Primates and Empathy

This page provides compiled descriptions and video footage to support the understanding that animals exhibit empathy, as asserted by de Waal.  I will include as many primate examples as possible, but will also share examples of other animals exhibiting similar care.

1)  Yawning chimps – now this may seem boring but the video below of yawning chimps, posted in March (2014), has scientific significance.  Contagious yawning may be a sign of human-like empathy, and Frans de Waal and colleagues are conducting research in this area.  See the article in Science News.  The video clip is credited to de Waal and Campbell:

2)  New film by Disney (a serious film, in collaboration with Jane Goodall) – Chimpanzee:

See also this Guardian (Observer) article about the film:

3)  Frans de Waal’s video of Moral Behavior in Animals:

4)  This example of elephants reuniting certainly proves that the elephants had cared for each other and had an attachment:

5)  Willingness to share and life-long bonds shown in this Yale University video with David Watts, Backstage in the Wild: Yale Insights into Chimpanzees:

Although de Waal would argue that we can learn a lot about ourselves from bonobos, with their inclination to be less aggressive than chimpanzees.

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