updated 10/31/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/31/2011 AT 5:00 PM ET
Their unlikely bond was talked about around the world. Tarra, an 8,700-lb. Asian elephant, and Bella, a local stray who befriended her at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., showed the world that true friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.
Sadly, Tarra said farewell to her longtime companion last week. The sanctuary says the dog was attacked by wild animals and that her giant pal carried her lifeless body back to the barn to mourn her.
“I am convinced Tarra experienced the death of her friend that fateful night, brought her home and said her goodbyes,” said sanctuary CEO Rob Atkinson. “Tarra was a true friend to the end, and Tarra’s sisters and caregivers will continue to take care of her, as she and Bella did each other.”