Breakfast time in the jungles of South Sumatra where the conservation center elephants collect their food on a daily basis after having their morning baths…
I’ve seen and photographed the patrol elephants across all the provinces of Sumatra and this is one of my favourte bath time photos. All the elephants are bathed before they are taken on patrol to help protect the jungles and the remaining willdife from us humans. You can buy this print, link in the description.
I’ve spent in total a number of weeks following the elephant patrols deep in the jungles in the province of Bengkulu documenting and also aiding the work with surveys and camera traps to document the wild populations inside the TWA Seblat Conservation Area. The patrols have evolved over the last few years as poaching and illegal logging becomes more effective so to do the patrols have to be more effective. The elephants are not often used as much anymore for the regular patrols being switched out for more effective motorbike patrols.
I spent 7 months hand raising Bona and during those months I tried my darndest to implement a system for the two local (carers) mahouts so they could help with the daily milk feeds in the event of my absence when I needed to be back in the city. I succeeded in convincing one carer to provide regular feeds in that time but the second carer was a little more stubborn. It wasn’t until towards the end of the seven months that the second carer participated in a milk feed one afternoon. He was always adamant that Bona never needed any more milk. As you can see by the surprise on his face in this photo, being the first ever time he provided her a bottle of milk during some domestic training. The surpise is clear to see at how eager Bona is to take her milk.
Nothing fills your heart with any more love than the sight of a beautiful family of wild elephants making their way through their natural habitat. Check out the little cutie in the middle. A beautiful thing to see on our camera traps. A lot of hard work goes into capturing such a simple image/video. Despite our best efforts most of our camera traps have been stolen by poachers in the area. But the camera traps we manage to maintain have captured some of the amazing wildlife still remaining inside the protected area of the Way Kambas National Park.