19 Pictures Of Captive Primates Showing Heartbreaking Emotion

Scientists have long explored the inner lives of animals. Primates, in particular, have inspired research suggesting they have human-like emotions.

In an effort to document some of these emotions, photographer Anne Berry has spent several years travelling to small zoos from Germany to South Africa to capture intimate portraits of primates living in captivity.

Berry shared a number of the photos with us here, but you can check out the rest at her website or in her upcoming book for Northlight Press.

Berry traveled to small zoos, primarily in Germany and Belgium to photograph the primates.

Most small towns have their own zoos, which aren't crowded.

Each zoo has its own 'monkey hut' that houses the primates. In addition to the monkey hut, there is usually a large outdoor habitat where primates are free to go.

Each zoo houses primates of different species and sizes. This primate is a baboon.

Spider monkeys are found in the tropical forests of Central and South America.

The Spectacled Langur are leaf-eating monkeys native to Thailand and the Malay Peninsula.

Baboons are some of the largest primates that don't belong to the great ape family. They live in 'troops' that vary in size from five to 250 animals.

Macaques live in many different habitats and are frequently used in medical research, including AIDS research. Berry believes they have some of the most expressive faces.

Berry considers Bonobos to also be some of the most expressive primates.

The Javan lutung also communicates through visual cues, touch, and 'alarm calls.' This type of primate is relatively small.

For larger animals, like this gorilla, the habitats can be constricting.

Captivity can be very stressful for the animals.

Members of the Great Apes family experience great empathy and bonds of attachment to their families. Chimpanzees can understand the emotions in events shown on video.

Some gorillas have been observed expressing sad vocalisations after the death of family members.

It has been more difficult to prove similar empathy or emotions in monkeys.

In each of the photos, Berry is usually the only person at the zoo. The primates, like this baboon, interact directly with her.

According to Berry, the youngest primates are the most interested in interacting with humans.

Berry has worked with primates both in the wild and in captivity. She says that, surprisingly, she hasn't noticed any difference in how they act in each situation.

While the primates may sometimes be constricted by the size of their habitat, Berry says that the zoos have become experts at providing exactly what the animals need.

Want to see more incredible photos of zoo animals?

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.