The viral photo of two elephants sharing one last moment together, as their trunks touch and their eyes longingly gaze upon each other, sadly reminds us how heartless humans can surely be. A Facebook image, posted by Sowmya Vidyadhar, taken on an unknown Bangalore, India city highway just days before Christmas, shows the elephants’ parting moments on two separate trucks; perhaps just seconds before their paths lead in different directions.
Surely elephant emotions reach deep into the human soul because these mammals share so many of our traits. They share the same life span as us and raise their young for nearly 20 years before they reach adulthood. They have strong family ties with intricate social networks, and when a member of the herd dies, elephants mourn very deeply. The young are closely guarded and when migrating, elephants will slow down to accommodate both the young and the very old. Scientists who have studied elephants assure us these immensely intelligent animals easily display jealousy, behavioral issues and love. They are able to communicate in silent voices unheard by man, hear sounds far beyond what we can sense and have memories that are known to span their entire lives. We’ve seen them smile, we’ve seen them grieve, yet we still treat them as if they were placed upon this earth to entertain us.
On December 22, Sowmya Vidyadhar posted the heartbreaking words above the memorable photo:
“Two elephants reach out in a brief moment of love and bonding before being taken away from each other for a lifetime of serving man.
How this image breaks my heart!”
Reactions from readers added to the sadness of the situation:
“Sally Kannanthey are such intelligent beings and can recognize their families aftr many many years.. so just imagine the pain they face if they have to stand in chains and see their siblings nearby but can’t even go near them coz of the beatings and shackles ( humans are the worst..”“Eat Pray Love SleepFelt the same emotions the first time I saw this very touching moment ! It’s a pity that systems haven’t changed a bit to look into these areas .”“Ayushee SahaI’m waiting for the day when animals won’t be tortured anymore. When humans shall actually be humane and that day isn’t near…I’m afraid.”