Do Animals Cry Emotionally?the daily dish
Many of you were moved last week by the story of the baby elephant who cried when he was separated from his mother after she violently rejected him. It may have compelled some of you to wonder about emotional responses in animals, and which ones cry, and to what extent crying is attached to emotion in animals as it is in us. Marc Bekoff of Psychology Today wondered the same things.
BABY ELEPHANT WEEPS WHEN SEPARATED FROM MOTHER:
After looking into his questions, Bekoff reported that information "supports the view that other animals do cry and weep and that they can be closely associated with various emotions, including (most likely?) sadness and grief that are associated with loss."
Bekoff also explained that although human zookeepers tried to comfort the baby elephant, they couldn't replace the natural "contact comfort" between mother and child - hence the calf's five-hour crying jag.
Bekoff points out that although research suggests that animals do cry and do display emotional responses, there's still a lot more we don't know than we do know, and it's important for more research to be done. We continue to learn all the time that humans and animals are more alike than they are different.