After 22 Years of Separation, Former Circus Elephants Share an Emotional Reunion, Instantly Recognizing Each Other.

This is the incredible moment two elephants were reunited – more than 20 years after they performed in a circus together.

Shirley and Jenny were filmed meeting for the first time since the late 1970s at an animal sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

Reunion: This is the moment elephants Shirley (left) and Jenny met for the first time in more than 20 years

Reaching out: The mammals were filmed being reunited The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee

Wiping her eyes: They were pictured locking trunks, hugging and playing with each other. They could even be seen bending the bars between them in a bid to be as close as possible. Above, Jenny extends her trunk

Comforting each other: Carol Buckley, director of The Elephant Sanctuary, described the reunion as ‘dramatic’

‘There was an immediate urgency in Jenny’s behaviour. She wanted to get close to Shirley who was divided by two stalls,’ she wrote on the sanctuary’s website.

‘She became agitated, banging on the gate and trying to climb through and over.

Old friends: Shirley and Jenny had performed together with Carson and Barnes Circus during the late 1980s

‘Once Shirley was allowed into the adjacent stall the interaction between her and Jenny became quite intense.’

The elephants had performed together in various locations across Texas during their time at Carson and Barnes Circus. At the time, Shirley was in her twenties and Jenny was just a calf.

Back together: They were then separated and sent to different zoos – and did not see each other for 22 years

Playing: During their reunion, the pair could be seen touching, nestling, exploring each other and even roaring

Side by side: Following the reunion, the elephants reportedly spent the day together, ‘moving side by side’

Protective: And when Jenny lay down for a nap, Shirley even used her body to shade her from the sun (pictured)