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Thread: On Elephant Sanctuary, Unlikely Friends

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Smile On Elephant Sanctuary, Unlikely Friends

    On Elephant Sanctuary, Unlikely Friends

    Jan. 2, 2009 (CBS) When elephants retire, many head for the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. They arrive one by one, but they tend to live out their lives two-by-two.

    "Every elephant that comes here searches out someone that she then spends most all of her time with," says sanctuary co-founder Carol Buckley.

    It's like having a best girlfriend, Buckley says - "Somebody they can relate to, they have something in common with."

    Debbie has Ronnie. Misty can't live without Dulary.

    Those are pachyderm-pachyderm pairs. But perhaps the closest friends of all are Tarra and Bella.

    That would be Tarra the 8,700 pound Asian elephant. And Bella. The dog.

    "This is her friend," Buckley says, scratching Bella's tummy. "Her friend just happens to be a dog and not an elephant."

    "Bella knows she's not an elephant. Tarra knows she's not a dog," Buckley adds. "But that's not a problem for them."

    Bella is one of more than a dozen stray dogs that have found a home at the sanctuary. Most want nothing to do with the elephants and vice versa. But not this odd couple.

    "When it's time to eat they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together," Buckley says.

    Tarra and Bella have been close for years -- but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn't move her legs, couldn't even wag her tail. For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office.

    And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

    "She just stood outside the balcony - just stood there and waited," says Buckley. "She was concerned about her friend."

    Then one day, sanctuary co-founder Scott Blais carried Bella onto the balcony so she and Tarra could at least see each other.

    "Bella's tail started wagging. And we had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra," Blais says.

    They visited like that every day until Tarra could walk. Today, their love -- and trust -- is stronger than ever. Bella even lets Tarra pet her tummy - with the bottom of her enormous foot.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n4696340.shtml

  2. #2
    I saw this on television last night. I wonder what happened to the dog that is sustained a spinal cord injury and was temporarily paralyzed? The elephant was beside itself until they brought out the dog to hang out with. Pretty touching story. I wonder how they're going to handle it when the elephant outlives the dog... They're going to have to find a cure for the elephants broken heart.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Thanks, Max - What a great story!

  4. #4
    What a nice story!
    Thanks for the link

  5. #5
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Hey - more info on the elephant sanctuary itself:

    http://www.elephants.com/

  6. #6
    What a touching story...thanks for sharing!
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

  7. #7
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    I've seen references to other elephants who actually morn their losses and even bury their family members/friend/even found human bodies. So I suppose I'm hoping that when the dog dies they let the elephant see the body and let her know and morn so she can move on. Elephants are cool! Have you their paintings?
    BeeBee

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    On Elephant Sanctuary, Unlikely Friends

    Jan. 2, 2009 (CBS) When elephants retire, many head for the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. They arrive one by one, but they tend to live out their lives two-by-two.

    "Every elephant that comes here searches out someone that she then spends most all of her time with," says sanctuary co-founder Carol Buckley.

    It's like having a best girlfriend, Buckley says - "Somebody they can relate to, they have something in common with."

    Debbie has Ronnie. Misty can't live without Dulary.

    Those are pachyderm-pachyderm pairs. But perhaps the closest friends of all are Tarra and Bella.

    That would be Tarra the 8,700 pound Asian elephant. And Bella. The dog.

    "This is her friend," Buckley says, scratching Bella's tummy. "Her friend just happens to be a dog and not an elephant."

    "Bella knows she's not an elephant. Tarra knows she's not a dog," Buckley adds. "But that's not a problem for them."

    Bella is one of more than a dozen stray dogs that have found a home at the sanctuary. Most want nothing to do with the elephants and vice versa. But not this odd couple.

    "When it's time to eat they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together," Buckley says.

    Tarra and Bella have been close for years -- but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn't move her legs, couldn't even wag her tail. For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office.

    And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

    "She just stood outside the balcony - just stood there and waited," says Buckley. "She was concerned about her friend."

    Then one day, sanctuary co-founder Scott Blais carried Bella onto the balcony so she and Tarra could at least see each other.

    "Bella's tail started wagging. And we had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra," Blais says.

    They visited like that every day until Tarra could walk. Today, their love -- and trust -- is stronger than ever. Bella even lets Tarra pet her tummy - with the bottom of her enormous foot.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n4696340.shtml
    Wow that is a very interesting story. I never knew elephants were so caring like that. It is pretty amazing that the elephant waited by the dog for 3 weeks. This kind of reminds me of how dogs are protective of humans (and in some cases animals). Great read, and thank you for sharing. I now like elephants alot more than I did before I read this
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    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 03-23-2009 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Removal of spam link

  9. #9
    Senior Member SymKat's Avatar
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    I love stories like this. I enjoyed watching this on youtube. Animals could teach people about love. They give so willingly.

    Have you see the story about Owen & Mzee?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Kc2y-geiU&feature=PlayList&p=372DB024427BFED9&index=0&p laynext=1


    http://www.lafargeecosystems.com/blog.php
    (best to go back to the blog's start)

    Mzee is a Tortoise, possibly the oldest living creature on earth. Owen, a baby Hippo was swept to sea in a Tsunami, and found on a small land mass. Mzee adopted Owen.
    Last edited by SymKat; 03-23-2009 at 01:59 AM.

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