The Amazing Story of Ginny the Elephant (warning — get kleenex!)

Val Heart The Real Dr Doolittle
8 min readJan 30, 2021

Once upon a time, I took my group of animal communication students to the San Antonio Zoo.

Their instructions were to wander around and find animal teachers to practice communicating with for about an hour. Then we were all to meet at the elephant enclosure because there was a very special elephant there named Ginny I wanted to introduce them to. I also wanted to tell them an amazing elephant story — Ginny’s story.

They had learned how to best connect and open the conversation. Some of the students, being highly sensitive and empathic like myself, were worried.

What if the animal’s story was heartbreaking? What if they were in pain, or angry or grieving or sad…? And what if their misery was more than they could bear?


I understood their concerns. I’ve felt them myself and have often had students tell me they were afraid to work with rescued, abused or sick, transitioning animals… for the same reasons.

But here’s the thing…

Whatever is happening or has already happened for the animal is part of their story. What they need is the ability to communicate and be heard so they can heal and let it go.

It’s not your job to take on their stuff when you open a channel to communicate.

Your job is to give them a way to be understood, to feel compassionate, loving attention, to create a heart centered space for listening and caring, and THAT is such a precious gift.

Many times healing occurs, positive changes occur that were unexpected, and right before your eyes (if you do it right), you can see them become more fully present, they heal, they grow, they breathe a big sigh of relief, and they let the past go.

It’s a miracle to witness, and heartwarming beyond belief.

So, kleenex in their pockets, hearts open and available, with loving and clear intention set, off they went!

When we met back at the elephant enclosure later, they were delighted with their experiences. Some animals ignored them, they were too lost in their own world and weren’t interested in talking to a human.

Other animals were so appreciative of having been heard, they were excited and delighted.

They said things like, “ Wait, did you say something? You, a dense human, can hear me? That can’t be right… I thought humans were too unaware to communicate. Seriously, you really are talking to ME? And you can hear me too?? OMG! Let me go get my buddies!”

And other animals would come running up eager to witness the miracle of a human who could hear them and talk their language.

So much fun!! And the stories they told? Oh my.

Heartwarming! Inspirational! Touching! Wow.

Today I have another story to tell you.

A few weeks earlier I’d been called by a zoo docent to come help them with one of their elephants.

Ginny, the 50 year old matriarch of the small elephant herd at the zoo, had killed their head handler.

Nobody else had been there when it happened, so there were no witnesses. Only the evidence of carnage left behind.

When I arrived, they had her in chains, in a metal cage barely big enough for her body. She stood there dejectedly but proud, quiet and withdrawn. Resigned and waiting for her fate to be determined.

The handlers and management hadn’t decided if they would have to kill her or not.

Why had she gone rogue?

Was she dangerous?

Would she hurt anyone else?

What happened for her to have killed that man?

Before they decided what to do with her, they wanted me to talk to her and find out exactly what happened.

So I walked in to find all the humans sitting in a circle waiting for me. I greeted them, sat down and took my place.

I had just a moment to greet Ginny, whom I’d never met before, and offer her my assurance that my intention was to be her voice, and that I truly cared what happened to her.

They didn’t give me any more information than you know right now, so I closed my eyes and tuned into Ginny, asking her to tell me what happened.

She told me that the man was often abusive to her and her family herd. That he’d not been there for very long, but was unloved and unliked. That he often showed up reeking of alcohol and acting badly, strangely, unpredictably.

That fateful day she decided she’d had enough. He’d hurt and terrorized them long enough.

It was her job as matriarch to protect her family, and so she made the hard decision and acted.

She simply and calmly reached out to him, grabbed him around his waist, picked him up and held him high, turned him upside down, and smashed his head onto the ground hard enough to crack his skull open.

And that was that.

She took a big breath, and I thanked her for telling me.

I relayed her story to the people present.

They had tears in their eyes as they listened, and then they looked at each other.

They told me that yes, he was abusive and yes, he was often drunk. Nobody liked him. Nobody mourned him.

They asked me what Ginny’s intentions were towards the rest of them… would she hurt them if they let her go?

When I asked, Ginny said, “No, you are all kind and good hearted people. I mean you no harm. I only want my family to be safe and respected.”

With a few more assurances from her that they were in fact safe, they eagerly released her chains, opened the cage and let her go free.

We all had tears in our eyes as she reached out to thank those nearest to her with a soft touch of her trunk.

The look in her eyes…. well, I tear up just to remember it honestly.

And so she continued on as the matriarch of the herd. She never hurt anyone else.

That brings us back to where we started… It was just a few weeks later when I was there at the Zoo with my students.

After the students finished their conversations with animals, we had all agreed to reconnect at the elephant enclosure.

We were at the far end of the enclosure sitting on a bench in the shade. We chattered away talking about our extraordinary experiences.

Then… I spotted Ginny at the opposite end of the enclosure far away from us.

She had been eating by herself way back away from the crowds.

But all of a sudden, she got real still… and stopped chewing.

She held her head up, then looked right at us across the enclosure as her ears came up with excitement.

Next she reached down and gathered a large pile of hay in her trunk and carried it as she walked all the way over…

And then she stopped, right in front of us!

As she faced us, she dropped the hay and began munching.

She greeted us lovingly, welcoming us to her home. She answered many of our questions, and the students were delighted to hear her sweet, kind voice.

All of a sudden one of the elephant handlers came running over to us in alarm.

They said, “What are you doing to that elephant!? She never pays any attention to the tourists and zoo visitors. Why is she interested in you lot?”

So we told her the story, and as soon as she knew who I was, she wanted to shake my hand, hugging me. With tears in her eyes she thanked me effusively for my help in saving Ginny’s life.

And that is why I do the work I do.

It makes a difference.

And that is why I founded The Heart School of Animal Communication. It’s why I host the BEST Online Animal Talk Coaching & Mastery Club and offer courses to teach animal lovers how to communicate with animals yourself.

The great news is that you don’t have to be physically with me in person like my original small band of animal talk students.

The Heart School courses and Animal Talk Coaching Club are all online. That way you can participate from wherever you are.

Start with your Free eBook to begin your journey to communication with animals:

Click HERE for free eBook

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Simply put, it’s a complete, uniquely different online portal where you have everything you need at your fingertips to grow your intuitive skills, improve and advance your communication abilities

So you can help animals when they don’t feel well, are confused, have something important to tell you, and for when they’re ready to make their transition.

A private, loving, unique community of people just like you who are committed to growing, healing and evolving through the power of Heart Wisdom Communication.

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Here’s what one of our Platinum Members said:

Please share with anyone you think might be interested or would appreciate Ginny’s heartwarming story.

Have you ever had a life changing experience with an animal? Leave a comment below!


If you want more posts about animal communication, check out these articles:

Watch the Magic That Happened When These Elephants Reunited
Things I’ve Learned As An Animal Whisperer By Val Heart
The Extraordinary Soul Connection I call The Human Animal BodyMind Connection

Originally published at on January 30, 2021.



Val Heart The Real Dr Doolittle

People come to me for help with their animals, then I help the animals with their people! Founder of the HEART School of Animal Communication & Coaching Club