Many people believe they have witnessed elephants crying, whether they are in poor conditions in captivity or being rescued for a new life, we take their tears as a demonstration of their feelings. To date there is no evidence that the tears of an elephant are linked to their emotions. We do however know that elephants are capable of feeling all kinds of emotions such as love, happiness, fear and loss. Though they may not physically cry, our elephants are able to show us how they are feeling with their body language and behavior.
Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, have studied a timber elephant population in Myanmar and discovered that Asian elephant personality manifests through three factors. The personality factors identified by the researchers are attentiveness, sociability and aggressiveness.
Elephants are an important cultural icon in Asia. According to Hindu mythology, the gods (deva) and the demons (asura) churned the oceans in a search for the elixir of life so that they would become immortal. As they did so, nine jewels surfaced, one of which was the elephant. In Hinduism, the powerful deity honored before all sacred rituals is the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, who is also called the Remover of Obstacles.
- The differences between Asian and African elephants may be the result of their ecological environments, the team posits.
- The researchers think that stable ecological conditions in Sri Lanka make it easier for Asian elephants to make their own movement decisions without having to rely on very experienced individuals to know where to go or how to avoid predators.
- But as habitats continue to shrink and elephants are forced into smaller areas where they cannot avoid each other, their weak dominance hierarchies may result in greater conflict between
THRISSUR: The soaring mercury, a change in diet, lack of physical exercise, new-age measures to control the musth period in elephants during the peak festival season and third-degree handling seem to be taking a heavy toll on captive elephants in the state as the average life expectancy has nosedived to below 40 years from 70 to 75 a couple of decades ago, if the current mortality rate is any indication.