We now have solid evidence that elephants are some of the most intelligent, social and empathic animals around—so how can we justify keeping them in captivity?
Plotnik and renowned animal behavior expert Frans de Waal of Emory University recently teamed up to study elephant empathy. On a monthly basis between the spring of 2008 and 2009 they observed 26 Asian elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, looking for signs of what researchers call “consolation.”
..in addition to cooperating for survival’s sake,
the creatures are capable of
Many animals are capable “reconciliation”—making up after a tussle. Far fewer animals display true consolation: when a bystander goes out of his or her way to comfort the victim of a fight or an individual that is disturbed for some reason.
By Ferris Jabr