Elephants are extremely social in nature. They form strong bonds with their young and even grieve the dead, just like people do. Thanks to a new video from Nat Geo WILD, we can now take a look at the behaviors displayed by elephants experiencing grief or mourning.
The video captures three elephants gathering around a deceased elephant, providing the perfect opportunity to see what the behaviors would look like in the wild. The unique behaviors are explained by elephant behavior expert, Joyce Poole. She reports that while these displays have been witnessed in other scenarios, they are most often seen in relation to death.
Now that they have a better understanding of the types of behaviors exhibited by mourning elephants, scientists are studying whether these actions are culturally-learned and passed on with each generation.
Witnessing this incredible and touching display is a reminder to us all that elephants (and all animals) are more like us than we would ever imagine, and they deserve to live free from exploitation. There are far more rewarding ways to experience the beauty and wonder of wild animals other than going to see them in a zoo or circus – just look to awe-inspiring videos like this one instead!