Chimp mums 'mourn their dead infants'

Posted By: Ani
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London, Feb 1 (ANI): Scientists have revealed for the first time that female chimpanzees mourn their dead infants.

According to researchers, chimpanzee mothers establish close physical relationships with their young, carrying them for up to two years and nursing them until they are six, reports the Telegraph.

But now scientists have filmed how one chimpanzee mother, whose 16-month-old infant died, apparently begins the grieving process.

The ape continued to carry the body for more than 24 hours before tenderly laying on the ground. Then from a short distance she watches over her child.

Periodically she returns to the body and touches the face and neck with her fingers to establish it was dead.

She then took the body to other chimpanzees in the troop to get a second opinion. The following day the chimp had abandoned the body, according to a report by scientists from the respected Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Dr Katherine Cronin and Edwin Van Leeuwen together with Prof Mark Bodamer, of Gonzaga University in Washington State, and Innocent Chitalu Mulenga videoed the chimpanzee in Chimfunshi in Zambia.

Dr Cronin said the research provided "unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death."

The report has been published in the American Journal of Primatology. (ANI)

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