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Robyn Morrison

Guest contributor

Robyn grew up in Johannesburg and every family holiday was spent exploring the Lowveld or camping around Southern Africa. Her love of nature and conservation propelled her to complete her Masters degree at the University of Edinburgh’s school of Geoscience. Although this gave ...

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on Do Elephants Have Culture?

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This is so beautifully explained and makes so much sense…
Thank you Robyn for sharing. Wishing you an adventurous day…

Thanks Robyn for sharing the information about elephants. The cultures of many animals are truly fascinating. I hope we can continue to learn from all the animals at Londolozi. What a magnificent world we live in!

Such a lovely article on the culture of elephants. They are such wonderful animals. I always enjoy watching them.

Ms. Morrison- the article was lovely and I have had the opportunity to witness compassion, grief and interface with elephants. With your background can you email me – I am working on a conservation idea and would like your input- thank you

Wonderful. There are so much info and data on elephants, giraffe, zebra and more animals in Africa are being studied as far as empathy is regarded. As an ethologist what stroke me the most was a parallelism between chimpanzees culture and evolution and chiclids from lake Victoria. Needles to say the latter won. We need to look at creatures among us with more empathy, definitely, also because altruism (even if evolved just from gene selection and protection) is something nobody doubts about.

Great piece. Yes, elephants have deep culture (and emotions), as do most animals. People often deny it, as it makes our fellow creatures easier to exploit. Thank you for reminding us. And I miss the ellies; please tell them I will see them in November:-)

And I still wonder why dolphins and whales save us humans, as a demonstration of altruism that get no benefit at all by putting their life at risk… there are many examples of animals that do this

Fascinating article Robyn, explaining culture and how it applies to some members of the animal kingdom. Many documentaries have been produced illustrating the almost human behavior of elephants – especially their mourning rituals and care for one another. A recent documentary followed elephants in the Okavango Delta as they followed “the water”.
I’m thoroughly enjoying your animal blogs.

Hi Robyn, good story and the elephants are so emotional animals. We humans can learn so much from nature and wild animals. They can remember and their eyes tell a story all on their own.

Lovely Robs! Thanks for sharing all the info.

The world worked fine for millions of years and then humans showed up. Humans may have invented iPhones and electric vehicles but some come to Africa & elsewhere to kill Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Tigers and other animals because they can.

The spectacular job lodges like Londolozi do with educating guests about the importance of conservation – both of wildlife and the land – is critical to the future.

Lovely article Robyn, I have watched some very touching documentaries on old elephants that were separated and worked for years and when they were finally reunited, the emotions and love between them was so very special. To me their eyes say it all, they are very old souls that have been here before us, much like the whale and dolphins of our seas. Thank you for sharing 🙏🏻

Ellies are absolutely amazing and definitely have their own culture. Anyone who has spent any time with them will understand this….but as always, patience and observation are key!

HI Robyn,
Thanks for this immersion in elephant living. I’m wondering if any of the staff of Londolozi has observed elephants or any other animals teaching their young or one another to avoid poisonous food, traps, snares, polluted water or anything else injurious? What happens if an animal dies in a pan and rots there? Do other animals avoid it?

Thank you for confirming some of what we mused about!

Great blog Robyn! Terrific account of the observed culture of elephants – endlessly fascinating!

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