Heartbreaking News! Bella Who Was Rescued By Wildlife SOS From A Life Of Abuse & Neglect Has Passed Away

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WAN is heartbroken to report that Bella, the elephant who was recently rescued by the amazing team at Wildlife SOS from an abusive life as a begging elephant in India has passed away. She came to Wildlife SOS less than two weeks ago, and in that short time managed to carve out a permanent place in each of the staff’s hearts. Many of them who got the chance to know her and saw her as a prizefighter of life. She was their champion; no matter what setbacks she had, the warrior in her would always fight back. She fought so valiantly that they found themselves cautiously hopeful that she might survive.

Photo of Bella by Wildlife SOS

Sadly, Bella’s body was simply too battered from 60 years of neglect, cruelty, and greed. Neither her fighting spirit, nor her round the clock care could bring her back from the brink. With deep anguish, the Wildlife SOS team said their goodbyes to Bella just a short while ago.

Photo of Bella by Wildlife SOS

“We believe that Bella knew she was surrounded by kindness and love in her final days. That love came not only from the staff, but from caring people all around the globe who were praying and hoping for Bella’s recovery,” said Wildlife SOS.

Thank you for keeping her in your heart for the last two weeks, and we hope that – like us – you’ll keep her there forever.

Wildlife SOS wanted to share some words from Mahima, who was part of the team caring for Bella:

When I first saw Bella, in a village in Uttar Pradesh, she was standing with the help of a support structure created by our team. She looked emaciated and gaunt, and her sunken temples told me all I needed to know about her past.

“On one side, Bella looked like a completely normal and beautiful elephant – the way she actually was supposed to be, but her other side showed Bella’s sad reality. She was covered in lacerations, bed sores and infected ulcers. This side showed the Bella who knew only captivity, the Bella who did not know freedom, the Bella who did not know home.

“In that moment, we knew we would do everything we could to ensure that she reached a safer haven and we hoped that with time, we could help her heal.

“Tragically, Bella was simply too far gone to save.

“While Bella leaves her body, as her soul transcends to newer places and better people, she inspires us every day to work towards the creation of a better future for elephants in our country. Bella is just one of the many, many elephants that fight this brutal battle at the hands of humans, every day of their lives. Right now, as I type this, the Sonepur mela, in Bihar, is illegally selling elephants so that they can live their entire lives the way Bella has lived.

“I will remember Bella the way I last saw her, munching on sugarcane and curiously walking around in her enclosure on soft mud. She was as strong as she ever could be, balancing a lifetime of physical and psychological torture on her weak limbs. She breathed her last breath at 1:18pm on November 14th, 2019, surrounded by the people who cared for her and who respected her strength in the way she truly deserved.

“Somewhere, you take a huge piece of my heart with you Bella and I don’t really need it back because you will be the strength and inspiration behind everything that I do for the welfare of the wild.”

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