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Heartbreaking Video Shows Herd Of Elephant Carrying Dead Calf In 'Funeral Procession'

Heartbreaking Video Shows Herd Of Elephant Carrying Dead Calf In 'Funeral Procession'

As bystanders watch, the herd of elephants walk in a line - not dissimilar to a funeral procession - and the group has both young and old elephants that gather around the dead calf.

In a heart-wrenching video that has surfaced online, a group of elephants can be seen staging a "funeral" for one of their own. The devastating footage was posted to Twitter by Parveen Kaswan, a forest ranger in the Indian Foreign Service, on Friday. In the video,  an adult Indian elephant can be seen emerging from a wooded area onto a road carrying a lifeless calf with its trunk. The elephant reaches the road, puts the body down, and waits for the rest of the herd to catch up before they proceed. The rest of the elephants walk in a line - not dissimilar to a funeral procession - and the group has both young and old elephants gathered around the dead calf.



 

 

The video shows a group of onlookers in the background, as the elephant herd carries on with the body into the forest. The video was re-tweeted more than 5,000 times and received just short of 12,000 'likes' and there seemed to be an outburst of emotions in the comments section. One user named Reverberation commented: This is in stark contrast to a bunch of so-called human beings practicing their killing skills on a 2-year-old girl.



 

 

The video was titled: This will move you !! Funeral procession of the weeping elephants carrying the dead body of the child elephant. The family just donโ€™t want to leave the baby.  Devika commented: This is heart-rending. There's a lot that humans can learn from animals. Govind Swaroop wrote: As if mother elephant had brought the carcass on the street, just to show to the humans. I think it wanted to say something...



 

 

Mohan added: Very touching and emotionally disturbing. Elephant's capacity for complex emotions like grief is truly remarkable. Elephants never carry their healthy babies. There are obvious alterations in behavioral patterns. We have not yet fully deciphered animal cognition. Another user named Lakshmiprasanth added: Sad to watch..wonderful how thick family bonds are across the animal kingdom. 



 

 

This probably should not come as a surprise because elephants are known to mourn the deaths of their herd members. The Smithsonian Magazine claims that elephants usually take a special interest in the bones of their deceased, and even hold funerals. During these memorials, the animals have been known to repeatedly pass the deceased fellow herd member - even sometimes smelling and touching the dead body when they pass the body among one another. 



 

 

When we think of mourning, we assume only humans can mourn and experience the loss of a loved one, but this isn't necessarily true. In 2018, a grieving mother orca whale still carrying the body of her calf 17 days after it died has inspired an outpouring of grief from across the world, according to Mirror. The calf died half an hour after it was born. The 20-year-old killer whale known as Tahlequah gave birth to a 400-pound baby,  but it died because it was born with too little blubber to survive the cold.



 

 

But, rather than letting the body sink to the ocean's floor, Tahlequah balanced the body on her head and carried it with her. "You cannot interpret it any other way," Deborah Giles, a killer whale biologist with the University of Washington said. โ€œThis is an animal that is grieving for its dead baby, and she doesn't want to let it go. She's not ready.โ€ Grief comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the end, it's just an emotionally-wrought experience.



 

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