You may not believe but it is absolutely true. Elephants are the only animals that have a burial ritual just like us, the humans. According to the statistics, elephants life lasts for averagely 60-80 years. If an elephant falls ill, its herd-mates stakes care of him: they bring food and support it when the ill elephant is standing.
When an elephant dies, other herd members first try to revive it with water and food. Havinf realized that their mate is dead, the whole herd becomes silent. They dig a shallow grave and cover the dead creature with mud and tree and bush branches. After that all the elephants from the herd stay near the grave for several days. If the dead elephant was in close relations with other elephants, the latters will grieve and experience deep depression.
Sometimes it may happen that a migrating herd encounters an unknown lonely ill or dead elephants. All herd members will perform the same ritual towards it. Moreover, the history knows cases, when elephants found dead people and buried them the same way.
Author’s notes: Sometimes reading such stories I feel that animals who are so close to Nature are more human and kind than people living in cities which are turned into concrete jungles. And it seems that people’s hearts are turning conrete as well.
I’ve always admired elephants, these huge and noble elephants. As I child I felt their kindness with some inner feeling which cannot be explained. I think that we should take care of our inner child and not let him or her go with the age. Having kept a child inside us, we will keep that fine sense of what is good and kind, we will care less about things that are naturally not important but were made important artificially. Then maybe we will be able to make our world better.