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Free at Last — Shirley Joins the Elephant Sanctuary After Fifty Years in Captivity!

For the past two decades, Shirley the elephant has been living alone at the Louisiana Purchase Zoo. Her keeper, Solomon James, tried to keep her company over the years, but he knows that she needs to be with other elephants to truly be happy.

When Shirley first arrived, she was badly crippled after another elephant, for whatever reason, attacked and injured poor Shirley. The zoo offered to take her in, to give her a home — however, their facilities were unsuitable for more than one elephant.

When the zoo determined that they could not give Shirley the best possible life, and finally turned her over to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, USA — where there’s a surprise waiting for her!

Watch the video to see Shirley’s incredible journey to freedom.

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.