Mila, a 41-year-old African elephant, hadn’t seen a fellow pachyderm in 37 years until recently.

After being captured in Namibia, she spent most of her life as a circus performer in New Zealand until Dr. Helen Schofield, a zookeeper at the Franklin Zoo in Auckland, worked to get her retired.

It was Schofield’s dream to reunite Mila with her kind, but the doctor died after being crushed by the elephant.

Zoo staff worked to make Schofield’s dream a reality, and recently Mila made the trip to the San Diego Zoo where she was introduced to a 50-year-old Asian elephant named Mary.

Their initial interaction started off unsure, but ended with the two holding trunks, a gesture of affection.

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