Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Elephants of Thula Thula

The Funeral Procession

On March 7, 2012, Lawrence Anthony died.  He is remembered and missed by his wife, two sons, two grandsons and numerous elephants.

Mr. Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of three 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 US invasion in 2003.
Two days after Mr. Anthony's passing, the wild elephants, led by two large matriarchs, showed up at his home, and separate wild herds arrived in droves, all to say goodbye to their beloved man-friend. A total of thirty-one elephants had patiently walked over twelve miles to get to 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, making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house.
So how, after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?
“A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “And from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funeral’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

Lawrence's wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over three years.

But yet the elephants knew where they were going.  They obviously wanted to pay their deep respect, honoring their friend who had saved their lives, so much respect that they stayed for two days and two nights without eating anything. 

Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back.

* * *

*This heartwarming story was written by Rob Kirby.  Thanks to my cousin, Joe, for sending it to me.


C.A. said...

Wow, that is a beautiful story! I've read that elephants are protective of their young, and very smart too.

Thanks for sharing that!


judy said...

Just so wonderful and mystical. A very deep truth lies within it. I hope I can figure out how to link this to my facebook page- and send it to friends. Thank you so much for sharing. I had an experience tonight on ITV. Lee Smith, Apalachia writer, was featured in a special- came in late, but it was such a touching program. Just solid rock truth that America is filled with good and just and compassionate and deep people everywere. Our daily consciousness is so warped by the constant rat-a-tat-tat of superficial news and visions of our nature, that it is easy to diminish the pureness that underlies so much of our lives. Geeze, went on too long- but you always inspire me. (((hugs))) and love from California to Kentucky, judy

Brenda said...

Thanks so much, Cara and Judy! (Judy, Lee Smith is one of my favorite writers. Wish I had seen that!)

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley