The Chimps Comfort Each Other

The Chimps Comfort Each Other

Chimpanzees that are raised in captivity can develop abnormal behaviors and continue to deal with stress even after they’ve been moved to sanctuary and are housed in normal-size social groups and efforts are made to enrich their lives. These behaviors may come from traumatic past experiences such early separation from their mothers or a restrictive life entertaining humans. In one study “researchers examined past case studies of individual chimps’ behavior and diagnosed 44 percent of the chimps with PTSD and 58 percent with depression.” The chimpanzee residents of Chimps Inc have dealt with these types of experiences but have found a family of fellow chimpanzees that help them to heal.

Last week when Patti seemed to be having an off day, her sister Thiele refused to leave her side. Thiele, Patti, and Topo kept in close proximity to each other all morning. After awhile I saw Topo take one of Patti’s hands while Thiele took the other and all three lovingly panted at each other while holding hands. Soon, Patti seemed to be in better spirits and spent the rest of her day searching for hidden treats outside. It was such a great sight to see that the chimps were there for each other when one of them needed comforting. Chimpanzees can have very deep relationships, which is why it is so important that they have the opportunity to live in family groups and develop these bonds.



Kaleigh, Social Media Editor