Technology

Guy Saved Elephants From Poachers, They Mourned His Death Outside His Home

3 min read 69.1 K Shares
Monit Khanna
Monit KhannaUpdated on Aug 24, 2020, 18:08 IST

Humans are social animals that are not only smart but also have a strong sense of emotion, that gives them empathy and makes them humane.?

Often in our animals, we try to see a similar trait, whether it is the adorable, apologetic way dogs look at you when they do something wrong, or the way cats purr and cuddle with their humans that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy within. Even apes have been seen to express similar emotions.

animal emotions Unsplash

Another animal that’s known to possess a strong emotional quotient is the elephant. The giant adorable pachyderms are really smart beings, and recently I came across a story that would only make you fall in love with them even more.?

The story of the ‘Elephant Whisperer’

The story is about Lawrence Anthony -- an international conservationist, environmentalist and explorer, who resided in the Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand in South Africa. Roughly around 20 years ago, a group of rogue elephants were wreaking havoc in each and every place they were being enclosed in. The reason they were being enclosed was that the moment these elephants stepped out of it, they could be hunted down.

elephant whisperer Thula Thula

Anthony got the elephant herd to the game reserve spread across thousands of acres, to help save their lives from poachers. The moment he met them for the first time, he sensed how the elephants were actually afraid of humans and hence exuded such an aggressive stance out of fear and confusion. Their previous matriarch was killed and the elephants were doing whatever they could to save their pack.?

Anthony eventually tried to communicate with the matriarch with his tone and gestures, which eventually calmed them. Eventually, the elephants accepted the reserve as their home and led on with their lives, while Anthony continued to bond with them and take care of them. This made people refer to Anthony as the ‘Elephant Whisperer’.?

Sadly, In 2012, Anthony passed away suddenly due to a heart attack. His family was heartbroken.?

elephant whisperer Cbc.ca

No one knows how, but the elephants travelled from one corner of the vast game reserve to the other, and came to Anthony’s home, and stood right outside of it, in the same way as they mourn the passing of one of their family members. They stood there for nearly two days, after which they dispersed again.?

Elephants and science of emotions

This story seems completely unreal, except it is. How did the elephants know that Anthony passed away? Scientists haven’t been able to deduce the cause for this till date.?

However, researchers in the past have tested the emotional quotient of elephants, and they’ve proven time and again that they’re highly emotional creatures.?

A 2014 study from journal PeerJ shows how Asian elephants in a park in Thailand were seeing to reassure their friends/family when they saw that they were experiencing some sort of distress. Scientists call this phenomenon 'emotional contagion'.?

elephant whisperer Getty Images

They explain, “The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants’ behaviour is, therefore, best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities.”

Also Read:How The Power Of Sound & Artificial Intelligence Are Saving The Lives Of 4 Lakh Wild Elephants

The Conversation (0)

Start a conversation, not a fire. Post with kindness.

必威体育下载