PTSD in Elephants / PLEASE, PLEASE Listen to every word

From Kerulos website. See more details in Elephant Breakdown / Nature vol. 433/24Feb. 2005

Trans Species Psychology

In 2005, Kerulos’ Director Gay Bradshaw diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in free-living elephants. This science has catalyzed an entirely new approach to elephant conservation and welfare.

Historically, elephants in India and other parts of Asia roamed across the continent. Today, there is intense conflict between humans and elephants. Elephants in close confinement captivity live in chronic stress, deprivation, and pain even when direct physical punishment is not employed. While culturally engrained images of performing animals and zoo exhibits may evoke nostalgia and fascination for humans, the experience of animals in captivity is far different. The measure of elephant suffering can perhaps be best appreciated when we take into account the radical differences between captivity and the wild habitats to which they are ecologically, psychologically and evolutionarily adapted.

When release from abuse does occur, the road to recovery is not easy. Elephants coming to sanctuary experience tremendous improvements, yet they still carry the scars and burden of their past experience. Similar to human prisoners who survive, elephants from circuses and zoos are diagnosed with Complex PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) and other trauma-induced conditions.

Sadly, free-living elephants are no longer immune from the ravages of trauma. Poaching, culls, and the stress of life in shrinking habitat have torn apart elephant society. Orphaned infants suffer physiological and emotional shock when they lose their mothers and families and elephants everywhere are under siege from human pressures. Elephants and their culture are threatened with collapse.

Elephants, Us, and Other Kin. Presented by G.A. Bradshaw at the UCLA Annual Interpersonal Neurobiology Conference 2014. See video below.


Modern social humans won’t stop until every last living thing on earth is tortured, made insane, or is driven to extinction.

Dear Asperger; Do you see yourself in this tragedy?


3 thoughts on “PTSD in Elephants / PLEASE, PLEASE Listen to every word

  1. But you know nothing will change with sayings. Nothing will change with awaiting for a idea of a god from religious perspective. The planet was and i hope is for the nature side unique, but look what it has come to! WHAT CAN WE DO? REALLY WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO?

    The Turan Tiger went extinct in the 80’s. I think all wild life will become extinct. What about cloning Siberian Mammuts? Is that a way to rebirth lost species?


    • I don’t think the earth can be saved by humans; we are becoming the cause of mass extinction. There have been mass extinctions in the past, and life not only survived, new species flourished and spread. The best we can hope for is that humans are either destroyed or reduced to very low population before we poison the environment so badly that nothing can live. I don’t like conservation efforts that put animals in zoos or plan to “clone” animals. It adds to the problem, because people think it’s okay to kill off wild animals since “zoos” are “saving them” – but these are no longer wild animals. This is torture for animals. We need to impose the death penalty on poachers and killers / users of endangered animals.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Till the planet is hyper civilized? On one side we ador modern life with all comfort and goods. But on the other side we see the danger that is put on nature and increasing denaturalisation.
    Wild animals and all plants are there for a reason. I sure don’t want a plastik world full of clowns and no life. Wild animals have all strenghth and endure life without shelter. They are more vital than we can imagine. Since fucking industrialisation this earth became weak.


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