This chimpanzee’s response is beautiful.

washoe-the-chimpanzee

Too often people underestimate the intelligence and emotional capabilities of animals. The next time you hear someone underestimate an animals IQ and EQ, refer them to this story about a chimpanzee’s response to her caretaker’s miscarriage.

After her mother was killed, Washoe the chimpanzee was taken from the wild. Originally planned to be part of the U.S. space program, she was instead adopted by Drs. Allen and Beatrix Gardner for their own research on animal language acquisition. They raised her like a child, offering her love and companionship. She learned to brush her teeth, dress herself, and play games.

Washoe was taught to communicate using American sign language. She learned more than 350 words and was the first chimpanzee to communicate in this way.

While almost everything about Washoe is incredible, a particularly touching story is one involving a woman named Kat, a researcher and caretaker, who was away on leave after having a miscarriage. When she returned, Washoe was upset with her absence, but when Kat told Washoe why she was gone, something incredibly sweet happened.

chimp-sympathy

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