Text: “The Depths of Animal Grief.” Nova.com

Extract: “Elephants’ response to death has been called, “probably the strangest thing about them.” They almost always react to a dead elephant’s remains. Occasionally they react to a human’s. The remains or bones of other species, they ignore.

Joyce Poole writes, “It is their silence that is most unsettling. The only sound is the slow blowing of air out of their trunks as they investigate their dead companion. It’s as if even the birds have stopped singing.” They cautiously extend their trunks, touching the body gently as if obtaining information. They run their trunk tips along the lower jaw and the tusks and the teeth—the parts that would have been most familiar in life and most touched during greetings—the most individually recognizable parts.” https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/animal-grief/

It is common to interpret animal behaviour through a human lens. The tendency to described animal behaviour in human terms could sometimes be a “bad interpretation” but in other situations it may be justified.