Elephants are remarkably emphatic animals, they form really strong bonds with each other, they grieve the deaths of family members just like we do. And just how humans experience the loss of a loved one, this mother elephant experiences extreme grief where her calf was found dead.
Forest rangers in South India recently ventured into the Nilgiris Reserve to retrieve the body of her dead calf for a post-mortem, but they had to temporarily abandon their plans when the mother made it very clear that she doesn’t want anyone near the body. Whenever the rangers get to close to the calf, its mother charged at them. Eventually, even other elephants started to stand guard near the calf as well.
The rangers eventually decided to reschedule the post-mortem, hoping the elephants would leave the area in a few days. It sounds to me like Mom still needed some time with her baby before saying goodbye.
That just broke my heart.
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