The November issue of National Geographic magazine features a moving photograph of chimpanzees watching as one of their own is wheeled to her burial. Since it was published, the picture and story have gone viral, turning up on websites and TV shows and in newspapers around the world.
Monica Szczupider, the photographer, recalls:
Her presence, and loss, was palpable, and resonated throughout the group. The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy’s chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return. Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration.
But perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence. If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures.”