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Anthropologist talks about animal friendships on 'Sunday Morning'

  • Barbara KingBarbara King, the Chancellor Professor of Anthropology, will appear April 10 on a segment of CBS News Sunday Morning.

    Barbara King

Stories and videos featuring unlikely animal friendships have been going viral on the internet lately, prompting a major network television news magazine to seek out William & Mary anthropologist Barbara King to add some context to the phenomenon.

King, the Chancellor Professor of Anthropology, will appear April 10 on a segment of CBS News Sunday Morning. She was interviewed by Steve Hartman, a correspondent on the show, in a couple locations in New York City. King is the author of a number of books, including Being With Animals, an anthropological exploration of the evolution of humans’ relationship with animals.

“Steve and I talked about the animal friendships and friendships across species in particular,” King said. They discussed Owen the hippo, who pals around with Mzee, a tortoise. There also is an elephant who is buddies with a dog and an orangutan named Suriya who enjoys the company of a hound, Roscoe.

It was a whirlwind trip for King, as the network flew her to New York and back on the same day. Taping, she said, took about an hour and a half. “I'll appear on-air only briefly, but even so, it was hugely fun,” she said,” “First we did interviews in the interior of the Hotel Pierre, then outdoor walking-establishing shots filmed near Central Park.”

Sunday Morning is hosted by Charles Osgood. It airs at 9 a.m. Sundays on CBS.