The emotional moment a herd of up to 300 elephants mourning the death of the leader is breaking hearts all over the Internet.
The elephants stayed close to their leader and appeared to be grieving after it was killed by a rival tusker in Sri Lanka.
Footage captured earlier this month near Anuradhapura, close to the Kala Wewa reserve, shows how the elephants softly caress the leader’s corpse in the immediate aftermath of the clash.
The tragic sight drew the attention of locals, who documented the scenes that followed the devastating event.
According to a wildlife official, the leader had engaged in a tough conflict with a tusker roaming around Kala Wewa for several days.
After being critically attacked by the tusker, the leader died surrounded by its herd.
Hundreds of elephants, including calves, had arrived at the location, to mourn their collective loss.
Elephants’ herd mentality can see them take great protective measures to protect a leader when they sense imminent danger. Incidents such as the mourning of the dead, however, are rarely witnessed, much less captured on film.
It was also reported the rival tusker returned to the corpse once the rest of the herd had left.
Elephants have proven time and time again that they are capable of showing a great depth of emotion.
Only last month a baby elephant was filmed showed its truly loving and affectionate side.
The video footage is both hilarious and supremely adorable, showimg the tourist rolling around and generally having a ball with Suki, a very young elephant, at the Chia Lai Orchid sanctuary.
And this affection isn’t just a one-way street – there are some amazing humans in this world who’ve shown their love for the beautiful giants.
A group of villagers recently saved a baby elephant that had become was separated from its herd after collapsing due to dehydration and hunger.
After seeing it was too weak to walk, the heroic farmers decided to adopt the 100 kg calf and carry it on their shoulders.
This amazing act – which is definitely an ‘I’m not crying, you are’ moment – saved the life of the youngster.
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