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A Unique Love Story

November 15, 2011

Last year Steve Hartman of CBS news reported on a unique love story between two distinctly different individuals named Tarra and Bella. Tarra is a 4½ ton elephant living at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, and Bella is a dog.

Female elephants are social animals and apparently the deal is that when an elephant arrives at the sanctuary they seek out another elephant and bond with that elephant. In Tarra’s case, she bonded with Bella, a stray dog who wandered into the habitat and the two spent every day together – eating, sleeping, playing – for nearly a decade.

Here’s the original story:

“They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences. Take a good look, America. Take a good look, world. If they can do it, what’s our excuse?” – Steve Hartman, CBS News

Sadly, there’s an unhappy ending to this unique loves story. Bella’s body was found a couple of weeks ago by workers at the sanctuary. The belief is she was attacked and killed by coyotes. No one knows if Tarra witnessed the attack and tried to intervene, but they do know that Bella was not found at the location where she was attacked. Workers say there were no signs of a struggle or an attack around Bella’s body. No blood, no tufts of fur, nothing to indicate there was an attack. What they did find was that Tarra had blood on the underside of her trunk as if she had picked up the body and carried it. It’s believed that Tarra carried Bella’s body over a mile in an effort to bring her home.

Yes, it’s a sad ending to a beautiful love story. One nice outcome is that while Tarra is mourning the loss of her best friend, the other elephants at the sanctuary are trying to help ease her pain by spending more time with her and bringing her portions of their food to share.

If you’d like to read more about The Elephant Sanctuary, or maybe make a donation to help provide for the care of an elephant, you can do that by clicking right here.

If animals aren’t your thing, then maybe this or this is more to your liking?

Best friends

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2011 12:57 pm

    What a story Michael. Two best friends so completely different from one another. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.


  2. November 15, 2011 1:35 pm

    I loved this story (even if the ending was sad). It reminds me of Suryia and Roscoe – the orangutan and the hound


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 16, 2011 9:15 am

      Suriya didn’t look too happy being in the water!


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