By Carol Buckley
Tilbury House Publishers, 2006
32 pages, $16.95
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. is a 100-acre refuge where "retired" captive pachyderms can roam free and recuperate from the stresses of their former lives. Known for their strong social ties, these intelligent beings suffer greatly when confined at zoos and circuses.
In Just for Elephants, author Carol Buckley introduces young readers to Jenny and Shirley, two Elephant Sanctuary inhabitants who epitomize the species’ tendency to form intense bonds. Shirley is an injured elephant who used to perform in the circus, and had gone on to live in a zoo. When brought to the Sanctuary, she quickly reunited with Jenny, who she had known as a baby elephant in the circus. The old friends continue to live happily with their elephant family, demonstrating the animals’ need to live naturally in groups.