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Even Elephants Recognize that Humans Are Exceptional


Many among us are emotionally invested in reducing our self-concept to that of just another animal in the forest. But we are exceptional among every species in the known universe. Apparently even elephants know that.

From the AOL News story:

An injured bull elephant named Ben made his way to the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe, in what appears to be a search for help.

The staff at Bumi Hills were very surprised to see Ben, as it is not common for elephants to walk right up to human homes…

Since the in-house vet was away for the weekend on business, another wildlife vet flew 200 miles to treat Ben.

For the six hours that it took the vet to arrive, Ben waited patiently, lingering nearby and drinking water. The staff tranquilized Ben and found a deep wound in his shoulder, likely from a poacher’s bullet, as well as two more bullet holes in one of his ears.

They were able to clean and disinfect Ben’s injuries, and he is now healing on the property, outfitted with a tracking device so the foundation can monitor his improvement. With the help of his human friends, Ben was lucky to have survived two attacks on his life.

If “Ben” had approached any other species, he would have been ignored, or if possible, eaten. We, on the other hand, care about the suffering of other species. We mitigate it. We help!

Apparently Ben knew something that a lot of humans deny or want to forget: Humans are exceptional.

Photo credit: Mister-E [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.