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Animals are much better than humans - we are so cruel.

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    Animals are much better than humans - we are so cruel.

    Elephant in Indian Zoo Dies of Grief
    By SUTAPA MUKERJEE Associated Press Writer

    LUCKNOW, India (AP) - Distressed by a companion's death, Damini refused to move, to eat, to drink. For 24 days, zookeepers and veterinarians tried everything they could think of to save an elephant who seemed determined to die.

    Caretakers cooled her with a water spray and fans as she lay under a makeshift tent they erected of fragrant medicinal grass in a zoo in this northern Indian town. They tempted her with tons of sugarcane, bananas and grass - her favorites. They even fed her intravenously.

    Despite all their efforts, Damini died Wednesday in her enclosure - loose gray skin hanging over her protruding bones, bed sores covering much of her body.

    ``In the face of Damini's intense grief, all our treatment failed,'' said Dr. Utkarsh Shukla, veterinarian at the Prince of Wales Zoo in Lucknow, about 350 miles southeast of New Delhi.

    Zoo officials said Damini was 72. She came to the zoo last year, after she was confiscated from owners who were illegally transporting her. She was alone for five months until the arrival in September of a pregnant younger elephant named Champakali.

    Champakali came from Dudhwa National Park, 310 miles southeast of New Delhi, where she had worked carrying around tourists. When she became pregnant, apparently by a wild bull elephant, park officials decided to send her to the zoo in Lucknow for a kind of maternity leave.

    Zoo officials were worried about caring for Champakali, but, Shukla said, ``Damini took up the job instantaneously.''

    The two elephants ``became inseparable in no time,'' said zookeeper Kamaal, who goes by one name. Damini made herself available at all hours for Champakali, who lapped up the attention.

    According to elephant experts, such attachments commonly develop among elephants, with older elephants serving as caretakers for younger ones, especially in pregnancy.

    ``Elephants are very social animals. They can form very close bonds with others in their social group,'' said Pat Thomas, curator of mammals at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. ``It's been pretty well documented that they do exhibit emotions that we would consider grieving'' when a calf or other elephant dies.

    However, he said, an age-related medical problem should not be discounted as well in the case of an elephant as old as Damini.

    When Champakali died on April 11 giving birth to a stillborn calf, Damini seemed to shed tears, then showed little interest in food or anything else, according to zoo officials.

    For days, Damini stood still in her enclosure, barely nibbling at the 2 tons of sugarcane, bananas and grass heaped in front of her.

    Her legs soon swelled up and eventually gave way. After that, Damini lay still on her side, head and ears drooping, trunk curled. Tears rolled down her eyes and the 4-ton elephant rapidly lost weight.

    She simply lay ``staring at the staff with her sad eyes, moist with tears,'' Kamaal said.

    A week ago, Damini completely stopped eating or drinking her usual daily quota of 40 gallons of water, despite the 116 degree heat.

    Alarmed, veterinarians pumped more than 25 gallons of glucose, saline and vitamins through a vein in her ear.

    On Wednesday, Damini died.

    For the second time in a month, Kamaal dug a big pit to bury an elephant.

    ``It will take me some time to get over the death of my two loved ones,'' he said.

    hmmm...lets see....

    Hathi merey sathi!!


      For those that get a laugh out of this story...there is not a shred of humour in it.

      My cat died this way in Karachi when we moved to Toronto...he refused to move or eat and died of starvation next to my bed.


        Ah, very sad....


          Hmmm..lets see...

          First of all, this thread's title is out of whack. Where the heck does it imply that an elephant dying because of his' partner's demise shows animals are much better humans? or worse yet, we're cruel?

          Sarwar mian:

          are you saying that when our loved ones die, we don;t feel the pain? We're hummans, definetely a notch up from the animals, and thats why we know one doesn't die with the dead. The world moves! True, that the pain is there, but usually not to an extent where we stop eating and kill ourselves. Gimme a break on this!!!

          For the rest of the folks here:

          Hey, its sad story. And also reiterates why we're called "ashraf-ulkl-makhloogaat"

          Done Deal!!


            Mr. Ghalib,

            Sarwar was merely stating a point here, he or she has the full right to do so. And I think what sarwar is trying to express is that sometimes animals have the capacity to feel something on a deep emotional level and maybe their attachment patterns are stronger than ours.

            Yes we sure are ashraf-ul-mukhlukat but when it comes to loyality maybe animals are better than us

            And remeber nothing in life is a done deal, that it self is an irony.


              Indeed, animals' loyalty and affection surpasses that of the human's, but that does make it more admirable or deplorable? This issue is like a coin that has two faces. What these animals do, while amirable to some individuals, goes against everything that we're brought up with as humans.

              Forget about animals, do we stop eating drinking or talking because our loved one has died? No! we're disturbed and upset by it and thats about it. We don't comdemn ourselves to die, well atleast not most of us.

              Conclusion: just because we admire the extreme loyalty of these animals, it doesn't mean that its right.


              You're right.. nothing in this world is for certain.

              [This message has been edited by ghalib (edited May 08, 1999).]



                double dribble!!

                [This message has been edited by ghalib (edited May 08, 1999).]