Zookeeper Bids Goodbye To The Elephant He Tended For 22 Years

“The Urban Elephant” a stirring, award-winning documentary about an elephant named Shirley and her handler, Solomon. Shirley was brought to the United States nearly 50 years ago as part of a traveling circus, but after she suffered an injury she was sent to a small zoo in Louisiana. For the next 22 years, she was cared for by Solomon, but due to the zoo’s small size she had no other elephant companions.

In 2003, the zoo agreed to send Shirley to The Elephant Sanctuary, which provides elephants with hundreds of acres to wander around, as well as the option of a warm barn to sleep in. In this video, we see Shirley and Solomon’s last days and moments together before he takes her chain off for good. Fair warning: you’ll want your tissues close. The first time I saw this I made the mistake of not having any and was reduced to a sobbing mess by the end.


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