Elephants try to help each other like humans

Gentle giant: There are about 700,000 elephants on the planet. © Alamy

Do elephants have the same feelings as humans? Scientists now believe that elephants will do anything to help each other — even if it means putting themselves in danger.

What’s happening

Elephants are beautiful beasts, with big, strong trunks and huge tusks. They are the biggest animals that walk the Earth.

We now think that elephants have feelings too. They try to help one another — even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Find out more

Mother elephants will often help their babies climb up steep slopes, or get out of swamps. Elephants also help their friends who are injured.

Most importantly, scientists have seen that elephants comfort each other when they are distressed.

It shows that elephants can recognise each other’s feelings. This is called empathy.

Do elephants have feelings like humans?

Some say…

Yes. You can see that elephants have feelings like love and sadness from how they treat each other. We must care for them better.

Others think…

No. Elephants may feel some things, but they are much more simple than human feelings. We are much more intelligent than them.

You Decide

  1. Do you think that animals have feelings?

Activities

  1. Write a short adventure story about a group of elephants, through their view point.

Some People Say...

“An elephant never forgets.”

An old saying.

What do you think?

Word Watch

Steep
Rising or falling sharply.
Swamps
Areas of thick mud.
Injured
Hurt.
Distressed
Unhappy.
Empathy
When you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Intelligent
Clever or smart.

Subjects

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