Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tribute for the "Elephant Whisperer"

Painting by Jonathan Truss
 A true story that happened in one of South Africa's provinces - Kwa-Zulu Natal. The herds are actually not "wild" - they were all animals he  rescued and he rehabilitated. Were one big herds but then 2 matriarchs started to butt heads and the group split in two. By that time the two herds were also ready to go back into the "wild".
He died in a hospital in Durban, they brought his body back to the game reserve he owns (where the elephants are) to be buried. Then according to the story below, the two herds started moving to the house (which they have not visited in 18 months) and "hung around" until they day after his funeral on the farm. The herds were apparently in the background whilst the funeral took place and then as one big herd had their "ceremony" around and on top of his grave for  12 hours. They then split again into two and moved to their separate parts of the reserve ... No bigger tribute can any one have ...
Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller The Elephant Whisperer, bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during the US invasion in 2003.
On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died.  He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons and numerous elephants.
Two days after his passing, a remarkable thing happened!  The wild elephants showed up at his home led by two large matriarchs. Separate wild herds arrived in droves to say ‘goodbye’ to their beloved man-friend.  A total of 20 elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to get to his South African house.
Witnessing this spectacle, many people were obviously in awe, not only because of the supreme intelligence and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence's passing, but also because of the profound memory and emotion that the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way:   Walking slowly - for days - making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house.
Lawrence's wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over a year, yet they knew where they were going! The elephants obviously wanted to pay their deep respects, honoring their friend who'd saved their lives - so much respect that they stayed for 2 days and 2 nights.  Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back home.


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I remember reading about this. Elephants are such magnificent creatures. If you haven't read When Elephants Weep, you'll love it.

Unknown said...

Amazing story. How little we know about the other beings who share our world.