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Published on Jun 18, 2011
Koko watches intently a DVD movie on her TV that she has seen several times before. It is called Tea with Mussolini. When it comes to a sad part, where the boy has to say goodbye to all of his relatives and waves goodbye on the train, Koko turns away from the TV. She then proceeds to sign: "Frown, sad, cry, bad, trouble, mother and Koko-love." Her eyes also look very watery. (Gorillas cry too.)
Lesson: There is mounting scientific evidence that great apes can feel empathy for others. This example points to the possibility that gorillas, in particular, may also be able to empathize with fictional human characters portrayed by actors—or at least be moved by them