Elephant Art

Saw this painting in a restaurant in Great Barrington done by a 2 year old elephant. I can just imagine the paintbrush held in her trunk as she moves it around the paper.

Last night at Bunch of Grapes, the bookstore in Martha’s Vineyard, Jon talk about how he believes that animals don’t grieve.  I thought about what I had heard about  elephants mourning their dead.   Could be a good discussion to wait out he storm that may keep us trapped on the island through Monday.

3 thoughts on “Elephant Art

  1. I, too, have heard stories from very reputable animal experts (one from National Geographic)about elephants’ high emotional capacity and understanding, and how they mourn their dead. I also observed what seemed like deep mourning to me from my grandmother’s Airedale. Grammy died of cancer. She was taken to the hospital and never returned. Her Airedale, Rhett, either laid by the front door or sat outside on the porch looking for her. He wouldn’t eat, drink, sleep or respond to anyone, and yet his environment had stayed the same except for the absence of Grammy. He was 4 years old. He just gave up and died six weeks after she did. The vet said he died from grief. I saw it first hand. I think we need to allow for the possibility that even in saying animals don’t grieve, we are labeling them with our individual perspective.

  2. Hi Maria, it is funny how you posted this today. I just posted a note on my blog from the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary where they announced that Bella, the other half of the love story friendship that a book was written about “Tarra and Bella” had died. Bella was a little dog that befriended a rescued Asian elephant and since they met they have been pretty much inseparable. In the note they discussed the story of how they think Bella died and how elephants grieve…I read the book Terra and Bella to my granddaughter Lola all the time. I hear that Tarra is doing alright with the death, but me? I feel pretty sad.

  3. Maria…that is a good discussion. I took care of a horse that after weaning her foal – apparently laid down and died. This was a show horse and beloved so the owners had a vet do an autopsy. After performing the autopsy and inquiring about and doing a thorough history of her life; his conclusion was she died of a broken heart. Not my words, his – as a professional. I think animals are as individual and as unique as each human…I see this everyday in my work and it’s absolutely amazing! I don’t think we can lump a species into the thought that they don’t grieve (as a whole) – maybe most don’t but there are a rare few that I believe do…

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