Everyday, biologists are realizing with greater clarity that we are not the only self-aware and/or highly intelligent species on the planet. Many animals even score drastically higher on tests dealing with memory, language, and problem solving skills.
Elephants are one of these exceptionally intelligent species. What is especially interesting about elephants is that they seem to have an extraordinary intuition as well.
Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa known as the elephant whisperer, spent his entire life saving animals and rehabilitating elephants. On March 7, 2012, Anthony died, and something incredible occurred.
Two days after his death, wild herds of elephants, 31 in total, visited Anthony’s home to say goodbye. These elephants walked over 12 miles to reach his house in South Africa. The elephants, who had not been to the house in over 3 years or more, somehow knew exactly when Anthony had passed away and came to pay their respects. The elephants carried such profound emotional gratitude for this man, their friend, that they remained at his house for 2 days and 2 nights without eating any food. Then, they simply walked back home.
When will we shed our ignorance and choose sight over blindness? When will the nonsense end? We are just animals, and we are sharing this hunk of rock and water with trillions of other separate forms of life. Drop the ego and realize that our actions affect more than just ourselves.
A culture is no better than its woods.” – W.H. Auden
A society is no better than its zoos.” – Wondergressive
An animal is no better than the way it treats other animals.” – Wondergressive
Wondergressive- A Group of Prominent Scientists Agree; Animals are just as Conscious as Us
The Daily Galaxy- A Moment of Zen: “Elephant Intelligence” –A Mystery of Our Universe
Discovery News- Elephants Outwit Humans During Intelligence Test
Wired- To Talk With Aliens, Learn to Speak With Dolphins
BBC News-Chimps beat humans in memory test
Laudator Temporis Acti- A Culture Is No Better Than Its Woods
6 thoughts on “The Profound Intelligence and Intuition of Elephants”
Pingback: Conservation Efforts of Earth's Seven Continents
Dear Eric, I read Anthony’s books some months ago, and was heartbroken to find out that he died. I was also struck with the amazing intuition, love, and advanced sense of others far away that they have. They are more advanced than us in some of the ways you mention. They stayed at his house for 2 days without eating… what a supreme show of respect and presence. They stayed present with his spirit, his passing and their intention to honor him… and maybe with their own sadness. This event alone has put me on a path of creating change for elephants and learning more and more about them. I wrote a blog post about this event as well, and just found yours. Thank you for posting and for adding detail to the account, I didn’t know about. I am so moved by them, by this story and by your writing of it. Kathleen M.
Thank you Kathleen!
It boggles my mind daily that we view ourselves as something separate from the Earth, separate from existence as a whole. We view animals in such condescending ways, as if they are something utterly stupid and hopeless. The truth, as you said, is that in so many respects that we overlook they are far superior to our species. Ignorance is humanity’s greatest downfall, shortsightedness our greatest weakness, closed mindedness our greatest handicap.
Thank you for taking the time to open yourself Kathleen, and for remaining open. I am greatly inspired by people like you, and grateful for your response.
It is usually when we are sure we are right beyond a doubt that we are doubtlessly wrong.
Pingback: Chimpanzee Intelligence: Photographic Memory, Communication, Altruism
Pingback: An Elephant Never Forgets – World Elephant Day |
Pingback: The Profound Intelligence and Intuition of Elephants – My Blog