View Full Version : Is the "Elephant Whisperer" funeral procession story true?
05-15-2012, 04:08 AM
I've got two friends sharing this with me on Facebook. The story seems hard to believe, is it true? http://delightmakers.com/news-bleat/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/
What about the story surrounding the man being an "elephant whisperer"? How can a human have an effect on wild elephants?
05-15-2012, 06:06 AM
Well, I heard Dylan Anthony relate that story on BBC Radio (Last Word, an obituary show) within a couple of days of his fathers death. I have no reason to doubt it's veracity, as far as it goes. But it could have been all sorts of things, and confirmation bias has a powerful hold on the imagination. I'd like to see some detailed tracking of the elephants movements over several months before I really believed they deliberately trekked to the farm at the time Lawrence Anthony died.
At the time, I was learning an african funeral song for a choir presentation, and when Dylan talked about the staff at Thula Thula gathering and singing at the funeral, I had a very real sense of what it was like. It was pretty moving, and I had never heard of the guy before.
As for the Elephant Whisperer bit - I am skeptical about all such things. But I accept that Lawrence Anthony had an insight into elephant behaviour that enabled him to work with these animals in a way that appears incredible to observers. He probably could not have expressed that insight in words. But in addition to this talent, he had a drive and the tenacity to not give up. He was a true conservationist.
But I can confirm the story as related on the web page.
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