Never Forget

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Maine and the world’s largest land mammal seem an unlikely pair, but the two share a long, curious history.

By Amy Sutherland
Photographed by Amy Wilton

Outside the barn, an early cold snap sharpens the air and casts a stillness among the leafless trees in this dell in the Camden Hills. On the last day of November the sun is low, weak rays cant off the shingled building, and behind it, even in early afternoon, Hatchet Mountain looms like a dark shadow. Underfoot, grass crackles and the ground hardens to slick pavement.

Inside the airy barn, two Asian elephants lazily snack on hay, swishing it around with their trunks, flapping their ears slowly as they do. They gently rock their great grey bulks back and forth on the heated sand underfoot.

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Amy Sutherland is the author of three books, including What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage.

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