Billie

From all-creatures.org
The Animal Story Page

Animal Stories: love, compassion, hearts, souls, spirits, funny, happy, sad, relationships, people, animals, animal rights, Jewish, Christian, Lord, God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, cruelty-free, lifestyle

| Home Page | Animal Rights |

Billie

[Ed. Note: Good news for Billie as of May 2011: Billie's Chain Is Off!]

From The Elephant Sanctuary

Although Billie arrived with a dangerous reputation, she has shown no signs of aggression since her arrival at the Sanctuary. Like so many other elephants with similar histories that arrived before her, underneath her tough exterior lies a very loving and gentle elephant that will continue to relax and blossom in the coming years at The Elephant Sanctuary.

Billie (female) was born in Asia in 1953. Like so many of the elephants now retired at the Sanctuary, poor record keeping during her early years offers us little detail on her history. Like most Asian elephants who arrived in America during this era, Billie is believed to have been captured from the wild and separated from her family at a very young age, sold, and then shipped to the United States to spend her life in the circus.


Born: 1953
Birth status: wild born
Height: 8'
Weight: 8,450 lbs.
Favorite Food: Bananas

Records indicate somewhere around the age of eighteen, Billie was acquired by the Hawthorn Corporation, a company that trained and leased elephants to circuses. Billie traveled and performed with several other elephants and increasingly became more aggressive towards her trainers until she was retired from performing and sent to live permanently at the Hawthorn Corporation winter quarters. Ten years prior to Billie coming to the Sanctuary, she was reportedly so aggressive that she was managed with protected contact. As a result of the USDA's prosecution for violations of the Animal Welfare Act involving inadequate care and mistreatment of its elephants, nearly all members of the Hawthorn Corporation's elephant herd were sent to The Elephant Sanctuary.

At 12:00 p.m., February 9, 2006 at the age of 53, Billie became the twenty-first resident of The Elephant Sanctuar in Tennessee arriving with her friend Frieda. They were the last of eight circus elephants rescued from the Hawthorn Corporation. Billie is one of the older members of her herd (now known as the "Divas") and weighs in at a healthy 8,450 pounds.

Today, Billie is best friends with her long-time herd members Liz and Frieda. She is somewhat insecure, but extremely cooperative. At the time of this writing, a chain from her circus days still remains on one of Billie's ankles, but only because she is uncomfortable with Sanctuary staff touching her foot in careful attempts to remove it. Since the Sanctuary's philosophy is passive control, letting the elephants make their own decisions, Billie's wishes are respected—perhaps another day! In the meantime, she loves morning baths, dousing herself with water and chirping joyfully. Her favorite part of the bath is catching the water from the hose in her mouth. Billie is also frequently seen swimming in the pond behind the barn, and never seems to tire of splashing in the water. It is obvious that her newfound freedom is beginning to heal her emotionally.

Although Billie arrived with a dangerous reputation, she has shown no signs of aggression since her arrival at the Sanctuary. Like so many other elephants with similar histories that arrived before her, underneath her tough exterior lies a very loving and gentle elephant that will continue to relax and blossom in the coming years at The Elephant Sanctuary.


Frieda, Liz and Billie — best friends