The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion; Surprising Observations of a Hidden World

Peter Wohlleben, trans. from the German by Jane Billinghurst. Greystone (PGW, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-77164-301-6
German forester and author Wohlleben follows The Hidden Life of Trees by turning his attention from flora to fauna, thoughtfully exploring questions about the range of emotions experienced by animals. In 41 short chapters, he considers examples of animals exhibiting humanlike feelings, including love, courage, desire, grief, regret, and playfulness, weaving a web of delightful and stirring anecdotes drawn from personal observations and scientific studies. The mating rituals of Wohlleben’s family’s billy goat may be attributed to instinct, but his descriptions of more complex emotions, such as the embarrassment he says the younger of their two horses shows if they reprimand her in front of an older horse or the gratitude demonstrated by crows, are more intriguing. Wohlleben’s anecdotes are enjoyable and thought-provoking, and take on a certain heft when shared alongside examples he takes from published scientific research, such as Koko, a female gorilla who learned to use sign language with help from a researcher at Stanford University. Wohlleben quickly whisks readers from one example to another, but they will find the brief encounters and Wohlleben’s musings enchanting and enlightening. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-77164-302-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5189-8581-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5189-8580-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-77164-802-8
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