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Do animals commit suicide? Cases of dolphins and bears seem to confirm the hypothesis

Do animals commit suicide? Cases of dolphins and bears seem to confirm the hypothesis

Many animals commit suicide accidentally or through self-destructive behaviors, but there are still doubts about the possibility of one suicide that is aware. THE dolphins they are very sociable animals, for example, but in the past there have been cases of suicide even among these specimens.

But animals can actually commit suicide? The question is complex and if there are no definitive answers on what can really be considered suicide in humans and what can cause it, the answers are even more scarce in the case of animals.

Although our knowledge of animal awareness is growing, they are there doubts that animals are aware of death and are able to plan their own. We know animals have varying degrees of self-awarenessthey can suffer from depression or other mental illnesses, are capable of self-destructive behaviors, have some notion of death, may cry, and in some cases are even capable of planning for the future.

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Many scientists believe that the claim that animals commit suicide is just another example of anthropomorphism, that is, the attribution of human characteristics to something that is not human. On the part of those who defend the possibility of animal suicide, many call “anthropic denial”The skeptical position of some people. Immediately discounting the possibility that animals can think and act in ways deemed unique to humans is too hasty.

Therefore, these abilities must be seen on one more concrete spectrum. The animal emotionssuch as pain, depression, anger or joy, may not manifest the same way they do in humans, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, and the same can be said for suicide.

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Ryan Hediger, a researcher at the University of Kent, believes there are “behaviors that we haven’t explored enough to know how to interpret. It’s kind of like dark matter, ”he points out.

Not just the dolphins

Similar cases have also been reported in dogs and elephants, but not all self-destructive behaviors in animals can be interpreted as intentionally suicidal. For example, some bee species abandon their hives when parasitized by flies to protect their colony, according to a 1992 study.

But there are much more ambiguous cases. Could acts such as not eating or not breathing be considered suicide? For some it seems so. Much of the confusion comes from useless definitions. While some believe that animals are not even aware of death, others argue that the cases of animals ending up causing their own death cannot be underestimated. Despite divided opinions, one thing is certain: this theme will continue to foster further studies and hypotheses in the scientific community.