Bengkulu

Bona Feels the Love

Interesting story behind this photo and greeting from Bona to a new arrival.

THE BACK STORY: For an estimated 17 years two Sumatran elephants named Natasha and Dino would entertain the locals on the beach front of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia. Taking kids and families for rides up and down the beach on most days. Until one evening a local man broke into their holding area and from all accounts began to antagonize the big boy Dino by playing with his nether region. Sorry my safest description. This did not end well for the local man and I am sure you can use your imagination to fill that gap.

THE RESULT: After this unfortunate event Natasha and Dino were ordered to be transported to the elephant conservation center 4 hours north of Bengkulu. They were transported in the evening hours and arrived at the camp late in the evening. I was at the camp upon their arrival still hand feeding Bona on a daily basis. I remember their arrival and the shrill sounds of panic coming from both Natasha and Dino in the middle of the night who only ever knew life among crowds living on the beach. Who had only had each other for company for 17 years. The wild pigs were not a familiar sight and would fill them with fear and elephants screaming is not a sound one can sleep on.

THE NEXT DAY: Upon the morning light Bona had decided to investigate the new arrivals focusing on Natasha Bona put on a confused show of dominance and love for Natasha, which was hilarious to view. Bona’s short sharp charges were only met with love from Natasha who was lapping up a new friend and the attention and even showing natural maternal instincts towards baby Bona. It was something special to witness as Bona was trying to show the new arrival who the real boss was Natasha was loving having an instant baby to care for so it didn’t take long for Bona to give in and just feel the love.

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Tranquil Elephant Camp

The elephant camp of PLG Seblat is just the most magical spot looking out over the Air Seblat river while listening to nature, the gibbons and the hornbills calls ringing out over the jungles of TWA Seblat Conservation Area.

This is the location of our current project building an electric fence for the camp elephants to give them a better quality of life and a chance to socialize and breed. In more than 25 years there has never been a new born in PLG Seblat and we intende to change that and you’re welcome to come along for the ride, any support is much appreciated.

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TO SUPPORT AND BUY PRINTS

shop for elephants > elephantsofsumatra.com

support the projects > berdiri.org

support this photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Big Girl Bona

While working on implementing the Breeding Program project in Seblat, Bengkulu it was nice to take some time out to see my baby girl Bona. I have been so busy in Sumatra so it has been a little while since catching up with Bona. She still remembers and still likes to remind me who the boss always is. It wouldn’t be Bona if she wasn’t still a little naughty.
Now Bona is a plump 700kg+ and in great health and truly getting big and as loud as ever trumpeting away at other family members if anyone annoys her or steps on her toes. Links and info below to follow and support my elephant projects.

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TO SUPPORT AND BUY PRINTS

shop for elephants > elephantsofsumatra.com
support the projects > berdiri.org
support this photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Rehabilitating King Grass Plantations

The first step in providing a safe and healthy environment for the conservation center elephants in Seblat, North Bengkulu, Sumatra is to make sure there is a good food supply. The first step is to repair the fencing for the 2 hectare lot that was once a flourishing plantation of king grass of which the mahouts would readily cut klumps for overnight food for the elephants. Sadly the fence is in disrepair, which allows the wild pigs to get in and feed on crops and nothing much remains.
This will soon become the main food source to provide the elephants when they settle inside their home each night. Once all the holes are discovered and patched new crops will go in and soon flourish. Time to get to work…

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TO SUPPORT AND BUY PRINTS

shop for elephants > elephantsofsumatra.com
support the projects > berdiri.org
support this photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#elephants #elephantart #elephantlove #elephantarmy #pareonartist #creator #patreoncreator #patreon #photog #savetheelephants #patreonpage #patreonphotographer #documentaryphotography #elephantprint #elephantshirt #elephantsarecool #support #donations #needhelp

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Ucok Impatient

Ucok the BIG boy is GROWING impatient about the new electric fence plan where he will get to mingle with the rest of the herd free of chains. Two things about this photo and I have highlighted one of them. Small steps to creating a better environment for the elephants of PLG Seblat and the creation of an electric fence will allow the elephants to be free of chains and secondly to mingle creating the potential for breeding. Ucok is not wanting to wait any longer. As you can see. Details on how you can support below.

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TO SUPPORT AND BUY PRINTS

shop for elephants > elephantsofsumatra.com
support the projects > berdiri.org
support this photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#elephants #elephantart #elephantlove #elephantarmy #pareonartist #creator #patreoncreator #patreon #photog #savetheelephants #patreonpage #patreonphotographer #documentaryphotography #elephantprint #elephantshirt #elephantsarecool #support #donations #needhelp

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The Way She Was

The first week with Bona she was a scary sight. She couldn’t have been more than a few weeks away from death in her state. She was literally lifeless, could hardly walk and had no spirit. Her spirit was certainly drained. Literally you could see every bone in her body as she struggled from A to B. After 6 months of sugar water provided by the locals as a supplement for milk I guess it was to be expected. Thankfully Bona took to our supplements, a mixture of baby milk formula, marsupial milk replacer (Wombaroo) combined with coconut milk hot water a dose of love and 7 months later of hand feeding this gorgeous girl the rewards are priceless and nothing will ever take away that prode of knowing my actions saved a this gorgeous girls life.

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Burning Bridges

The patrol unit of the province of Bengkulu Sumatra in the TWA Seblat Conservation Area burn a makeshift bridge used by poachers and loggers to get access deep into the conservation area for the purpose of logging and poaching endangered species. This is unfortunately a very common occurrence.

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Feeding Bona (VIDEO)

Ah remembering those days of commitment to feeding the precious Bona 4 times a day. Always the lunch time feed was very interesting, trekking into the jungle and never knowing exactly where Bona was but always she ended up finding me if I called her as she knew I had her favourite meal…

Feeding Bona from Bruce Levick on Vimeo.

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A beautiful View…

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…

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Curiousity…

Bona in the early days was always curious on what her then surrogate mother Aswita was eating. Bona learnt a lot from Aswita on how to handle and break down palm leaves to munch on…

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