@elephantsofsumatra

Bona

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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Delicious Treats

Bona transitioned from milk supplements to eating tasty treats very well with the help of her surrogate mother Aswita. Looks like she is enjoying wrapping her tongue around that tastly palm frond.

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She LOVES It!

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.

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Visitor in the Night

Morning, Day or Night it was whenever Bona was Hungry that she would wake me demanding to be fed.

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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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