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Elephant Mindfulness
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sydneyst
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 Posted: Thu Mar 5th, 2009 08:05 am

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Transcript of Video on Tarra and Bella

Narrator:

When elephants retire, many head for the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. They arrive one by one, but they tend to live out their lives two-by-two.

Carol Buckley:

"Every elephant that comes here searches out someone that she then spends most all of her time with," says sanctuary co-founder Carol Buckley.

It's like having a best girlfriend, Buckley Somebody they can relate to, they have something in common with."

Narrator:  Debbie has Ronnie. Misty can't live without Dulary.

Those are pachyderm-pachyderm pairs. But perhaps the closest friends of all are Tarra and Bella.

That would be Tarra the 8,700 pound Asian elephant. And Bella. The dog.

Carol: "This is her friend, (scratching Bella's tummy) Her friend just happens to be a dog and not an elephant.

Bella knows she's not an elephant. Tarra knows she's not a dog, But that's not a problem for them.

Narrator: Bella is one of more than a dozen stray dogs that have found a home at the sanctuary. Most want nothing to do with the elephants and vice versa. But not this odd couple.

Carol: "When it's time to eat they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together."

Narrator: Tarra and Bella have been close for years - but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn't move her legs, couldn't even wag her tail. For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office.

And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

Carol: "She just stood outside the balcony - just stood there and waited, She was concerned about her friend."

Narrator: Then one day, sanctuary co-founder Scott Blais carried Bella onto the balcony so she and Tarra could at least see each other.

Carol: "Bella's tail started wagging. And we had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra." 

Narrator: They visited like that every day until Tarra could walk. Today, their love  and trust - is stronger than ever. Bella even lets Tarra pet her tummy - with the bottom of her enormous foot.

They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences.

Last edited on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 08:09 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 09:40 pm

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Rare Footage on Elephant Behavior

Wildearth has produced a rare video showing mock charges by a baby elephant/

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpaHznSiAoA&feature=related


Webearth is a new and substantial site featuring live-cam footage of animals on the Djuma Game Reserve in Africa.
http://www.wildearth.tv/home





See Lighthouse for stories about elephants at sanctuaries and Sheldrick Reserve:

 http://www.sydneysthumb.com/forums/edit_post.php?id=185



Last edited on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Tue Jan 27th, 2009 05:15 pm

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More on Bella and Tarra and the Friendships between Dogs and Elephants 

Visit the The Bark website below to learn more about how the  friendship developed between Tarra and Bella. The article describes how Bella interacts with other elephants at the reserve and describes other friendships between dogs and elephants, including the one between Zula and the lab, Nemo.

highlights:

Tarra and Bella even swim together. When Tarra enters the water, Bella is right behind her and swims in circles around her. Tarra also seems intent on having others love Bella the way she does.  On occasion she will take Carol Buckley’s hand with her trunk and carefully guide it over to Bella.


Zula like Tarra is very careful of her steps and mindful not to frighten away the orphan dogs.  Other elephants at the reserve have shown acceptance of the dogs. 
 


http://www.thebark.com/content/dogs-are-elephant%E2%80%99s-best-friends?page=2





photo from The Bark:
Zula (elephant) and her friend, the black lab, Nemo. 


Last edited on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 05:43 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sat Jan 17th, 2009 08:18 pm

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More Video of Tarra and Bella

See this additional footage provided by the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.  

our favorite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAN5nf04L2s

also http://www.youtube.com/elephantsanctuarytn 

photo: Malanie Steedman, Christian Science Monitor

 

Last edited on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 09:36 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sun Jan 4th, 2009 05:56 pm

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Story of Special Elephant Friendship with a Dog 

While most of the other orphan dogs on the grounds at the Tennesse Elephant Sanctuary steered clear of the elephants, one dog, Bella, was unafraid and became a close friend of the elderly female elephant, Tarra. 

For some time now, the two have been nearly inseparable friends: they eat and drink together; they sleep together; they even play with one another.  And Tarra is ever so careful of any misstep. 

The story has now been told in this  unforgettable TV short presented on CBS This Morning and also captured on YouTube
.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjyb0t5Jm44

Tarra pictured at Hohenwald in moment without Bella.(photo: Elephant Sanctuary)

original video, better resolution but without sound: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/02/assignment_america/main4696340.shtml










Bella and Tarra (CBS News)

visit http://www.theelephantsanctuary.com for more information about this great rescue program.  

Last edited on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 09:37 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2008 08:31 pm

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Amazing Emotionality and Consciousness of Elephants

Making reference to the film Unforgettable Elephants, PBS offers a discussion of the high emotionality of elephants:

go to http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/unforgettable/emotions.html

excerpts with one or two additons:

Elephants, the largest land animals on the planet, are among the most exuberantly expressive of creatures.

photo: Mother Jones

Joy and Playfulness

In the wild, joy is an emotion that elephants have no shame in showing. They express their happiness and joy when they are amongst their loved ones-family and friends. Playing games and greeting friends or family members all elicit displays of joy.

But the one event that stirs a level of elephant happiness beyond compare is the birth of a baby elephant. (this is demonstrated in the short video in the previous post)

Joy and Reunion

Another highly emotional occasion in an elephant's life is an elephant reunion.  During the extraordinary event, the elephants about to be united begin calling each other from a quarter a mile away. As they get closer, their pace quickens. Their excitement visibly flows as fluid from their temporal glands streams down the sides of their faces. Eventually, the elephants make a run towards each other, screaming and trumpeting the whole time. When they finally make contact, they form a loud, rumbling mass of flapping ears, clicked tusks and entwined trunks. The two leaning on each other, rubbing each other, spinning around, even defecating, and urinating (for this is what elephants do when they are experiencing sheer delight). With heads held high, the reunited pair fill the air with a symphony of trumpets, rumbles, screams, and roars. Bliss.

Love

There is no greater love in elephant society than the maternal kind...The mother often touches her child with trunk and legs, helping it to its feet with one foot and her trunk. She carries it over obstacles and hauls it out of pits or ravines. She pushes it under her to protect it from predators or hot sun. She bathes it, using her trunk to spray water over it and then to scrub it gently. The mother steers her calf by grasping its tail with her trunk, and the calf follows, holding its mother's tail. When the calf squeals in distress, its mother and others rush to its protection immediately. 

Grief

One of the most moving displays of elephant emotion is the grieving process. Elephants remember and mourn loved ones, even many years after their death. When an elephant walks past a place that a loved one died he or she will stop and take a silent pause that can last several minutes. While standing over the remains, the elephant may touch the bones of the dead elephant (not the bones of any other species), smelling them, turning them over and caressing the bones with their trunk. Researchers don't quite understand the reason for this behavior.

Rage and Stress

Terror, rage and stress, unfortunately, are also commonplace in the elephant repertoire of emotions. Terror afflicts baby African elephants who wake up screaming in the middle of the night after they have witnessed their families murdered and poached--a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The ongoing competition between elephants and humans for available land and resources is leading to ever more unfortunate and often deadly consequences.

Human activity does more than put a stress on elephants to find resources. It can often disrupt the complex and delicate web of familial and societal relations that are so important in elephant society. Calves are carefully protected and guarded by members of the matriarchal elephant family. Any perception of danger triggers a violent reaction from the matriarch and, subsequently, the entire family. The extremes a family will go to protect a vulnerable new calf are reported in the news stories as fits of unprovoked "elephant rage." Charging a village, storming into huts where harvested crop is stored, plundering fields and, if disturbed, turning violent are some of the instances reported by the media.

Compassion/Altruism

In UNFORGETTABLE ELEPHANTS, viewers witnessed a desperate mother who just gave birth to a premature calf. The mother and several other females refused to abandon the baby, even in its desperate state.... Observers noted that one African herd always traveled slowly because one of its members had never recovered from a broken leg. And in another case, a park warden reported a herd that traveled slowly because one female was carrying around a dead calf.

One perplexing report was of an adult elephant making repeated attempt to help a baby rhinoceros stuck in the mud. She continued to try to save the baby rhino despite the fact that its mother charged her each time. Risking her life for the sake of an animal that is not her own, not related to her, or even her own species is remakably altruistic in nature.

Fidelity

JC: For me the most striking scenes in Unforgettable Elephants is the response of Echo's female tribe to the kidnapping of Ebony.  Somehow Echo's organizes a synchronized rush into the opposing herd, in the process surrounding Ebony and retreating with her in a protective pocket.  Equally amazing is the fact that it is a measured response.  No elephant was even hurt.  

Last edited on Thu Jan 1st, 2009 12:39 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Dec 31st, 2008 08:23 pm

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Colbeck Films Amboseli Elephants: Nature PBS Special

A short video excerpts from the PBS video by Mrtyn Colbeck showing the birth of a baby  to the matriarch of a tribe of female elephants in the Serengheti.   This powerful video demonstrates the great joy and emotion of the group as well as their nurturing and protective behavior.   http://video.aol.com/video-detail/nature-unforgettable-elephants-elephant-is-born-pbs/432633088

Last edited on Thu Jan 1st, 2009 12:49 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Dec 30th, 2008 02:03 am

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Elephant Abilities Described in Detail

http://www.elephantvoices.org describes the following abilities of elephants: 
  • Elephants have very large and complex brains. At an average of 4.8 kg., the elephant brain is the largest among living and extinct terrestrial mammals.  The capacity for data storage in the elephant brain is about three times larger than in the human brain.                      
  • They accumulate and retain social and ecological knowledge, remembering the scents and voices of scores of other individuals and places for decades.
  • Elephants are able to make subtle discriminations between predators, even between different groups of humans, showing that they comprehend the different levels of threat each poses.
  • The behavior of elephants both in the wild and in captivity suggests that elephants are able to use their long-term memories to "keep score" and to extract "revenge" for wrongs done.
  • Elephants can discriminate between the bones of elephants and those of other animals, and respond to the bones of elephants with special contemplation.
  • They are self-aware.
  • Elephants are renowned for their memory, intelligence, and sociality, and, as with humans, these traits make them particularly vulnerable to stress and to trauma and its longer-term psychological consequences.
  • Elephants produce a wide range of vocalizations, many of which contain frequencies below the level of human hearing. Elephants use some of these powerful low frequency calls to communicate with other elephants over long-distances.
  • Elephants can also detect the vocalizations of their companions seismically. When an elephant vocalizes an exact replica of this signal propagates separately in the ground. Elephants are able to discriminate between these vocalizations through their sensitive feet. The can detect earth tremors, thunderstorms and the hoof beats of distant animals in the same manner.
  • Elephants have an extraordinary sense of smell, which is said to be many times more discriminating than that of a bloodhound.
  • Elephants are significant contributors to tourism revenue in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Last edited on Tue Dec 30th, 2008 03:19 am by sydneyst


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