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What ever happened to Shirley and Jenny? 25yrs of Nature on PBS...

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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 12:36 AM
Original message
What ever happened to Shirley and Jenny? 25yrs of Nature on PBS...
Edited on Mon Jan-15-07 01:22 AM by jus_the_facts
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/bestofnature/update.html

Shirley was at our Zoo here in Monroe for 20 years...I would always cry when I visited and saw her there...just watched the story again on this program and had to go to the website only to find out Jenny has since died. :cry:



snip...

In 2000, The Urban Elephant brought viewers the touching story of Shirley and Jenny, two elephants reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after a 22-year separation. The bonding was immediate, intense and unforgettable between the two former circus elephants. But long after the cameras were turned off, the wondrous moments would continue.

The two were inseparable. Shirley quickly assumed the role of surrogate mother to Jenny, who though now an adult -- had been a baby when they first met at the circus. Their bond was so intense; it would forever change life at the sanctuary. As Carol Buckley, Executive Director of the Sanctuary describes it, 'that was the love that started our elephant family.' "After Shirley's arrival, elephants who had previously been companions and friends were now sisters and aunts in the mother and daughter relationship of Shirley and Jenny. They gave the sanctuary its future," says Carol. These strong bonds would soon be needed. Sadly, on October 17, 2006, ten years after arriving at the sanctuary, Jenny died.

Jenny came to the sanctuary quite ill. She had scars and other traces of misuse and abuse from her past as a circus elephant. She had been exposed to tuberculosis. And due to an attack by a bull elephant before coming to the sanctuary, Jenny had a crippled back leg. Her caregivers suspect the leg harbored a hidden bacterial infection that flared up last year.

"The day before she died, Jenny had been down and she wouldn't get up. Shirley stood by her and insisted that Jenny get up. Jenny just couldn't get up. Then Jenny stood up but she had to lean on Shirley to keep up. If you looked at Shirley's face, you could see that she knew that Jenny was dying. Jenny dropped to the ground and Shirley walked into the woods."

Jenny was on her deathbed when Shirley walked to the woods but she would give Carol and the sanctuary caregivers the privilege of one last incredible glimpse into the world of elephants before she died. "After Shirley left, Jenny started to make this rumbling noise. With each exhalation, she would rumble. It was almost like a singing. As Jenny did this, Bunny and Tara (two sanctuary elephants) came running over. We thought that was it and she was going to die. And then Bunny and Tara started trumpeting and rumbling. At a certain point, I turned to Scott (Director of The Elephant Sanctuary) and I asked him how long this was going on. He said 58 minutes! Well, she continued for another two hours. Jenny lived through the night and was even perky and silly. She passed in the morning. And when she died, she did a vocalization that I had never heard. It was like a trumpet. It was very low and got quieter and quieter. She passed very peacefully without straining or exerting herself. To experience this ritual was amazing. I had never seen anything like it." Shirley stayed in the woods until Jenny passed. She didn't eat for two days. "It was very hard and especially hard on Shirley. Shirley's whole life was about taking care of baby Jenny. It was like a mom losing her baby."

MORE @ link


________the original story The Urban Elephant here...

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/urbanelephant/
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. That was some of the most beautiful television I have ever seen.
:cry:

Human beings are so arrogant when they assume that animals don't think and feel like we do.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you...I started squallin' over the chimpanzees...
....and continued over the man in New Orleans tryin' desperately to find his baby Concat in N.O...then again with Shirley and Jenny and even harder when I discovered Jenny had passed. :cry:
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. Proof that humans aren't the only animals with emotions and memory.
Edited on Mon Jan-15-07 09:28 AM by philosophie_en_rose
Most zoos are really depressing to me (polar bear in tiny enclosure = not cool), but this story just brings me to tears.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. self delete
Edited on Mon Jan-15-07 09:31 AM by Coventina
no longer applicable!

:hi:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I couldn't stop cryin' last night...just breaks my heart how we humans....
Edited on Mon Jan-15-07 09:26 AM by jus_the_facts
....have abused our animal friends for entertainment...but at least some people have enough compassion to give these poor animals some dignity and respect in their later lives...heinous that it's always in hindsight though. :cry:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
6. kick
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. I watched this yesterday - thanks for posting
However, I'm confused - I thought Shirley was the one with the bad leg, the older one that was attacked and the "baby" was Jenny?
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I know that bothered me too...I'd hope they couldn't get them mixed up that bad....
....Jenny was the younger elephant...Shirley had a horribly maimed back leg and I didn't notice Jenny having one either...really made me wonder about that too. :shrug:
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. As sad as it would be to learn that Shirley passed away
(if we agree that Shirley was the older, maimed one), I have to say that hurts me a little less. When I read this, I thought to myself "Poor Shirley - without elephant contact for 20+ years and she finally is reunited with "family" only to lose it again." It was the idea of Shirley losing family again that hurt more than thinking of her dying. At least she was not alone when she died. :cry:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Indeed...she's had a really hard life..brought to the US in the 1950's....
....bless her heart...saddens me to no end to know what horrors she went through in her life...but at least she had some comforts and companionship these last few years...sigh. :cry:
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. You should read "When Elephants Weep"
"From Publishers Weekly: An examination of the inner lives of animals, arguing that they possess an emotional sensibility not unlike that of humans." This is not an emotional but rather scientific read.

For something more personal, "Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals" is a great read.

"From Library Journal: This book brings together stories, poems, essays, and meditations by the editors and more than 70 other prominent female nature writers and field scientists, including Gretel Ehrlich, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Terry Tempest Williams, to show how women are reestablishing their relationship with animals on a basis of respect and empathy. Wildlife researchers like Jane Goodall or Cynthia Moss integrate compassion and intuition with the data they report..."
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks for the recommendations....
...I will have to check those out!! :)
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