The Amazing Elephants

Lynda Soard

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Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Three species are currently recognized: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant. Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

If you really knew how smart, sensitive, and creative these animals are you’d be amazed. Honestly, elephants do it all. They live in societies with their own cultures, self-medicate with plants, protect people and other animals in trouble, and PAINT.  Elephants have such intense social groups that they become extremely upset when one of their own dies. Of all animal grieving and funeral rituals, there is none as well documented or well known as the elephant’s. Upon seeing the bones or carcass of another elephant, a family will stop and investigate them, even if the elephant was unrelated to the group. The ritual includes touching the bones gently with their trunks while remaining very quiet, covering the body with leaves and grass, and if the elephant belonged to their own, staying with the body for days or weeks at a time. Elephants are such compassionate animals that they’ll even grieve for and bury their number one killers… us. A news report in Kenya told of an elephant that trampled a human mother and her child and then stopped to bury them before disappearing in the bush.

Fact is, it’s pretty obvious to see that elephants mourn for their dead and would be at least somewhat emotionally compromised when we go around slaughtering entire herds… Take out your “save the elephant” banners.

 

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