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Elephants are universally admired and loved by people. While the reasons for this are diverse, surely it is due in large part  to their intelligence and rich emotional lives. These characteristics allow people to sympathize with elephants and feel a sense of comradery and even understanding with them.

Perhaps one of the most identifiable characteristics of elephants for humans is their dedication to family relationships that can last a lifetime. Elephants are also very sociable animals that are in constant communication with one another. They express joy when playing or greeting family and friends. They also celebrate the birth of a baby, just like humans, except without the cake and baby showers.

Elephant’s emotions manifest in both positive and negative ways, just like human’s; in addition to showing love and compassion for one another, elephants can develop Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderElephants also feel grief. They will pause when they pass areas where loved ones are buried. Herds will also circle the bodies of a dead elephant to express their sorrow. They also show compassion for others in their herd who may be injured, including slowing down to meet their pace. The following videos show that elephant’s emotional lives are just as varied and deep as those of humans (maybe even more so).

1. Reunion of Friends

The emotional reunion of these two former circus elephants at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after 22 years apart is enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye.

2. The Mother and Child Bond

No one can doubt the love between the mother and her child seen in this video. They were reunited about three years after the child was taken and trained to perform in Thailand thanks to the work of Elephant Nature Park.

3. Elephants Mourning

This National Geographic video shows elephants mourning over a dead friend. Just like humans, they pay their respects and cope with the loss of their loved one by gathering together and remembering what this elephant meant to them.

4. The Beautiful Connection Between Mother and Child

This video shows humans giving a little love for the elephants by rescuing a calf from the mud, but the real highlight is the clear bond and joyful reunion between the mother and child. It’s as strong as any human mother and child connection.

5. Let’s Play!

Just like human children, baby elephants love to play. This video shows how silly and joyful elephants can be. The only tears you’ll shed watching this video are from laughter!


Lead image source: Benh LIEU SONG/Flickr


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