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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Claudio, Rest in Peace

Written by PETA | August 21, 2008
kdrv / CC
Gana and Claudio

News from Germany this week, where Gana, a gorilla in the Muenster Zoo, has been raising her baby boy, Claudio. This past weekend, Claudio suddenly died, possibly from a heart defect.

Heartbroken, Gana kept carrying her dead baby on her back as she had when he was alive, looking back again and again in the hope of finding him recovered. She held her child up, desperately searching for signs of movement in his limp body, and sat cradling him.

Zoo visitors were visibly moved and many cried upon seeing Gana’s grief. But no one who has been paying attention to animals should be surprised by the depth of emotion that Gana showed in her mourning. Animals feel pain, fear, anger, love, and grief. Mother cows bellow for their calves, who are taken away so that humans can drink the milk that they make solely to nourish their babies. Dogs, beavers, and monkeys take pity on orphaned animals and adopt them as their own. Animals—from pigs to porpoises—show concern for humans, too, by going to great lengths to rescue us from peril.

Yet people often look away from this glaring evidence of sentience. By convincing themselves that animals don’t feel deeply—that they’re “not like us”—humans have justified inflicting all kinds of horrors on animals. But if people torturing primates in laboratories or slaughtering gorillas in the Congo could look into Gana’s shattered heart, they might wake up to the true cost of their actions.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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  • antigone1000 says:

    sub080808 How is my statement hypocritical?? If a person can empathize with one animal but still eat another animal that person IS a hypocrite. Same as the person who berates another for mistreating those animalsdogs eg about whom he cares while eating those animals about whom he does not care cows eg. Far too many people spout off about cruelty to animals while practicing it themselves. If that is not hypocrisy explain what it is.

  • sub080808 says:

    “It never ceases to amaze me how selfish and hypocritical human beings can be.” You are being hypocritical in your very statement. Anger and hatred is never the way to reach anyone you’re trying to convince their way is not the better way. You simply can’t fight anger and hatred with anger and hatred. PETA’s message is a good one but is sadly lost on many in the delivery.

  • vegancoin says:

    “It was the compassion and empathy that both passenger pigeons and Carolina parakeets had that when any one of them was injured they would all stay in the face of danger rather than flee to try to help their own kind that resulted in their extinctions because hunters used this to kill even more of them because they refused to leave their fellow birds in their time of need. Hunters would purposely injure blind and nail a pigeon to a stool stool pigeon who would call out for help to other pigeons so that many others would come trying to help only to get shot and killed this way. Thus inhumane hunters took advantage of birds that were humane enough to try to help each other in the face of danger. Both kinds of birds are now extinct because they were too kind to each other. A very sad true story.” Thank you for that true story. An honest look into the emptyheaded reasoning stark cruelty coldhearted emotions and psychotic destructive behavior that is all too often practiced by some human beings and often defines their social mindset. Very sad and very tragic.

  • lynda downie says:

    Gana my deepest sympathy for the death of your baby Claudio.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Brandie R I don’t think you can ever truly process emotion as I do. Maybe I should take your rights away???

  • brandie r says:

    I understand what you’re saying and agree to an extent. I have heard of dogs becoming sad when ntheir playmate another dog dies. I don’t think animals can truly process an emotion the way humans do. But I also don’t think we will ever truly understand animals their thinking and such. This story however people view it is heart breaking.

  • Helen says:

    I am really grieved by the gorilla story. I know surely that animals do emote . Being a psychologist with special interest in animal behavior I have always noted interesting mood changes and behaviour of animals. I feel that people who think animals dont have emotion are runing away from facts or their own guilt. People say that at first humans should be cared for and animals are secondary. this becomes basis for animals going hungry. This is amounting to torture. Also people grieving their pets death are loss of pets are looked at as though they are funny aliens! The remark made is ” there are so many children dying is an animal that important?” I pity these people as they definitely are lacking in true humaneness!

  • John Gilbert says:

    It was the compassion and empathy that both passenger pigeons and Carolina parakeets had that when any one of them was injured they would all stay in the face of danger rather than flee to try to help their own kind that resulted in their extinctions because hunters used this to kill even more of them because they refused to leave their fellow birds in their time of need. Hunters would purposely injure blind and nail a pigeon to a stool stool pigeon who would call out for help to other pigeons so that many others would come trying to help only to get shot and killed this way. Thus inhumane hunters took advantage of birds that were humane enough to try to help each other in the face of danger. Both kinds of birds are now extinct because they were too kind to each other. A very sad true story.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Once again it is evident that humans are not the most intelligent of all species. I shudder when anyone comments that humans are the most intelligent animal we are quite simply the most ignorant selfish and greedy. I am somewhat thankful that this baby gorilla did not have to endure a lifetime of imprisonment in the zoo.

  • vegancoin says:

    “I can’t help but wonder how many of those zoo visitors who were so touched by this mother’s grief went home and ate a big chunk of flesh. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish and hypocritical human beings can be.” Good point Antigone spot on. It’s a selfish money thing seeing that people can’t equate their carelessness selfishness and greed with real suffering and emotional loss.

  • Maureen says:

    The photo says it all.

  • Kim P. says:

    It breaks mt heart to see and hear that people still don’t understand what they are doing when the harm animals. What makes them think that they have the right? Who left them in charge of cruelty? It makes me sick! My heart goes out to Gana. God bless her.

  • Niranjan says:

    “I can’t help but wonder how many of those zoo visitors who were so touched by this mother’s grief went home and ate a big chunk of flesh. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish and hypocritical human beings can be.” RIGHTLY SAID!!!!

  • Courtney says:

    Truly heartbreaking…I hope the visitors from this zoo do not forget that image…as Shari said above a picture is worth a thousand words and this one should definitely be put on the for front for future animal protests.

  • Nikki says:

    This is heartbreaking! Animals are just as worthy of life as humans more people should realise that. Just because they can’t speak our language many think they don’t feel love sadness pain… The way some people treat animals is sickening Chinese Fur Farms… Despicable!!!!!! I believe in karma. And if someone who skins an animal alive gets cancer there’ll be no pity from me!

  • SHARI PEARSON says:

    MY HEART GOES OUT TO THIS WONDERFUL GORILLA. I HOPE YOU KEEP THIS PICTURE OF HER AND PUT HER ON A COVER OF ONE OF YOUR PAMPLETS OR LEAFLETS. THIS REALLY SHOWS THE LOVE ANIMALS HAVE AND DO SHOW. THEY HAVE FAMILYS LIKE WE DO. AND NO ONE SHOULD TREAT THEM BADLY. OR USE THEM ! LIKE THEY SAY… A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS! I’M TRYING NOT TO CRY THIS PICTURE SHOULD BE ON EVERY LEAFLET TO HELP STOP ANIMAL TESTING.

  • Joan says:

    I am absolutely heartbroken for Gana. A mother should never have to grieve the death of her baby. Wake up world !

  • Antigone1000 says:

    I can’t help but wonder how many of those zoo visitors who were so touched by this mother’s grief went home and ate a big chunk of flesh. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish and hypocritical human beings can be.

  • Lia Aguilar says:

    Many people should really take a look at what they are doing with our gorgeous animals maybe that way their lives could really have common sense and a meaning worth fighting for.

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