A dog famous for befriending an Asian elephant at a Tennessee sanctuary passed away earlier this week.
A remarkable odd couple that made for one of the most famous and admired animal friendships in the world, Tarra and Bella have been featured in countless videos, on numerous television shows, and have even appeared in a children’s book.
The dog and the 8,700 pound former performing elephant spent their days together at the 2,200-acre sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN. A co-founder of the sanctuary said that knowing Tarra and her love of Bella, it was likely the elephant would spend some time mourning the loss of her companion.
In a statement released yesterday The Elephant Sanctuary said that Bella was found earlier in the week suffering from injuries that appear to have been caused by a coyote. Rob Atkinson said Bella was found near Tarra’s barn: sanctuary employees believe Bella was attacked elsewhere, and that the heartbroken elephant carried her home.
In a written statement he said: “It was only later when we had pieced together the whole picture that Tarra’s behavior at Bella’s grave made sense. Our poor, brave, loving Girl knew what had happened to her beloved Bella and, in the dark hours of the night as she carried her body home, had come to terms with her death.
Tarra’s sisters will help her through her sadness. Although we cannot take away Tarra’s pain immediately or the pain of all those that knew Bella, I do know Bella knew true love and true freedom. It will always be so for animals that find Sanctuary.”
Founded in 1995, The Elephant Sanctuary is the largest natural habitat for Asian and African elephants in the US.
See the video that made Bella and Tarra famous.