From Elephant Funerals to Monkey Moms’ Grief, Animals Mourn as We Do

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2 min read

If there were ever any doubt that animals form strong bonds with each other and mourn the loss of one of their own, look no further than these stories. From cows to dogs to lizards, all animals have a complex emotional life:

Elephant Mom Carries Her Dead Newborn for a Mile and Tries to Revive Them in a Stream

Dolphin Mom Videoed Ferrying Her Dead Calf Through Her Ocean Home Near China, Refusing To Let Go —She Could Carry Her Calf’s Body for Days, According to Local Researcher Li Min


Grieving Mother Monkey Carries, Grooms Her Stillborn Baby for 10 Days

A University College London study shows that some primates may express grief over the death of their infant by carrying the body of their baby. Researchers found that 80% of the 50 species studied performed corpse-carrying behavior after the loss of an infant. The time spent carrying the deceased varied greatly—some mothers held the baby’s body for up to four months after death. The study also found that such behavior may mean that primates have some awareness of death or can learn about it over time, as older mothers are less likely to carry the body of the deceased but still seem to experience loss-related emotions.

Mourning Elephants Carry Dead Baby in Funeral Procession

Grieving Orca Mom Carries Her Dead Calf Through the Ocean for Over a Week

Dog Stands by Friend’s Side Through Rain and Busy Traffic

Iguana Won’t Leave Companion on Street

Penguins Mourn Death of Baby

Squirrel Guards Friend

Dog Lays Head on Companion, Refuses to Leave

There are thousands of videos like these online, and many have been viewed millions of times, captivating the Internet and garnering emotional responses from viewers. Though animals may mourn in different ways, one thing is clear: They feel loss very deeply.

When animals are used for food, clothing, experiments, or entertainment, families are torn apart, and animals undoubtedly mourn the loss very deeply.

If you are among the millions affected by these powerful videos, you can help animals every day by making the compassionate decision to switch to a vegan lifestyle, which saves more than 100 animals’ lives every year.

The good news? Animals can also feel very, very happy:

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