Wild elephants gather inexplicably, mourn death of "Elephant Whisperer"

Author and legendary conservationist Lawrence Anthony died March 7. His family tells of a solemn procession on March 10 that defies human explanation

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“Their bid for freedom had, if anything, increased their resentment at being kept in captivity. Nana watched my every move, hostility seeping from every pore, her family behind her. There was no doubt that sooner or later they were going to make another break for freedom.

“Then, in a flash, came the answer. I would live with the herd. To save their lives, I would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night. We all had to get to know each other.”

It worked, as the book describes in detail, notes the London Daily Mail newspaper.

Anthony was later offered another troubled elephant – one that was all alone because the rest of her herd had been shot or sold, and which feared humans. He had to start the process all over again.

And as his reputation spread, more “troublesome” elephants were brought to Thula Thula.

So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?

“A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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