When a herd of elephants fled a South African national park in the early 1990s to escape hunters, the last thing that game preserve founder Lawrence Anthony was expecting was to become their rescuer.
The funeral for LAWRENCE ANTHONY will be held at MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM in Durban, by courtesy of the eThekwini…
Anthony had founded the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve and Safari Lodge in 1990, providing a 5,000-acre conservation site in his home country for indigenous tribespeople.
Although he would eventually become an internationally renowned animal conservationist, working with everyone from indigenous tribes to militaries to protect animals from human intervention, he hadn’t initially intended Thula Thula specifically as a site for rescued animals.
In Memory Lawrence Anthony – 17 September 1950 – 2 March 2012“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that…
That changed, though, when the herd of elephants needed somewhere to go. He brought them to the reservation, sparking a career that would ultimately see him rescue animals from the Baghdad Zoo during the height of the 2003 invasion and negotiate with the Lord’s Resistance Army in South Sudan to help preserve the white rhinoceros even as they were engaged in horrific wartime acts.
He would eventually develop a reputation as “The Elephant Whisperer,” although the name quite possibly never meant as much as it did in the immediate aftermath of his death.
In 2012, Anthony suffered a heart attack and suddenly passed, leaving his wife and the African conservationist community in mourning.
His wife was heartbroken, but it was during her period of grief that a true miracle occurred. While she was in the home she had shared with Lawrence on the reserve, staffers informed her that the herd he had rescued decades earlier were headed her way—and it appeared that they were ready to grieve with her.
Tonight at Thula Thula, the whole herd arrived at the main house, home to Lawrence and I. We had not seen them here for…
“Tonight at Thula Thula, the whole herd arrived at the main house, home to Lawrence and I. We had not seen them here for a very long time. Extraordinary proof of animal sensitivity and awareness that only a few humans can perceive. And Lawrence was one of them. Thank you for your wonderful messages. Lawrence’s legacy will be with us forever at Thula Thula.”
Many animals have been known to express a variety of human emotions, and elephants are no different—particularly when it comes to their grieving process. They’re believed to hold a sort of animalistic funeral for their lost herd members, even attempting to bury them in footage captured by filmmakers in years past.
Majestic Matriarch Frankie leading our special herd .. always followed by Nana the legend of the best seller “ The…
It’s tough to know how, exactly, the elephants were able to detect that the man who saved their lives had passed away. But it was believed that they had sensed the profound loss of a man who was, in a way, like a father figure to them, providing both a home and levels of comfort and security over the years. They marched for what was believed to be hours in order to arrive at his home, paying their respects in a way to his wife as she mourned the loss of her partner.
The African conservationist community all spoke of just how big of an impact Anthony had on saving the lives of hundreds of animals during his life. But as these elephants showed, it’s perhaps impossible for humans to truly comprehend just how immense his impact really was.