If you’ve ever suffered the loss of a pet, you’ll know how deeply their absence can be felt. But have you ever thought about how your they would feel about you? Humans aren’t the only species who grieve for lost loved ones. Scientists are now finding new evidence that animals honour, mourn, and even hold wakes for their dead.
This month TIME Magazine is examining animal grief in detail, with compelling evidence and stories from around the world…
“There are accounts of chimp mothers that refuse to surrender a baby that has died, holding the body for days or weeks after it has gone cold and begun to decompose. There are elephants that stay by the body of a fallen herdmate long after a death —examining, touching, attending — or stop to caress and examine elephant bones they find. There are dogs and cats that languish and refuse food when a playmate dies, the cats expressing their grief with a terrible keening cry. Bonobos rage, rage against the dying of the light, sometimes throwing rocks at a dead troopmate and pounding its chest in frustration before pounding their own. Apparent sorrow following a death has been observed on the farm — among goats, pigs, ducks — and in the oceans as dolphin mothers, like primate mothers, push the bodies of their dead young in front of them.” Read the full story at http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2140197,00.html –
Animals may not speak our language — but their understanding of the world, of love, and loss, may be greater than we will ever know. Yet another reason, to be their voice www.AnimalsAustralia.org/cruelty-free
This video from the US has gone viral recently, prompting many people to consider for the first time whether grief is an emotion exclusive to the human domain. Without more detail we can’t say for sure what this animal is experiencing, but what appears certain is that animals can and do experience profound grief, perhaps differently, but in ways we can still clearly recognise.