Born: 1948, Sumatra
History: Circus, Zoo
Herd Location: New Asian Habitat (Founding Herd)
Shirley is our oldest Asian elephant. Her back right leg was broken over 30 years ago when she was attacked by a fellow circus elephant. Her right ear is torn and is missing a large section. Shirley narrowly survived a ship fire in 1963, which left several burn scars on her back, side, and feet. She stands nearly 9 feet tall and gets around very well despite her handicap.
Shirley’s arrival at the Sanctuary and emotional reunion with Jenny was featured in the award winning Nature documentary “Urban Elephant” in 2000. She spent many years as the matriarch of the Sanctuary’s Founding Herd, although she has taken more of a passive role in recent years after the passing of her closest friends, Jenny and Bunny.
These days, our stoic “Grandma” is most often seen in the company of Tarra, although she socializes with everyone in proximity to her. There remains an air about Shirley that commands respect, and is evident whenever other elephants within her herd approach her.
You can learn more about Shirley here.
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