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Are Raju the elephant's tears of joy the real deal?

Are Raju The Elephant's Tears Of Joy The Real Deal?

Elephants are well known for their intelligence and excellent memories, but here's another trait that may surprise you - they apparently also cry in emotional situations.

Take this story for example. According to the Daily Mail an elephant held for decades in painful, spiked chains reportedly teared up after being freed from captivity.

Al Jazeera: "After 50 years of being abused and held in chains, Raju the elephant cried tears of joy when he was rescued by a wildlife charity."

WDIV: "The elephant had been chained up and living off handouts from tourists for the last half a century. ... After taking him off his chains they noticed Raju had tears rolling down his face."

As International Business Times reports, Raju had been held captive by a drug dealer in Uttar Pradesh, India, before he was freed by wildlife charity group Wildlife SOS UK on Thursday.

The outlet quotes a member of the group saying, "[We] were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed."

We'd be the first to admit it makes for a lovely story, but are elephant tears the real deal? Turns out they could be.

Researchers are still looking into the phenomenon, but speaking to LiveScience, University of Colorado-Boulder Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Marc Beckoff says, "Available information supports the view that other animals do cry and weep and that they can be closely associated with various emotions, including, perhaps most likely, sadness and grief."

Similarly, the BBC reported on a young elephant that appeared to grieve after seeing her mother killed.

"Elephants are just like children, they all react differently. She might take months or even years to recover from the sadness and the trauma."

And other animals might experience similar emotions.

Barbara King, an anthropologist and author of the book "How Animals Grieve" told the Los Angeles Times, "Baboon, elephant, dolphin, dog and house cat survivors ... may withdraw from social relationships, fail to eat or sleep properly, and/or express highly unusual body language, vocalizations or gestures in the days and weeks after a relative or friend's death."

Researchers do note that animal tears may be more hard-wired than emotional, but if Raju's tears are the real thing, we doubt he'll be tearing up again anytime soon. He's reportedly been taken to an animal sanctuary in Northern India where a charity campaign has been launched to help him live out the rest of his days in comfort.

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Join the discussion

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ukman2013 July 07 2014 at 9:49 PM

I think after 50 years of being locked up I would be crapping tears of joy not just crying them. Hello? I hope they strung the elephants captors up by their testes and allowed the elephant to trample their brains into the dirt.

Flag Reply +74 rate up
1 reply
Paddy ukman2013 July 08 2014 at 5:10 AM

Yes for sure chain them up for 50 years see how they like it, evil ********. 50 years though that is really unthinkable. Like you said let a few elephants trample on them.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jackie and john July 07 2014 at 9:23 PM

so glad to hear the elephant was freed and i hope he has a happy peaceful life. it is heartbreaking to know how cruel people can be to animals.

Flag Reply +52 rate up
2 replies
thecross719 jackie and john July 08 2014 at 12:41 PM

Ironically, all the pacifist lefties here want to do the same to a person. It makes them feel good about how kind and noble they are!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
4 replies
Julie jackie and john July 08 2014 at 1:40 PM

You are an awful person. If you can relate this story to politics, then you have no feeling for animals. Guess we are glad that you don't have any animals to abuse.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
txbiba July 07 2014 at 9:53 PM

That's why i could never work for animal rescue because i would shoot the cruel slimebag wherever he crawled from right between the eyes. But thank god people can rescue these animals.

Flag Reply +48 rate up
4 replies
okada02 July 07 2014 at 9:35 PM

we should put chains on his dick for 50 years ugly drug dealer!

Flag Reply +38 rate up
4 replies
Brenda Triplett July 07 2014 at 10:44 PM

When it comes to animals vs humans, it raises the question, who is really the animal, and who is humane. Unfortunately they're some "humans" who could care less about either.

Flag Reply +35 rate up
3 replies
Janice July 07 2014 at 9:41 PM

Why and how anyone could hurt an animal I just don't understand, May anyone who hurts them find a death so bad they will c why they r hurting, because of their what they have done, Hope one day God will put a stop to all this. I do pray all the time for this to happen.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
8 replies
robboni1 July 07 2014 at 9:55 PM

God bless the elephant. May he live out his days in peace and joy.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
3 replies
timeisinhishands July 07 2014 at 9:41 PM

Take the drug dealer and hang him from a giant fish hook and gut him like a fish

Flag Reply +24 rate up
1 reply
lgvxl42 timeisinhishands July 07 2014 at 11:46 PM

You being mean to fish?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
johnglewis1964 July 07 2014 at 10:43 PM

Elephants are among the most intelligent of Mammalian life: do not underestimate! ... In a way, a great story, and in a way, a terrible story.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
3 replies
zatram July 07 2014 at 9:24 PM

do the same for them bastards that did it to her let me do it to I love to do it tdo this bastards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +14 rate up
1 reply
mociambz zatram July 08 2014 at 10:06 AM

then I guess you would do the same to abortionists?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
eturner1952 mociambz July 08 2014 at 11:38 AM

No one is talking about abortion. Try to stay on topic.

Flag +5 rate up
jen mociambz July 08 2014 at 1:55 PM

ANNOYING. There always has to be a stupid pro-choicer making comments that have nothing to do with the article.

Flag +1 rate up
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