Travels with Tarra by Carol Buckley

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"Travels With Tarra is a heartwarming look at the life of one captive elephant and her devoted human caretaker, who realizes that Tarra's needs as an elephant are more important than anything else in their life together. All captive elephants should be as lucky as Tarra is now." -Richard Farinato, Director, Captive Wildlife Protection, Humane Society of the United States

What happens when you fall in love with a three-foot-tall, 700-pound infant covered with thick black hair?

Carol Buckley was a college student, studying exotic animal care, when she looked up from her homework one day to see a baby elephant walking past her house. The local tire dealer had bought the tiny elephant as a promotion gimmick for his store and was taking her for a stroll. Carol quickly volunteered to help care for and train Tarra, tried to meet the baby elephant’s emotional and social needs, and ended up buying her.

Tarra was bright, playful, and loved attention, so Carol taught her to do lots of tricks (including rollerskating and the hula), and for about twenty years they appeared at circuses, theme parks, and zoos, changing their lifestyle as Tarra’s needs changed and balancing the performing life with time at their farm.

But Carol began to dream of a place where elephants could just be elephants, where abused elephants could find a haven, and where old elephants could live out their days peacefully. She established The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, an 800-acre refuge now home to Tarra and five other elephants, with room for many more. A place just for elephants—no visitors—The Elephant Sanctuary has been featured on the award-winning PBS Nature documentary "Urban Elephants." Carol Buckley and Scott Blais were named "Heroes of the Planet" by Time Magazine for their work at The Sanctuary.


About Carol Buckley

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Illustrated with dozens of photographs, Carols 28-year odyssey with Tarra is the fascinating story of a lifetime commitment to an elephant, but it also asks us to reconsider the real needs of captive wild animals. A companion teacher's guide on elephants, at two grade levels, can be downloaded from The Elephant Sanctuarys superb web site:
Published January 1, 2002 by Tilbury House Publishers. 40 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Travels with Tarra

Publishers Weekly

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Tarra, an Asian elephant raised in captivity, is the subject of this tender photo-essay by Tarra's elephant-advocate owner.

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ForeWord Reviews

Buckley introduced herself to the store owner and began to spend time with the animal, becoming a substitute for the family Tarra would have had in the wild.

Jun 15 2002 | Read Full Review of Travels with Tarra

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