In a very sweet moment that had all of us animal lovers oohing and aahing, a 41-year-old elephant named Mila met Mary, the leader of a herd of elephants at the San Diego zoo.

What made this moment so poignant was that this is Mila’s first time interacting with an elephant of her own kind in over 30 years.

She spent three decades as the lone elephant in a circus before being taken in by the Franklin Zoo in New Zealand and eventually being transferred to San Diego to be with fellow African elephants.

Zookeepers thought it best to introduce Mila to the herd one-by-one.


“In late January, we gave Mila the first opportunity to meet another elephant with limited interaction. We decided that Mary was the best option, given she is a dominant elephant in the herd, is relatively calm, and has a good track record with meeting newcomers,” explains zookeeper Robbie Clark.

“Mary was curious of the newbie,” shares Clark, “while Mila was surprised to find something as big as her on the other side of the wall!”

Watch their adorable interaction below!