Lifestyle

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 savebona.com.

Topics:  animals, australia zoo, bona, elephant, sumatra




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Football brawls a blight on game

With claret streaming down his face, Ghosts' captain coach Ben McLennan stands toe-to-toe with a Comets forward during the Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 qualifying final at Frank McGuren Field.

Grubby play too regular in Group 2 rugby league

Rescuers will continue search 'until it is impossible'

A man has been washed down a creek after trying to cross Martin Bridge at Larnook.

A man is clinging to a tree after trying to cross floodwaters

Gulaptis: Greyhound racing ban a 'human tragedy'

Greyhound racing has been a large part of Australian culture for many years. This photo essay explores a night at the greyhounds. It tries to capture the sights, sounds and atmosphere of this well known past time. Photo Contributed

"It’s a human tragedy to see good people lose their jobs"

Latest deals and offers

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith, Billy Bragg and Buddy Guy lead the 2017 Bluesfest charge

Patti Smith is one of the headline acts confirmed for Bluesfest 2017.

Patti, Billy, Buddy and more to headline five-day festival

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep