Heartbreaking footage shows an elephant carrying a dead baby at the front of a herd in a funeral-like procession.
The stunning scene was shared on Twitter by Parveen Kaswan, a forest ranger in the Indian Foreign Service, and has since gone viral, sparking emotional responses from viewers around the world.
While a group of onlookers waited further down the road, the adult Indian elephant emerged from surrounding woodland with its trunk wrapped around the deceased young animal.
Watch the heart-wrenching video here:
Parveen described the herd as ‘weeping’ in the caption, writing:
This will move you !! Funeral procession of the weeping elephants carrying dead body of the child elephant. The family just don’t want to leave the baby.
The adult elephant put the baby down once it reached the other side of the road, seemingly waiting for the rest of the ‘procession’ to catch up.
It was joined by another young elephant before being surrounded with the other members of the herd, who all gathered around the small animal on the ground.
The baby was then scooped back up into the safety of one of the bigger elephants’ trunks, and the herd proceeded off the road and back into the woods.
Since being shared on Friday, the saddening scene has been shared 6,000 times, and has received over 13,000 likes.
One emotional Twitter user responded:
Omg!!! First time I hv [sic] seen such video.. Really very touching.
While another suggested the elephants may have crossed the road as a display for the onlookers, writing:
As if mother elephant had brought the carcass on the street, just to show to the humans.
I think it wanted to say something…
According to Smithsonian magazine, elephants are known to mourn for dead relatives and honour their bodies. They are known to take a great interest in the bones of their deceased, and have been seen circling and repeatedly touching the dead member of the herd.
It’s stunning to see such a clear display of the meaningful relationships between the members of the herd. The precious animals should not be taken for granted.
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