Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse When Elephants Weep for making
it so clear that animals live full and complex emotional lives.

When Elephants Weep
The Emotional Lives of Animals
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy

When Elephants Weep (1995) - 291 pages
When Elephants Weep at Amazon.com

For over 100 years a chasm has separated animal lovers - who know that their dog, cat, horse, or parrot have complex emotional lives - and scientists, to whom attributing any emotions to animals has been equivalent to heresy. And while a groundswell among a new generation of scientists has begun chipping away a this traditional taboo, and animal lovers eagerly consume whatever they can find about the subject, no one book has yet gathered all the available information into an engaging and authoritative portrait of animals' emotional lives. Not, that is, until now.

With chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame compassion, and loneliness, all framed by a provocative reevaluation of how we treat animals, When Elephants Weep is the first book since Darwin's time to explore the full range of emotions through-out the animal kingdom, and it features a cast of hundreds:

  • Meet Koko, a bashful gorilla proficient in sign language who loves to play house with dolls - but only when no one is looking.
  • Meet Michael, another signing gorilla, who cannot be disturbed whenever Pavarotti sings on television.
  • Meet Toto, the steadfast chimpanzee who literally nursed his malaria-stricken human observer back to health.
  • Meet Flint, a chimpanzee who mourned the loss of his mother until he died from grief.
  • Meet Siri the Indian elephant, whose expressive sketches have been praise by artists Willem and Elaine de Kooning.
  • Meet Moja, the joyful mongoose who waltzes with squirrels.
  • Meet Buffalo who ice-skate - for the joy of it.
  • Meet Crows who damaged the gold onion domes of the Kremlin - by using them for a slide.
  • Meet Alex, an African grey parrot with an astonishing vocabulary, who, when left at the veterinarian's office, shrieked, "Come here! I love you. I'm sorry. I want to go back."

By contrast, you'll also meet scores of biologists, ethologists, and animal behaviorists whose anecdote-rich field notes and studies paint compelling portraits of their subjects' rich emotional lives, yet whose conclusions frequently appear as fancy footwork around the obvious. When Elephants Weep also draws upon the illuminating experiences of animal trainers - from Sea World and the Ringling Bros. Circus to Guide Dogs for the Blind - and is sprinkled with insights from pet owners, literature, myth, and fable to create a riveting and revolutionary portrayal of animals' lives that will permanently change and enrich the way you look at animals.

Jeffrey Masson has a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard University and graduated from the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute. He was briefly projects director of the Sigmund Freud Archives. The documents he found there on Freud's approach to child abuse created a major controversy in psychoanalysis. He is the author of The Assault on Truth; Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing; and Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst, among other books. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Susan McCarthy graduated from Reed College and from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in biology and journalism. She lives in San Francisco.

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When Elephants Weep
The Emotional Lives of Animals
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse When Elephants Weep for making
it so clear that animals live full and complex emotional lives.