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Do Gorillas Feel Empathy? ( )

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Posted On: August 7, 2014
Date Taken: August 07, 2014


Videographer: Ron Cohn

Koko watches a movie that she's seen many times before, called "Tea with Mussolini." When it gets to the "sad" part (the boy is getting on a train and leaving his mother), Koko turns away. Then she begins signing "Frown", "Sad", "Trouble", "Mother" and she looks very tearful. Is she empathizing with the human characters in the movie? We will be conducting a study (Gorilla Emotional Awareness Research Study) soon to answer such questions and more. See Project Koko / Plans.

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Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.

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