Tarra and Bella: A Story of Friendship

By Cheryl Campbell | A Dogs Life

Tarra and Bella A Story of Friendship

A Dog and An Elephant: The Story of Tarra and Bella

For those of you who don’t know about Tarra and Bella, the story bears repeating.  It’s a story of friendship, commitment, love, and loss.

Anyone who has ever doubted an animal’s ability to feel and express emotion need to look no further than this odd couple in Tennessee.


Tarra is a female elephant from Myanmar (Burma). An Asian elephant, she is on the endangered species list. As a matter of fact, Tarra is was one of the last elephants to be imported to the U.S. legally.

Tarra retired to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after 21 years in show business. There she was to live out the remaining decades of her life exploring the expansive refuge.


Then one day Bella the dog showed up and the two became constant companions. They ate together, slept together, and played together.  They explored the grounds of the sanctuary often going for swims and basking in the sun.

CBS News and Bark Magazine featured their story when Bella suffered a spinal injury.  Tara stopped her normal routine while Bella recuperated and waited patiently outside the sanctuary office until she was able to play again.

Tarra and Bella’s Friendship Will Be Remembered

Attacked by coyotes this past October, Bella sadly passed away. Tarra displayed all the symptoms you’d expect to see in someone who lost a good friend – which is exactly what happened.

Today, Tarra continues to heal and grieve with the help of her elephant and human friends but their story will always be remembered.

For more information about the Elephant Sanctuary, please visit http://www.elephants.com