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How much does an elephant never forget?

There’s so much we don’t know. And so much to know about the things we do. Life seems an endless theater of possibility. And with every turn we take, or inquisitive glance we make, more paths become visible, more doors of opportunity swing wide.

Elephants are always said to be, ‘In the room,’ but even when over-looked as temporarily invisible, elephants are always in our world.  And there’s so much the world’s largest land animals have to show us if we might notice. For one, their babies can weigh up to 260 pounds! How’s that for a healthy birth weight!

This one is keeping a snoot above….

Perhaps, a more notable case in point on elephants evolves from a single news story of a man once known as the, elephant whisper.

Lawrence Anthony befriended a herd of elephant in Thula Thula, a wildlife preserve in South Africa, a herd known at the time to be a rogue, wild, unpredictable lot of elephants, the kind many who lived near them hoped would be culled from existence.

Of course, there’s an amazing story to tell about the relationship between Lawrence and this herd of elephants. Unfortunately, this unfathomable happenstance between the elephants and Lawrence extends well beyond their interaction in life, and perhaps it was his death that concretely defined their relationship and can teach us so much.

To step back in time….

Maybe before this baby was born….or these two..

.

(There’s nothin’ like tangling with siblings.)

To begin, Lawrence met this rag-tag romping herd of elephants with the patience of, well, an elephant. His cool head and calming demeanor eventual won over the misfit tribe of elephants and soon the man and group  became fast friends.*( Please enjoy this video) The years passed with this herd of elephants visiting Lawrence at his dwelling from time to time, not every day, not every month, sometimes not even every year, but often enough to keep the lines of communication well established—no one needed introductions. New elephant babies were a joy to see and long-nose trumpets blared the herd’s joy to share when the occasion arose.

Many elephants live approximately 60 to 70 years so maybe their internal clock beats much as our own. For whatever reason, this story came to pass…

Lawrence Anthony died March 2, 2012, in Johannesburg of a heart attack at age 61 after lecturing and touring the world over on behalf of elephants.** He hadn’t seen his herd of big footed, up to 13,000 pound, long nosed friends in about a year and half when he died. However,  two days after Lawrence’s death, as pictured below, a herd of 31 elephants came marching up to Lawrence’s home to mourn their loss. They had traveled up to 12 hours to make the trip. You might want to read the above sentence again.

This is really a picture of 31 elephants arriving two days after Lawrence Anthony’s death. They had walked for 12 hours.

They never forgot.

Elephants know the beginnings have endings. But how or why do they seem to know so much? This link gets into the brain of elephants and more—***

Is it necessary to point out elephants don’t use phones, faxes, twitter, e-mail, no, not even snail—mail! The elephants just knew, they just knew when Lawrence had died and did so while being a great distance apart from the man!?!? You see? The elephants not only knew their friend had died and ALSO came to show their respects, but they indeed showed us all there is a web between Life Mankind seems most often not to see, or realize, or should we say respect? The elephants felt that web of connection, the fiber of our lives among all living things and proved they were in touch on a grand scheme, on a plain that exists as one that remains hidden from most of us due to, I think, distractions that fill our lives on a daily basis.

Zen will offer that we be here now—like this elephant seems to be.

It’s important for us to focus. Maybe how we meet Life determines how it sits within us, or, on us?

Thing is, maybe Life is much more than now, but forever, for everything all at once, for all that goes beyond our current understanding though it remains the true elephant in our world. I suspect this understanding between all of Life goes on between Man, Animal, Plant and Mineral. When we realize this connection, will we will find new pathways to peace?

Sometimes, it does take a big person, a huge personality or strong person to lead the way. If only we could let the world’s largest land animal show the way so that we might stand in their shadow and follow.

Young or old, does the elephant somehow know more than you and I? Does the elephant know what Mankind seems to forget?

Franque23 loves life.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yap6r7pSGU

**http://delightmakers.com/news/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

***”However, their (BRAINS) are arranged differently. Human pyramidal neurons tend to have a large number of shorter branches, whereas the elephant has a smaller number of much longer branches. Whereas primate pyramidal neurons seem to be designed for sampling very precise input, the dendritic configuration in elephants suggests that their dendrites sample a very broad array of input from multiple sources.

Taken together, these morphological characteristics suggest that neurons in the elephant cortex may synthesize a wider variety of input than the cortical neurons in other mammals.

http://theconversation.com/what-elephants-unique-brain-structures-suggest-about-their-mental-abilities-100421

“In terms of cognition, my colleagues and I believe that the integrative cortical circuitry in the elephant supports the idea that they are essentially contemplative animals. Primate brains, by comparison, seem specialized for rapid decision-making and quick reactions to environmental stimuli.

Indeed, even the brains of individuals within a given species are unique. However, the special morphology of elephant cortical neurons reminds us that there is certainly more than one way to wire an intelligent brain. Lawerence Anthony is an author of three books about elephants, a person who traveled during his life around the globe speaking about elephants to anyone who wanted to listen. If not a ‘whisperer’ to elephants, he was a true friend to the species in both word and deed……There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death.

“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,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “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.”

 

 

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