The End of an Amazing Friendship


Written by: Phil Monahan

Tara and Bella

Tarra, an Asian elephant, and Bella the stray dog developed a loving and trusting
bond that served as a lesson about overcoming differences.

photo courtesy The Elephant Sanctuary

If you don’t know the amazing story of the touching friendship of Tarra the elephant and Bella the dog, then watch the videos below before you continue reading. The two pals lived an played together at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, displaying remarkable affection and concern for one another’s well being. Their story served as a lesson for the myriad failures of mankind to look beyond our differences.

Unfortunately, The Elephant Sanctuary announced on Friday that Bella has passed away, presumably as the result of a coyote attack.

It is with heavy hearts we honor the passing of Bella the Dog. Eight years ago, the white stray canine wandered into our habitat and befriended The Sanctuary’s founding elephant, Tarra. The inseparable friends were incredible in their devotion to each other and the story of their unique bond has been shared around the world. . . .We love and miss you, Bella, and will continue to take care of your friend Tarra.

According to sanctuary personnel, Tarra was faithful to last, having come across the attack and saved Bella from being completely devoured by the coyotes. Tarra carried her stricken friend back to the barn the two shared as a home. Because elephants, like people, develop strong attachments to others, Tarra is in deep mourning, and staff are giving her extra attention. A tribute page has been set up for Bella to honor her memory.

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