Bubbles and Bella:

A True Story of an Inseparable Relationship Between an Elephant and Dog

By Jordi Schwartz

      Who said a dog had to be a man’s best friend?  Clearly Bubbles and Bella don't agree!  Meet Bubbles the elephant, and Bella the Dog! Bubbles is to Bella like a Sumo Wrestler is to a Pigmy.  But size doesn’t matter to them.  These two buddies share a love for water, and once they have too much fun together they do what any other animal would do, take a nap!  However, they take their naps together! Some might think it is crazy because an elephant and a dog are best friends, but with these inseparable friends there is no separation!




    An elephant, named Bubbles has been a much-loved resident at Myrtle Beach Safari Park since 1983.  She was adopted after African poachers killed her parents.  She needed a place to live so the kind people at Myrtle Beach Safari Park adopted her.


    Since then Bubbles has been in many videos and advertisements. You could almost say she is famous!  She has appeared in “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls,” a Janet Jackson music video and several advertisements.  However, after her glory days were over, she decided to “retire.”

One of the scenes that Bubbles was in from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls


    After she “retired”, she has been showing off to all of the people who come to the park.  She also loves to play!  If you are lucky she might play with you!  Even though she is “famous” she will always have time to have fun with her friends.  Even if one isn’t an elephant!

     Even though Bubbles is now thirty-four, she still loves to do tricks! Bubbles can do many different things.  She can swim, stand on her hind legs, catch a ball, paint with her trunk, play soccer, and so much more!!!  This is what got her into all of videos and advertisements.  If you don’t believe it, then go see for yourself!!!




      Bubbles didn’t fit in as much with the other elephants.  Since she was the elephant that tourists went to the most (mostly because she could do all those tricks) the other elephants ignored her.  Until Bella came along she never had a true friend, or the relationship that they have.

"Bubbles and Bella will never be separated with whatever comes their way.”- John Rosenberg a writer for Word Press.

      The park doesn’t have a place for dogs but they couldn’t just leave her there.  There was only one choice, to adopt Bella.  Going into adopting Bella the staff members were uncertain about their decision. They didn’t think that Bella would feel comfortable around the other animals that were 20x the size she was.  But it worked out.    

     Sometime in 2007, the park hired a contractor  to build a pool for Bubbles.  On the last day of the project the contractor left behind a cute dog named Bella, a Labrador Retriever breed from Forestbrook.  She was a beautiful color.  She was the color of dark chocolate.



     Bella was never a normal dog.  The park suspects she was always helping, never being loved by her previous owner, or never stopping to rest like an ordinary dog should.  When the park took her in she was shy and nervous.  She didn’t know what to do she was so used to helping, not resting, and being ignored all the time.  However, at the park they take good care of her and they also love their animals.  That’s when Bella started to live a typical dogs’ life.      


A Dog's Life

    Bella loves it at Myrtle Beach Safari Park.  She gets to play in the river with her best friend everyday.  


If you are wondering it is not a dog! But thanks to that Bubbles the ELEPHANT, she is now part of the loving family at Myrtle Beach Safari Park.



   Bella is not just any dog. The park thinks that she used to help the constructor because during the hard time for Bubbles she brought her the bowl that Bubbles drinks out of.  She was able to carry it to Bubbles without any problems.  She also carries the ball or any other toy into the river so that Bubbles and Bella can play with it.




     Bella may love her home at  the park, but she can get adopted.  Previously, Bubbles and Bella were showing off to their crowd and after the “show” was over a nice family came over to one of the staff members at Myrtle Beach Safari Park and asked if Bella was up for adoption.  Luckley, after the family looked into adopting Bella they finally decided not to take her home with them.  If they did take her there would be no Bubbles and Bella.


Bella is bringing the ball to Bubbles

Bubbles and Bella

   Bubbles and Bella have a great friendship.  They are always by each other’s side whether it is taking walks together, taking their two-hour nap together, or even playing in the pool they can never be broken apart.


“This is one of the most adorable animal friendships that we’ve seen in a long time.”- Karin Peter a staff member at Myrtle Beach Safari Park.

Bubbles and Bella

   Early on, they both realized they had a love for water, so they both play a fun game. This is how it goes: 

 1.    Bubbles goes under water.

 2.   Bella climbs on her back.

 3.   Bubbles stands up out of the water.

 4.   Bubbles throws the tennis ball.

 5.   Bella leaps of her back into the pool and does the doggy paddle all the way to where the ball is and brings it back to Bubbles to repeat.

Bubbles and Bella

Bubbles and Bella

   Over the years that Bubbles and Bella were staying at there was a tragedy… One day the park brought in another dog. Her name was Lucy. She was a Boxer the size of a bear!  She was found right outside the park. The park assumes she was abandoned.  When the staff brought her in to meet Bella, Bella was with Bubbles.  

    Over the years that Bubbles and Bella were staying at Myrtle Beach was a tragedy… One day the park brought in another dog. Her name was Lucy. She was a Boxer the size of a bear!  She was found right outside the park. The park assumes she was abandoned.  When the staff brought her in to meet Bella... Bella was with Bubbles.

    They were playing around chasing each other. Bubbles started to chase Lucy. Then out of no where Lucy got scared and bit Bubbles really hard on her foot. Bubbles couldn’t walk for three and a half weeks and the park got rid of Lucy and gave her to an animal shelter.  During that struggle Bella helped out by taking walks at the pace that Bubbles went at, getting Bubbles her drinking bowl, and didn’t swim. Just after Bubbles was well enough to play everything was back to normal.




Bubbles and Bella

Bubbles and Bella

    Together, Bubbles and Bella are a force to be reckoned with.  They are “professional” soccer players. Since Bubbles can play soccer and loves to play fetch; Bubbles and Bella can’t be beat when it come to playing soccer!!!  Bella plays goalie and Bubbles plays offense. Bubbles can kick the ball and Bella can catch the ball in her mouth since she is a Labrador Retriever. Sometimes Bella gets so worn out that if the ball came to her she would just plop right down and chew the ball. That is all you need to play soccer.

“The pair doesn’t just play in the water they are stars on the soccer field too!”- Andrea Block a writer for the Huff Post.

Bubbles and Bella

    Bubbles is like a playground to Bella.  All Bella has to do is get on Bubbles’ back.  Bubbles back is like the platform, her legs are like slides and ramps, and trunk is like a pole.  Bella can slide down her trunk, stand on her back, and climb up and slide down her legs. (Saves some extra money for the park.)


This pair goes through ups and downs, but they are still together today.  The things that ties them together is (a) the love of water that they both have and (b) the staff at Myrtle Beach Safari Park.  Without them, they would never meet.


    Currently, Bubbles and Bella can be found at Myrtle Beach Safari Park splashing happily in the pool, napping in the warm sun, or taking a walk on one of the parks trails in the woods.  Their friendship is evergreen.  Bella is like the family Bubbles never had.



    If you want to meet Bubbles and Bella then visit Myrtle Beach Safari Park!  It is a great place!  You can stay a whole weekend there because now they have a hotel you can stay in to make your life easier. In just 2 days you can take a peek into wildlife like you never seen before.  You can get up close to the amazing animals and enjoy shows of all different kinds of animals.  You can also see other cute, unlikely friendships besides Bubbles and Bella.  Myrtle Beach Safari Park has a great environment for these abandoned animals.  Go see for yourself!!!     


About the Park


    Myrtle Beach Safari Park, South Carolina (USA) is a sanctuary for endangered animals.  Wild Encounters Tour is a guided walk through a 50-acre preserve, just seventeen miles south of Barefoot Landing, where you’ll meet tigers, leopards, wolves, chimpanzees, orangutans, and many other endangered species up-close and un-caged!  During the tour professional photographers shoot studio quality photographs and videos of the tour and the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preserve experience.  This gives you the opportunity to take home a set of portraits and phenomenal videos that are incomparable to any other photo opportunity.  


Wild Encounter Tours normally costs $279.00 per person.  No Children under the age of 6 are allowed on the tour.  You can meet some of the cutest relationships there.  Another amenity of the park (you would have to pay $70.00 extra) is a dip in our river with our most famous pair at the park: Bubbles and Bella.

For more information got to: http://www.myrtlebeachsafari.com/


About the Park