Journal

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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Wake Up!

We all need to make more effort to make this world a better place. This world is an absolute miracle and we depend on it more than most people realise. We need to wake up and take care of this precious planet. Pronto.

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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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Next Generation

So much is reliant on the next generation. The next generation of humans and the next generation of elephants too. As best as possible we need to give all remaining Sumatran elephants the opportunity to breed while simultaneously working constantly to maintain a beautiful and pristine habitat for these incredible animals to live peacefully. With each child we bring into this world we need to install a new culture of one of love for the animals, education and a way of life that lends itself to living in harmony with the incredible species found on the island of Sumatra. Every day is our opportunity to change things. Link in the bio. #elephants #conservation #sumatra #wild #berdiri #fightforanimals

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Pramuka Bird Markets

In what seems like endless caves inside a complex of decades old intertwined stalls that rise and fall with the floors of unkept buildings inside the largest bird market of south east Asia., the Pramuka bird markets of Jakarta. Here lies the keeping grounds of 10s of 1000’s of birds ready for a quick sale and a slow death either way. No animal deserves the life and death akin to that of a throwaway plastic toy.
Here is a market that has been operating for more than 40 years. A market that is well known for also trading in protected species. Yet for decades continues to grow. While the last remaining habitats in Sumatra are fighting a losing battle against poaching the very market that contradicts all protection laws and negates the hard work of local and international NGO’s continues to flourish. Despite the epic issue of trading protected species, there are the moral issues. Is this what it comes down to? Is this the solution for our over populated cites and inability to balance sustainable growth from within ethical business? So we throw all moral values out the window to find a quick sale to buy the things we don’t need in order for the economy to grow and sustain our populations. Do we blame it on a lack of education, sure in part. Do we blame it on the lack of responsibility of those in positions of power to change this picture, absolutely. The local people are the only ones that can start the chain reaction for this to change. Making those in power take better responsibility by enforcing the laws that are made to stop exactly this kind of trade. The locals need to find better ways to build more sustainable incomes through better education. Many millions of people would rely on the kind of income that directly results in the destruction of the natural habitat of endangered species and the poaching and selling of all wildlife. This is also a cultural change that needs to start with a new generation from a very early age. Education programs in every province, city and village. Without this kind of change there is no hope.

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Rest Stop

Not a bad view in Sumatra to take a rest on my way to delivering a box of additional supplements to one thirsty girl. All part of hand-raising a baby elephant. My Sumatran girlfriend at the time who is now my wife helped deal with the red tape to purchase a new ride for my trips back and forth to the elephant conservation center in Seblat. A four hour journey in all. I would spend approximately 2 weeks at the elephant conservation center before returning to pick up more supplies from the city. Very rewarding process to watch a baby elephant go from a skinny little thing to a fat, happy and playful girl due to my commitment to her cause. Now the commitment continues with our other projects. Link in the bio.

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Camouflage Camera Traps

Our attempts to camouflage camera traps were met with mixed results. Poachers and loggers have an appetite for destruction if they spot a camera.

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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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Radio Collar Tracking

The FZS (Frankfurt Zoological Society) have been running some successful projects in the Jambi region of Sumatra. One of those being the tracking of wild elephants through the use of radio collars. By attaching a radio collar to one elephant in a herd the FZS team can effectively track the entre herd and can act quickly in the event the herd might get too close to a village. This helps prevent human/elephant conflict and further deaths of the critically endangered Sumatran elephant.

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Road Block

When you are on the way to a remote location to set camera traps and your patrol team come across a river full of water hyacinth plants for 2 kilometers. It took us 24 hours to meander our way through this mess to finally be on our way to our destination. Extending our trip by another 2 days we managed to get all cameras in place.

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