Dec 6 2012
OFF TOPIC: Two herds of elephants trek 12 miles to mourn the loss of their friend – Lawrence Anthony
When author and legendary conservationist, Lawrence Anthony, renowned for saving the lives of countless elephants, died on March 7, 2012, a large procession of elephants walked at least 12 hours to Anthony’s house to pay respects to their special friend.
TUMBLR It was their way of silently saying goodbye to a man who recognized their humanity and valued their lives. It is also a remarkable proof that animals have the capacity to grieve and mourn the loss of those close to them…not limited to their own species.
Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author, bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities.
For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”
For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died March 7? Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized elephants, Anthony had become a legend. He is the author of three books, Babylon Ark, detailing his efforts to rescue the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, the forthcoming The Last Rhinos, and his bestselling The Elephant Whisperer.
There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death.“They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts.
“The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for days before making their way back into the bush.”Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds – and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other
Anthony was convinced that they could communicate on another level. And now here they are, every night, coming to say goodbye.” is what a friend had to say after seeing what took place following his death.