Chimps Mourn Friend Dorothy’s Death

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(National Geographic, November 2009, Monica Szczupider/Solent)

I chose to include photos of animals in my children’s books to help little ones understand that all of God’s creatures experience feelings of fear and loneliness, grief and sadness, joy and love. If anyone ever doubted the emotional capacity of animals, take a look at the poignant photograph (above). It shows a family of normally-lively chimpanzees lined up along the fence in silence to pay their last respects to Dorothy, an elderly chimpanzee, as she is laid to rest.

Or consider these two painful images, depicting Gana, a mother gorilla, who cannot accept the fact that her child has died. She mourned for weeks, cradling her child and refusing to allow Germany zookeepers to take the body from her.

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Two more examples were caught on video by those who study elephants.

And of course, my favorite of all, Christian the Lion.

There are countless examples of animal emotions – yet scientist continue to debate whether or not humans are the only living creatures who have souls. Now go hug a furry friend!

j

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