An interview on gorilla emotions

less than 1 minute read

The Pacific Standard is running a nice interview with anthropologist Barbara King, by Francie Diep: “How Do Gorillas Grieve?”. It touches on the recent killing of the gorilla, Harambe, at the Cincinnati Zoo, but broadens to consider the emotional lives of gorillas.

Q: What you’re saying reminds me that humans also evolved things like maternal love and aggressive responses, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t thinking, obviously.</strong>
A: That’s exactly right. I do not think it’s anthropomorphic to talk about grief in gorillas. Anthropomorphism is a projection of human qualities onto apes. Why would we say that grief is a human thing? I don’t think it is. I think it’s an animal thing, at least for some animals.