Bella and Tarra: Unforgettable Friendship

On October 26th a sweet, mix bred dog named Bella was attacked by coyotes in her home, the Elephant Sanctuary. Though her death has been mourned by many, no one will miss her more than her best friend Tarra, the Asian elephant.

The Elephant Sanctuary is a 2,700-acre haven for African and Asian elephants located in Hohenwald, Tennessee. The non-profit organization opened its gates to elephants in March of 1995 and currently has 14 rescued elephants. Tarra was not only the first resident but also the inspiration for the sanctuary. She met her best friend, Bella, when the dog wandered onto the newly purchased sanctuary and they had been inseparable ever since.

Studies show that elephants are compassionate creatures just like dogs. In fact, the researchers behind Unforgettable Elephants watched as one tried to rescue a baby rhino stuck in the mud even with the threatening mother rhino was nearby. Tarra was no different. The pair had sleepovers in Tarra’s barn stall. And Tarra even waited by the office to get a glimpse of her friend when Bella was recuperating from a spinal surgery inside.

Bella was found dead by the barn she shared with Tarra.

The surrounding area shows no sign of a fight, causing the experts at the Elephant Sanctuary to believe that Tarra may have found her friend’s body and carried her home. Traces of blood on Tarra’s trunk seem to back up their theory. Since the death of Bella, Tarra has been comforted by her elephant friends who have offered her portions of their food to cheer her up.

Bella and Tarra’s story has been a web sensation for years. It’s truly devastating for their friendship to end this way. The Elephant Sanctuary has created a tribute page for their favorite canine. If you would like to relive this amazing bond check out their videos, pictures, and consider giving to the Bella Fund.

Main photo credit: Screenshot / YouTube