The elephants trunk weighs a ton. It can crush you underfoot. It can swallow an entire bunch of bananas. It is large, majestic and powerful. Elephants are the masters of the gentle touch. It will touch you with the tip of its trunk on your head in a temple to bless you. It will playfully blow away the rice puff you offer in favour of something more substantial. It will watch you with it’s gentle eye, making notes perhaps. An encounter with an elephant will leave you in awe, as well as a surge of kindness. An elephant is indeed a gentle giant.
Elephants are known for their memory power, their prodigious memory. The tale of the tailor who was rewarded with a trunk shower of water for hurting an elephant with a needle was a childhood favourite.
Alex Gendler and Evi Ofer throw light on this aspect of the elephant in their charming Ted Ed video Why Elephants Never Forget.
Studies have confirmed the elephants superior brain. Not only do elephants remember, they are capable of saddness, empathy, caring and appreciating the arts. Elephants can play music and draw.
The video reveals that elephants can remember fellow elephants they may have met briefly, as well as humans. An elephant never really forgets. Their memory helps them survive and thrive. They do this without the aid of gadgets of any kind.
This information stands starkly in our own cruel human treatment of these beautiful animals. We fail to recognise their true potential, using them as beasts of burden or worse still killing them for their skin or tusks.
Elephants Never Forgets is a peek into how these gentle animals think and remember.