Grief is a universal human experience. We feel grief following the loss of friends, family members, pets and sometimes even strangers. Though funeral traditions vary from culture to culture, mourning remains a consistent aspect of human societies.
Are humans alone in the experience of grief, though? Many people wonder whether animals may experience any of the same emotions. Some people even report behavior that seems like mourning when pets lose their owners or animal companions.
In the past, scientists hesitated to say animals experienced complex emotions like grief or love. However, new research suggests that the issue of animal grief may be more complicated than people initially assumed.