Captured below is the heart-wrenching moment when a baby elephant stands by her mother's side, mourning her tragic loss. The elephants that have gathered around nudge the fallen animal with her trunk, as her baby is forced to say her final goodbye, while struggling to come to terms with her mother's death.
Elephants are amongst the world's most intelligent species, exhibiting a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, allomothering, mimicry, play, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory and possibly language.
All indicate that elephants are highly intelligent. Due to the high intelligence and strong family ties of elephants, some researchers argue it is morally wrong for humans to cull them. Scientists often debate the extent that elephants feel emotion.
The elephant has one of the most closely knit societies of any living species. Elephant families can only be separated by death or capture. Because elephants are so closely knit and highly matriarchal, a family can be devastated by the death of another (especially a matriarch), and some groups never recover their organization.
Elephants are the only species of mammals other than Homo sapiens known to have or have had any recognizable ritual around death. They show a keen interest in the bones of their own kind (even unrelated elephants that have died long ago). They are often seen gently investigating the bones with their trunks and feet while remaining very quiet. Sometimes elephants that are completely unrelated to the deceased will still visit their graves. When an elephant is hurt, other elephants (even if they are unrelated) will aid them.