Compassion Can Be Exhibited By Elephants

People often reflexively put their arm around someone else in distress and a new study from researchers at Emory University in the journal PeerJ has found that elephants also console each other in times of need.

The researchers also found that elephants often responded to the signals of other elephants by adopting a similar body or emotional state –

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something known as an
“emotional contagion”

which may be a sign
of empathy.

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The researchers noted that their study was limited by the fact that it was restricted to captive animals.

“This study is a first step,” Plotnik said. “I would like to see this consolation capacity demonstrated in wild populations as well.”

by Brett Smith