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African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are great communicators and when they have something to celebrate they let the world know. These intelligent, socially complex creatures have strong family ties and when there is a reunion, a birth or a mating within their group they acknowledge the occasion, spinning around, defecating and urinating in excitement, trumpeting and roaring. Their calls can reach almost 110 decibels and travel 10km with many of the rumbling sounds at such a low pitch they are inaudible to humans. When death occurs, however, they are solemn and touchingly mournful and seem, unlike other animals, to understand what has happened and grieve for their loss. For days after a death a family might stand round the body, touching it gently with their trunks and covering the body with leaves and twigs.

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