We may never know exactly what goes on inside the mind of an elephant, but it would be arrogant of us to assume we are the only species capable of feeling loss and grief.
Since elephants live in close-knit herds, they form strong bonds with those around them. When one of these dies, the rest of the herd mourns that death. They will take great care in the burial of the dead. Cows search for leaves and twigs and use them to cover the body of the deceased in an act of dignity for the dead. When a herd encounters the skeleton of a dead elephant, they have shown an undeniable fascination with the bones.
Even years later, elephants have been observed to revisit the site where one of their herd or family had died. They will remain there for days at a time, mourning the loss of a loved one.
Mothers and aunts are also prone to mourning a still-born calf. The mother of a dead calf shows her grief through her physical disposition: her eyes are sunken, her ears drooping and her mood is visibly miserable.