© 2024 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Scientific Method: How Animals Grieve

Steve Culver cries with his dog Otis as he talks about what he said was the, "most terrifying event in his life," when Hurricane Harvey blew in and destroyed most of his home while he and his wife took shelter there on August 26, 2017 in Rockport, Texas. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Steve Culver cries with his dog Otis as he talks about what he said was the, "most terrifying event in his life," when Hurricane Harvey blew in and destroyed most of his home while he and his wife took shelter there on August 26, 2017 in Rockport, Texas. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you saw a group of birds gathered around the dead body of one of their own, what would you think they were doing? 

What if you saw a mother chimpanzee holding its deceased child for days, even weeks, refusing to relinquish its body? 

What about a cat that won’t eat after losing a playmate? Or a dog heaving sobs over its owner’s grave? 

According to scientists, the birds, the chimp, the cat and the dog are grieving. 

Grief is an experience we all face, including animals. We discuss how animals mourn and what this can teach us about our own relationship to death. 

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Haili Blassingame

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.