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When Elephants Get Sad: A Touching Tale

Igor Purlantov

When life gets stressful, Asian elephants help each other feel better by trumpeting sympathetic noises and using their trunks to touch their friend’s – um – private parts, according to new research.  In a study published on Tuesday in the journal PeerJ, animal behaviorists observed 26 captive elephants in a sanctuary in northern Thailand. The researchers said they recorded a number of elephant behaviors that they concluded were specifically intended to comfort distressed herd members.  The behaviors included touching the distressed elephant’s genitals with their trunks, putting their trunks in the distressed elephant’s mouth, or making a high-pitched “chirping” noise.

http://tinyurl.com/lj3j8zk

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