Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/504

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

elephant, man might rescue himself or his property from immersion in the swamps.

The memory of elephants is of a highly remarkable nature, both as to its duration and in its operation as enabling the animal to recognize friends and foes. I am fortunate in being able to place on record an instance of elephant memory of a very interesting kind, and one which serves to show in a highly typical manner the remembrance by these animals of kindness, and also of the reverse treatment. In 1874 Wombwell's menagerie visited Tenbury, in Gloucestershire, and on that occasion the female elephant, "Lizzie" by name, drank a large quantity of cold water when heated after a long walk—the animal, as a consequence, being attacked with severe internal spasms. A local chemist, a Mr. Turley, being called in as medical adviser, succeeded in relieving the elephant's pain, the treatment including the application of a very large blister to the side. The menagerie in due course went its way; but, in May, 1879, it again visited Tenbury, and, as Mr. Turley stood at his shop-door watching the zoölogical procession pass down the street, the elephant stepped out of the ranks, crossed from one side of the street to the other, and, having advanced to Mr. Turley, placed her trunk round his hand and held it firmly, at the same time making, as Mr. Turley informs me, a peculiar grunting noise, as if by way of welcome. Thus it was clear that, after an interval of five years, "Lizzie" had recognized an old friend in Mr. Turley, and that, moreover, she remembered him with a sense of gratitude for his successful endeavors to relieve the pain from which she had suffered. At night Mr. Turley visited the menagerie, when the elephant again made every demonstration of joy, and embraced him with her trunk. She drew Mr. Turley's attention particularly to the side whereon the blister had been applied, thus showing that all the circumstances of five years previous were fresh in her memory. Observing that in 1881 the menagerie had again visited Tenbury, I wrote to Mr. Turley, inquiring if "Lizzie" had again recognized her old friend. That gentleman replied, his letter bearing date May, 1881, that she had again recognized him, beginning to "trumpet" whenever she beheld Mr. Turley among the spectators in the menagerie. On his speaking to his patient, she placed her trunk round his legs and lifted him from the ground, but in the gentlest manner possible. On Mr. Turley proceeding to examine one of her hind-legs, which had been under treatment, the elephant kept holding one of her fore-legs toward him in such a fashion as to draw his attention to the limb. As Mr. Turley, however, had had no concern with the fore-leg, he was puzzled to account for the animal's movement; but the keeper explained that the fore-leg in question had been treated by a veterinary surgeon for an injury, and that the latter had used his lancet to afford relief. The elephant was irritated by the operation, and expressed her resentment on again seeing the veterinary practitioner by striking at him with her trunk. The act of call-