Elephants have an amazing memory In 1986, Malek Mabembe was on holiday in Kenya aftergraduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through thebush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one legraised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Malek approached itvery carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected theelephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embeddedin it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Malek worked thewood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephantgingerly put down its foot.The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rathercurious look on its face, stared at him for several tensemoments. Malek stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but beingtrampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, andwalked away. Malek never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Malek was walking through the Chicago Zoowith his teenaged son. As they approached the elephantenclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over near to where Malek and his son Tapu were standing. The large bullelephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off theground, then put it down. The elephant didthat several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staringat the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Malek couldn'thelp wondering if this was the same elephant. Malek summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing andmade his way into theenclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared backin wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunkaround one of Malek’s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly. Probably wasn't the same elephant.