Over sixty years ago a five year old, wild born elephant named Shirley was captured in her native country of Sumatra and purchased by the Kelly–Miller Circus. Soon thereafter, baby calf Jenny arrived at this same circus. The  bonding between these two was immediate, with Shirley quickly assuming the role of surrogate mother. Sadly the two were separated at the end of that first year.

Shirley spent most of her life traveling the world entertaining circus audiences. In 1975 at age twenty-eight, she was attacked by another elephant while performing for the Lewis Brothers Circus. Her right hind leg was seriously broken, but because it was not set properly, it healed poorly. Regardless of an injury that caused her pain and awkward movements, Shirley was forced to perform in the circus for nearly two more years.

Unfortunately that was not the end of Shirley’s saga. During the last of her performance years, while her circus ship was docked in Nova Scotia, a fire broke out in the engine room. The ship sank, killing two animals. Fortunately Shirley was rescued, but not without further injuries. If you look carefully at her photo, you can still see a large missing chunk from her right ear and several scars on her back, side and feet.

When no longer fit for circus performances, Shirley was sold to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo in Monroe, LA.  Although normally female elephants live in groups, for safety concerns related to her injuries, Shirley was kept apart and lived alone at the zoo for twenty-two years. The Zoo was generous to Shirley by providing her with a loving environment, but the time came when they felt Shirley could lead a healthier life in a natural habitat. That is when the Zoo contacted The Elephant Sanctuary located in Hohenwald, TN.

Jenny had an equally sad until  . . .




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About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for MakeMeHeal.com, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: www.FabulousBeautyBlog.wordpress.com to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit www.tales2inspire.com to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at: www.tales2inspire.com.

Posted on November 13, 2012, in Tales2Inspire, Tales2Inspire Contest, TALES2INSPIRE WRTERS CONTEST, Words to Inspire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Lovely, Lois. Nice to know Animals are your passion too. Waiting for Part-2

    • @ Alan and Geraldine,
      So glad you enjoyed Part 1. I was blown away by this story and expect you will be too.
      Thanks for being loyal fans.

      “Live in Beauty”
      Lois W. Stern
      Creator of the Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project

  2. An enjoyable story looking forward to the next chapter.

  3. What a sad tale of an elephant’s life that was supposed to turn out beautiful if left in natural habitat. Can’t wait to see how Jenny’s story unfolded. Luv this, its touching and inspiring.

    • Hi Franceska,

      Hang in there as the story gets beautiful – eventually. Tomorrow I’ll post Part 2.

      If you are on Facebook that is the place I use as a sort of funnel for postings from both of my blogs: “Aesthetics and Beauty” for cutting edge news and
      Inspiring Stories” for inner beauty inspirations. My last article re: five R’s of anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, but you can catch all my latest at: http://www.facebook.com/myfabulousbeautyblog

      While you are there, I would be so appreciative if you would click on the LIKE button at the top of the screen. And if you have some interesting info to share, don’t hesitate to run it by me.

      “Live in Beauty”,


      I would love to add you to my group for instant notifications, but to do so, Facebook requires that you first LIKE my personal Lois W. Stern page http://www.facebook.com/loiswster

      This is a two step process which I don’t quite understand this myself, but they do have some convoluted ways!

      So if you don’t mind clicking on the LIKE button at http://www.facebook.com/Loiswster and then going to my PAGE at: http://www.facebook.com/myfabulousbeautyblog to FRIEND me there, we will be able to:

      “Live in Beauty”
      Warm regards,

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