Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tarra and Bella

D0 you watch CBS Sunday Morning? I never miss it. Last Sunday it ended with a story about Tarra and Bella. It was the second time they showed us this story. Tarra is an elephant. Bella is a stray dog. They both live at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, not far from Nashville.

The sanctuary takes in elephants who have come from circuses or other venues where they have spent their lives entertaining the public and earning money for those who choose to display them for profit. At the sanctuary they live out the rest of their lives in freedom at last, allowed to roam, and receiving good care.

Each elephant, as it arrives at the sanctuary, seeks out another, and the two seem to become best friends for the duration of their stay. When Tarra arrived, she found not another elephant, but Bella the dog, and the two became fast friends, completely devoted to one another.

This second piece on Tarra and Bella made me very happy. It seems that after the first presentation, the owners of the sanctuary were flooded with contacts from all sorts of people who wanted their story. One of these offers was from Disney. They wanted to make a movie about the elephant and the dog, and to use Tara, or an "actor" substitute. What made me so happy was that the owners of the sanctuary said NO. They feel that animals are not put on this earth to perform and entertain us, but that they are worthwhile in themselves alone, and should be allowed to live their lives with dignity, in their natural environment. It isn't everyone who could bring themselves to turn down what must have been a very lucrative offer like that.

Carol Buckley, one of the owners, has written a book about Tarra and Bella, and no doubt the profits from that go to aid in the continued operation of the sanctuary, without further exploitation of the animals. It can be pre-ordered - due to come out in September.

The photos are from the internet site.


Dianne said...

I saw the first story and posted about it, it touched me so much. I'll never forget Tarra waiting outside the window when Bella was sick.

the sanctuary people are heroes!!!!

and good for them to say No

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely up-lifting story. They are so right about animals being allowed to maintain their dignity as individuals and not in some kind of relationship to humans. Typical of Disney to fail to understand that one. I hope these two animals are left alone to remain happy in one another's company.

Daryl said...

Thanks for this .. my Lisa loves elephants, I am off to order this for her!

storyteller's other blog said...

I usually watch Sunday Morning. It's a program my brother loved and whenever I watch I feel close to him even though he died eleven years ago. I missed this week because I was catching up on Wimbledon tennis matches. Dave would have found this story of special interest.
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

Never heard this story. Love it. Thanks for sharing it with us.