Elephants are surprisingly intelligent. I mean, of course it is interesting to note that they fall under the "great apes" category of intelligence (a trait shared by a select few other species). However, I find their emotional intelligence far more fascinating. According to anatomical studies of the elephantine brain, they have a greater capacity in their limbic system than modern man. The limbic system is responsible for memory and emotion. This is what many scientists believe leads to actions such as long grieving periods fallowing the death of family members. Elephants seem to have deep and powerful emotional bonds which last as long as they live.
I once read a story about an elephant who was calved in africa, but as a juvinile was shipped over to the united states to spend her life in the circus. It was only in the last years of the elephant's life that it was brought to a rescue preserve along with other circus animals. As she walked through the enclosure to meet the individuals she would spend her life with, she immediately went over to an older female and they walked off with their trunks entwined. The keepers were agog! How could this elephant be treating a stranger so casually? They pulled up all the records they could find for both of them. It turned out when they were only a few years old, they made the trip together on the same ship from Africa. They still remembered their first friend.
Now isn't that interesting?