Like African cousins, new studies have found that Asian elephants appear to be mourning the dead, sometimes even carrying lost babies to the trunk for days or even weeks.
Somehow elephant It is unknown, and probably unknown, to understand death as humans do. But the Asian elephant (Elephant Maximus) Are social creatures, and new research adds evidence that they experience some kind of emotional reaction when they lose their stuff.
“Understanding the reaction to elephant death can have a significant impact on elephant conservation,” said study co-author Sanjeeta Sharma Pokharel of the Institute for Conservative Biology at the National Zoo of Smithsonian and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Kyoto University. Nachiketha Sharma writes in Live Science. on mail. “We personally observed that witnessing an elephant reacting to a dead relative creates some relevance, compassion, and empathy for that species. Therefore, anything that connects people instantly, It may pave the way for coexistence in elephant-dwelling countries.
African elephant (Loxodonta AfricanaIt has long been observed that members of the herd react emotionally when they die. They may approach the body and touch it with the trunk, kick the corpse, or stand nearby like a guard. However, Asian elephants are not well understood. They tend to live in forested habitats, making them harder to observe in the wild than the African elephants that live in the savanna.
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“They can be 100 feet [30 meters] You may not be able to see them because they are so far away and the forests are so dense, “said Brian O’Conne, senior vice president of life sciences at Denver Zoo, who was not involved in the new research. Said.
To avoid this, Pokharel, Sharma, and all of their co-authors, the Indian Institute of Science at the time, Raman Sukumar turned to YouTube, where notable animal videos are the mainstream. They searched the site for keywords related to Asian elephants and death and found 39 videos of 24 cases in which one or more Asian elephants were seen responding to herd loss between 2010 and 2021. Did. 80% of the videos showed wild elephants, 16% showed captured elephants, and 4% showed semi-captured elephants (usually semi-captured elephants are animals working in the wood industry and tourist parks in Asia). ..
Some of the most striking behaviors seen in the video occurred when the calf died. In five of the twelve videos of a deceased calf, a female adult (probably her mother) was seen carrying the calf. Judging from the disassembled state of the corpse, this carrying behavior seems to have lasted for days to weeks.
Parveen Kaswan, a ranger at the Indian Forest Office, uploaded such a video in 2019. An Asian elephant is shown dragging a calf’s body across the road, as if he were a “burial line”. Post to Twitter at the time.
“I think they’re trying to figure out what happened. Like us, something is happening in interaction with their descendants,” O’Conne said of the action.
Other common elephant reactions seen in the video included restlessness and arousal near the corpse. Exploratory movements such as approaching or examining the body. Or it smells to the touch. Snuffs are not surprising, as elephants communicate by scent. In 10 cases, the elephant tried to lift, move, and shake, as if trying to revive a lost companion. In 22 cases, they seemed to be vigilant.
“We’ve seen some of this in front of us,” Aucone told Live Science. When the zoo euthanizes an older elephant due to illness or illness, staff give the herd a chance to say goodbye, Aucone said. Survivors often sniff the deceased elephants and lie down on their torso with their mouths. This is social behavior.
Elephants are not the only social creatures that react to death, especially the death of babies. Orca Like dolphins, mothers have been observed pushing dead calves away. In 2018, a woman named Tahlequah off the coast of Washington I hugged my lost baby for 17 days.. Other female orca were seen swarming around Tahlequah and her dead newborn hours after the baby’s death, which looked like a ring of sorrow. Apes and monkey mothers sometimes Carry a dead baby for weeks or months..
For elephants dedicated to caring for young elephants, mother-child bonds are fundamental, Pocalel, Sharma, and Sukmar wrote in a study published Wednesday (May 18). Journal Royal Society Open Science.. This also applies to primates, Pokharel and Sharma told Live Science.
“”[T]There are some notable similarities in the mother-calf / infant bond in both elephants and primates. Both raise their children until they are strong enough to look for food and protect themselves. Therefore, this long-term bond between the mother and the calf / infant may motivate the mother to respond to the unresponsive calf. It is very difficult to predict the exact cause and function behind what a dead baby is carrying. However, some YouTube videos do provide evidence that some species may be conscious of death. “
Originally published on Live Science.
A new spectacular video reveals an Asian elephant mom carrying a dead calf for several weeks
Source link A new spectacular video reveals an Asian elephant mom carrying a dead calf for several weeks