Lawrence Anthony (17 September 1950 – 2 March 2012) was an
international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer, and
His work includes “Babylon’s Ark”, “The Elephant Whisperer”, and
“The Last Rhinos”.
He was the Founder of The Earth Organization, a privately
registered, independent, international conservation and
environmental group with a strong scientific orientation. He was
an international member of the esteemed Explorers Club of New York
and a member of the National Council of the Southern Africa
Association for the Advancement of Science, South Africa’s oldest
Blogger Barry: I have recently read his “The Elephant Whisperer”.
When he sold his property business, he bought a 5000 acre pristine
game reserve (Thula Thula) (Zulu for Quiet)in Zululand, Kwazula
Natal South Africa, 20 minutes North of Empangeni.
Then he rescued a small herd of elephants (9). The Elephants were
shot out in the area over 100 years before. This herd came from
another district where they were well known for being brakout
artists and were very troublesome after the Matriarch and others
had been shot. They were psychologically traumatised and very
It is a wonderful true tale of how he managed to calm them down and
gained their trust. The stories of the Zulu folk and their
folklore and the daily anecdotes of the bush and animals in the
area, his pets, his wife, Francois Malby, their wedding, poaching,
the good and hardships etc.
A good deal of what interests me hugely. How animals communicate
in that mysterious way that we don’t really understand… Yet…
The low level stomach (Infrasound) of the Ellies rumblings where
they seem to connect over vast distances.
Which reminded me of the great Dr Lyle Watson in one of his superb
books telling of an instance where a Knysna elephant was seen
“talking” to a whale off the coast near the Knysna heads.
Extraordinary but not unbelievable as Whales also communicate over
vast distances using a similar infrasound method.
He also reminded me of something I’d heard of before… That
trees, in this case, Acacia trees, when being grazed on, turn their
leaves bitter and unpalatable by producing tannin and then by
producing a fermone to warn all the trees in the area of the
potential “attack”. Trees also communicate!
When his White backed Vultures were been poached, Lawrence tells of
how he used African folklore and whichcraft and frightened off the
trapped poachers to the point where no one ever came and poached
vultures on his reserve again.
It is a stunning, can’t be put down, read and is a must read for
any bush lover. There is so much to be learnt from it. Highly
Anthony, 61, died of a heart attack before his planned March 2012
conservation gala dinner in Durban to raise international awareness
of the rhino-poaching crisis, and to launch his new book, The Last
Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World’s Greatest Creatures.
Following his death, a group of wild elephants which he had helped
rescue and rehabilitate, walked up to his home on their own, and
stood around in an apparent vigil for two days, before dispersing.
Just as they would mourn one of their own.
Lawrence Anthony established a conservation group, The Earth
Organization in 2003, and his efforts lead to the establishment of
two new reserves, the Royal Zulu Biosphere in Zululand and the
Mayibuye Game Reserve in Kwa Ximba, aimed at providing local tribe
people income through wildlife tourism.
In April, 2012, he was posthumously awarded honourary Doctor of
Science degree by College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science,
University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Some of Anthonys Quotations.
“I have never understood the saying ‘To think outside the box.’ Why
would anyone sit inside of a box and then think outside of it.
Rather just get out of the box.”
“There is more to life than just yourself, your own family, and
your own kind.”
“I don’t think I have a mission in life. I just want to hold
together the values that are important to us as human beings. The
name of the game is to survive, and we can’t survive without the
plant and animal kingdoms.”
“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.”
“The green movement has become tainted with extremism and
intemperance resulting in lack of credibility. It needs new
direction, new priorities and new leadership.”
“Workable solutions for Earth are urgently needed. Saving seals and
tigers, or fighting yet another oil pipeline through a wilderness
area, while laudable, is merely shuffling the deck chairs on the
“Man’s cultural and traditional links to nature that used to be
passed down, generation to generation, have become lost in a sea of
‘civilization’, bureaucracy and technology.”
“The prophets of doom are already saying it is too late, that the
crude and uninformed impact of man on the planet’s life systems is
just too great and that we don’t have enough time to turn it all
around. I don’t happen to agree, but I do know that we are entering
the end game. That unless there is a swift and marked change in our
attitudes and actions, mankind could well be on its way to becoming
an endangered species.”
“This time around it may not be a natural phenomenon; it may be
ignorance and neglect of the natural world will prove to be our
“Thankfully the Earth has an incredible capacity to sustain life,
so perhaps something can still be done about it.”
“‘Ethics’ is the key theme. Ethics are essential to establish a
granite moral code as an environmental lodestone.”
My Reference was from Wikipedia.
Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
use the comment and follow buttons.
Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
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Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,
For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
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Cape Town, South Africa.