To the Editor: Have you ever been so excited about a meal that you broke into song? We have that, and many other traits, in common with gorillas: These
emotional animals hum when eating favorite foods, and communicate through a wide range of other vocalizations.
May 15th is Endangered Species Day, an ideal opportunity to learn more about these intelligent, expressive animals, with whom we share 98% of our DNA. In PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s new book, Animalkind, we read about gorillas’ meaningful grieving rituals. When a family member dies, gorillas will sit with the body of the deceased, gently touch their loved one, or hold their hand. In a German zoo, zookeepers observed a mother gorilla, Gana, carrying and gently shaking her recently deceased son, and guarding his body when workers tried to retrieve it from the enclosure.
Gorillas are at risk from poaching and habitat loss. We can assist in their survival by supporting organizations that help them stay in their natural habitat—or care for them in reputable sanctuaries—rather than attending zoos. Learn more about other fascinating animals who need our help by checking out Animalkind, available at www.PETA.org.