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bella and tarra

Bella, the dog that shared an unlikely friendship with Tarra (an elephant) at an Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has passed away. Bella and Tarra were inseparable for the past 8 years and their devoted relationship warmed the hearts of everyone who heard their story.

“When it’s time to eat, they both eat together. They drink together. They sleep together. They play together,” said Carol Buckley, the sanctuary’s co-founder, when the duo was featured on CBS News (See video below).

The beautiful friendship came to an unfortunate end recently when Bella was attacked and killed by coyotes and Tarra found the dog’s body before the caretakers and carried her with her trunk to the barn where the two spent most of their time.

“The idea that she couldn’t leave that body and brought it back home is just heartbreaking, but so inspiring,” said Robert Atkinson, the CEO of the Elephant Sanctuary.

The Elephant Sanctuary has set up a tribute page on its Web site to memorialize Bella with links to Tarra and Bella’s amazing story and recent photos of the two.