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Wild Elephants Gathered Around Conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s Home After His Passing

Wild elephants created a vigil around the conservationist’s home to mourn his passing

herd of elephants walking in a line in the wild
(Image: Shuttershock/hansen.matthew.d)

Lawrence Anthony was a conservationist known as ”The elephant whisperer”. After his passing on March 12, 2012, from a heart attack, the elephants he rescued and rehabilitated came to his home in the South African providence KwaZulu-Natal. They stood around his home in a vigil for two days and then dispersed.

His son, Dylan Anthony, continues his father’s work at his reserve in Thula Thula, where the elephants are today. It is through Lawerence’s The Earth Organization which he founded in 1998. Dylan is also fulfilling another of his father’s projects called Camperdown outside of Durban, South Africa.

The following April after his passing, Lawerence was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s College of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science. Dylan gave a speech about his father when he accepted the award on his behalf.

During Dylan’s speech, he talked about his father’s environmental advocacy and his love for adventure, people, and animals. He also talked about his humor, infectious laugh, and great character.

Lawrence grew up in rural Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. He was said to have a unique ability to communicate with and calm traumatized elephants.

He wrote a book called ”The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd” in the African Wild”. In the book, he talks about saving elephant herds.

He said the only way to save the elephants, who were said to be violent and unruly, was to live with them. He would live, feed, and talk to them day and night.

It is said that Lawrence’s elephants at Thula Thula are in great condition and are completely wild. They have been thriving due to good rains over the summer. People were amazed at how the elephants traveled to Lawrence’s home the night he died without being alerted.

The elephants were grazing miles away in different areas of the park. It is said they traveled 12 hours to get to his home shortly after his death. According to his son Jason, the elephants hadn’t been there in a year and a half and arriving that day was amazing.

Elephants are one of the smartest animals on the planet. They have the largest brains of any land animal. It is amazing how they can understand and express emotions.

While it may not be known how the elephants knew of Lawrence’s passing, they are known for their grief rituals in the wild and captivity.

Researchers say elephants grieve when losing a relative like a parent or child. Take a look at some instances below that show elephants grieving.

The video below shows a herd of elephants mourning after finding their leader died in a rival battle.

The documentary below shows two elephants who were reunited after being apart for 20 years. Then, one of the elephants passed, and the other elephant remained in the woods and didn’t eat for two days.

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