I think some of you all ready know the story of Tarra and Bella, the elephant and the dog. It is such a sweet story.
Elephants are not only herd animals with strong family ties, but they need a best friend, it is just in their nature. When Tarra the elephant joined the sanctuary in Tennessee to live out her years in peace, she really had no BFF (best friend forever). All the other elephants had all ready paired up and she was the odd one out.
Then she met Bella. Bella was not an elephant but a dog, one of the rescue dogs the sanctuary took in. Normally dogs and elephants do not mix. But then normal flew out the window and Tarra and Bella bonded. They ate together, roamed together and slept together. Tarra would often rub Bella's belly ever so gently with her mammoth foot.
When Bella received a spinal injury and was confined to the office, Tarra stood as close to the office as possible and did not leave. For three weeks she waited.
Bella was so severely injured that she could not even wag her tail. Then one day the staff carried her to the porch so the two heart sick animals could see each other. That is when Bella once again wagged her tail.
Bella healed and the two continued their strange "odd couple" friendship for several years. When I first heard of this wonderful story, I couldn't help but hold my breath in dread for the inevitable outcome to this tender friendship. Elephants live about 50 to 60 years. Dogs Bella's size do well to reach 14. The math pained my heart knowing that someday Tara's heart would be broken.
Well that time has come. Just days ago, Bella was attacked and killed by coyotes or a bobcat somewhere on the huge compound. The owners of the sanctuary found her body not far from the office. While she was obviously torn up from a fight , there were no signs of a struggle where she lay.
They did find blood on Tarra's trunk. They theorized that she picked up Bella from where ever she was killed and carried her body to a place they often rested together.
While I knew something like this would happen eventually from natural causes due to the lifespan conflict, I am very saddened that the time has come and that Bella would pass in such a violent manner.
Whether Tarra witnessed it and tried to help, no one knows. Because Bella was so protective of Tarra, she may have been killed trying to defend Tarra. The only thing for sure is that Bella is gone and the elephant is once again alone and obviously depressed.
Tarra has lost her dog, her best friend and those of us who have been there know the depth of that pain.
If you haven't seen it all ready, this video tells the sweet story of how they found each other.
I just hope in time Tarra finds another creature to be her friend and I so hope it is one with a long life span.
What I did find heartening is that the other elephants are now gathering around Tarra, sharing their food with her and caressing her. Elephants are well known for their ability to morn and show support.
My heart is a bit bent today.