Solomon James was Shirley's keeper at the zoo for 22 years. He clearly loves her. In the film he says he spends as much time as he can with her so that she doesn't feel all alone, and we see him bathing her and talking to her with great affection. We watch as he accompanies her to her new home in Tennessee. Then with tears in his eyes he says to the camera, "I am going to miss her. But when I saw this place I told her that there will be no more chains. She is free now. I don't know who was the first to put a chain on her but I am glad to know I was the last to take it off. She is free at last."
Then he says, "I am going to miss you, Shirley, my big girl."
The elephants at the sanctuary come into the barn one by one to greet the new arrival, who is at first in a separate pen. They touch trunks through the bars-it looks like kissing. When an elephant named Jenny arrives, there is an uproar. Carol says she has never heard anything like it. The trumpeting goes on through the night. When Carol comes into the barn the next morning she finds that in their desperation to get close to each other, Jenny and Shirley have bent the steel bars between them.