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Tarra and Bella nix Disney offer

Remember Tarra and Bella, the elephant and dog who became steadfast friends at a Tennessee animal sanctuary?

Here’s a new development that’s almost as refreshing as the original story. After the report by Steve Hartman aired at CBS, The Elephant Sanctuary, located outside of Nashville, was deluged with calls and offers.

“The pair showed such devotion, such tenderness and trust, it was almost hard to believe,” Hartman reports in this update. “The whole story seemed like a Disney movie to a lot of people – including people at Disney.”

Disney pitched a live action movie that would star Tarra or another trained elephant. Scott Blais and Carol Buckley, cofounders of the sanctuary, answered with a resounding no.

“It just goes against the core of who the sanctuary is,” Blais said.

“We don’t want them to be in those environments where they’re dominated and trained to perform for people,” Buckley said.

As Hartmann summed up: “Here at the sanctuary, they’ve got this crazy idea that animals — elephants especially — aren’t just here to serve us. They honestly believe that some animals are here for the same reasons we are — to love and do for others, whether it’s appreciated or not.”

Well said, Steve-O.

While Tarra and Bella won’t be going to the big screen, they will be showing up in picture book. It will be coming out Sept. 8, and profits will be used to support the sanctuary.

To find out more about it, click here.

The original story of Tarra and Bella was one of most popular videos of all time at CBSNews.com, so it deserves an encore:

Watch CBS Videos Online


Comment from Positively Present
Time June 7, 2009 at 9:59 am

Very interesting! I love the story of Tarra and Bella (did you see them on Oprah recently? adorable!) and I personally would love it to be made into a movie, but I understand the sanctuary’s hesistation. Disney should make it an animated movie. I would LOVE that!

Comment from bluhawkk
Time June 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm

“…but I understand the sanctuary’s hesistation.”

There is no hesitation on the part of Carol and Scott. It is sanctuary principle that their elephants are not to entertain or to perform or to in anyway be dominated, but only to live and act as elephants.

Their supporters expect and respect that commitment.

Mission Statement

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time June 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

What I’d love to see would be a well done non-fiction account, a sort of memoir, of the two animals, the sanctuary, and its elephant and human residents. I know, it’s just the sort of thing that doesn’t sell, but the story could then be re-visited and enjoyed without any abuse or harm coming to the animals.

Comment from bluhawkk
Time June 9, 2009 at 7:51 am

TES site is an account, an ongoing memoir of the sanctuary with bios of each elephant, videos of new elephants from pick-up to arrival & diaries created for new elephants, updated for weeks while they settle in , frequent updates of sanctuary life & happenings, weekly Ele Notes of elephant news posted by caretakers, YouTube channel videos & DVDs available, and when an elephant has lain down for the final time we are a part of the transition process.

YouTube Channel Videos:

A personal favorite:

Comment from Lesley
Time June 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm

If Disney wants to make a movie about the Sanctuary, let Pixar make an animated one (all proceeds to go to the Sanctuary and elephant rescue). Pixar could do a wonderful job of it, too, without any real animals being used or exploited in the process. I would love to see an animated film of both TES and PAWS elephant stories.