hi – I found you thro your comment on the Daily Post Community Pool – am in awe of your closeness to the elephants, and yes, I’d seen something about their mourning, so empathetic to ours, on a David Attenborough programme – at least I think it was one of his, but it is still so heartrending to see it again – thanks, from wales, UK
Hi. We prefer to think that we are like the elephants – though increasingly we are losing our “animalness”. And we are so much poorer for that – more heartless, more brutal …
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Hi. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is working actively in the UK if you want to contact them …?
will keep the name of the trust, and look them up – thanks
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Seeing mourning for the first time though have seen lamenting in animals and birds during couple of my trips. Rather than saying great pics I would say a great message and great lesson one can learn through these images.
Speechless. This is a fact that animals too have emotions. Saw that once when a monkey was run over by a passing vehicle and its buddy who was playing with it was shocked and actually trying to revive it. Similarly saw a nose ring parrot die and its family mourn. Wish all humans can understand this emotion.
I always thought animals are bereft of all but basic emotions – fear, hunger, self-preservation and the physical. Now we know they also feel grief. For me, a startling realisation.
It’s a huge human error – or maybe a sop to our conscience – that is only us who can “feel” … If anything, we are the species who have become incredibly callous and ruthless. We need to wake up quickly to our folly before nature wakes us up, for that could be a rude awakening indeed. Not that we don’t deserve it …
Elephants are known for their memory and attachment with absolute dedication and love their family and space. A lesson for our species. The very fact that an Aunt nurtures the baby more than the mother speaks of their emotional bondage.
While they are a very close knit herd and all the members look out for each other, unfortunately they are not known to suckle each other’s calves. So this puts the orphans lives into extreme jeopardy. More so because they suckle and are dependent on mother’s milk for upto two years … Even after they start feeding on solid food.
That is incredibly moving and must have taken quite some stoicism on your part to stay back and film in it rather than be with the herd offering condolences clumsily as only us humans can. We rage lament etc etc on the senseless killing of these beautiful creations of Nature – yet I,at least, am at a loss as to where to start to do something of construct. Open to all comments and suggestions – I am ready and willing and happy to pitch in any small way I can.
I don’t think we can – or should – offer condolences to these majestic creatures. They are above and beyond this human response. The mourning was silent. It was done in perfect synchronicity. Every member of the herd participated. Every member took his or her turn. And every member touched mother and child. What condolence could we offer in turn? It was incredible, humbling and awful in its magnificence.
What you can do … you are already doing it … Understanding all this, willing to share thoughts … This is what they need most … Human empathy. And for a very vital reason – survival. Just spread the word. And don’t ever stop. Please.
And yes, come and be with them, even if it’s for a short time. Elephants remember.
Swati…these are incredibly moving images. Made my eyes mist over. How little we know of the animal world, and even less do we understand animal emotions. The entire body of each animal `speaks’, `shouts’ about loss and pain. I know that no one who sees these photos will accuse me of anthropomorphising. Great photos. I was also reminded of a film I had watched ~Echo of the Elephants’ – chronicling a herd whose matriarch was named Echo.
Anyways, thanks for sharing these superb photos. Much affection, Anu
Anu, this once, I so wished we did not get these photos … I would do almost anything for her to get up and walk into the sun with her baby.
Ah Swati…this is what life is all about. The first time I saw a wild dog hunt I was a bit stunned and distressed. Over time as we watch the cycle of life play out with our own parents and family and pets; watch seasons come and go, somehow it gets easier to distance oneself and watch this drama with a small measure of dispassion. But when I see the senseless loss of life- poaching, trade, bushmeat – I cannot stay calm. Then I rage and lament and curse. Ah, we need to meet soon. These little comment boxes are so inadequate.
I was just thinking … I have seen a fair bit of death, human and animal. Predators hunting. And somehow none of them have made me feel like this. Maybe it’s the knowledge that already so many elephants are being poached and so many orphans are being “born” … And when man is being so incredibly cruel, surely nature needs to create a balance for these beautiful babies … So a “natural” death of a young mother seems so wasted a plan of nature. And the little one is so little – just about six months. His chances of survival are also so small …
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