brookfield, Illinois. Binti is most well known for an incident which occurred on August 16, 1996, when she was eight years old.A three-year old boy climbed the wall around her zoo enclosure and fell 18 feet onto concrete below, rendering him unconscious with a broken hand and a vicious gash on the side of his face.

Binti walked to the boy’s side while helpless spectators screamed, certain the gorilla would harm the child. Another larger female gorilla approached, and Binti growled.Binti picked up the child, cradling him with her right arm as she did her own infant, gave him a few pats on the back, and carried him 18 meters (59 ft) to an access entrance, so that zoo personnel could retrieve him. Her 17-month-old baby, Koola, clutched her back throughout the incident.

It’s been debated amongst primatologists as to whether this behaviour was a result of training or behaviour. Binti was specially trained to care for her infant, and so it’s possible that this behaviour was simply an extension of that. Other experts cite her as an example of empathy in animals.

Similar situations have occurred before – male gorilla Jambo, of Jersey Zoo, protected and cared for a five year old child who fell into his enclosure.

More information on empathy in apes: http://bit.ly/10IBJwm

The boy spent four days in the hospital and recovered fully.”


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