Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Gorilla Wake

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Gorilla Wake

Okay, I can tell for sure that I've been too emotionally fragile lately. I read this CNN article about a Zoo Gorilla that had to be put down due to an incurable kidney condition, and I sat there staring at the screen silently for a few minutes just visualizing the scene as it is described. Then I got sad for like five minutes.


BROOKFIELD, Illinois (AP) -- After Babs the gorilla died at age 30, keepers at Brookfield Zoo decided to allow surviving gorillas to mourn the most influential female in their social family.

One by one Tuesday, the gorillas filed into the Tropic World building where Babs' body lay, arms outstretched. Curator Melinda Pruett Jones called it a "gorilla wake."

Babs' 9-year-old daughter, Bana, was the first to approach the body, followed by Babs' mother, Alpha, 43. Bana sat down, held Babs' hand and stroked her mother's stomach. Then she sat down and laid her head on Babs' arm.
Koola, 9, brought her infant daughter, whom Babs had showered with attention since her birth in August.

"Koola inspected Babs' mouth for a while, then held her baby close to Babs, like she loved to do the last couple months, letting Babs admire her," Green said.

Its sort of like when that lone Ewok dies in Return of the Jedi, and the other Ewok keeps trying to get him to get back up. Then he realizes his Ewok friend is dead, and lets out an Ewok cry of despair. Sad sad sad.