Elephants grieve for decades when their parents are killed

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Baby elephants grieve
Baby elephants grieve

Elephants grieve like humans and the damaging effects of losing a parent stays with them for decades, new research has revealed.

Researchers at the University of Sussex have found that elephants shed tears.

The study found that African elephants that were orphaned after their parents were killed in a cull in the Kruger National Park in the 1970s and 1980s are still suffering post-traumatic stress.

Speaking to Science Magazine, neuroscientist Lori Marino said: "It is a groundbreaking study, because it is the first to demonstrate, experimentally, a direct connection between the effects of culling and specific psychosocial harms.

"It shows unequivocally that elephants are psychologically damaged by culling."

The elephants were compared to a population of undisturbed and unculled herds, the Daily Mail reports.

The study found that the orphaned elephants had social problems from the start and showed signs of trauma.

Professor Karen McComb and Dr Shannon played the sounds of elephants to the different herds and found that when the unculled elephants heard the unfamiliar call, they bunched together defensively.

The orphaned herd didn't have a pattern of response.

Elephant Culling Troubles Animals for Decades
Elephant Culling Troubles Animals for Decades

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