Bona

Nobody Likes the Chains Including Bona

Nobody likes to see elephants in chains. Especially baby Bona with Aswita her surrogate mother. As illustrated in one of my favorite photos I have taken over the last 6 years documenting the elephants of Sumatra. Sitting watching baby Bona at 2+ years old free to roam and frolic but often wondering why mother Aswita could not join her. On this particular afternoon it dawned on Bona that the chains were holding Aswita back to roam free and frolic around the camp as Bona often would. So Bona started trying to paw at the chains to try to remove them from Aswita. It dawned on me as I sat there snapping photos and realizing what was happening. Here is a two year old elephant that has the presence of mind to see a problem and try to find a solution. I always new how incredibly intelligent elephants were from my experiences of hand raising Bona in the elephant camp but to see this playing out in front of me was an incredibly eye opening experience coming from a 2 year old elephant.

I know how the majority will react to this photo. Utter disbelief and outrage. Chains don’t belong on elephants. ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

So before you shoot off emotionally and burn me at the social media stake. Take a moment to understand. I am not promoting this act, just documenting it. Now from my six years of documenting and now working with the elephants in Sumatra I have actually created an avenue and a way to improve the lives of these camp elephants. We can remove the chains and even provide better daily care, the correct diet, opportunities for these elephants to socialize and even breed. So by all means breath fire if that is your initial reaction, but then take action as I am. Just commenting doesn’t solve anything. Act on those feelings too. All the info is in the links here or the link in the bio.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Wow How Bona Has Grown

Wow how Bona has grown!! What a difference 6 years makes for Bona. From mid 2012 when she was just a tiny little girl with no spirit and no energy to the gorgeous (and still naughty) big girl she has become today. Showing all her brothers and sisters who the real boss is. She is in incredible health these days enjoying her time floating around “the back yard” of PLG Seblat. Hopefully to continue for many years to come and one day be a part of the breeding program to play her role in helping the amazing elephants of Sumatra.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Strike a Pose

Mother and daughter strike the same pose. Standing on the banks of the Air Seblat River in north Bengkulu, Bona in the early days grew into a naughty personality as her health returned. She looks like she could be dreaming up my next 5am milk run or deciding if she is yet strong enough to take on the torrents of the river and follow Aswita across to gather food. None the less I really love this photo.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#savetheelephants #elephants #elephantlove #elephantarmy

#donate #support #projects #conservation #animals #preciouscreatures #love #loveanimals #asianelephant #endangered #work #domore #needhelp #supportus #needyourhelp #fightforlife #wildanimals #saveelephants #elephant #elephantart #patreon #photog

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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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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#savetheelephants #elephants #elephantlove #elephantarmy

#donate #support #projects #conservation #animals #preciouscreatures #love #loveanimals #asianelephant #endangered #work #domore #needhelp #supportus #needyourhelp #fightforlife #wildanimals #saveelephants #elephant #elephantart #patreon #photog

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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

#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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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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Remembering her 2nd Birthday

Remembering the days Bona turned 2. We made her a fruit “cake” in the shape of the two. She lapped it up in under 5 minutes.

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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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Wake up to This…

Could you wake up to this ever day? I did for 7 months bottle feeding the beautiful Bona every day…

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