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”.