“One Lucky Elephant,” a documentary about Flora’s life, was included in the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival this week. The film highlights the tragedy that plagues elephants in the entertainment industry.
Like so many elephants living in captivity, Flora lost everything when her family was culled in the wilds of Africa. She came to America as an orphaned infant and was immediately inducted into the circus. After years of performing, Flora began to show signs of emotional disconnection and aggression, which were later determined to be symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On her 21st birthday she retired to the Sanctuary.
Many viewers of “One Lucky Elephant” are left in a quandary about David not being allowed to see Flora. Unfortunately, David’s reappearance in Flora’s life could trigger another PTSD episode. Putting Flora’s wellbeing first means that such a gamble should be avoided.
This film demonstrates the lifelong effect trauma has on such a highly intelligent and exceedingly social animal.