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Jury decides fate of Tennessee elephant; custody goes to original owner

Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 17:14:17-04

HOENWALD, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a long custody battle, a Tennessee woman regained custody of Tarra the elephant.

Tara lives In a well-known elephant sanctuary in Hoenwald, Tennessee.

The trial regarding the custody of the Asian elephant lasted multiple days. Tarra was the first tenant at the sanctuary -- brought there by co-founder Carol Buckley back in 1995.

The elephant became famous for her relationship with her canine best friend, Bella.

But since then, much has changed. Buckley left the sanctuary several years ago but she's now is working to start a new one in Georgia and she is suing to get Tarra back.

A trial last year ended with a hung jury, and the second trial ended in Buckley's favor.

Both sides rested Tuesday afternoon and the jury returned its verdict Wednesday afternoon.

It's not clear what will happen next, but ownership goes to Buckley. She will decide if Tarra stays in the sactuary or leaves.