Mourning Erin by Douglas Aja. Bronze. "When elephants come upon the remains of another elephant they stop and become quiet and tense. They first reach out trunks towards the body and smell it, then approach slowly and cautiously and begin to touch it. One can only speculate what they are thinking at this time.
Unlike other animals, elephants seem to recognize the dead of one of their own. Although they pay no attention to the remains of other species, elephants always react to the body or bones of a dead elephant. When they come upon an elephant carcass they stop and become quiet and tense. They first reach out their trunks and smell it, then slowly and cautiously approach and begin to touch it. The head and tusks are of particularly interest to them. They run their trunks along the tusks and jaw and feel in all the crevices and hollows in the skull. One can only speculate as to what they are thinking at this time.
These elephants are part of Cynthia Moss’ study group in Amboseli National Park. The skull belongs to Erin, who died as the result of being speared. Erin’s mother Echo has her trunk wrapped around the skull while her young calf Email approaches from the side."
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