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David Baxter

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Washoe the chimp has died
By Mark on PsychBLOG

The famous research chimpanzee has died aged 42. She passed away last Tuesday night

Washoe (the first chimpanzee to learn human sign language) was born and captured in West Africa, briefly used for research by the US Air Force, and finally adopted by psychologists Beatrix and R. Allen Gardner, who raised her in their home and treated her like a deaf human child.

She was then adopted by Roger and Deborah Fouts, the directors of Central Washington University?s Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. In her lifetime, Washoe mastered the use of more than 250 signs and even taught them to another chimpanzee.

For more information visit http://www.friendsofwashoe.org.
 

^^Phoenix^^

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Beatrix and R. Allen Gardner must be pretty devistated, (I had no idea that chimps led such a long life)

I have a feeling that loosing such a 'special' creature is sad, let alone a family member.
 

David Baxter

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I was surprised that she was 42 though. I didn't realize chimps lived that long.
 

rebecca8

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If anyone is interested, I highly recommend the book 'When Elephants Weep, The Emotional Lives of Animals.' Washoe is mentioned to have had 2 babies that died shortly after birth. She was then given an adoptive baby. Her caretakers said that when they signed to her that they have a baby for her, she was very excited, and signed back "my baby," hoping to see her last child that had just died. She was sad to see it wasn't her own, but the next morning she was found sleeping with the new chimp, Loulis. He was taught fifty signs by her, and other chimpanzees in the group. I wonder if he was living with her, or is still alive.
Man, now I'm really thinking about how those poor dolphins feel on the coast of Japan. Anyone hear about that, and if there is something we can do?
 
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Her caretakers said that when they signed to her that they have a baby for her, she was very excited, and signed back "my baby," hoping to see her last child that had just died.
that is so heartbreaking. i really do think animals go through the same emotions we do. why else would a mother bear or lioness be so protective of their cubs? they don't want to lose them any more than we want to lose our children.
 

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