Lawrence Anthony—The Elephant Whisperer
These experiences had such a profound impact, he felt compelled to form a completely new kind of environmental and conservation organization to arrest the dangerous decline of Earth’s species, and the loss and contamination of habitat. Some of his most influencing engagements and remarkable accomplishments were:
- Entering the chaos of a war zone at the onset of the Iraqi War in 2003, in an extraordinary 5½ month rescue initiative of the animals and staff of the Baghdad Zoo.
- His legendary relationship with a herd of wild African elephants. After rescuing them from certain death by poachers and government officials, their bond with him became such that he could call out to them in the bush near his home in South Africa and they would come to him as friends. Every time he returned from a trip, the herd would appear at his home to welcome him.
- His negotiations with top generals of an infamous and powerful African rebel army resulted in their signing a UN peace treaty, which included an agreement to stop killing the highly endangered Northern White Rhinos and the game rangers protecting them.
- The initiation of a project to establish a model “community prosperity and wildlife preserve”– called Mayibuye – for not only the economic empowerment of the local Zulu community but the conservation and optimum utilization of their natural resources and wildlife.
After returning from Baghdad, Dr. Anthony established his conservation organization dedicated to advancing real solutions to the world’s environmental problems.
His vision was to raise awareness of humanity’s vital partnership with the natural world. Moreover, that this endeavor be science-based and involve working with industry, governments, civic leaders and communities. His plan was, through cooperative action and education of all stakeholders, to bring rational solutions to environmental challenges facing the world.
Many of Lawrence’s bold achievements were covered by CNN, BBC, CBS, “Men’s Journal,” “Elle” magazine, “Readers Digest,” “The Smithsonian,” “Carte Blanche,” “The Globe,” and others. The media dubbed him “The Elephant Whisperer” and “The Indiana Jones of Conservation.”
Lawrence co-authored 3 best-selling books:
Lawrence Anthony was a true, larger-than-life hero dedicated to the lofty goal of bringing about a state of far greater harmony between Mankind and Nature. In 2012, when Lawrence passed away, the staff of his non-profit further dedicated themselves to forwarding his vision, goals and purposes, and to ensure that our many members and supporters could be assured of that, honored him by renaming The Earth Organization to the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO).
Two nights after Lawrence died, his beloved herd of wild elephants came to his house, visibly distraught, and apparently in mourning. For three years afterwards, they returned to his home on the anniversary of his passing.