When researchers placed a robot monkey in with a tribe of langur monkeys, they captured more than they bargained for as ‘disaster struck’ and the monkeys showed their incredibly human-like compassion.
It’s common for researchers to place robot animals into the midst of wildlife to see what they can capture. After all, they are more likely to learn about them when they are in their natural habitat rather than in a controlled environment.
But when one of the female langur monkeys noticed the robot, she decided that she wanted to socialise and care for the ‘baby monkey’. Picking up the robot, she carries it up into a tree and attempts to groom it. But that’s when it all went wrong…
Without having any mechanisms to cling onto its ‘new mother’, the robot monkey tumbles from her arms, off the tree branch and crashes to the ground below. The tribe of monkeys run to its aid but find the body ‘lifeless’.
That is when the researchers captured something magnificent. The langur monkeys react as though one of their own tribe has passed away, and they begin to gather round the ‘body’. Tending to the ‘monkey’, they bow their heads in silence and embrace each other for comfort. The scene is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
If you didn’t think that animals were capable of emotion and compassion for one another, then you are about to be proved wrong. Watch the video below to see the beautiful moment where the tribe grieves for the ‘robot monkey’. If only we could all be as accepting and welcoming to strangers as these langur monkeys are.