Our attempts to camouflage camera traps were met with mixed results. Poachers and loggers have an appetite for destruction if they spot a camera.
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.
More bad news coming out of the province of Bengkulu in South Sumatra. Two elephant carcasses were discovered recently by villagers fishing in and around the Seblat TWA conservation area. No reports as to cause of death yet but will wait to hear any news the local conservation agency is currently investigating.
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…
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.
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.
A lot of my photos include elements that for very obvious reasons people dislike. That’s just the nature of the situation and it’s natural for me to want to ducument the reality of the situation for the elephants be it good or bad. One of those issues is the use of bull hooks by the elephant carers in Sumatra. Some people argue (trust me they do) in the right hands and used correctly it is no problem while others argue that they should never ever be used and are a cruel method for directing an elephant. Well as my documentary work here keeps shifting gears and I find myself in more and more situations to actually help with my own projects I am quite interested to hear comments on this and the preferred alternatives. Please comment below…