Urban elephant Shirley had lived a harsh and cruel life. For a quarter of a century she was forced to perform with a traveling U.S. circus; living in horrific conditions.
The injury left her crippled and of no use to the circus and she was sent to a zoo in Louisiana where she lived in complete isolation for another two decades. In her 50s she was officially retired from all public duties and allowed to finally roam free at an elephant sanctuary.
Elephants are social animals and the sanctuary knew they needed to get her used to other elephants so for the first time in 22 years she was to meet another elephant.
The media gathered, the crowd held their breath and the special moment left no one in any doubt how much this meeting meant to Shirley. What wasn’t know was that Shirley was about to meet an elephant who held a very special place in her heart.
Shirley was about to meet Jenny – an elephant who had been at the same circus with her and the two of them had previously shared a special bond. It is thought that Shirley may have been a mother figure to Jenny in their early circus days.
But despite the long separation they never forgot each other, and after all these years it was time to reunite the two best friends at the sanctuary.
The moment was filmed in 2000 and was so moving their story became the subject of a documentary.
It was obvious that Shirley and Jenny immediately recognized each as they both began to roar. Shirley then started showing a protective stance around Jenny. It’s clearly true what they say – elephants never forget!
Moved millions to tears
Watch the moving scene in the video below. It’s a clip that has moved millions of people to tears. It is also a perfect example of the love and care that animals feel for each other.
Sadly, ten years later Jenny passed away and after a period of mourning Shirley found a new elephant friend to spend her time with. I’m so happy that Jenny got to spend her last years with her best friend
Elephants do not belong in the circus. Share this video to show everyone how important it is for them to be able to roam free!