New study suggests that chimps may have ‘empathy’

The World

Researchers in the Loango National Park in Gabon first observed an adult chimpanzee treating a wound on her son's foot by rubbing an insect on it in 2019. They took notice and commenced a 15-monthlong study to see how often it happens. Turns out, pretty regularly, and it suggests something new: that chimps have the capacity for "prosocial behaviors," basically doing something to help others when there's no cost or personal gain for them. Marco Werman speaks with Simone Pika, a professor of Comparative Bio-Cognition at University of Osnabruck in Germany and co-director of the Ozouga Chimpanzee Project in Gabon which conducted the research.

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