Friday 17 August 2012

"Gorilla joy!"

If you hadn't seen a member of your family for over two years, how would you react?

Possibly, it would look a little something like this:

Keepers at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire witnessed scenes of joy, as resident gorilla Kesho was reunited with his little brother, Alf, after having been apart for over two years!
This is just another example of animals experiencing emotions, and it's a heartwarming sight. 

There's a great article on animals and their emotions over at Psychology Today, so be sure to check it out!

If animals can recognise family members, and be happy to see them, so too can they mourn their loss when a member of that family passes. It was widely documented that Longleat's oldest resident, Nico expeienced depression and grief at the loss of his mate, Samba in 2007. 

David Alderton's book, Animal Grief, takes a look at how animals experience emotion, loss, and grief. 

Science is now providing some remarkable insights into animal behaviour, with crocodiles, for example, emerging as devoted parents, and elephants – like whales – able to communicate with each other across long distances by infrasound, which is inaudible to our ears. There seems little doubt that animals experience a range of emotions, just as we do; but can they grieve, too ...?
Evidence exists that, indeed, they can: in addition, David Alderton – award-winning, multi-million selling specialist animal author – contends that emotions – including grief – can potentially have a survival value for a species.
The authoritative, rational text is superbly supported by interesting, sensitive photographs, carefully chosen to be reflective of the subject matter.

If you'd like to learn more about this groundbreaking book, head over to the Hubble & Hattie website, and to see more of the brother's reunion, head over to the BBC News website.

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