Who said animals are incapable of displaying complex emotions? Reseach exists to prove that elephants are extremely intelligent creatures who display the same degree and range of emotions as any average human being.
In a heartbreaking video that has been posted on Twitter, an elephant can be seen carrying out a funeral for a dead calf. The video was posted by an IFS officer who wrote, "This will move you !! Funeral procession of the weeping elephants carrying dead body of the child elephant. The family just don’t want to leave the baby."
The video shows an elephant emerging from the forest, carrying her dead calf. Spectators can be seen watching the video from a distance. The elephant pauses and places the dead baby on the ground. It then takes a few steps back, almost as if observing a two minute silence for the calf.
After a while another elephant emerges, who joins the 'funeral procession.' Finally, the rest of the herd emerges and joins them. After what seemed like a minute's prayer, the elephant picks up the calf's carcass and then heads back into the forest.
This will move you !! Funeral procession of the weeping elephants carrying dead body of the child elephant. The family just don’t want to leave the baby. pic.twitter.com/KO4s4wCpl0— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) June 7, 2019
In a separate tweet, the IFS officer also wrote that he had heard of "ancient elephant cemeteries" but had never actually seen one.
There are theories which talk about ancient elephant cemeteries in forest. Many people have written about it, including strecy. But I have not found any conclusive evidence. Though in most cases elephants prefer to die near water bodies. https://t.co/C2BoTsF6Q1— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) June 9, 2019
The video, which quickly went viral, garnered attention from around the world. This is how people reacted:
This is heart rending. There's a lot that humans can learn from animals. 😢— Devika (@Dayweekaa) June 7, 2019
Animals have so much more dignity than us...— iReddy_Sona (@ireddy_sona) June 7, 2019
This is in stark contrast to a bunch of so called human beings practicing their killing skills on a 2 year old girl.— Reverberation (@Reverb_tweets) June 7, 2019
Very touching and emotionally disturbing. Elephant's capacity for complex emotions like grief is truly remarkable. Elephants never carry their healthy babies. There is obvious alterations of behavioural patterns. We have not yet fully deciphered animal cognition.— Mohan Alembath (@tahrman) June 7, 2019
Compassion love and togetherness. What they have and we humans lack in this age— Divya Mukundan (@DiVpops) June 8, 2019
Blessed are the animals for their fights and attacks if at all for food only. Unlike, we lousy humans— Rajesh Pathak (@rajesh_j_pathak) June 7, 2019
Humans certainly have a lot to learn from animals, as a Twitter user rightly pointed out - for instance, love, compassion, brotherhood and a feeling of camaraderie. But alas.