WARNING! This Video About The Reunion Of Two Elephants May Make You Cry…In A Good Way.

(Image via The Elephant Sanctuary)

Meet Shirley and Jenny. They knew each other many, many years ago but were separated after a short time. They were reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Here’s their reunion story  describing what happened when the two elephants were together again in 1999. Shirley’s bio page tells more about her life (including an attack by another elephant and surviving a fire) and her arrival page talks about her first few hours at the sanctuary.

Is it really YOU? Shirley and Jenny together again!

Jenny and Shirley were both at the same circus when Jenny was a calf and Shirley was in her twenty’s. They lived one winter together then were separated twenty-two years ago. It is very rare for elephants to display this kind of emotion in captivity, and it’s probably the first time such a thing has been documented on film.

Below is a clip from a documentary about The Elephant Sanctuary that was being filmed at the time.



  1. Oh my, This was incredible. I did indeed cry. I am saving this and will repost with your permission.

    Thank you so much for finding this. I adore elephants. It is too painful to me to see them in captivity and I’ve stopped going to zoo’s or circuses long ago. When I see them at events where they sell rides on the elephants I literally can’t tolerate the pain.

    1. I cried too! The video is how I started my morning. I tried to find the documentary but didn’t look too long.

      Absolutely, you may repost. If I find the doc, I’ll send you the link.

  2. I cried too — what a touching and incredible story! Thanks for finding and sharing!
    Cirque de Soliel for all its fame and over the top bookings, started as a statement against using animals in circuses if I remember correctly — it went from a small company in Montreal to a world-wide phenom — I think some of the message — that circuses need not use animals — is gone behind the glitz and glitter.
    Where I’m torn is those places who have breeding programs to either return species to the wild, or to keep alive an animal that exists no where else but in sancturaries and zoos. The rescue missions for mistreated animals that can’t be returned to the wild — too abused or imprinted on humans fall into those inbetween spaces.
    The story (last year?) about the guy who let all his wild animals out and the sheriff and his cronies used it as an excuse for target practice — I think animal rescue groups were able to only save a few — the rest were shot — not even tranquilizered but shot and killed.
    Oh my, now I’m crying again. Sorry to go on so — touched a nerve obviously!

    1. Have you had the chance to see Cirque du Soleil? They are wonderful to see but sometimes there is so much action on the stage that you don’t know where to look. I vaguely remember the talk about not using animals, but I think it was also very much about the performers and what they were able to create. Not using animals was maybe a p.r. thing to help bring people in to the shows?

      Growing up, I don’t remember much talk about the behind-the-scenes action that went on about helping the different species. Zoos were places to go see the animals. I know in the last 10 – 20 years, I’ve seen Jack Hanna and Bob Barker on tv debating about animals in zoos, their conditions and treatment and whether zoos help or not. Like so many things, people have started to be more outspoken about their beliefs and zoos letting people know how they are involved with other zoos throughout the world. I do admit to liking Jack Hanna and his approach to educating people.

      This subject does touch the nerve of a lot of people.

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