From: Nashville Scene
Happy Birthday, Shirley
Most of the news right now is distressing. But there is relief to be found on the animal beat — particularly when it comes to protecting and preserving some of our most marvelous creatures.
Yesterday, people everywhere smirked at the news that lions in South Africa killed and ate as many as three men suspected of being rhino poachers. It's the circle of life.
Today we celebrate the life of another animal, this one loved and protected by good humans. Shirley, an Asian elephant who has lived at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., for nearly 20 years is turning 70 years old. After being captured for use in a circus, Shirley survived a shipwreck in the 1960s and was sold to a zoo in Louisiana in the 1970s, where she lived alone for 22 years. Since 1999, she's lived at the sanctuary, a wonderful place designed to give elephants a place to live out the rest of their natural life without being forced to perform or be on display.