DEATH RITUALS IN THE WILD
Animals in the wild also deal with their loss in different ways.
For example, Laura Parker mentioned in her 2016 National Geographic article that elephants showed respect to their dead by guarding the body for a long time, and even going back to the bones once the body had been dealt with by predators — much like how humans would visit the grave of their loved ones.
Dolphins, just like elephants, would also guard their dead for a long time, only leaving the body when they had to
return to the surface in order to breathe, as reported by Jason Goldman in his BBC article in 2012. Dolphins would deviate from their usual routines while mourning by traveling slower, staying in the area as long as possible while pushing the body with their beaks, and showing aggression toward other animals who try to approach the dead body.
Some animals, on the other hand, deal with grief differently when mourning the death of their offspring.
Orcas have been known to
carry their deceased offspring for a little while. Recently, there was news about an orca carrying her dead baby for more than a week -- a record time that caught everyone’s attention. [The grieving whale, known as Tahlequah, belongs to a critically endangered orca species, according to a 2018 report by Tom Embury-dennis for The Independent. Rather exhausted, the mother whale’s family also helped carry her dead daughter for her, reported Sarah Schweig in a 2018 article for The Dodo. She carried her baby’s corpse for 17 days. -Ed.]
1 1. The 20-yearold whale, also known as Tahlequah, is an important member of the critically endangered southern resident orca population ( AP ) Photo from independent.co.uk
3 3. Whale J35 is seen supporting her dead calf. Photo from bbc.com
2 2. Tahlequah, also known as J-35, is a female orca whale whose calf died just 30 minutes after being born. Photo from motherhoodthetruth. com
4 4. The mother carries the calf. Also from bbc.com