Is there anything cuter than friends being introduced for the first time? When this elephant and sea lion were introduced for the first time it was one of the sweetest encounter ever.
20. Tiny Elephant
Chendra is the smallest Asian elephant at the Oregon zoo. The tiny elephant was orphaned when she was only a baby back in Sabah, Malaysia. The condition they found her in was truly upsetting.
When rescuers first discovered Chendra she was in horrible shape as she wandered through a palm oil plantation. She was all alone, scared, and injured. It was a sad sight.
Unfortunately, Chendra had gotten some pretty bad wounds to her front legs and her left eye. The injury to her eye left her blind in that eye. However, wildlife officials were able to rescue her and bring her back to good health.
Since Chendra was rescued at such a young age and with so many injuries, officials determined that it wouldn’t be a good idea to release her back into the wild. The chances of her getting hurt again were too hight.
16. Another Solution
Instead, officials decided to have Chendra transported 8,000 miles away. She was brought to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon. She soon joined the zoo’s Asian elephant family.
Chendra happens to be the only Borneo pygmy elephant living in the US. Even though Chendra isn’t related to any of the elephants at the zoo she hasn’t had a problem fitting in. This is because of elephant’s social nature.
Chendra is now considered the “cool auntie” of all of the younger elephants. The young elephants adore her and they are all always playing together. In order to keep her active, Chendra was taken on some fun excursions.
13. Zoo Trips
In order to get her acquainted with the zoo and keep her active, the zoo staff would take Chendra on trips throughout the zoo. One of the first places she got to see was the dinosaur exhibit. However, Chendra had one spot in particular that was her favorite!
12. Favorite Spot
After all of her trips throughout the zoo, Chendra soon had a spot that was her absolute favorite. She would practically beg the zoo staff to bring her over to the spot. So what was so special about it?
11. Sea Lion Pool
Chendra’s favorite spot in the entire zoo happens to be the sea lion pool. So what is it about the sea lion pool that gets Chendra all giddy? Well, one of her favorite pals happens to live there!
Gus is a sea lion that lives in the sea lion pool at the zoo. When Chendra and Gus first met there was an instant connection. The two of them immediately bonded!
9. No More Walks
Unfortunately, Chendra and Gus haven’t been able to see each other anymore. The zoo has stopped their daily walks with Chendra. Still, their friendship will live on!
The zoo’s photographer, Michael Dunham, was the one who snapped the photo of the two interacting through the glass in the tank. He also assured everyone that the photo was not digitally manipulated in any way.
For now, Chendra has been continuing to live her wonderful life at the zoo. This is especially important since Asian elephants are highly endangered.
6. Asian Elephants
Asian elephants are far more endangered than their African cousins. This is due to a variety of reasons such as high numbers of poaching, hunting, and a decrease in their natural habitat.
5. Sea Lions
Steller sea lions also happen to be an endangered species. Their population levels have been steadily decreasing. The population has decreased by 80% between 1965 and 1994, according to the zoo’s website.
Sea lions are currently under protection by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. There are currently only 67,000 or less sea lions in U.S. waters. So what is the cause behind their steady decline?
Sea lions are under threat by a lot of different factors. Some of these include pollution, the destruction of their natural habitat, illegal hunting, and boat strikes.
2. Finding Each Other
As two incredibly endangered species, it is miraculous that Chendra and Gus found a friendship in each other. It’s almost as if they felt something similar shared between the friendship.
1. Living On
Even though the two of them no longer see each other, their friendship will continue to live on. Their friendship is a true testament to how friendships can take place in any situation.