Have you heard the saying "An Elephant never forgets" ??

What does it never forget............... and how can they prove the theory anyway?

20 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The saying that elephants never forget has been backed by science.

    And it seems that the old adage may be particularly true in the case of matriarchs, who lead the herd.

    Elephants can certainly build up a memory over the years and

    hold on to it

    Karen McComb, animal communication expert

    A study of wild African elephants has revealed that dominant females build up a social memory as they get older, enabling them to recognise "friendly" faces.

    They signal whether an outsider is a friend or foe to the rest of the herd, allowing family members to focus on feeding and breeding when there is no danger.

  • 1 decade ago

    Elephants appear to have a long memory. I saw a documentary last year (I'm sorry I cannot remember the name or find it on the web) that showed a painful and touching experience. I'll tell you what I remember.

    A woman had set up a refuge for elephants. She was rescuing abused elephants from zoos, circuses, etc. At the time that she began to acquire and medically treat and feed the elephants, the elephants new home or refuge was not yet completed.

    Because of this, the elephants were stored in a building that resembled an aircraft hanger and there was roughly 16 cages. One particular female elephant, very old and being nursed back to health, reacted vocally when a younger female elephant was brought in. These two elephants were separated by 3 other elephants being stored between them.

    The older female elephant began wailing loudly and would not stop. This went on for days, the wailing and the elephant pacing.

    The woman began to do an investigation on the origin of both elephants. She found that both elephants were actually in the same circus for a two year period 27 years earlier.

    The woman moved the older elephant one stall closer to the younger elephant and the wails intensified. The next day, she moved the older elephant to the stall next to the younger elephant.

    The wailing immediately ceased and the two elephants began expressing affection to each other, that is, attempting to intertwine their trunks, trying to rub against each other.

    The next day, she moved both elephants into the same cage and they immediately became inseparable.

    The documentary ended with two very happy elephants and the woman promising that the elephants would never be separated again.

    True story. Amazing memory.

  • 3 years ago

    Elephant Never Forgets

  • 1 decade ago

    Have u ever seen the Rolo advert? it's quite an old advert, theres a little boy watching a parade in the street and he pokes his tongue out and makes a funny hand gesture to one of the baby elephants on parade. The advert then jumps 10 or 20 years later where the little boy is now a grown man watching the same parade eating some Rolos and the same elephant from 10 or 20 years ago who has now also grown up is again in the parade, but this time the elephant steals the Rolo from the mans hand and swallows it and then makes a gesture with his trunk and a noise just like the man did 10 or 20 years ago.

    Hence an elephant never forgets.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • ha_mer
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It is a concept that has been around for many, many years.

    Actually, for so long that the first time that it was so stated is lost in antiquity.

    There are several reasons why some people actually believe it to be true, such as the fabled elephant 'graveyard' where all elephants still capable of movement are said to 'stagger' to as a place to die, the poor creatures remembered their way to the graveyard.

    And, elephants have often been mishandled in circuses and even zoos, where they can turn from being very docile to very angry, very quickly - - they turn on their tormentors, who say that that elephant didn't forget - - etc

    Basically what I'm saying is, once a 'belief' becomes founded, it lives on in people's minds to become supposedly established fact.

    The concept of Elephants having exceptional memory also has many believers because earlytime African explorers occassionally came across locations where there were collections of many elephant's bones; hence, an elephant 'graveyard.'

    Elephants need a lot of forage to survive.

    In times of great draughts elephants died in large numbers leaving fields of bones, the elephants supposedly remembered their way to their 'graveyard' even though it just happened to be close to the dry waterhole where the elephants had congregated until they died of thirst..... etc

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, I've heard it. Probably never forgets to eat. By the way, I saw a video of a guy sweeping an elephant's cage. The guy was looking at the floor, and the elephant didn't see him and started to sit down. The guy's head went right up into the elephants anal opening, and some other guy working ran over and started commanding the elephant to stand all the way up. It worked, and the other guy's head was released. It all took about 3-4 seconds, and the guy was shaken but okay. True story. Saw it. Reminds me of the saying, "Up to one's neck in s--t." I guess in this case it would be down to one's neck. Oooo. I'm getting gross . . . better end this. Good question.

    Source(s): Video I saw on television
  • 1 decade ago

    Elephants, especially the Asian elephant, is reknowned for it memory and intelligence. There was an Asian saying that an elephant never forgets and it was adopted into the English language as a figure of speech.

  • 1 decade ago

    "An elephant never forgets" means that (if you're thinking in technical terms) an elephant will always remember things, events, and such. When people say an elephant never forgets, it means that you may have forgiven someone or something, but you will never forget what happened.

  • 1 decade ago

    They have incredible memory.

    This has been proved by scientists in many instances.

    1 / many :-

    An orphaned African bull elephant was reared by a woman in the wilds.

    30 yrs later the elephant was spotted - and it acknowledged its name when called out and started to "toy" / mock around with the lady & play games they once played when it was a baby.

  • Peace
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It's not that an elephant remembers where to go to die .. most of these elephants have never been to the graveyard in the first place ...

    they have what is known as genetic memory , this is memories passed down from generation to generation ... hence the reason they know how to find the place their ancestors travelled to , to die

    fascinating stuff !

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.