2nd elephant joins South Georgia refuge after 10-year legal battle
ATTAPULGUS, Ga. (WCTV) - Bo the Elephant has a new friend at Elephant Refuge North America in Attapulgus, Georgia. The new elephant’s name is Tarra and she is 47 years old.
Carol Buckley, the founder of Elephant Aid International, met Tarra 21 years before founding the Elephant Sanctuary Buckley in Tennessee, the press release says. After Buckley was replaced as CEO in 2010, the Sanctuary’s management philosophy changed and the board of directors reneged on an agreement granting Buckely regular visits with Tarra, the release says.
The 10-year legal battle ended with Buckley reclaiming and relocating Tarra to Elephant Refuge North America on Nov. 18, according to the release.
At her age, Tarra is more susceptible to progressive diseases like arthritis and osteomyelitis, which are common in captive-held elephants who spend winters confined in barn spaces on hard surfaces, Elephant Aid International says.
“Buckley felt it urgent to relocate Tarra before her diagnosed osteoarthritis progressed further,” the release says.
The refuge in Attapulgus has a mild climate, so the elephants can be outdoors nearly all year, exploring the varied landscape of pastures, woods and a lake.
Buckley says Tarra’s wellbeing has always led her decision-making for her.
“As she ages, we have to acknowledge and address her changing health concerns, just as with an aging human being. Given that Asian elephants can live into their seventies and even eighties, I want to keep Tarra healthy and happy for many years to come,” Buckley says.
Tarra and Bo have quickly developed a solid friendship and are never too far apart in the 100-acre habitat they currently occupy. They also have a furry friend, Mala, a stray dog who chose the refuge as her home earlier in 2021.
“Eventually, the trio will have access to the refuge’s full 850 acres,” the release says.
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