elephants

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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Don’t mess with Me!

This little guy still isn’t used to humans so much being a new born in the elephant conservation center of the way Kambas national park. So the closer I got to photograph him the more defensive he became with his mum keeping a keen eye on things.

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Tail Bite

Baby Rosa had her tail bitten by one of the older males so she needed to have it looked at and eventually the tip of her tail was amputated. This might not look ideal but this is exactly how things work in Indonesia in order to properly treat elephants their need to be restrained, especially the juveniles. 

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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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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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Hairy Little Elephant

Did you know baby elephants are quite hairy but lose most of the hair as they grow older.  The sparse hair found on elephants according to scientists helps keep them cool in the tropical heat.

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The Elephant Patrols of Bengkulu

I’ve spent in total a number of weeks following the elephant patrols deep in the jungles in the province of Bengkulu documenting and also aiding the work with surveys and camera traps to document the wild populations inside the TWA Seblat Conservation Area. The patrols have evolved over the last few years as poaching and illegal logging becomes more effective so to do the patrols have to be more effective. The elephants are not often used as much anymore for the regular patrols being switched out for more effective motorbike patrols.

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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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