After years alone in captivity Shirley is reunited with an elephant she knew 25 years earlier. This short clip presents itself as an elephant reunion, but at it's core lies a deep and beautiful lesson in love. Watch in the first few minutes as Solomon James (Shirley's keeper of 22 years) says goodbye. Those few moments of film capture a depth and meaning of true love that no explanation ever could - truly amazing.

89,413 Views

 Your Name: Email:
  • betty

    This is such a touching story. So beautiful and much to teach us. Appreciation to KarmaTube for filling all our lives with goodness.

  • prema

    this animal lives today at the elephant sanctuary in Tenn. shirley is happily living for many years there, check them out. you will feel happy to see where this story goes. she has been living a nice open space and good life there for many years and among other elephants

  • Miranda

    I was heart broken this elephant spent 2 decades alone in them chains I'm sure most of the time. Shame on the humans all humans who keep animals locked up. That elephant looks so sad

  • Danielle calver

    what inspired me is... there is HOPE!!

  • Tricia Glenn

    I have watched it so many times, and shown so many people - every time I look at it I cry. It is remarkable - amazing - wonderful - inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with the world and thank you so much for CARING.

  • Anita

    This shows why we should do all we can to stop the exploitation of these sensitive creatures. Complain to tourist operators, don't go on elephant rides, write to tourism ministries of countries that manipulate and chain elephants for profit.

  • valerie

    Love is everywhere and is eternal.

  • Linde

    This is real LOVE ! Bedankt voor deze prachtige hartverwarmende verfilming !

  • tony

    The love stated by these creatures is overwhelming. This is love, how it is meant to be by our creator. Later when all Gods people reunite in paradise we can experience the same feeling. It is an example of times to be.

  • T.

    the love these elephants obviously have for one another....and their amazing memory....

  • Jeffrey F. Dean

    The return from home from a life of Slavery.

  • carol

    Everything. The love of the man for the Shirley and the love of the two Elephants for each other. At the end it really does look like they are huging

  • LL

    I found touching the way the elephants seemed to soothe each other by being close and curling their trunks together.

  • Deborah

    The love - love between human and elephant and between the elephants.

  • Eduardo

    Verdadeiramente surpreendente esse amor entre os elefantes após 25 anos de afastamento mas não menos o amor de resignação entre Shirley e seu tratador Salomão James. Abaixo fiz algumas correções na tradução para o português do texto introdutório: "Depois de anos sózinha em cativeiro Shirley reencontra um elefante que ela conheceu há 25 anos atrás. Este pequeno clip apresenta não só uma reunião de elefantes,em seu núcleo assistimos a uma lição profunda e bela de amor. Veja nos primeiros minutos como Salomão James, tratador de Shirley há 22 anos, lhe dá adeus. Aqueles poucos minutos do clip captura com profundidade o significado de um amor verdadeiro".

  • Chaz

    I learned that when I buy ivory it won't be from Shirley or Jenny

  • Andrea

    Their joyfulness in one another's company.... your film captured the tenderness between them. It made me cry to watch.... and to wonder why people can't be as kind to one another. Her keeper ovbiously loved her and much be pleased she's SO happy.

  • Conni

    That love and connection are enduring

  • Catherine

    The movie is about LOVE, humans and animals. Truly beautiful seeing a human, Solomon, giving up Shirley knowing that it is for her greater good to be free. One day, I pray that people like "d.ball" could express love instead of hate, and be free from her/his chains.

  • d. ball

    show this to all the christian swine that claim animals don't have spirituality

  • sidika

    That there are people who care

  • Louise

    What I love about this is witnessing the free expression of loving which transcends form

  • Elly

    We are so lucky to have animals to learn from..they bring such joy.

  • Lindsey

    I spent some time on the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand and every elephant had a story that moved me as much as this one did. Everyone should reach out for ways to show their support for elephant rights, not just in Asia but even here in the States.

  • Claude

    Love is universal.

  • JoAnn

    Family and Friends are what's most important in life.

  • Phyllis Unger Hiller

    Depth of feelings, even by animals; seemingly as deep or deepee than those of humans. I love to be reminded of the beauty of the inner life of animals.

  • Michelle

    The most moving to me is that Solomon loved Shirley so much, yet he "walked" her into a better place and let her go. She was lovingly released. His loss was as great as Shirley's gain.

  • Piper

    The memory of the elephants and the sadness of how long she had been chained and abused. It made me cry.

  • Deb Ryan

    I was moved to tears and felt such compassion for Shirley. I wondered what helped her get through all those years alone? What wisdom she would have if only she could talk. Watching the two old friends bond together was absolutely beautiful. I will pass this on to everyone I know. We can all learn from these magnificent creatures. I only hope they both live many more years together so it will help minimize the trauma she had to endure.

  • Lynn

    The simple truth that animals instinctively know that so many people have long since forgotten: we are all one. There is no superior creature on the planet, one entitled to dominate and control for its own benefit. We are meant to co-exist peacefully, respectfully and joyfully. Elephants never forget, yet humans do, all the time.

  • Marie

    Love never forgets..

  • Jeanie

    Love between Solomon and Shirley and between Shirley and jenny

  • Claudia

    What inspired you about this video? The love & tenderness between the two elephants; the horror that these wonderful creatures had to be kept in captivity for so many years. Like so many other people below, I believe all animals and birds have feelings, and when you see videos like this, the proof is in the pudding. Thank you so much for sharing; I love it!

  • Elaine Grohman

    It is beautiful to see and know that Creation is wiser than we, and that the ties that bind all living creatures is real, palpable and enduring. A beautiful film, thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Maria José Rocha

    É preciso que os humanos reconheçam que os animais são tão sensiveis quanto nós. Este vídeo mostra que a lembrança dele elefante está viva como se fosse uma pessoa; Pergunto: O que precisamos mais para aceitarmos ?

  • Joan Tucker

    Gee, maybe we can do without the entertainment of aniamals for our pleasure. Circus. DA!

  • Adriana

    This is a wonderful reminder and proof that animals have feelings too. What an important truth to remember, please!! Show to children all over and teach them that animals are here for sharing with and teaching us important lessons at all levels of life! Do not forget because as Chief Seattle of the Suquamish reminds us: "If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~

  • maria

    In Africa I have seen elephants very protective of their young. Whenever a baby lost its mother to a poacher it became the friend of a goat and later was reintegrated to another herd through adoption. The female elephant accepted the young orphan and it went along with its new family at the approval of the leader of the herd. If anyone ever came close to hurting the young one, the stronger male would charge and could ever turn over a car. They truly knew if anyone was out to hurt them. Yet they never feared the children and would come into the camp to drink water and bathe in the fountain. Knowing children would never hurt them and they too would never hurt the children or the youth camping close by.

  • John Ractliffe

    The simple and beautiful truth about never forgetting love and friendship no matter the span between shines through with these really beautiful and majestic giants. This was one of the most aweinspiring visual chapters of caring I have ever witnessed. It is a lesson in the value of friendship of immense power and meaning. May humans learn from this and pass it on as a message of hope for humanity for all time to come.I agree with Vicky below in that it must be shown to schools and universities around our world.

  • SHIRLEY

    MY NAME IS SHIRLEY.THIS WAS SENT TO ME FROM MY FRIEND CHERLY IN MICHIGAN. ALTHOUGH I DO NOT LIVE IN MICHIGAN ANY LONGER,I HOPE I NEVER FORGET WHO MY FRIENDS ARE NO MATTER WHAT

  • SHIRLEY

    MY NAME IS SHIRLEY-THIS WAS SENT TO ME BY MY FRIEND IN MICHIGAN,CHERYL.I HOPE I NEVER FORGET WHO MY FRIENDS ARE NO MATTER WHAT.

  • vickie

    Animal stories such as this should be viewed at all levels in our schools.It begins with our childeren..Instead of taking them to the zoos and circus , all created out of greed...Let them learn lessons about life through animals. And learn to appreciate their ways of life..Their love , their bonds...Something that humans are capable of doing but out of greed choose not to practice.

  • Elly

    THE freedom and love. Beautifull to see this

  • jjwelink@hotmail.com

    is dit niet fantastisch

  • Margie L.

    This video made me so sad, leave the animals in their natural habitate..........the lonliness in their eyes, only when they were to old to sell tickets did man let them live out the rest of their lives, its heartbreaking what we humans do for sport..........save the elephants for they have feelings too and long for love, and Solomon he always knew probably because of his own ancestry of chains, bondage.

  • mp

    What a beautiful bond between two long-time friends.

  • Hoshie Kanga MBE

    Lovely to watch, truly amazing love and friendship between elephants. I have always admired them. I was really moved to tears. Thanks

  • Morgnac

    Simply amazing. With all of the man-made inability to co-exist, we should take a lesson from our animal friends who continuously demonstrate basic appreciation and joy for the privilege to just exist. Solomon James did more than remove a set of chains. He freed Shirley to experience and express the most fundamental of emotions denied her for 25 years. Look at your world and look at your loved ones. try to appreciate and do the same.

  • Carol sue Clark

    I am so moved by this video that I am crying and sobbing with joy. God gave them back a memory of friendship and those beautiful rolling hills and waterholes to live together there. This to me is beleiving in God.

  • Pam Schmidt

    One of the most touching reunions I've ever seen. The bond of friendship crosses the boundries of all species, I'm sure. The inhumanity of keeping animals in captivity for human enjoyment is clearly a travisty. Speak out when you have the opportunity for change in this kind of practice.

  • Glen Pier

    This is amazing. What an isprirational video about love and care. I feel like this everytime I am at The Avatar Course!

  • Thierry

    Who would'nt want Solomon for a friend? I marvel at how sensitive animals are to human affection and care and how they are able to return it, even more, extend it to another fellow animal. Where, in that respect, is the species'barrier? The last images of the film, where the two elephants comfort and hug each other, are extremely moving. A long life to the elephant sanctuary!

  • Linda

    Everyone needs that connection ! Amazing.....

  • Valerie Aquilano

    As mankind has free will and yet continues to destroy it and all around... These two wonderful caring elephants show us what true love is. And yet, mankind who is supposed to be the most intelligent, put chains on these creatures who give so much and get so little in return. Thank you for those who made this possible and showing that there is hope for humanity yet. My tears were shed of joy this morning

  • Janis Horwedel

    This video and the relationships with nature, among man and beast,respecting the rightful union of two beautiful elephants who have served mankinds folly. What inspires me is the conscience that nature brings to us, selflessly. The association we have lost with each other as brothers and sisters are amazingly clear when we witness the love that we share with these two. I work as a natural health consultant and ispiring homeopathic student, to aide my fellowman of the disassociative state that we live in today. Thank you for this film! My tears are seldom shed so easily. The love I feel for elephants is infinate! We need these to survive.

  • christina

    Whether you are a human or an elephant, be kind, be loving, connect. That is all there is.

  • Deepak

    Beautiful . Great learning for connecting , love and friendship.

  • Jane

    This was a tremendously moving and meaningful video. I loved it when Solomon said he didn't know who had put the chains on Shirley, and he was glad he was the one to take them off her. His love for her was so evident. Beautiful. What a memorable reunion between the two elephants--truly a sight to behold--oh my goodness! Loved this video!

  • Lee White

    The first thing that 'got to me' and made me cry, was the leg-chain being dropped on the floor!! After that it was just a total torrent of emotion! Anyone who is NOT moved in some way by this film can't (in MY eyes) have any Empathy, Sympathy, Compassion, Love or HUMANity in them! So for me, it's not just about having 'all of the above' for animals, it's also having "all of the above" for these poor souls who can't feel 'all of the above, because they have been missing out of some of the STRONGEST, PUREST, MOST HONEST EMOTIONS we humans can have, that ALMOST match those of our Animal Kingdom Friends!!

  • ginger

    how much love that MR. SOLOMON JAMES had for his SHIRLEY,plus SHIRLEYDOSEN"T HAVE TO BE BY HERSELF ANYMORE CAUSE SHE NOW HAS JENNY ,SO MR SOLOMON HAS NO WORRIES NOW , CAUSE SHIRLEY AND JENNY WILL LIVE ON WITH EACH OTHER, A VERY HAPPY ENDING TO THIS STORY, AND IF ANYONE HAS AN OUNCE OF COMPASSION , THEY SHOULD BE TEARS OF HAPPINESS......PEACE OUT

  • Andrew

    This completely restores my faith in humanity.

  • Fiona Campbell

    These two elephants meet and connect. They delight in being together, don't bring their past with them to grumble and complain. Also moved by the respect and love of Shirley's keeper.

  • gerry

    cried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pauline

    The love, the remembering, the look on the faces of everyone and everything surrounded by love and inspired by these moments of tenderness and love, the beauty, the music,the calmness, the certainty that this is the world we are building together. Om Shanti. And thank you, beautiful elephants and the people and the dog! Thank you, everyone, for the new world for the change. And so it is! Love and light xxxxx

  • Maryann

    The love - the unconditional friendship and love between the elephants and the humans .. 25 years later it's like an old high school reunion--- amazing and wonderful.. it's time to take a stand .. no more cruelty to animals or humans .. peace love tranquility

  • Kym Gordon-Cumbo

    What inspired my heart? True this is a beautiful video, but what struck me was Solomon's comments about chains and how "she is free at last". This video was a metaphor for freedom for all people, all color, and how we are all one. Let's all take the chains off one another, love, and be loved. We are all one! Let's come home to remember that.

  • Pam Wildes

    Imagine a world where the majority of human beings displayed the same devotion as Shirley and Jenny. Imagine a world without people like Solomon James who made a commitment to see his animal companion through to a better life. Imagine a world without these magnificent animal teachers. See: http://www.silobreaker.com/elephants-battle-for-water-in-africa-5_2264840118227435632

  • Roberta Thompson

    The entire video is so heartwarming. God bless the gentleman who had tended her and loved her. I cannot believe any human being could be so cruel as to put a chain on such a beautiful creature and God's creations. That is another reason I do not support a circus. Let them leave the animals out of it and just do the human acts who have a voice. This was seeing love at it's absolute best. Let us strive to love so much!

  • Madhulika

    Simply amazing ..... and beautiful .Lucky friends .

  • Geri Taran

    So sorry that I can't get the video to open. Although I love all the creatures on the planet, Elephants are among my favorites.

  • Headacheslayer

    I love elephants--and this is only one reason why. This warms my heart. thank you so much for sharing this beautiful tribute to love!

  • Nancy

    What a blessed way to start the day. Thank you!

  • Betsi

    How amazing !! I'm still crying. Solomon, is such a sweet and loving man ! We can learn so much more from animals than they can learn from us. So happy that these two beauties will live out their days with each other in happiness. Thank you for this film :)

  • Cathy

    God Bless you Soloman - Always, always know that Shirley's spirt will live within your soul forever!She is not lost because you know where she is and she isn't gone, she just lives up there until you can join her again.

  • Aurelie

    It Was a very touching story, brought tears to the eyes. Made me feel so happy that Jenny had found her long lost friend. It made me think of myself, as I have just recently found a long lost friend of 51 ago. Which also made me cry, and think of how lucky I am.. I am sure Jenny feels the same way.

  • Susan

    What stuck me most was the tenderness shared between these two beautiful creatures.

  • Gina

    So much meaning...not just for the animals, but there are true lessons to be learned here. What is the true meaning of Freedom? This shows friendship and love that can live without the boundaries of time. Letting go to allow for something better. Thank you for making this film. Thank you for showing us the realities and beauty outside "our own worlds." Tears of joy!

  • Michelle

    How amazing animals are and how similar we are with them. We all want to be loved, comforted, have peace and freedom. I think animals are truly underestimated, this video shows how precious they are.

  • Pam

    They way they continual held each other- I cried like a baby----Please lord let us learn not to hurt the animals anymore- His statement - I don't know who first put on chain on her - I am thankful I got to take it off her--- Bless them all-

  • phebe

    I sobbed all the way through this video even though it had a happy ending. I feel it's cruel to keep animals apart from others of their species. So glad the two can live out their lives together, safely in this sanctuary. Bless the kind people who make this possible!

  • Animal lover

    I agree

  • Alaskawanderer

    It is not true tat animals do not feel emotions. They have them as strongly as we do and they feel pain as strongly as we do. I live in Alaska and I see animals treated terribly all under the assumption that they are beasts. Yes we are in the food chain, but when I see natures beautiful animals caught in traps and snares and even shot all for the pleasure of it, it sickens me. It is good to see an old creature finally relax and feel true pleasure and love.

  • bluebuddha

    Such a beautiful friendship.

  • Page 1

  • Meet the filmmakers who made this award winning film and discover their mission to help animals.
  • Learn more about Shirley and the elephant sanctuary where she now lives.
  • Think about your own relationships with animals, whether your own pet or an owl you hear every night, ask yourself what it means to share time and space with them.

Recent Pledges


Related Videos