Saturday, February 22, 2014

Animals And Anxiety

Last summer, an international group of scientists signed a declaration stating that all mammals (and some other animals) must be understood as conscious beings. I agree and not because elite scientists (finally) say so, but because the evidence is overwhelming.  
Clear signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder, have been identified in elephants. Gay Bradshaw and colleagues wrote in Nature that young elephants who witness poaching or other "culls" (killing) of their close family members become "high-risk candidates for later disorders, including an inability to regulate stress-reactive aggressive states." Witnessed trauma, as this new article from National Geographic makes clear, can lead to nightmares later on in elephants.
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