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Here at Gentle & Giant we want you to experience the world through an elephant, learning about their senses and unique communication skills. We're going on a non-stop safari of action, exploring the deepest realms of Africa and Asia! All in search of the giant, yet gentle elephant! Gentle & Giant is your one-stop guide to all the unique and interesting facts on the elephant species.

Elephants in the News - May 2009

From The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee:

In 1995 retired elephant, Tarra, became the first resident in Honhenwald's Elephant Sancutary. Tarra is an Asian elephant, born in Burma, overy thirty years ago - in 1974. She was captured and sent to the United States when she was only 6 months old. After 21 years of entertaining the public, in circuses, amusement parks, and zoos, she found a home at the Elephant Sanctuary in Honhenwald, Tennesse.

It is here, in Honhenwald, where Tarra has developed a friendship with one of the most unusual of playmates for an elephant in the wild. The elphant sanctuary is also home to dozens of stray dogs, and one dog in particular has taken a liking to loveable Tarra. Tarra's new BFF (best friend forever) is a stray dog known as Bella.

Tarra and Bella are the best of buds. They do absolutely everything together. “When it’s time to eat they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together,” according to Carol Buckley, co-founder of the Elephant Sanctuary.

Earlier in the year, Bella had a spinal cord injury and could not go out to play with Tarra until she was fully rested. That left nearly a month or so when the two best friends had to separated. Bella rested in the Sanctuary office, while Tarra waited patiently outside the office. Another co-founder took notice of Tarra, and carried Bella out to see Tarra on the balcony. “Bella’s tail started wagging, “said Mr. Blais, co-founder. “We had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra.” The trust is so strong between them that the dog even lets the 8,700-pound elephant give her tummy rubs.

To view footage on Tarra and Bella please visit the Sanctuary's YouTube site.