plg seblat

Nobody Likes the Chains Including Bona

Nobody likes to see elephants in chains. Especially baby Bona with Aswita her surrogate mother. As illustrated in one of my favorite photos I have taken over the last 6 years documenting the elephants of Sumatra. Sitting watching baby Bona at 2+ years old free to roam and frolic but often wondering why mother Aswita could not join her. On this particular afternoon it dawned on Bona that the chains were holding Aswita back to roam free and frolic around the camp as Bona often would. So Bona started trying to paw at the chains to try to remove them from Aswita. It dawned on me as I sat there snapping photos and realizing what was happening. Here is a two year old elephant that has the presence of mind to see a problem and try to find a solution. I always new how incredibly intelligent elephants were from my experiences of hand raising Bona in the elephant camp but to see this playing out in front of me was an incredibly eye opening experience coming from a 2 year old elephant.

I know how the majority will react to this photo. Utter disbelief and outrage. Chains don’t belong on elephants. ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

So before you shoot off emotionally and burn me at the social media stake. Take a moment to understand. I am not promoting this act, just documenting it. Now from my six years of documenting and now working with the elephants in Sumatra I have actually created an avenue and a way to improve the lives of these camp elephants. We can remove the chains and even provide better daily care, the correct diet, opportunities for these elephants to socialize and even breed. So by all means breath fire if that is your initial reaction, but then take action as I am. Just commenting doesn’t solve anything. Act on those feelings too. All the info is in the links here or the link in the bio.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Nelson of Seblat

Nelson the gentle giant and king of the land. Taking a morning stroll around the elephant conservation center overlooking the swollen Air Seblat River.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Nelson the Beautiful

I think this will be one of my favorite shots of Nelson. The big boy and KING of PLG Seblat is the gentlest giant in Sumatra. How can you not but fall in love with these amazing animals.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#savetheelephants #elephants #elephantlove #elephantarmy

#donate #support #projects #conservation #animals #preciouscreatures #love #loveanimals #asianelephant #endangered #work #domore #needhelp #supportus #needyourhelp #fightforlife #wildanimals #saveelephants #elephant #elephantart #patreon #elephants_monson

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Achievements

On location delivering elephant conservation projects in PLG Seblat, Bengkulu. Projects that are officially supported and signed off on in an MoU by the government of Indonesia. You cannot tell by this photo how many rejections it took to get to this position. How many meetings, the time taken to work through all the loopholes. How many years of working through the system just to get here. This is actually years in the making this photo. Me in my official NGO tee actually achieving things and implementing projects at many points I never thought would be possible. Working through the doubters, the haters and the trolls. I could have easily given up and just focused on my photography but that will always be there. Starting from scratch creating my own local NGO with my Indonesian wife to finding enough funds and working through the system and juggling both not knowing if success will come. That is a stressful position to be in and a definite swim against the tide. I am committed to doing my part for these precious animals. It is only a small part but step by step we can implement projects that will help turn things around for the elephants of Sumatra. I thank you all for following along to this point. It only gets better from here. X

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Robi the Prince

Robi is the prince of PLG Seblat and the best candidate for the elephant breeding program . Here he is getting his morning bath before crossing the slightly swollen Air Seblat river.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

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Strike a Pose

Mother and daughter strike the same pose. Standing on the banks of the Air Seblat River in north Bengkulu, Bona in the early days grew into a naughty personality as her health returned. She looks like she could be dreaming up my next 5am milk run or deciding if she is yet strong enough to take on the torrents of the river and follow Aswita across to gather food. None the less I really love this photo.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#savetheelephants #elephants #elephantlove #elephantarmy

#donate #support #projects #conservation #animals #preciouscreatures #love #loveanimals #asianelephant #endangered #work #domore #needhelp #supportus #needyourhelp #fightforlife #wildanimals #saveelephants #elephant #elephantart #patreon #photog

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Bona Feels the Love

Interesting story behind this photo and greeting from Bona to a new arrival.

THE BACK STORY: For an estimated 17 years two Sumatran elephants named Natasha and Dino would entertain the locals on the beach front of Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia. Taking kids and families for rides up and down the beach on most days. Until one evening a local man broke into their holding area and from all accounts began to antagonize the big boy Dino by playing with his nether region. Sorry my safest description. This did not end well for the local man and I am sure you can use your imagination to fill that gap.

THE RESULT: After this unfortunate event Natasha and Dino were ordered to be transported to the elephant conservation center 4 hours north of Bengkulu. They were transported in the evening hours and arrived at the camp late in the evening. I was at the camp upon their arrival still hand feeding Bona on a daily basis. I remember their arrival and the shrill sounds of panic coming from both Natasha and Dino in the middle of the night who only ever knew life among crowds living on the beach. Who had only had each other for company for 17 years. The wild pigs were not a familiar sight and would fill them with fear and elephants screaming is not a sound one can sleep on.

THE NEXT DAY: Upon the morning light Bona had decided to investigate the new arrivals focusing on Natasha Bona put on a confused show of dominance and love for Natasha, which was hilarious to view. Bona’s short sharp charges were only met with love from Natasha who was lapping up a new friend and the attention and even showing natural maternal instincts towards baby Bona. It was something special to witness as Bona was trying to show the new arrival who the real boss was Natasha was loving having an instant baby to care for so it didn’t take long for Bona to give in and just feel the love.

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TO SUPPORT OR DONATE FOLLOW THESE LINKS OR LINK IN BIO

Donate online > elephantsofsumatra.com
Support the many elephant projects > berdiri.org
Support the elephants of Sumatra documentary photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#savetheelephants #elephants #elephantlove #elephantarmy

#donate #support #projects #conservation #animals #preciouscreatures #love #loveanimals #asianelephant #endangered #work #domore #needhelp #supportus #needyourhelp #fightforlife #wildanimals #saveelephants #elephant #elephantart #patreon #photog

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Tranquil Elephant Camp

The elephant camp of PLG Seblat is just the most magical spot looking out over the Air Seblat river while listening to nature, the gibbons and the hornbills calls ringing out over the jungles of TWA Seblat Conservation Area.

This is the location of our current project building an electric fence for the camp elephants to give them a better quality of life and a chance to socialize and breed. In more than 25 years there has never been a new born in PLG Seblat and we intende to change that and you’re welcome to come along for the ride, any support is much appreciated.

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TO SUPPORT AND BUY PRINTS

shop for elephants > elephantsofsumatra.com

support the projects > berdiri.org

support this photography project > patreon/brucelevick

#elephants #elephantart #elephantlove #elephantarmy #pareonartist #creator #patreoncreator #patreon #photog #savetheelephants #patreonpage #patreonphotographer #documentaryphotography #elephantprint #elephantshirt #elephantsarecool #support #donations #needhelp

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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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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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