For all their size and weight, elephants have one of the widest ranges of expression in the animal kingdom. Researchers have studied these gentle giants for years and discovered they form deep emotional connections with members of their families as human beings do.
Of all the emotions, joy and sadness are two that are easily recognizable in elephants. Usually, when greeting each other, they trumpet and bellow loudly, rubbing their trunks together and spinning around. They even leak fluid from their temporal glands on their faces. Tears of joy?
When in pain or suffering grief, elephants always have unique ways of showing it. Elephants sometimes observe minutes of silence when a loved one passes on. Others refuse to leave the body of a dead relative for days.
Abandoned baby in Chinese zoo cries for hours
An unfortunate calf named Zhuang Zhuang at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve in Rongcheng, China spent 5 traumatic hours crying after his mother abandoned him. The calf was born in August 2013 and shortly after his birth, his mother stepped on him and slammed him into a wall.
Although zookeepers treated the calf and returned it to its mother, she attacked him again, prompting zookeepers to remove him away. The poor animal was so overcome with grief at being abandoned, it continued to cry even though it was safe in another pen.
Thankfully the calf was not seriously hurt and the zookeepers tended to it away from his mother.
It is always tragic when a mother refuses to love and take care of her baby, even if the baby is an animal. This little baby elephant may have been the victim of post-partum depression as his mother was in distress after the birth.
Zhuang Zhuang got a lot of attention in the news after his story went out and many animal lovers were quite moved, sharing their comments and wishing the poor animal the best.
Hopefully, Zhuang Zhuang is still doing well now and is reunited with his mother. There’s no better elephant than a happy elephant.