What is it about Elephants?

We are often asked, why elephants? What is it about them that attracts you the most? Personally, I’ve always found it difficult to articulate. My response is usually an intimate smile followed by sentimental tears as I think about their pure kindness and depth of sensitivity, I stand there lost in feeling that words can’t describe.  For me, this is one of the most profound questions I’ve ever been asked. I now turn the table a little and ask you this same question. What is it about elephants that attract you most?  Please share your answers here, we’ll post as many replies that we can. My hope is to help each other develop a better understanding of our own compassion and affection for elephants, what drives us to stand up to make a difference in their lives.  Include your name if you wish but it isn’t necessary, all we ask is to share from your heart.

September 6, 2013



  1. REPLY
    jeanne barrett says

    Elephants possess large brains and large bodies and great socially connected hearts and grace and humor. We cannot continue to enslave them in captivity/

  2. REPLY
    Igor says

    The size and the honor look!!!

  3. REPLY
    Wendy Keating says

    They wear their hearts on their sleeves.

  4. REPLY
    Kathleen Long says

    This is difficult for me,in terms of words,to describe how I feel about,these gentle giants..I’m just moved on such a deep level,they’ve stolen my heart,and I’m on board to help bring awareness,and continue to be their voice..Signing petitions,rally’s,what ever I can do,and I believe more and more people are waking up to this.

  5. REPLY
    Elizabeth Prince Croes says

    Oh my. There are so many things it’s hard to know how to say it best. Their ancient wisdom, compassion, loyalty, love of their children. I love the contrast of their enormity and gentility. I love how they look. Their trunks, their ears, the deep timeless knowledge that you can see in their eyes. I love how they work together for the common goal of protecting and preserving the group. They are glorious, majestic creatures.

  6. REPLY
    Keith Croes says

    They’re good people.

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    Susan Carrick says

    I knew as a young girl that elephants were something very special. When I was 4 we were stationed in Ottawa. We had a day at a zoo. They had elephants there giving rides. I was upset that they wanted to put me on a baby elephant, it just did not seem right. My parents were puzzled, the handler was puzzled…I just knew in my heart that this was not the right thing to do. At that age it was hard to explain why…just ‘it was wrong’. We moved back to Vancouver and I grew up not far from where Tina the elephant lived most of her life. When I was in my late teens, early 20’s, I took some neighbor’s kids to watch the PNE parade….there was a little elephant named Tina. I started crying as it was a hot day, and the thought of her poor feet on the hot asphalt just seemed so cruel and painful….the little girls I had with me, knew why I was crying and cried with me. Fast forward many years, to the day that I turned my tv on only to see a huge story on dear Tina, as an adult, at that local zoo….she was bobbing and swaying….the decision was finally made to retire her. My heart broke seeing her in that condition, at that point, with the help of the internet which was very new to me….I learned just how bad elephants are treated in captivity. My voice was then added to the growing number of local people who insisted that she be retired to a Sanctuary and not to a breeding zoo where we found out she would be giving yet more elephant rides. Her feet were in terrible shape….the public won and she was moved….that is when we found out how truly bad her health was. From that moment on, I have tried very hard to help where I could to make sure that what Tina went through before she was retired, would never happen to another elephant. I have learned that these gentle giants are extremely intelligent, they have feelings just like we do! They need room to move and to grow….they deserve so much more than what captivity has to offer. I could go on, but I must leave room for others to share their hearts. I am looking forward to the future for Global Sanctuary for Elephants and to the freedom and safety of all elephants in the world. Elephants are not born to entertain us….they deserve to live their lives with respect and safety

  8. REPLY
    Rosemary Brocco says

    There is just this super sense of gentleness and calm They are large giant gentle loving dogs.

  9. REPLY
    Debra Moore says

    Years ago I was fortunate to work at a zoo as a volunteer. Fortunate for me, not so good for the elephants. I learned how intelligent they were, how frustrated and angry they became in their tiny yards. I was told that the swaying was ‘dancing’, the many times they were forced to stay inside due to the cold; I could plainly see their eyes were full of pain, their feet sore, their time alone devastating. Two of these captives became dangerous: finally fighting back after all of the callous and ignorant treatment at the hands of their keepers. I saw the blood from the bullhook, witnessed verbal and other physical abuse; necessary, said the keeper, to ‘keep them in line.’ Then I fell in love with a sanctuary and the folks who supported this new idea. And the elephants! Their lives became joyful! I saw all that had been missing from the zoo environment! I have continued to support, all that I can, this movement to help elephants in captivity to thrive. The elephants are still at that zoo, still miserably existing. But I have hope, I have hope that one day they will all be free to live the rest of their lives as they should. It keeps me going and keeps me supportive of these efforts to help them to attain their lives, together and without expectations from humans.

  10. REPLY
    Marietta says

    I am so lucky to live in country where wild elephants roam …. Seeing them and being among them in their own habitat is such a gift. Elephants are like a mirror to me, reflecting my own dreams and hopes and joys but also desperation, sadness and hurt. We are no different from each other. We need each other.

  11. REPLY
    Dana says

    They are more like us than we knew, a grand animal that needs us to fight for them. Ive always been for the under dogs and to me they are so worth fighting for.

  12. REPLY
    Nicholle says

    Exactly what Elizabeth Croes said…and this Henry Beston quote…”In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time”.

    • REPLY
      kattykat says

      BTW, “The Outermost House” is one of Scott’s favorite books.

  13. REPLY
    Patricia Hughes says

    I saw the elephants walking up the street to our convention center, I looked in their eyes and they looked back. A voice inside me said “See our sadness; feel our pain.” I studied about elephants in entertainment and what they are put through. They called to me. After seven years of raising awareness, I presented a petition of over 3300 signatures to our County Legislature to ban the bullhook in our County putting and end to the abuse at least here. I watch via webcam the elephants roaming in a natural setting with their families and will work for the release of captive elephants all my days.

  14. REPLY
    Katelynn Miller says

    Their gentleness, intelligence and the deep love and loyalty they have for family.

  15. REPLY
    Randy says

    Their gentleness and profound sense of loyalty to anything they care about (other elephants or humans). I’ve long considered them one of my personal totem animals. It would be an almost religious experience to be able to touch one … interact with one … and them with me.

  16. REPLY
    Eileen Keyes says

    Pictures worth thousands of words:
    Female Elephants Rescue a Drowning

  17. REPLY
    Beth Pierce says

    I feel that they carry the beautiful songs of the earth within their hearts.

  18. REPLY
    Michelle L Harris-Shields says

    Everything about them!! They have my heart. They are just so incredible. I cry when I think of them. I do not want to live in a world without them.

  19. REPLY
    Rachel says

    They are loving gentle creatures

  20. REPLY
    michelle says

    Using the words from the memorial for Qumquat and her family:
    “You were gentle and humble , asking nothing but to live.”
    I feel love when I look at an elephant and I see their pride and love for their family.

  21. REPLY
    Elena Towers says

    They inspire empathy. Every time I read about an elephant death due to poaching-I am sad all day!

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