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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Friends in Spite of Differences

Have you ever seen two people who looked really odd together? Perhaps it was due to an age difference or a cultural difference, perhaps it was because of a difference in ability whether mental or physical. But after you watched the pair for a bit you noticed how happy and in sync they were together. How the friendship or relationship worked for them despite their disparity.

The second book I read for the Support your Local Library Challenge tells of such a friendship in the animal world. It's the true story of Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley. Tarra was the first resident of an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. As additional elephants came, they paired off with a buddy. All of them except for Tarra. She never found a best friend. Then she met Bella one of the many dogs on the property. Normally the dogs and elephants keep their distance from each other. But these two bonded. They spent all their time together. If the other elephants wanted to socialize with Tarra, they had to accept her friendship with Bella and include him.

One day Bella is injured and unable to move. Tarra stands guard nearby until a sanctuary worker finds the injured dog and takes her to receive medical help. When Bella does not return after two days, Tarra goes to find her. Meanwhile, Bella is convalescing upstairs in an elephant barn with a large picture window. When she sees Tarra outside, she is happy. Tarra makes a commotion until the workers carry Bella down to see her. Tarra returns every day for a visit until Bella has healed and can return with her to the sanctuary grounds.

Here's a video of Tarra & Bella. [For my deaf readers: there are no captions to this video because there is no human dialog. There are animal sounds and soothing background music has been added.]

If you enjoyed this video, you can see additional ones on the Elephant Sanctuary's YouTube channel. You can learn more about the sanctuary at their website.

Regarding the Support Your Local Library Challenge, please remember that any book checked out from a library counts. Even children's books.


Jedediah said...

Elephants are astonishing creatures. I once saw two elephants meet after over two decades, they had been together in the same (horrible) zoo and now they were both together again. They recognized each other right away, making little squeaky noises I had never heard before from elephants and feel each other all over with their trunks.

My next book review for the library challenge will be up soon, I hope :)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for sharing that great story. Looking forward to reading your next book review.

Anonymous said...

This reminded me of Owen and Mzee:
There's a book to go with it- a baby hippo lost it's mother and found a tortoise.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Anonymous,
I hadn't heard about Owen and Mzee before. Thanks for telling me about them. I checked out the website and I think I would enjoy the book Owen and Mzee: The Story of a Remarkable Friendship. I'll have to see if I can find it at the library.
Thanks again for your comment.

kymberley said...

That is so cool, I think I remember seeing this somewhere before!

Liz said...

Awww. So cute. Thanks for sharing this story Sarah. :)