Well, turns out we are emotionally similar to monkeys – not in the idea that when we get all worked up we sling our shit at each other, but more that some species of monkeys go through grieving periods when they lose a close friend or family member.
Over the last week, the Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Scotland closed to the public so that their group of lion-tailed macaques could grieve the death of one of its youngest troupe members.
The park staff posted on their Facebook at the end of last year, stating that the park was to remain closed for “essential work with some of our wildlife”, following it up the next day with a statement about the money clan needing some space to process the loss of the youngest monkey, giving us reason to believe that monkeys – much like us – endure loss, heartache, and grieve for the dead.
A rare and endangered species with approximately 4000 left both in the wild and in captivity, lion-tailed macaques are a very social species. Part of their grieving process for group members that pass away include guarding and preening the body of the deceased – a natural process that helps the wider group come to terms with the death.
The wildlife centre has promised to be reopened to public on Thursday Jan 4, after the monkey group have had enough time to go through their instinctual loss processes.
Many visitors and supporters of the Scottish zoo have praised staff for making the decision to put the animals’ needs above their business, and allow the troupe to mourn the young monkey as they would in the wild.