RELOAD 008: Tara and Bella, the Unusual Friendship
RELOAD, REFRESH, RESTART 008 - Reposts from video sources and online stories which makes me feel good and happy so I share them with you as well.
In 2011, the world mourned at the passing of Bella the dog, but none more than her constant companion Tarra the elephant. Anyone who has ever doubted an animal’s ability to feel and express emotion need to look no further than this odd couple in Tennessee. Companionship, commitment, love, and loss—it’s all there. Watch them in happier times. (from my idol Cesar Milan’s website)
Unlikely Animal Friends: Tarra the Elephant and Bella the Dog
By Joe Wilkes (from Cesarsway.com, my favorite Cesar Milan’s website)
Tarra is a female elephant from Myanmar (Burma). A member of the endangered Asian elephant family, Tarra was one of the last elephants to be imported to the U.S. legally. Tarra spent much of her life performing in circuses, zoos, TV, and movies (she even roller-skated!). She also engaged in her favorite pastime, painting watercolor originals (she signed her name to each one when it was done). Her work has been displayed in art galleries and profiled in the media. After 21 years in show business, Tarra retired to (and was a founding member of) The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. There she was to live out the remaining decades of her life exploring the expansive refuge.
Eight years ago, a stray dog named Bella wandered onto the sanctuary. There were other stray dogs on the grounds but mostly the dogs hung out with the dogs and the elephants hung out with the elephants. But Bella and Tarra became constant companions—eating together, sleeping together, playing, exploring the grounds of the sanctuary, and going for swims and basking in the sun.
A couple of years ago, Bella suffered a spinal cord injury and lost function of her legs. While Bella lay recuperating in the sanctuary office, Tarra would not leave the gate of the building. She waited outside the building as if she were in a hospital waiting room, until Bella walked out of the building weeks later. This scare bonded them even further and they enjoyed another couple of years in each other’s company. Then tragedy struck again.
In late October 2011, Bella was attacked by coyotes and killed. It was Tarra who found her. In fact, one theory is that Tarra found Bella being attacked by the coyotes and scared them off, but not soon enough to save Bella’s life. Tenderly, Tarra picked up her friend’s body and took her to one of the places they loved to spend time and stayed with the body until the sanctuary caregivers came.
Today, Tarra continues to heal and grieve with the help of her elephant and human friends. There has been an international outpouring of sympathy for Tarra with videos of Tarra and Bella on YouTube getting millions of views, and media outlets like CBS news paying tribute to the unlikely friendship. The Elephant Sanctuary has also created a Web page in tribute to Bella and Tarra where people can come to share their thoughts, view the animals’ history, and donate to the sanctuary.
Anyone who has ever doubted an animal’s ability to feel and express emotion need to look no further than this odd couple in Tennessee. Companionship, commitment, love, and loss—it’s all there. See them in happier times.