This is the heartbreaking moment of a herd of elephants grieving the loss of their deceased friend.
In newly released footage, captured in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, elephants march towards their friend in scenes reminiscent of a ‘funeral’ before gathering around motionless bodies of the animal.
The elephants gently nudged their friend, who had di.e.d of unknown causes and placed their trunk over the d.ea.d animal as they paid their respects.
In one particular scene, elephants lead a parade towards their de.a.d friend before stopping near its body.
The herd circled the body and stared at their de.a.d companion as the vultures watched from a nearby tree.
As more elephants continued to gather around the d.e.ad creature, one was seen pressing its head against the animal’s skin while another lay its trunk on the animal’s body.
After raising their trunks in the air and ‘saluting’ to their de.a.d friend, the herd slowly made their way to the edge of the field.
Its trunk pressed on the animal’s body.
This is not the first time elephants have been filmed grieving the loss of a loved one.
Earlier this month, heartbreaking footage uploaded to Twitter by ranger Parveen Kaswan of India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed a herd of elephants carrying the body of a d.ea.d calf crossing a road in India.
According to the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, elephants often mourn their dead relatives. They are known to care deeply about the bones of the deceased.