Mila the elephant relishes the touch of her own kind.
Mila gently reached out to Mary, the matriarch elephant at the world renowned San Diego Zoo. And Mary's reaction to this stranger in her midst? She entwined her trunk with Mila's.It was a sweet embrace.
Lead zoo keeper Mike Langridge commented, “They are great to see, fun to watch.”
When Mila came to the zoo three months ago she was a lonely, troubled beast. She had performed in a traveling circus in New Zealand for three decades and in all that time she had never seen another elephant.
Then disaster struck when she accidentally crushed a zoo keeper. But instead of destroying Mila, the San Diego Zoo agreed to take her.
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Langridge explained, “We would never want to give up on an animal here. The question of was there intent or was there not intent is something that will probably never be able to be 100% answered.”
There is video of Mila familiarizing herself with her new home in San Diego. She explored her new surroundings and snacked on Bermuda hay. Then she was introduced to Mary behind a protective barrier.
There was a heartwarming video taken a week ago of the first time Mila actually touched Mary, her first interaction with another elephant in 35 years.
Elephants like Mila typically live up to 70 years, giving her plenty of time to make new lifelong friends.