Just as we humans empathetically give a hug or consoling word, so do elephants say researchers at Emory University. After a year of observing 26 Asian elephants in Thailand, the team noted that the animals were much more likely to interact with a distressed individual rather than during uneventful periods. They observed elephants touching their trunk to their face or placing their trunk in the mouth of another distressed animal. They likened the behavior to a human handshake or a hug. They also observed vocalizations during distressed times – a high, chirping sound – not heard when elephants were alone. They said this was perhaps similar to us saying, “Shhh…it’s okay.” Up to now, such behavior had only been observed in humans, chimpanzees, canines, and some birds.
[ Read the Article: Elephants Exhibit Compassion For Each Other ]