Orphaned baby Bona wins hearts

Murray Munro, Amanda French with Bona the baby elephant.
Murray Munro, Amanda French with Bona the baby elephant. BRUCE LEVICK

THE story of Bona the baby elephant has tugged on Australians' heart strings.

And that continues with every update on her progress.

Three former Australia Zoo workers came to the rescue of the severely malnourished orphaned elephant five months ago.

The trio decided to put their lives on hold to not only be surrogate parents to the endangered animal, but raise funds and awareness for Sumatran elephants.

Bona was found on a palm-oil plantation, where her mother and six other elephants died from suspected poisoning in April 2011.

After a lot of TLC, the baby elephant now weighs in at 256kg. With her physical condition being the first noticeable improvement and the second, her state of mind.

Amanda French, one of Bona's rescuers, said she looked just the way a baby elephant should.

She said Bona was chubby and filling out and she passed her latest veterinary examination.

Amanda said she and her conservation buddies were excited to celebrate Bona's second birthday.

"(It is) a milestone that we never would have thought would be possible when we first came face to face with her in Sumatra," she said.

Amanda and her fellow Team Bona mates, Bruce Levick and Murray Munro, agreed that at least one of them would always be with Bona, to make sure money donated went directly to helping her, as well as to help re-stock her food and monitor her progress.

Murray and Amanda returned to Australia in June and Bruce is in Sumatra caring for Bona.

The elephant has also started basic training so that she can one day be used as a conservation patrol elephant.

"(She) is doing well, though (she) did make us giggle yesterday, breaking away to take a nap underneath her foster mum, Aswita," she said.

Amanda said she believed Bona thought, "No more school for me today."

To donate or keep track of Bona's progress, visit

Topics:  animals australia zoo bona elephant sumatra

LETTER: Photo normalises unacceptable situation

The controversial photograph showing a family with all the females with their mouths taped shut and the father holding a sign reading "peace on earth" shown during the principal's address at the McAuley Catholic College Year 12 Graduation Ceremony last month.

Resident clarifies community sentiment towards offensive photograph

1990-2015: A life lived full remembered one year on

"Hayden never had time in his life for diabetes."

Kalti on the trail of grand master's title

TOP TRACKER: Tracey Knox and her champion tracking dog Kalti celebrate their latest title, a Master of Track and Search.

Tracey Knox and her dog Kalti are searching for new titles.

Local Partners

Green light for sports centre to re-open

NEW operators hoping existing users will return to sports centre and get 'business back to normal'.

Tea party with the 'Queen'

TRADITION: 1955 Jacaranda Queen Stella Wilson sits with reigning 2015 Jacaranda Queen Charlotte White at last year's Jacaranda Afternoon Tea.

Meet the royal patyu in style

Making steps for 'Blacky' in Walk 4 Brain Cancer

Grafton locals are doing a Walk 4 Brain Cancer in Sydney for Robert Black.

Team Blacky aims to better $5000 to battle brain cancer.

Sound of Music star to compere An Afternoon at the Proms

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment shows, from left, Chairmian Carr, as Liesl, Nicholas Hammond, as Friedrich, Heather Menzies, as Louisa, Duane Chase, as Kurt, Angela Cartwright, as Brigitta, Debbie Turner, as Marta, Kym Karath, as Gretl, and Christopher Plummer, as Captain Von Trapp, in a scene from the film, \"The Sound of Music.\" The 1965 Oscar-winning film adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical \"The Sound of Music\" is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015. To honor the milestone, 20th Century Fox is releasing a five-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD collector's edition, the soundtrack is being re-released, the film will be screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood later this month and to over 500 movie theaters in April. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Saraton's rich history of stage and screen honoured in musical tribu

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track