In order to feel compassion, an individual must have some understanding of the wants and needs of the sufferer. That chimpanzees have the cognitive ability to empathize, at least to some extent, has been demonstrated in many ways. It is seen in care for the dying, care of the sick and injured, and concern and support for the emotionally stressed.
July 1974 -- Observer Eslom Mpongo followed Madam Bee as she headed slowly for Kahama Stream. Her two daughters, young adult Little Bee and adolescent Honey Bee, were far ahead along the trail that led to a stand of Saba florida vines with their large, lemonlike fruits. Madam Bee looked old and sick. Her arm, paralyzed by polio, dragged and several half-healed wounds were visible on her back, head, and one leg. It was very hot that summer, and food was relatively scarce so that the chimpanzees sometimes had to travel considerable distances from one feeding place to the next. Again and again Madam Bee stopped to rest. When soft food calls indicated that the two young females had arrived at the food site, Madam Bee moved a little faster; but when she got there, it seemed that she was too tired or weak to climb. She looked up at her daughters, then lay on the ground and watched as they moved about, searching for ripe fruits. After about 10 minutes Little Bee climbed down. She carried one of the fruits by its stem in her mouth and had a second in one hand. As she reached the ground, Madam Bee gave a few soft grunts. Little Bee approached, also grunting, and placed the fruit from her hand on the ground beside her mother. She then sat nearby and the two females ate together.
Source: Patterns of Behavior, Chapter 13, Introduction.