Maybe you've heard this story already. Maybe not. But I just couldn't pass up the opportunity of sharing it with all of you.
This is a story about a friendship between two unlikely animals.
An elephant named Tarra,
and a dog named Bella.
Tarra is an Asian elephant from Burma, born in 1974. Soon after Tarra came to the United States, a ban was put on Asian Elephants as they were considered an endangered species. For the next 20 years, Tarra entertained audiences all over the world in circuses, amusement parks, zoos and videos. Once she got tired of entertaining, an Elephant Sanctuary was opened in Hohenwald, TN and Tarra was the first resident. This sanctuary is now the nation's largest natural habitat which has been developed specifically to meet the needs of endangered elephants.
Elephants usually come to the sanctuary alone, but soon match up with another elephant for companionship. (All are females).
Tarra matched up with Bella. Or vice versa. Bella first showed up at the Sanctuary in the Fall of 2003. There are other stray dogs wandering the Sanctuary, but they tend to stay away from the elephants.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that when she was found on some newly acquired property, she was guarding a bulldozer. Then she moved on to a four-wheeler, and finally Tarra.
The two were fast friends, albeit, an odd couple. They ate together, played together, and sometimes even slept together.
Watch this video to see them in action.
In April 2007, Bella had a spinal cord injury and had to spend a few weeks immobile in the office. Tarra stood guard nearby. She missed her pal. Watch this video of their reunion. But beware......Bella just passed away recently, and Tarra can not be consoled.
There is a book and a video about Tarra and Bella available on the Sanctuary's website. Also, more information about the sanctuary can be found there. Have a look around. And here is a tribute to Bella.
I hope that Bella and Tarra will reunite in heaven. They made quite the pair, didn't they?