Science | Animals | Wildlife

Elephants Prove They Have Emotions With Heartbreaking Displays Of Grief

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Elise Gilchrist

Not only do elephants comfort those in crisis, they also are known to morn the dead. When an elephant passes away, the herd it known to stay with them and grieve their loss. According to Jeffery Moussaieff Masson who wrote the book "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals" elephants will surround a dying elephant to try to help.


He wrote "the elephants clustered around her and tried mightily to get her up. A young male tried to raise her with his tusks, put food into her mouth, and even tried sexually mounting her, all in vain. The other elephants stroked her with their tusks; one calf knelt and tried to suckle. At last the group moved off, but one female and her calf stayed behind. The female stood with her back to the dead matriarch, now and then reaching back to touch her with one foot."

John D. Chaney

This heartbreaking behavior proves that these animals are able to feel the grief that comes with the loss of a friend.

They also are known to try to help their herd-mates by putting dust on any wounds they see or even plucking out tranquilizer darts from other elephants. The fact that these elephants are capable of feeling proves that people should be a lot more considerate to these amazing creatures.

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