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In a stunning display of interspecies connectedness, a herd of wild elephants was recently seen mourning the death of their friend and savior, Lawrence Anthony. Anthony passed away on March 2, 2012.
A conservationist and author known as “The Elephant Whisperer,” Anthony was known for his unique ability to communicate with and calm traumatized elephants. In his book ‘The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild’, he tells the story of saving two herds of wild South African elephants.
Uniquely committed to these animals, Anthony concluded: “To save their lives, I would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night.”
Following Anthony’s death, the herds of elephants embarked on a 12 hour journey to visit his wife and children at their home. According to Anthony’s son, in the year and a half they had lived there, the elephants had never visited their home. He was quoted: “in coming up there on that day of all days, we certainly believe that they had sensed it.”
While it remains incredible that the elephants were able to sense his death, elephants are in fact known for their grieving rituals. Researchers have observed elephants grieving the deaths of their relatives, both in the wild and in captivity.
For more information about Lawrence Anthony’s life and accomplishments, see his obituary published in the New York Times.
Image Credit: Delight Makers