Monday, August 14, 2006

Elephants Show Compassion in Face of Death

An elephant struggles to help another who lies dying from the effects of a snake bite.

These astonishing pictures reveal the depth of compassion the creatures feel for each other in their moments of need.

Film footage shot by scientists at the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya caught Eleanor as she fell to the ground after being bitten.

Her helper, Grace, was seen calling out in distress and making desperate attempts to get the stricken elephant on to her feet.

But the 40-year-old matriarch was too ill to respond and her efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. Her great weight compressed her internal organs and by the following morning she was dead.

That day her body was visited by other elephants who rocked back and forth or stood silently nearby.

It was a dramatic demonstration that elephants, like humans, show compassion after a death of one of their own species, care about other elephants in distress and have a strong interest in the dead - and not only for their immediate kin.

Here is more evidence that we are not so terribly different in some ways from the animals we share the world with.

Now if only we could show the same level of compassion.

[ Original Article ] (Warning: slideshow contains some graphic images)


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

It sure was nice of the photographer to stand there and take pictures instead of helping the animal.


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