Heartbroken Horse Throws Anguished Tantrum After Recognizing Scent Of Former Owner In Coffin

Aug 30, 2023 by apost team

Time and again, animals show us that not only do they have emotions and feelings, but sometimes they even act in surprisingly human ways when they express themselves. Having an animal in your life is also extremely rewarding, as animals provide us with support through the joyful and difficult times in our lives, and they also forge relationships with us that are life-changing.

People who have pets know the joy of having a dog or a cat as a companion, but other people also have farm animals, such as pigs and horses around their homes that show them how intelligent and gentle animals can be. Moreover, animals react very strongly when they are grieving, and popular stories like Hachiko have solidified the fact that a dog can be loyal until the very end of its life — even if its owner passes away.

However, one story from Brazil shows just how much horses are also just like humans when it comes to grief and emotions. Following a motorcycle accident in Brazil on New Year’s Day 2017, Wagner Lima, a 34-year-old Paraguayan cowboy, passed away. Those who knew Wagner knew what his beloved horse, Sereno, meant to him — and that the feeling was mutual.

As Wagner was being taken away in a casket after his funeral, it was clear that Sereno knew what was happening to his beloved friend. Mourning death is one of the most painful and stressful times in any person's life, and as seen in this video from 2017, animals too feel immense heartbreak when they lose those who cared for them. 

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video

For many years, Wagner and Sereno were best friends who were inseparable. Wando, Wagner’s brother, knew instantly that Sereno should attend the funeral. He knew it was crucial for him to be standing alongside his human family members and friends.

Wando told Globo News during an interview that the horse meant everything to his brother and that it seemed like the horse could understand what was going on. He felt it was vital for him to say goodbye to his best friend.

An emotional march was led by Wando to his brother’s final resting place, which was in the city of Cajazeiras, Brazil. Sereno marched alongside everyone, but no one in the procession could have ever expected the horse’s reaction when he finally got close enough to Wagner’s casket to pick up on his scent.

“As we brought the coffin out at the beginning of the funeral, (Sereno) sounded like he was crying and as if he recognized that his owner was finally leaving him," Francielio Limiera, a close family friend, told USA Today. "He pounded the ground with his hooves and kept on whinnying. It was very sad,” he continued.

After witnessing that reaction from the horse, Wando stated that, in his brother’s honor, he would take over caring for Sereno. One video captured the tear-jerking moment when Sereno realized Wagner was in the casket. It’s no wonder this story has touched the hearts of so many, and not just animal lovers, in such a viral manner, as it reminded us that the bonds between animals and humans run deep and strong. 


According to some researchers, scientific evidence exists to demonstrate that there is indeed enduring strength and importance of human-animal relationships.

According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute — a non-profit dedicated to researching the positive effects of companion animals — positive interactions between humans and animals have been shown to have measurable effects on one another.

In humans, researchers found that animal companions positively impact “endocrine responses as indicated by changes in the levels of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.” 

And in animals, specifically dogs, contact with humans was shown to promote lower levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

What’s more, these interspecies bonds are potentially thousands of years old. According to Pedigree, humans first domesticated animals around 12,000 to 14,000 years ago after they discovered that young wolves could be trained to obey their owners. This early animal-human relationship was primarily practical, as these wolves could help with tasks like hunting and herding. However, Pedigree also noted that there is evidence that humans have had companion animals for thousands of years.

“Although domesticated dogs were probably treated with respect in primitive societies, there is evidence that at least some were also considered companions as early as 12,000 years ago. The finding of a Paleolithic tomb in Northern Israel, in which a human was buried with a dog or wolf puppy, illustrates this point. The dead person's hand had been arranged so that it rested on the animal's shoulder, as if to emphasize a deep bond of affection during life,” Pedigree explained on their website.

Wagner’s touching relationship with his horse, Sereno, proved the continuation of this ancient friendship between humans and animals. 

Horses are incredible animals capable of much more than we could ever imagine. Pass this heartwarming story on to your friends and family who love animals, and let us know if you've ever seen an animal act like this before.

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