Elephants

Another Elephant Death in Gunung Leuser 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.

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My Boy Harris

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.

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Curious Little Bona

Gorgeous little Bona tries to get a taste of what Aswita her surrogate mother is munching on. One of my favourite photos of this whole campaign.

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Two new babies of Way Kambas

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

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Sunrise with Elephants

This was my morning view for 7 whole months bottle feeding baby Bona. Most mornings she would knock on my cabin door at 5am trying to wake me up so she could get her morning milk. This particular morning she never came knocking but I found her in front of my cabin munching on the grass in the field. I think this was the signal of change for her feeding habits.

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Window of the Soul

The eyes can convey a million expressions. I have my own feelings about what the eye is telling me here. I want to know what you are seeing. What is the elephant feeling?

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Camera Traps and Surveys

Bang Distnan putting the final touches on a camera trap deep in the jungles of Sumatra. Documenting these amazing elephants across Sumatra means spending up to 10 days at a time hiking the jungles of Sumatra in search of locations to capture the elephants in the wild with camera traps. I have a camera trap program running across the Way Kambas National Park as well as the TWA Seblat Conservation area in Bengkulu. We spend days tracking and looking for the right locations and place camera traps. The issues we often face are poachers and illegal loggers who happen to stumble across the camera traps and steal them from fear of being caught so we take every precaution to secure the camera traps and camouflage them with paint as best we can.  So far we have mixed results from the camera trap work, but the rewards of finding and documenting the critically endangered Sumatran elephant in the wild is especially nice. Link in the description…

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My Favourite Snack

When not receiving his milk supplement Agam’s favourite was a piece of corn to try to rip apart and eat. All part of the learning curve to being a baby elephant.

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Check Up!

Every so often the elephants of all the camps throughout Sumatra get their health checks done. Time to check for any signs of problems and the elephants are well trained to follow the commands of their handlers so they can carry out any checks from teeth through to ultrasound scans. The population is decreasing so to prevent any outbreaks of disease that could further threaten the species it is important to do this regularly.

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Radio Collar Efforts

A lot of effort is being undertaken by many NGO’s from around the world to help out on the ground. This particular project comes from the Frankfurt Zoological Society in the Bukit Tigah Puluh area where they are running a radio collar program to help monitor elephant herd locations and help prevent human/elephant conflict when elephants come close to a village the program will help prevent the elephants from entering the villages.

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