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Chimpanzees Grieve Over Dead In Rare Footage (VIDEO)

First Posted: 06/30/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:20 PM ET

UK researchers have captured footage of chimpanzees grieving over their dead, an emotion that had previously only been attributed to humans, Reuters reported.

Cameras in the enclosure at Blair Drummond Safari Park were left there as part of a previous study, but were turned on by the chimpanzees' keeper, Alasdair Gillies, to see how they chimpanzees would react. The footage shows three chimps tending to a deceased, elderly female relative, grooming her and checking for signs at life. At one point, one of the chimps becomes aggressive and pounds on the corpse, in a seeming attempt to resuscitate the body.

"I was surprised that they all gather 'round at the moment of death, and the subsequent, you know kind of manipulating the body, shaking her shoulder, shaking her head as if they were trying to rouse her," Louise C. Lock, a PhD student at Stirling University, told Reuters.

WATCH footage of the chimps grieving over their dead:

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Filed by Gazelle Emami  |