An exclusive painting of TINA and friends at the
48 x 56
(owned by the Elephant Sancturary)
have a VERY limited amount of Giclee's available as I have
completed my run of this image.
Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, founded in 1995, is the nation's
single natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered
African and Asian elephants.
It operates on 2,700 acres in Hohenwald, Tennessee - 85 miles
southwest of Nashville.
The Elephant Sanctuary exists for two reasons:
provide a haven for old, sick or needy elephants in a setting
of green pastures, old-growth forests, spring-fed ponds and
a heated barn for cold winter nights.
provide education about the crisis facing these social, sensitive,
passionately intense, playful, complex, exceedingly intelligent
and endangered creatures.
cherished member of Tina's family,
It is me, Carol Buckley, founding director of the Elephant
Sanctuary. My heart is heavy with grief. I can hardly find
the words to say what I must, because it is so painful.
Wednesday morning at 2:45 am, in the company of me, Scott,
Winkie and Sissy, our dear Tina passed away. She was calm;
her eyes were soft and ever knowing. I could not help myself,
I begged her to stay. But she just looked at me in her tender
Tina way and I knew that her decision was made. She was going
home, leaving us to feel that excruciating void that only
the loss of a great love can cause.
I am so very sorry to bring you this painful news, it breaks
my heart. I wished for a miracle and then realized that Tina
is the miracle. She has touched so many lives in her short
34 years. Her health and welfare raised awareness collectively,
individually, locally and internationally. Resulting in an
entire community coming together in one of the most selfless
and righteous act of kindness known; letting Tina go. Tina
embodied love and compassion and imparted that to everyone
she met. You were there when Tina needed you most, she knew.
Even after she was freed to come live with us at the Sanctuary,
you remained her family, continually concerned for her welfare
and happiness. Tina knew, she always knew. Magnetism was her
very essence and a huge loving heart, her legacy. We are all
blessed to have known and loved her. Her absence will create
an unbearable void.
Over the next few weeks a wave of sorrow will blanket every
person and place that Tina touched. Please reach out to each
other for comfort, Tina would want it that way. It helps me
to see her in my minds eye; that Cheshire cat grim from ear
to ear and sparkling eyes, mischievous and innocent. Unconditional
love radiating from her, engulfing me in a warm blanket of
pure joy. You have felt this also, it is Tina's special gift
to you. I know you cherish it as I do.
We do not know what caused Tina's death. Her foot condition
was improving and there were no signs of a problem until a
few days ago when we noticed that she was having difficulty
coordinating her movements. When she tried to put food into
her mouth she would miss, hitting her chest or face instead.
The effort did not appear to be painful, just awkward. After
consulting with our vets, we ran tests and started Tina on
a new remedy and saw an immediate improvement. Two days later
her motor skills again appeared to be impaired, again her
remedy was adjusted and we saw an improvement. Then on Monday
she began to eat less and the stiffness in her legs was worse
than we had seen in the past. She was given additional therapies,
her response was good. Then early Wednesday morning she quietly
folded to the floor in the barn. We attempted to hoist her
to her feet but it appeared that she was unable to place her
legs underneath herself, as if she had no muscle control.
We helped her to!
gently lie over on her side on a mattress of hay. She relaxed
onto the hay and then without a fight, not a groan or complaint,
she passed away.
I will be sending a letter to the general membership later
today giving them the sad news. As Tina's necropsy results
become available I will share the information with you. Losing
Tina is painful enough, not knowing why is unbearable. I pray
We share a special love and profound grief for our beloved
26, 1970 - July 21, 2004
a beautiful spring day, I hear the buzzing of the bees,
and the rustling of the song birds at my door
When comes a sound like no other, one made by a mother,
delivering the third calf of four.
today the world rejoices, for this sweet one is born on this
soft April morn,
In a place fill with watching eyes and fences that disguise,
echos from across the walls, of the wild elephants calls.
the most special gift, a soul made of gold,
a body of gray now lays in soft hay.
Sixteen siblings in all, families sharing a stall,
Growing up with no fields, or trees for suns shield.
Feeling her way, on four shakey legs, shes nuzzled by
trunks which seem to say;
welcome to this place.
Adoration on her face, her family begins to sing; welcome
to the ring.
grows to be two, when out of the blue; someone comes to take
With a cry and a shutter, she is torn from her mother,
and sent away to someplace new.
arrives at a farm, one that presents a wood barn,
but unsettling and unfamiliar she trembles in fear,
No comforts of home, a place all-alone, her life has changed
forever its clear.
sadness takes hold, as she feels nothing but cold, as Canadian
air sweeps her tears away,
Then out in the mist, a shadow delivers a kiss, a face furry
and warm with delight.
A brand new friend, one that helps a heart mend, a canine
with love and no fight.
came a child or two, they camped in the dew,
and kept this dear baby from fret,
For sleeping under the stars, gazing out at Mars,
they all held meetings beneath nets.
her life in solitude went, for years on the farm she spent,
a life time with none of her kind,
Until one day she came, from out of the rain, this creature
they called Tumpe Divine!
a friend, the boredom would end, a sister of my own kind!
Great plans for our play, we would take time to lay,
and share whatever came to mind.
girls where the two, with no emotions in blue,
happy to be united in love,
The two did stay at each others side, inseparable like twins,
fitting like a new pair of gloves.
bad news did come, an offer in sum, to sell what was home
to a zoo. These girls now of two, for
faint memories of few, recall sadness and loss for their space.
is this happening again, for is there no place to mend, do
we become a spectacle on show? For we dont see, the
reason to be tied to a tree, or to live with sad seeds to
hear cries of their own, for a circle some destine to roam,
to carry clowns, suffer abuse and
For the stories they heard, about carrying signs so absurd,
the circus is coming to town.
remember in their dreams, when images of cement and wall seemed,
no better than where they now lived
But much to their delight, these people shared in their plight,
to make life good for both of them.
love they did meet, a new diet, special care for her feet,
Tina found something to make bad memories fade.
Until the day Tumpe's sent away, no longer would they play,
as she lifted her trunk to wave good-bye.
memories of their life, takes away all the stifle
and will carry her well to her end.
For love she would feel, and a kiss she would seal,
as they drove Trumpe around the bend.
sees how it goes, as she stands on her toes,
and feel the pain of her feet.
Memories of her true friend, loving thoughts she would send,
and hope for some day they should again meet.
say life is changing, and times keep on moving,
so all we can do is adapt.
For now she does dream, of acres of grasses in green,
And memories of her friend is still soothing.
one day things change, and dreams are now real, Tina does
not know what to do. For she sees that same truck, with a
prayer and some luck, her adventure might take her away too!
a three-day journey, across country roads and bright lights,
she holds on tight for the ride, feels something stirring,
deep inside as she reclaims her true birth rights.
She arrives in a "land of plenty" , greeted by many,
seven in all, she asks "what's this called?" A family
of eight, this is my fate!, for this she has no doubt. For
the voice of the land, and the softness of a hand, she found
feelings she never has known. For this place she did find,
she knew in her mind, could only be called "mine".
the "bush" and the land, reflects all that one can,
imagine what is real and complete. For as solid as she stands,
this now is her land, as she firmly plans her four feet.
Tina found home, in Tennessee she did roam, with a family
of her own kind. Sweetness was her real truth, despite her
harmony and peace as her natural sign.
the story begins, almost right where it ends, as Tina's time
here on earth did transcend. For she now walks with ease,
her pain is now freed, and no longer herself she need fend.
you look really hard, in a cloud slightly marred, by whipping
wind and shades of gold and blue,
reaching to you with no fight, is a soul with wings of white,
to touch you deep inside too.
cry for me she says, from her fluffy cloud bed ,
Just look for me here when you need,
for nothing is so dear, than an elephant tear when you know
it's about love and not greed.