Tara and Bella

Just over two years ago now, reporter Steve Hartman of the CBS Evening News did a story about an elephant sanctuary south of Nashville, Tennessee, where Tara is one of the elephants.  Bella is…well, you should watch the story.  It’s short, only about 3 minutes long, and tells the tale far better than I could. 

Last night, Hartman did an update, because last week, Bella died.  Tara is forlorn, as you might expect, but that isn’t the most remarkable part of the story.  They believe Bella was killed by coyotes.  They found her within sight of the shelter office.  The curious part was that they realized there was no sign of an attack at the site where her body was found–no blood, no tufts of hair.  When they found the site of the attack, it was a mile away (the sanctuary is 2,700 acres).  There is no way Bella could have walked or dragged herself that far  with the extent of her injuries, not to mention she was 13 years old. 

When they found and examined Tara, she had blood on her trunk.  They concluded that Tara carried Bella in her trunk to where she was found.  Tara brought Bella home, to the place where they had helped her before.  (Note:  I can’t even type this without weeping.)

Hartman ended the story by saying the other elephants seem to have rallied around Tara, to the point of trying to share their food with her.  She’s not terribly responsive to that.  And as he finally said, “As anyone who’s ever lost a dog knows, you can’t eat your way out of the grief”.

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14 responses to “Tara and Bella

  1. My sister is fond of the saying (quoting someone famous, but I can’t remember who), “The only problem with dogs is that they don’t live long enough”.

  2. James Herriot

  3. All Things Great and Small? I should read that book.

  4. Btw, Glad WordPress finally decided to cooperate with you.

  5. Make that All Creatures…

  6. There’s a whole series of books by Herriot …

  7. So I learned. All Things Bright and Beautiful, and The Lord God Made Them All, in particular. I think that’s why I avoided those books and hadn’t already read at least All Creatures Great and Small, because the titles are from a hymn. I was just afraid it would be some sort of religious propaganda, even if subtle and disguised. But I gather now that isn’t the case, and anyway, I’m a lot more accepting of that than I used to be. Not to mention, I always did like hymns 🙂 I may be an atheist in most people’s minds, but I’m not rabid about it–unlike our cousin Drew 🙂 I’m not rabid about much of anything any more. It takes something exceptionally stupid for me to get really riled. You know…like Bank of America 🙂

  8. Interesting that we have a rabid atheist in the family. Genetics? I think there’s no difference between rabid atheism and excessive, fanatical religiousity. Two sides of the same coin.

  9. I am with you. I have been SOBBING all week about this story. I watch the video fo Bella and Tara and my heart aches. Little Bella was so sweet. I am sur that Tara witnessed her attack because they were inseparable. Ihave no doubt that Tara tried her best to protect little Bella. This story will remain in my heart.

  10. Thanks, Mary. I agree with you that Tara had to be present, otherwise Bella would have been eaten. As horrible a thought as that is.

  11. Thanks for commenting, Lori. And I know just what you mean.

  12. Thank you for sharing this loving story several years ago and now to hear what happened to Bella is so heart wrenching. But what joy both Tara and Bella brought to the world. Many share in your loss but that kind of kindness, love and dedication to each other needs to be shared more frequently so again thank you. It is so sad but so beautiful!

  13. Thank you for commenting, Sarah, and I completely agree with you. Very sad, but very beautiful too. I just hope Tara finds another friend.

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