Lawrence Anthony honoured by UKZN

2012-04-16 00:00

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal is to pay tribute to the late Lawrence Anthony, best known as “the Elephant Whisperer”, with an honourary doctorate.

A ceremony will be held tomorrow at UKZN’s Westville campus.

Anthony’s life dedicated to conservation issues was cut short when he died from a heart attack in his sleep last month at the age of 61.

His son, Dylan (34), who will accept the posthumous award on his father’s behalf, said his father would joke about such honours.

“He’s received these honorary doctorates and he’d always joke about it so often that he’ll get a stethoscope because he’s now a doctor,” Dylan laughed.

He said his father had barely passed high school and didn’t go to university.

Dylan also called Lawrence a “fantastic and gentle father”.

“He always encouraged us to do what we wanted to do. The greatest lesson he taught us was to never compromise.”

He told The Witness that the family are very excited and honoured by the UKZN recognition.

Dylan said if he’d describe his father in one would, it would be “tenacious”.

“Every since we were young he’s never changed. He’s always been the same and was down to earth.”

His father knew about the UKZN honour before he died, said Dylan.

Graduation orator Dr Joyce Chitja said: “The university is honoured to recognise Anthony for his courageous and unfailing commitment to the protection and conservation of animals.”

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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