Bubbles the elephant was rescued by a wildlife center when she was orphaned in the wild. Then, after 24 years without her family, she met another abandoned creature. No one expected that these two would become the best of friends – but before long, they were practically joined at the hip.
Bubbles is an African elephant who now resides at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina. But it wasn’t always that way. She had been living in the wild as a baby when ivory traders killed her family in 1981.
At that time, the ivory trade was not illegal. And largely as a result of this, by 1989 the numbers of African elephants in the wild had fallen to 600,000 from 1.3 million in 1942. A ban was introduced but illegal poaching still takes place and an estimated 33,000 elephants are killed every year for their tusks.