Did you know that elephants’ brains react to humans the same way that humans’ brains react to dogs? They think human beings are cute and adorable! But that is not all, as research has proven that elephants are just a level lower than human beings. Who would have thought that the two have so much in common!
The relationship between humans and elephants is very strange. This is because many wild-caught elephants quickly and easily form close bonds with their custodians’ despite of their untamable wild temperament. Some elephants form such warm and affectionate bonds with men that one would be easily convinced that the elephant has been domesticated.
In many areas of the world including Asia, elephants are working animals. They are used to help people with heavy work such as moving heavy logs. While for the most part humans and elephants work well together, and they seem gentle and intelligent enough to be deemed totally trustworthy, that is not always the case. Sometimes they go attack people and cause great damage, but then again, this is just their another natural trait. The fact that we have become used to seeing them around people does not mean that as a whole they have become domesticated. The temperament of each one as well as the personality is also very different.
There are some heroic stories told about elephants helping people at times. One of them is when the elephants have been able to help people when natural disasters occur, by moving heavy objects out of the way to in order to rescue those who are unable to move. Most researchers are not surprised by this at all, though. This is because elephants are well known to be intelligent and capable of experiencing the same emotions as humans.
There are five traits that elephants and humans have in common;
Apparently, elephants, like human beings, behave empathetically. They not only recognize and respond to another elephant’s pain, but they often make efforts into assisting the other elephant that is in pain. Research has gone further to prove that elephants exhibit emotions. In a research conducted, scientists watched an elephant by all means helping another dying elephant, lifting it with its trunks and, at the same time, making sounds that signaled distress. Researchers also noted that when in distress, elephants react in a similar manner as humans and this is known as emotional contagion.
2. Family Bond
Just as humans value family and often express this through love and mutual protection, so do elephants. When a member of the elephant family is missing or lagging behind, the rest of the family members show concern, but when they are reconnected, they show the signs of joy. This is usually made manifest through rubbing each other’s bodies and the intertwinement of their trunks.
When humans lose a loved one to death, they go through a period of mourning. They hold a memorial service and a funeral to bid their loved one goodbye. Elephants, too, mourn the loss of loved ones. They spend a few hours or even days with the one that has died and they show their distress, touching the remains of a deceased one with their trunks. In an observation done by a researcher, a two-year elephant baby climbed on its mother’s back one day after the mother died. The baby stayed near the lifeless body for 14 hours after her death, and wept after the body was removed.
Human babies often throw a tantrum to get attention from their parents. They would roll on the floor and do all that they can until they get noticed. Similarly, baby elephants throw a tantrum too. They sometimes roll on the floor and even pretend that they cannot get up on their own just for attention. When the babies grow up and they enter into the teenage stage, the young teenage elephants often push each other around and even wrestle.
Humans have verbal and nonverbal means of communication, and it is often said that nonverbal communication is much more effective than verbal communication. Elephants, too, have different ways of communicating;
(1) Seismic communication: Elephants produce low-frequency waves that can be transmitted through the ground.
(2) Visual communication: Many of us have witnessed the head-up, ears-out posture of a displeased elephant.
(3) Chemical communication: This can be usually witnessed through elephants in musth.
Other than those, there are ways of tactile communication and acoustic communication as well. It is also interesting that much like us, humans, 70 percent of acoustic or verbal communication is done by the females and youngsters.
In conclusion, we can say that elephants are beings of just a little lower version of humans. They are just as emotional, and they are capable of expressing the emotions as well. They can also show empathy and are always ready to assist the friend in need. Not only that, but they also see beauty in us and that is just simply amazing!