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Projects in Sumatra, Indonesia

Filtering by Tag: orphan

A Baby Update from Sumatra, Indonesia

Vanessa Gagne

The Sumatran elephant is now considered “critically “endangered, so every baby is even more important to the future of the species.  We have some good news to share about two orphaned elephants that AES has helped support.

Bona playing in the forest

Bona playing in the forest

We are pleased to share that little Bona is not so little anymore!  While she still enjoys the companionship of her “adopted mom”, Aswita, she is now completely weaned from the formula.  She has a healthy appetite, especially for fruit.

In our April 2013 newsletter, we introduced you to Agam, the baby elephant that fell into the abandoned well.  Thanks, in part, to your support, he is now in stable condition.  He is 9-10 months old now and has begun to eat solid foods.  His milk supplements can slowly be decreased, but he will still rely on the milk supplement for at least another 10 months.

Agam receiving his formula

Agam receiving his formula

We are very encouraged by the progress of these baby elephants and we are hopeful for their future.  Unfortunately, due to an increase in human-elephant conflict, there will be more babies that need our help.  The ability to act quickly in these situations is critical, so please consider making a donation to AES or signing up for our monthly giving program, so we can move quickly to help protect the future of Sumatra’s elephant population.

Meet Agam!

Vanessa Gagne

Agam was rescued by local villagers last December after he fell into an abandoned well in the province of Aceh, Sumatra.  It is estimated that he was 10 months old at the time.  

His herd was no longer in the area so Agam wandered around the vicinity of the village after his rescue.  The villagers were concerned that he would not survive without his family, so they contacted the Veterinary Society for Sumatran Wildlife Conservation (VESSWIC).

One of the VESSWIC veterinarians spent several days caring for Agam while they searched for his family.  Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, so the decision was made to take Agam to the Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Saree, Aceh. At the ECC he would have a better chance to survive with proper care and medical attention.  The VESSWIC veterinarians worked with the mahouts and local veterinarians to develop a nutritional food supplement.  While he will eat small amounts of banana, watermelon, grass, and leaves, a majority of his diet consists of this food supplement. Over the next couple of years the amount and composition of the food supplement will change as he grows.

Because of the support of our donors, AES was able to respond immediately to this critical situation and provide funding for Agam. AES has made a commitment to help fund his supplemental feeding for as long as it is necessary, so your continued support is crucial.

In March the VESSWIC veterinarians returned to Saree to check on Agam’s progress. We are happy to report that with your help, he is doing well and continues to thrive.  

Bona Update

Vanessa Gagne

We recently received some photos of little Bona, the orphan elephant calf in Sumatra, that we would like to share with you.   Aswita, an adult female elephant, has become Bona’s adopted mom and does a great job looking after her.    

School days:  As Bona approaches her second birthday, it is also time for her to start school.  Aswita is a very good teacher and Bona has been busy learning how to use her trunk to find natural elephant food.  She has also been learning behaviors that will assure safer and less stressful exams when the veterinarian comes to visit, as well as behaviors that will help her in her daily life with the members of her four and two-legged family.  Learning at Aswita’s side and with lots of verbal praise and food rewards makes school time fun for Bona.

A sincere thank you:  Bona is blossoming into a robust little girl and we would be terribly remiss if, in addition to Dr. Stremme and the full crew who are a part of Bona’s life, we didn’t also give a nod and very sincere thank you to Murray Munro, from Australia.  He and a cadre of his friends have become collaborators and team players on Bona’s behalf.  For the last six months they have taken over the funding of the supplemental feeding that is still so important for Bona as well as having one of them in camp to observe and help with her feeding schedule.  This significant support and sincere concern for Bona has also enabled AES and Vesswic to be able to redirect their funds to other needs.   We appreciate ‘Murray & Crew’ very much!  There are no bounds to what we can accomplish when we roll up our sleeves and work together….and Bona thinks she probably has also expressed her thanks simply by being so darn cute!