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.
Another elephant death has been reported in the Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra. This elephant is a female estimated to be 10 years old and was found on a river bank inside a palm oil plantation by a plantation worker and only 500m from the nearest houses of Barak Gajah Village. Witnesses reported seeing a baby elephant trying for 1 hour to wake (assuming) it’s mother by pushing her body and spraying water on her. When the local villagers approached the baby moved off into the forest and it was reported by the national park team after a 6 hour search the baby had fortunately found it’s way back to the herd and had moved back into the Gunung Leuser National Park. Unfortunately there is no information as to the estimated age of the baby elephant and whether he/she still requires milk from it’s now deceased mother.
The body of the elephant has now been moved and examined for any cause of death. While there are some wounds that have been found on the body nothing as significant enough to cause death. An autopsy has been performed and the vet teams await the results to determine if the death was natural or the elephant was poisoned, which is unfortunately often the case for elephants that enter palm oil plantations. Especially a young elephant of 10 years you would not expect to die suddenly like in this situation. Another sad day for the Elephants of Sumatra.
A close up “portrait” of Harris. This is one of my favourite shots of any of my 10’s of 1000’s of photos I have taken over the last 5 years. I think this image really evokes some emotions from the scarred tusks of Harris showing the harsh life he has gone through from circus elephant to now residing and patrolling the forests of TWA Seblat.
TWO NEW ELEPHANT BABIES BORN!!! Two gorgeous new babies were born this week in the Way Kambas National Park.
EAST LAMPUNG, NETRALNEWS.COM – A male Sumatran elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatrensis) has been born at the Elephant Response Unit (ERU) in Tegalyoso, Way Kambas National Park, in East Lampung district on Monday (3/27).
A couple days earlier, a female Sumatran elephant was also born at Tegalyoso ERU. The female elephant baby was born by female elephant named Riska, with a body weight of 85 kilograms. Full article here > http://www.en.netralnews.com/news/currentnews/read/3275/way.sambas.national.park.welcomes.baby.male.sumatran.elephant