I am sure that, in the far distant past, man and animals were capable of communicating with each other.
Humans, even with their amazing brain-power, have lost the means with which to do this except in a few very special cases.
Probably because our brains evolved to concentrate on other things, such as acquisitiveness, logical thought versus emotional, self-importance and sense of entitlement along with a number of other features that were deemed to be much more important.
There is a limited amount of space in the human brain, encased as it is in a relatively small bony cavity, so some things that were not being used to their full potential were discarded in favour of other functions that were perceived to be more important.
What a terrible shame.
Humans are poorer for it.
When I was a much younger man, still in my teens in fact, I visited an animal orphanage at every available opportunity. During one of my visits, I was privileged to meet two very young elephants who were in an enclosure for safety before they were moved out to be re-integrated into a wild herd.
We played with an extremely large and very battered football for a while until one of my new friends became tired and flopped down for a snooze. The other elephant approached me and, with its trunk around my neck, pulled me close so that our foreheads touched.
To try and put what happened next into mere words is almost impossible. The elephant rocked gently and slowly from side to side, its head pressing against mine, low rumbles of ‘speech’ making my chest vibrate.
But I felt more than the vibrations from the elephant’s vocalisations as it tried so hard to talk to me. I felt a sort of thought transference, a mental connection, an almost telepathic connection. I have no idea what that new friend of mine was trying to say, but I had a warm and deeply experienced feeling of total peace and dare I say wisdom, flowing from his brain to mine. I felt at total peace with the world. In fact my surroundings blurred into insignificance as we rocked from side to side and tried so hard to talk to each other.
And here’s the weird part.
I spent most of my adult life roaming around Africa, helping out with research projects, guiding tourists, making photographs and eventually owning my own lodge. In all those travels I came across elephants in abundance, some in the distance, and some so close that I could have reached out and touched them. I have inadvertently walked into the middle of a group of elephants while out on foot.
At no time did I ever feel threatened. At no time was I attacked. It was as if I was accepted as being one of their own.
So ….. this begs the question: did that young elephant, so many years ago, transfer something into my brain that produced some sort of signal to other elephants that I was one of their own?
Let’s get back to human/animal communication.
We all know about and are horrified by the poaching epidemic. More often than not, very young elephants and rhinos are orphaned.
And when that happens, where do the youngsters go for help?
To people that they know will help them, be it a remote village, a game lodge, or even a vehicle on the road. This has happened over and over again. Too many times to be mere coincidence.
When in need of help, they go to humans. Even though humans of another type are the reason their mothers are no longer alive.
The elephants and the rhinos, I believe, still have the means to communicate with people. Can recognise some sort of aura, if you will, that lets them select a human who will do no harm but will rather help them.
People who work in reserves and conservancies are soon recognised by the wildlife as being “the good guys” and are unconditionally accepted, often to the extent of actually being approached and greeted.
So I can’t help but wonder ……. If we all still had the ability to talk to the animals, would poaching occur?
After all, we seldom, if ever, harm our friends, do we?