Research Query: Elephants Burying People?

Jacob Adler's picture

Dear Colleagues,

In Book 2, Chapter 26 of Nishmat Hayyim (Amsterdam, 1651), Menasseh ben Israel writes:

The practice of elephants is similar.  If one of them kills a human being, he does not leave the body until he has cut branches and twigs from the trees of the forest and covered it up and buried it beneath them. 

Does anyone know of possible source from which Menasseh may have derived this idea?  Since he was born in Portugal, I suspect he might have drawn on a Portuguese source. 

Any clue you can provide will be appreciated.


Jacob Adler
University of Arkansas
Philosophy Department
Fayetteville, Arkansas



Categories: Query