The Elephant Whisperer 
Exploring the Spiritual Connection Between Lawrence Anthony and His Elephants
Photos by: Solly LeviIn 2012, the world lost a visionary conservationist from South Africa, Lawrence AnthonyAnthony's unwavering dedication to rescuing and rehabilitating traumatised elephants and his unique ability to connect with and understand their needs earned him the moniker of the "Elephant Whisperer." His legacy lives on as a reminder of the profound impact that one person can make in the fight to protect and preserve our planet's most vulnerable creatures.
In 1999, Anthony received a call from a game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, home to a group of elephants considered too dangerous to be around humans. The elephants had been slated to be culled, but Anthony saw an opportunity to help them instead.
He and his team worked tirelessly to gain the trust of the elephants, spending long hours in the bush with them and learning their unique personalities and behaviours. Over time, the elephants began to accept Anthony and his team as part of their herd, and Anthony became their surrogate father figure.

Anthony's bond with the elephants was put to the test in 2003 when a group of wild elephants broke through a fence and entered the game reserve. The reserve's managers feared that the wild elephants would cause a stampede among the captive elephants, and Anthony knew that he had to intervene.
He spent the night in the reserve, talking to the wild elephants and trying to communicate with them using his body language and vocalisations. Miraculously, the wild elephants turned around and left the reserve peacefully, allowing Anthony and his team to continue their work with the captive elephants.

Anthony's relationship with the elephants continued until his death in 2012. After his passing, the elephants reportedly made a 12-hour journey to his home to mourn his passing, standing outside his house for two days before returning to the bush.

Anthony's work with elephants inspired him to advocate for conservation and wildlife protection. He founded the Thula Thula Game Reserve in South Africa, home to a range of wildlife, including elephants, rhinos, lions, and leopards.

Lawrence Anthony is another example of someone who had a deep spiritual connection with a wild animal. His work with traumatised elephants and his bond with them inspired him to become a conservationist and advocate for wildlife protection.
His legacy lives on through his work and the animals he helped protect.
"Our inability to think beyond our own species, or to be able to co-habit with other life forms in what is patently a massive collaborative quest for survival, is surely a malady that pervades the human soul." - Lawrence Anthony