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Help Sumatran Elephants and Orang-utans – the story of Bona

Read about the story of the rescue of 18 month old Sumatran elephant, Bona, at this website below please.


“Australian Story” on ABC recently aired the story of three young Australians and their mission to rescue an orphaned elephant calf on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra in 2012.

Sumatran elephants are officially listed as critically endangered driven out of their habitat by encroaching industries – in particular palm oil production.

It is estimated that there are now only two or three thousand left in the wild.

But against all the odds, one Sumatran elephant calf has become a symbol of hope in an otherwise bleak situation.

The program has the heart warming story of ‘Bona’ and three friends mobilising to save her.

The three are all ex employees of the late Steve Irwin, who had a particular interest in the plight of the Sumatran elephants.

As this episode reveals some of those closest to the ‘Crocodile Hunter played a key role in the saga…

Click   here  please to view the documentary via the internet. 

URL also below.


The ABC page also has fantastic links to sites containing very important and good information, for example, the “Save Bona” website (mentioned at the beginning of this post) is a must visit, to learn more about Bona’s story from her human “fairy god-mothers”.   There is an e-book on part one of Bona’s story for which you can download for less than $3.00.   A beautiful “coffee table” book will be coming out too, and you can register to be informed when it will be published.

The Asian elephant is slightly smaller than its African cousin. Asian elephants can be identified by their smaller, rounded ears.  An elephant’s trunk is used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and for grabbing things, such as food.  Asian elephants are very sociable, usually forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch.

The Sumatran Elephant is one of three sub-species of Asian Elephants, the other 2 species being found naturally in Sri Lanka and on the Asian mainland.  The Sumatran and Borneo elephants are facing serious pressures arising from illegal logging and habitat loss from palm oil plantations.  Read about the cute Borneo pygmy elephants found in North-eastern Malaysian Borneo at this page  HERE.

Borneo_elephants at Oregon Zoo

Borneo Elephants at the Oregon Zoo.  Image owner –  Cacophony

Borneo is the third largest non continental island in the world and is located north of Java, Indonesia.  The island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.  Sabah and Sarawak in north east Borneo are part of Malaysia, while Kalamantan belongs to Indonesia.

Sumatra and Borneo

See the IUCN Red List link about the Asian Elephant’s statuses below.




Read the National Geographic’s report about this recent disturbing news – one of the conflicts between animals and human activity – at their website   HERE.

Perhaps start your own campaign to get many, many, many people to lobby the Borneo government and the Sumatran government to PROTECT the elephants.

If you really do want to make a difference and put “your money where you mouth is”, i.e. take actions or steps practically to help save elephants and orang-utans in Sumatra, the following website by a sixteen year old Australian boy whom is dedicated to helping the Orang-utans in Sumatra, will help you, whether you live in Australia or not.


It is astonishing what products have got palm oil in them, and it is the production of palm oil amongst other things that is replacing the natural vegetation that the elephants and orang-utans rely upon.   Eco-tourism and other means of livelihood CAN replace palm oil plantations.

The Sumatran elephant could be extinct in the wild in under 30 years

unless immediate steps are taken to protect its rapidly diminishing habitat.

Although Sumatran elephants are protected under Indonesian law, a vast majority of their habitats are outside protected areas and could be converted to agricultural use.

The situation is particularly critical in central Sumatra’s Riau Province, where rapid deforestation has cut elephant numbers by 80 percent in less than 25 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Orangutans, along with many other endangered South-East Asian animal species, can now only be found living in fragmented pockets of remaining rainforest.

The Sumatran Orang-Utan is critically endangered.

See the IUCN Red List link about this below.


Another organisation that is doing its best to call for mandatory labelling of palm oil ingredients in Australian foods, is Zoos Victoria.   Go to their website  HERE  and download their PDF documents.  You will need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader software if you don’t have it already.  You can download it from the Adobe website   here.    Un-tick “install McAfee” if you don’t need it (it is a free anti-virus programme).

Please support all these campaigners by writing your own letters to supermarkets asking them not to sell products containing palm oil, and importantly, write to your Member of Parliament asking them to help legislate so that palm oil can be clearly identified as an ingredient on consumable products (which do not just include food).

In the last 70 years, Indonesia has lost both the Bali tiger and the Java tiger.

Talk about this urgent issue at work and with your family and in your neighbourhood, anywhere.  Enough is enough.  Save the Sumatran wildlife !!

There are many other relevant websites on the internet for you to look up and to use, with caution of course.  Thank you, on behalf of the Elephants and Orang-utans.

elephant thank you

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