Research on elephants has revealed that these animals behave empathetically towards each other. They can recognize and respond to another elephant’s problem or pain. Often, they make heroic efforts to help one another.
Researchers have watched mama elephants and other female elephants help baby elephants when climbing out of holes and muddy banks, or finding a safe path into a swamp, or breaking through electrified fences. They have also spotted elephants helping others who are injured, removing tranquilizing darts from their family and friends, and spraying dust on wounds of other elephants. Both in captive and in the wild, researchers have studied other, elephants react to another elephant’s distress by behaving in the same way, and scientists have called this an emotional contagion.
The elephants which were often observed ran to stand close to their friend, and touched them with their trunks to soothe them, and also made soft chirping sounds. Occasionally, one elephant would put her trunk in another’s mouth, and this behavior is known to be comforting to elephants. Humans act a bit similar when watching a horror movie with our friend. When the primary character is endangered, we feel his/her fear and our hearts race as we tremble, and then for reassurance, we reach out for our friend’s hand.
This incredible video is just one of the numerous rescues of elephants and goes to show that the creatures are massive but also empathetic. The herd of elephants is seen moving into the swamps, and there is a calf in the herd moving closely with the mama elephant since this is a very dangerous trip. As they move slowly through the swamp, the baby elephant slips and falls into the muddy area and begins to cry out to his mama elephant to save him. The mother elephant moves swiftly to the rescue of her baby and starts to dig the soil to free the calf. As she continues, she worsens the situation by pushing the baby elephant back into the ground. Grandma elephant sights the problem and comes to the rescue before her daughter exacerbates the situation. She gives her daughter a big push and heads on the save the screaming calf.
The grandma elephant begins to apply pressure on the soil next to where the baby elephant was stuck and offers her trunk to the baby elephant to try to get a hold of. The baby elephant gently struggles to climb out of the mud using the support given by grandma elephant and in no time, he makes it out, even though he is a bit shaken up. He is grateful that his grandma came to save the day, and he goes back to his position in the herd, the middle of the herd where he will be safe from predators or any impending danger.