The Myth of the Elephant Graveyard

By | February 15, 2019

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A Sumatran elephant on February 14, 2019. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP/Getty Images)

Legends persist that deep in the untamed jungles of Africa is a fabled place known as the elephant graveyard. It is said that this is a mystical place that beckons dying elephants to their final resting place. The elephant graveyard has been a much sought-after place for several reasons, but the one that seems to attract most adventurers is the promise of mounds and mounds of ivory just waiting for the taking. While many explorers have sought the legendary place, the elephant graveyard remains elusive. Is the elephant graveyard a myth? Or is there some truth to the legends? 

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Do Elephants Know When They are Going to Die?

According to the myth of the elephant graveyard, elephants instinctively known that death is near so they will separate themselves from their herd and journey alone to the elephant graveyard. Although there have been several stories of older elephants that leave the herd and wander off to die, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the elephants have had a premonition of their impending death. In many of the cases, the older elephant leaves to search for softer food that is easier for them the chew. The animal may die of other causes, coincidentally, while on this solo trek.