For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony.They some-how knew he had died on March 7th. He was a conservationist(Also the author of "The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild") who worked hard to save their lives. They marched for 12 hours and loitered(for 2 days) at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu just to say goodbye to their friend. 

"An amazing occurrence happened in South Africa when 31 elephants made a “Journey To Pay their Respect.” How did they know? Something that is greater and deeper than human intelligence informed them that their hero – the man who had saved their lives and many other animals – had made his transition from this earthly world. Lawrence Anthony (1950 – 2012), 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.

Two days after his passing, 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 31 elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to reach his South African House. Witnessing this spectacle, humans 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 the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way.

Walking slowly – for days – they made their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat in the wild bush 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 3 years! But yet they knew where they were going and they seemed to know why they were going to Lawrence’s home. The elephants obviously wanted to pay their deep respects, honoring their human friend who had saved their lives – so much respect that they stayed for 2 days 2 nights without eating anything.

After honoring Lawrence Anthony in the only way they could - in this touching and memorable tribute to the man who had saved them and many other animals around the world – these sentient creatures had proven they are wiser and more compassionate than the human race will ever be or ever realize. Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back home.”

-Jeff Mulan

Lawrence Anthony (conservationist and author of the elephant whisperer) passed away last weekend. An entire herd of elephants went to his house to mourn his passing. About 20 elephants from the Thula Thula Reserve gathered outside his home. What more proof do you need that animals feel complex emotions? “Anthony was convinced that they could communicate on another level. And now here they are, every night, coming to say goodbye.”


For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.” For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died? 


Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale Summary:

A nameless baby male elephant was just getting used to life in the herd, when poachers kill his mother, so he runs and gets lost. He’s found by a grouchy female, Groove, the sister of a matriarch, who walks off disgusted with life in her herd. Not exactly wholehearted, she still takes the orphan under her wing, ‘till we find your herd’, but fails to find his herd, or a new home with males -who find him disrespectful and mouthy- or her own herd, which nicknames the kid whispers since his trumpeting is so weak. meanwhile the fear for poachers and (that is, in the movie) lions drives them north over the great river, a long and dangerous journey…

Elephant Whisperer Lawrence Anthony - Funeral Today!

The world – humans and animals – are infinitely poorer now that he is no longer in it. My thoughts to his family.  “Last Thursday, after Anthony’s death, the whole herd came to the house and they have come every night since. Anthony was convinced that they could communicate on another level. And now here they are, every night, coming to say goodbye.

Wild Elephants Gather Inexplicably to Mourn Death of “Elephant Whisperer”

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A line of elephants approaching the Anthony house. (Photo courtesy of the Anthony family)

"For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”

For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died March 7? Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized elephants, Anthony had become a legend. He is the author of three books, Baghdad Ark, detailing his efforts to rescue the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, the forthcoming The Last Rhinos, and his bestselling The Elephant Whisperer.

There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death.“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,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “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.”Elephants have long been known to mourn the dead. In India, baby elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds – and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.”

But these are wild elephants in the 21st century, not some Rudyard Kipling novel.The first herd to arrive at Thula Thula several years ago were violent. They hated humans. Anthony found himself fighting a desperate battle for their survival and their trust, which he detailed in The Elephant Whisperer:“It was 4:45 a.m. and I was standing in front of Nana, an enraged wild elephant, pleading with her in desperation. Both our lives depended on it. The only thing separating us was an 8,000-volt electric fence that she was preparing to flatten and make her escape.“Nana, the matriarch of her herd, tensed her enormous frame and flared her ears.“’Don’t do it, Nana,’ I said, as calmly as I could. She stood there, motionless but tense. The rest of the herd froze.“’This is your home now,’ I continued. ‘Please don’t do it, girl.’I felt her eyes boring into me.”

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 Anthony, Nana and calf (Photo courtesy of the Anthony family)

“’They’ll kill you all if you break out. This is your home now. You have no need to run any more.’“Suddenly, the absurdity of the situation struck me,” Anthony writes. “Here I was in pitch darkness, talking to a wild female elephant with a baby, the most dangerous possible combination, as if we were having a friendly chat. But I meant every word. ‘You will all die if you go. Stay here. I will be here with you and it’s a good place.’“She took another step forward. I could see her tense up again, preparing to snap the electric wire and be out, the rest of the herd smashing after her in a flash.“I was in their path, and would only have seconds to scramble out of their way and climb the nearest tree. I wondered if I would be fast enough to avoid being trampled. Possibly not.“Then something happened between Nana and me, some tiny spark of recognition, flaring for the briefest of moments. Then it was gone. Nana turned and melted into the bush. The rest of the herd followed. I couldn’t explain what had happened between us, but it gave me the first glimmer of hope since the elephants had first thundered into my life.”

What do you do? I am an elephant whisperer, I replied.

What do you do? I am an elephant whisperer, I replied.

I have always liked to see my self as an elephant caretaker. Little did I know that one day I will get to do just that!

Even though I was more surrounded by cows than elephants in the southern French country side where I grew up, I have always had a soft spot for these animals. As a child I drew them; then later collected statues representing them that I carried in my suitcase to wherever…

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“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”
―  Lawrence Anthony

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