Video footage claiming to show chimps ‘grieving’ has sparked new debate over the ethical treatment of animals – but we should beware of jumping to conclusions
Is it an invasion of privacy to film an animal in its burrow? Or a whale as it exhibits its penis in a courtship display? Or to use a remote camera to film a bear giving birth in its den? According to a film studies lecturer from the University of East Anglia, it could be. If an animal retreats to its burrow, it obviously doesn’t want to be seen, he claims. Unlike the inhabitants of the Big Brother house, these creatures have not given consent. These assertions are a step further along the line from a cautionary ethical approach towards taking care not to disrupt wild behaviour. Instead, Brett Mills appears to be claiming that human emotions can be assumed within animals as well.