An elephant and a dog formed an incredible bond and it's everything

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Jun. 24 2024, Published 3:06 p.m. ET

At the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, an extraordinary friendship blossomed between an elephant named Tarra and a stray dog named Bella. Without any human intervention, Tarra adopted Bella and their unlikely bond became a thing of internet legend.

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Tarra and Bella's "odd couple" friendship gained widespread attention after being featured on CBS News and in "Bark" magazine. Their story captured hearts everywhere, illustrating the profound connections that can form across species. Tarra and Bella stood out as a beacon of hope and love at the sanctuary, where elephants retire to find peace and companionship.

Their bond was evident in their daily lives. They ate together, drank together, played, and even slept side by side. Despite the sanctuary being home to other stray dogs, none formed a relationship quite like the one between Tarra and Bella.

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This deep connection was further highlighted when Bella suffered a serious spinal injury. She was found in a shallow ravine within the elephant habitat, unable to walk. Quickly rushed to the veterinary hospital, Bella was diagnosed with a spinal injury likely caused by an awkward twist while running and jumping. Thankfully, Bella received the care she needed and eventually recovered.

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elephant
Source: elephantsanctuarytn | YouTube

Bella, seen here recovering from her injuries.

During Bella's recovery, Tarra's loyalty was unwavering. For three weeks, while Bella was immobilized, Tarra stood vigil, never straying far from her friend. The sanctuary staff, moved by Tarra’s devotion, made sure the two could see each other every day. These daily reunions lifted Bella’s spirits and aided her recovery. Once Bella could walk again, their bond only grew stronger. Bella even allowed Tarra to gently pet her with her massive foot, showcasing a unique level of trust and affection.

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Their friendship continued to inspire all who witnessed it. Bella, ever protective of Tarra, displayed a loyalty that resonated deeply with the sanctuary staff and visitors alike. The love and companionship between these two unlikely friends served as a powerful reminder of the capacity for empathy and connection that exists in all living beings.

elephant
Source: elephantsanctuarytn | YouTube

Best friends Bella and Tarra at the lake.

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Bella lived happily with Tarra for the rest of her days, enjoying each moment with her elephant friend until she passed away. Her life at the Elephant Sanctuary was filled with love, care, and the joy of an extraordinary friendship that touched the hearts of many.

Tarra and Bella's story is a testament to the beauty of unexpected friendships. It reminds us that love knows no bounds and that the connections we form can bring joy and hope into our lives. The Elephant Sanctuary continues to be a place where such bonds can flourish, providing a haven for these majestic creatures to live out their days in peace and companionship.

For more information about the Elephant Sanctuary, you can visit www.elephants.com.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.

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