PDF Elephants Cry Too

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For humans, we think that tears result from certain emotions because we have all experienced this effect directly in our own personal lives. However, we do not know what emotions elephants feel, if any, in the same manner that we do not necessarily know for sure what emotions other people feel. What about body language? This is simply because we cannot measure emotions, what about: indifferent, moderately angry, angry, enraged, incensed we can only experience them.

As a result, science cannot say whether elephants experience emotions, whether other people experience emotions what would Sigmund Freud say? This is because science requires that we be able to measure something there are other ways of measuring besides a tape measure - they are called adjectives there are over 6, in the dictionary so there are 6, different types of the emotiion of love in order to draw any conclusions about it.

Personal experiences that cannot be measured by others do not count in science Lord Kelvin fell over his own statement of this type Science can measure what we think are signs of certain emotions, such as body language and vocalizations like screaming, whimpering, howling, etc. Elephants exhibit many forms of communication and behaviors that are similar to things that humans do when we cry or have certain emotions. These similarities in communication and behaviors lead many of us to believe that elephants probably experience similar emotions to humans.

However, this is more guesswork don't you mean personal observation than science the social sciences are a science of a sort, just not easily digitalized.

Eventually, the elephants make a run towards each other, screaming and trumpeting the whole time. When they finally make contact, they form a loud, rumbling mass of flapping ears, clicked tusks and entwined trunks. The two leaning on each other, rubbing each other, spinning around, even defecating, and urinating for this is what elephants do when they are experiencing sheer delight.

With heads held high, the reunited pair fill the air with a symphony of trumpets, rumbles, screams, and roars. There is no greater love in elephant society than the maternal kind. Nobody who observes a mother with her calf could doubt this. It is one of the most touching aspects of elephant social customs. The calf is so small compared to the adult that it walks under its mother, who, incredibly, does not step on it or trip over it. Mother and child remain in constant touch.

If a calf strays too far from its mother, she will fetch it. The mother often touches her child with trunk and legs, helping it to its feet with one foot and her trunk. She carries it over obstacles and hauls it out of pits or ravines. She pushes it under her to protect it from predators or hot sun.

Elephant cognition

She bathes it, using her trunk to spray water over it and then to scrub it gently. When the calf squeals in distress, its mother and others rush to its protection immediately. It is easy to see why the bond between mother and daughter lasts 50 years or more. One of the most moving displays of elephant emotion is the grieving process.

Elephants remember and mourn loved ones, even many years after their death. When an elephant walks past a place that a loved one died he or she will stop and take a silent pause that can last several minutes. While standing over the remains, the elephant may touch the bones of the dead elephant not the bones of any other species , smelling them, turning them over and caressing the bones with their trunk.

They guess the elephants could be grieving. Or they could they be reliving memories. Or perhaps the elephant is trying to recognize the deceased. Over the next three weeks, several lone males visited her body and spent time by her side. Back in the Forties, George Adamson the naturalist who, with his wife Joy, was the inspiration for the film Born Free recalled how he once had to shoot a bull elephant from a herd that kept breaking into the government gardens of northern Kenya. That night, other elephants found the body, took the shoulderblade and leg bone, and returned the bones to the exact spot where the elephant was killed.

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They recognise each other and, of course, they have marvellous memories. When one animal dies, they will each need to assess how their social group has changed and how to re-evaluate themselves within this new hierarchy. The whole dynamic changes, and they need to know where they fit in within the crowd.

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Those are not the only emotions they display. If you look at an elephant calf, chasing cattle egrets through the long grass, it is playing — it exhibits joy. Elephants in zoos have reportedly shown symptoms of depression. The first African elephant to be taken to London Zoo, in the s, was called Jumbo, and he posed problems for his keepers, who tried to keep him happy and amused. For humans, the most complex and important emotion is love, and we describe it in a multitude of ways.

The powerful bond between a mother elephant and her calf is an easy one for us to understand. Their society is a very female-based hierarchy, and the loyalty that a herd shows to a matriarch is intensely strong. They will follow her wherever she goes: perhaps that is a manifestation of love of a different sort. Emotion requires communication, and the vocalisations of elephants are incredibly sophisticated. Much of their long-distance communication occurs through vibrations that are inaudible to us.

Mother elephant cries for her baby !

The normal human range of hearing is between 20Hz and 20,Hz. Never forgotten: Evidence indicate that elephants can recognise a dead family member or friend if they come upon their remains after their passing. They can talk to other elephants 50 miles away through the ground, communicating in ways that we are only just beginning to understand.

I have been with populations that were utterly relaxed around humans; they just looked at us as being another kind of primate. These were elephants very much in their natural state; they had never been hunted, and they were simply curious. In turn, three mothers brought their babies to show us to them. The babies approached us to within about five or six metres, wiggling their trunks and looking in all directions, and then they would suddenly lock on to us.

We could hear these rumblings between mother and calf, as if they were discussing us.

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This happened three times within about ten minutes, before the matriarch led the herd away. That really was a magical experience. The only pathways are those made by elephants, so there is always a chance of an encounter. If one is coming head on, our only option is to get off the path: we have to rely on our guides because they know much more about the habits of those particular elephants than we do.


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And they will probably hear them coming a lot sooner. Give them a few small bushes and they can vanish completely. They are incredibly stealthy for their size. Sadly, the impact of poaching is changing their behaviour.


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  6. Some populations are becoming more aggressive because of it. All the others in the herd seemed relaxed, but this one was grumpy. Why was that? Who can say how an individual elephant will respond to the loss of a close family member to poachers? Apart from the poaching crisis, elephants are coming into increasing conflict with farmers and expanding human populations.