In “Why elephants Never Forget,” a Ted-Ed Lesson directed by Alex Gendler and animated by Avi Ofer, narrator Pen-Pen Chen talks about the incredible intellect, memory, and empathy of elephants. These qualities have been demonstrated outside of survival over and over again within the species.
Elephants know every member in their herd,able to recognize as many as 30 companions by sight or smell. This is a great help when migrating or encountering other potentially hostile elephants. They also remember and distinguish particular cues that signal danger and can recall important locations long after their last visit. But it’s the memories unrelated to survival that are the most fascinating. Elephants remember not only their herd companions but other creatures who have made a strong impression on them. In one case, two circus elephants that had briefly performed together rejoiced when crossing paths 23 years later.This recognition isn’t limited to others of their species.Elephants have also recognized humans they’ve bonded with after decades apart. All of this shows that elephant memory goes beyond responses to stimuli.