Grief and Gratitude: The Story of a Gray Langur and Her Human Companion

In Sri Lanka, a gray langur shocked mourners at a funeral by displaying grief for the passing of her human companion, who had always fed and cared for her. Learn more about this heart-melting tale of gratitude and loss.


Source: Kaṉakarācā caravaṇaṉ va.Cakti

Many of us have heard heart-melting stories about pets mourning their human companions. But what about animals in the wild? Do they have the ability to grieve or show respect for those who have helped them?

In the autumn of 2022 in Sri Lanka, a touching tale unfolded. 

Peetambaram Rajan, a 56-year-old man in the Batticaloa region of Sri Lanka, passed away. A female gray langur arrived at his funeral and moved towards his open casket.

She held his face gently in her hands and touched his forehead with her nose. The monkey seemed shocked while looking at the man who had always fed her lying down, closing his eyes, and never moving again. After seeing if he was breathing, she grabbed his neck shirt, cried tears, touched his leg, bowed down, and sat next to him.


Source: Kaṉakarācā caravaṇaṉ va.Cakti

Rajan had given the gray langur fruits, cookies, and other foods. She came to his house almost every day. The man’s kids even had sweets and played with her.

The monkey also went to the cemetery where his last cremation took place and paid tribute to him. Rajan’s family was eased by her precious attitude and recorded the priceless moment.

But what makes this story even more remarkable is the fact that gray langurs are not typically known for forming close bonds with humans. These monkeys are found throughout India and Sri Lanka, and they typically live in large, complex social groups. They are known for their intelligence and ability to use tools, but they are not typically thought of as animals that form close relationships with humans.


Source: Kaṉakarācā caravaṇaṉ va.Cakti

That being said, there have been instances of other animals displaying similar grieving or mourning behavior. Elephants have been observed visiting the graves of their deceased herd members, and even mourning for their human handlers. Dolphins have been known to stay with deceased companions for prolonged periods of time, and chimpanzees have been seen to grieve for their lost family members.

It seems that the capacity for grief and mourning is not limited to humans and domesticated animals, but is also present in many other species in the animal kingdom. And while the story of the gray langur and Peetambaram Rajan may be a rare and exceptional case, it serves as a reminder of the deep connections that can exist between animals and humans. It also serves as a reminder that we should treat all living beings with empathy and respect, and that they are capable of feeling just as we do.


In conclusion, this story of gray langur and Peetambaram Rajan is a heartwarming reminder that animals too have the capacity to feel and display emotions like love, gratitude and even grief. It is a reminder that our actions can have a profound impact on the lives of other living beings, and that we should strive to live in harmony with all creatures, great and small. Share your thoughts on this story in the comments below and don’t forget to share and like this post.

Written by Malith92

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