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?
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 their dead.”
“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. . . .”
By: Jeff Mullan