Caught on Camera: Scientist discover postmortem rituals being performed by chimpanzees in Africa

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ZAMBIA, AFRICA- Looks like humans aren’t the only ones who tend to their dead.

For the first time, scientists in Africa have captured chimpanzees practicing what they're describing as a "death ritual."

A 33-year-old female chimp who lives at a wildlife orphanage in Zambia was seen grooming the dead body of a younger male chimp who she'd adopted after his mother died. The footage captured by the orphanage shows the mother and a few other chimps grooming and cleaning the deceased chimp in a ritualistic manner.

"We believe the mother was inspecting her son in an attempt to figure out what caused his death," said a doctor at Saint Andrews University.

This is big news in the world of science because this type of postmortem behavior has never been reported in chimps or any other non-human species for that matter.

Now there’s no coffin or chimp-driven hearse but from the looks of this ape family we may be a lot more alike than we think!

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.