Did you know that elephants grieve?
East African safaris are based on Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda/Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi impenetrable forest and Gorilla tracking in Rwanda volcanoes national park, but it has got lots of amazing wildlife like Elephants with their different behaviors. So, on your Uganda safari, just make it a point visit one of Uganda’s national parks such as Queen Elizabeth National park and find out what you never knew about the lives of elephants.
Just like us humans, it is so surprising that animals like elephants really do grieve. They shed tears and even try to ‘bury’ their dead friends.
The elephant’s measure of sorrow and grief is truly unique amongst members of the wild, as it is particularly complex in terms of emotions. While most animals do not hesitate to leave the weak and young behind to die, elephants are distressed by the situation, and continue to show signs of this grieving for extended periods of time.
Because elephants live in such caring herds and live as humans do, they form strong bonds with those around them. When these ones die, the rest of the herd mourns that death.
Mothers and aunts also mourn to a still-born calf. The mother of a dead calf shows her sorrow through her physical character. Her eyes are sunken and her ears drooping, her mood is visibly unhappy.
The herd will take great care in the burial of the dead. Cows (female elephant) walk to and fro in search of leaves and twigs. They use these to cover the body of the deceased in an act of dignity for the dead. When a herd encounters the skeleton of a dead elephant, they have shown an undeniable fascination with the bones. The cows will consider the bones carefully. Female elephants take bones from the skeleton and throw them, hiding them under bushes in the surrounding area. This behavior is thought to be as a protection for the rest of the herd, as it throws unwanted attention from predators and the calves. After some years, elephant will be observed revisiting the places where one of their family member died from. They will remain here for days at a time, mourning the loss of that one.
It is when we consider this level of grief and love for one another that we can truly admire the role of the older cow. When a weak or aged elephant is risking the safety of the herd, the wise old leader has to make the very difficult decision to leave that one behind to protect the rest of her family. In obedience and out of respect for her authority, the other females will follow her guidance, submitting willingly. Their grief must be overwhelming, but their loyalty to the older cow is even stronger.
Did you know that elephants grieve? Uganda gorilla safari