Two herds of wild elephants march inexplicably to pay tribute to dead conservationist Lawrence Anthony

As famed conservationist Lawrence Anthony died on March 2, 2012, in South Africa, two herds of elephants marched 12 hours to pay their respects.

This solemn procession of elephants defies human explanation.

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A line of elephants approaching the Anthony house via CBC.ca

There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. And both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Lawrence’s death, the conservationist who saved their lives.

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.

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.

Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds – and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.

This is also the case for Jinjing the penguin that swims 2000 miles every year to see the man who saved its life.

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