Today, February 14th, is Tarra’s birthday!

Tarra’s birthday falls on Valentine’s Day, but she's not interested in traditional gifts like flowers or candy.

Tarra’s special wish is to complete the fundraising campaign we started for Bo's birthday in January for state-of-the-art cold laser equipment. 

Please help us celebrate her 48th birthday with a contribution to our campaign. Every donation, regardless of amount, is an investment in the future because it will help us maintain Tarra’s and Bo’s health and comfort, as well as that of elephants who will join them, at Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA).
We can generalize when we speak about elephants as a species. But there’s no one size fits all when it comes to individual elephants. Each elephant has a unique history, needs and emotional makeup.

This is the first birthday Tarra is celebrating at the Refuge.
We give Tarra the personalized conditions, care and support that make her feel calm, safe, understood and loved. (And, of course, the same goes for Bo!) As a result, Tarra is thriving, along with Bo and her beloved Mala.

Over the last decade, Tarra developed emotional and physical conditions at the facility where she was living. 

Tarra’s medical records from that time document how abrupt changes in management practices caused physical and emotional problems for her. 

Tarra suffered great stress as she suddenly lost her familiar humans and long-term canine companion, Bella. Over time, her stress compounded with herd members being re-located to other parts of the habitat or passing away. 

Without emotional stability, records show that Tarra’s personality changed drastically. She became depressed and was labeled as a nervous, fearful elephant, for which she was placed on anti-anxiety medication. 

Tarra’s suffering intensified when management converted to protected contact. Tarra resisted the change because it meant she was unable to choose with whom and how closely she interacted, one of an elephant’s most important sources of autonomy. 

Then, six years ago, Tarra developed osteoarthritis, which, as you probably know, is associated with obesity, standing on hard surfaces and lack of exercise, both in elephants and humans. 
But better days are here!

Tarra’s move to the Refuge has restored her mental health as she shows every sign of feeling content and secure. While her physical issues will persist, we are addressing them sensitively and specifically, based on her age and unique needs. So on this birthday, we look forward to many more happy, healthy and stable years with friends in this beautiful environment.

We began this fundraising campaign for Bo’s birthday and we’d love to finish it in honor of Tarra’s!

To celebrate Tarra on her special day, please help us raise the remainder of the funds needed for a cold laser therapy machine.

It’s for Tarra, it’s for Bo and it’s for the other elephants who will join them.

A big thank-you from all of us at Elephant Aid International!
As always, we greatly appreciate your interest, commitment and help. You make our work for elephants possible. Thank you!
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