Animal Stories

posted by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who had saved their lives.

The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, had been rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”

For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died March 7?

A line of elephants approach the Anthony house (Photo  courtesy of the Anthony family)



Elephants gathering at the Anthony home (Photo  courtesy of the Anthony family)

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 ‘funereal’ 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.”
Read more:

Whales can adjust their hearing

by Rebecca on May 17, 2012

in Animal Stories

By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC Nature

See Kina the false killer whale hunting for fish using her echolocation “buzz”

For many whales and dolphins, the world is shaped by sound; they hunt and navigate by listening for echoes. Navigating in this way requires super-sensitive hearing. And scientists have now found that, for some whales, this sense is adjustable. Researchers in Hawaii measured the hearing of a female false killer whale, and found that she could fine-tune her most crucial sense.

Kina the false killer whale (c) Paul Nachtigall/ University of Hawaii
Sensors attached to suction cups on Kina’s body took measurements of her brain activity.
The whale would “turn down” her hearing when she anticipated a loud noise.

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