Elephants Travel 12 Hours To Attend A Vigil For The Man Who Rescued Them

October 12, 2016

In March 2012, Lawrence Anthony, a conservationist and author known as "The Elephant Whisperer", passed away.

His family spoke of a solemn procession of elephants that defies human explanation.

elephants mourn man who saved them
A line of elephants approaching the Anthony house

For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of Lawrence Anthony. The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Lawrence.

They stood around the house in an apparent vigil for two days, and then dispersed.

elephants attend vigil for man who rescued them
Lawrence Anthony

"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," Lawrence's son Dylan said. "The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush."

But how did the elephants know Lawrence had died?

"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."

Sources: CBC Canada, Beliefnet.

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