Oct 052013
 
PictureLawrence Anthony died and the wild elephants he saved trudged 12 hours to his home to mourn him.  Elephants are know to mourn other elephants in the wild.  They stayed for two days at Lawrence’s compound on the vast Thula Thula Game Reserve.  How did they know their friend had died on March 7, 2013?

The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, had been rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized elephants, Anthony hadhad 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 the author’s death.

Lawrence’s son, Dylan, “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,” said Dylan.  “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.”
How did the story begin.  It seems that yars ago there was the first herd that arrived at the Game Reserve called Thula Thula.  They hated humans who had tried to kill them as pests.. 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.

“’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.”

paula.
I just happened to come to this site and read about this great book.  Now, I wil read it.   Sept 13, 2013.

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