Do animals mourn?

It is a universal well-known fact that bizarre events seem to follow me and smack me in the face when I least expect them.

A few days ago I noticed a couple of huge iguanas roaming around in my backyard. I could tell they were male and female because they had different colors and the male has a crest that runs all across the upper part of his body to the beginning of his tail.
Well, today, I was outside doing laundry and water hosing the backyard, and I saw the iguanas were on the same place I had first spotted them.

Now, the sad part of this story is that I moved closer to try and see if I could photograph them any closer, and then, the male moved away and I saw what had happened…
The female iguana got trapped in the cyclone fence that divides my house from the neighbor’s and tragically, I discovered that she had died while trying to get through one of the holes.
The male, would not leave his partner. He climbed up the fence, but stayed on guard, watching me. I think maybe he does not know she is dead. I really don’t know what is going on, I’m not an expert on iguanas. I tried to get closer in order to remove the dead body, put it in a bag and take it elsewhere, but the male iguana hissed at me and did not go away.
I don’t know what to do now. I guess I’ll have to wait until the male realizes she’s gone and I can find the way to pick up the dead one. It will be a disgusting event, so I won’t take any pictures of that.
But, on the other hand, I don’t know if these animals are monogamous. I don’t think they are, but I feel for the poor male iguana who lost his companion. He has proven to be far more loyal than many people I know…

16 thoughts on “Do animals mourn?

  1. gg says:

    Thank you..this article really nexpress the way i feel about animals , they are much more intelligent the we know and far more spiritually evovled.Also I learnt a bit about the Iguanas which i knew lttle about.
    Much love honour and respect

  2. I love this story because you captured the fact that love and emotion exists everywhere. It reminded me of my visit to Greyfriars in Edinburgh in 2007 and the little dog that was so devoted to it’s master.

  3. munchow says:

    It’s well known that many animals are capable or mourning and will do so if they lose their mate, but I don’t know if that goes for iguanas (or if they are monogamous). Sure looks like, doesn’t it? A sad story indeed, but also a story about life as it is.

    • mcolmo says:

      Weird as it may sound, the male iguana is still around and got itself trapped in one of the cyclone fence holes. He was lucky I was home and heard the fence shaking. When I went outside to check, I saw him trapped and called my sister. She lives nearby. I had to jump the fence and landed on the neighbor’s lawn, grabbed the poor guy from behind and pulled him out! I will definitively have to cover up the lower part of the fence. I will blog the whole thing later on, I took a photo and all.

  4. wolke205 says:

    This is so sad 😦 I do hope he finds someone else soon…

  5. plaidoak says:

    )o: So sad. The poor guy.

  6. Fergiemoto says:

    Ohhhhhhhh…so sad…I don’t know if they mourn, but in my uneducated personal opinion, I think they do based on their responses.

    • mcolmo says:

      He did stay for a while, even after we removed the dead female, so maybe all creatures mourn, in their own way, but I know he’ll find another one soon. I just hope they stay away from that fence. Maybe I’ll have to cover it up with slats to prevent this from happening again.

  7. mcolmo says:

    I did not see him this morning, so he probably left, but then again, these creatures are good at camouflaging so he might show up again sometime. In any case, I’m sure he’ll find another female soon, he’s a handsome guy. 🙂

  8. excessivecreativity says:

    This is a really heartbreaking story. I’ve known for other animals to guard their dead. Perhaps he does know she is dead but is guarding the body against scavengers. I think it’s great you were so thoughtful to these two lizards. Thanks for being so nice =)

    • mcolmo says:

      Thank you, actually, with my Mom’s help, we removed the body yesterday afternoon and today I saw the male was still around in my backyard. I think he’s still looking for his lost one. 😦 Poor thing. I feel really sorry for him.

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