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.
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.
Nothing fills your heart with any more love than the sight of a beautiful family of wild elephants making their way through their natural habitat. Check out the little cutie in the middle. A beautiful thing to see on our camera traps. A lot of hard work goes into capturing such a simple image/video. Despite our best efforts most of our camera traps have been stolen by poachers in the area. But the camera traps we manage to maintain have captured some of the amazing wildlife still remaining inside the protected area of the Way Kambas 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.
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
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.