Yesterday we welcomed a new arrival into the MEF herd, meet Bandara!
He is a 30ish year old male who works with Mahouts Sunil and assistant Sissera. Bandara has come from a hard 15 year long career of logging and working giving tourist rides using heavy and dangerous Howdahs. He has some now healed wounds on his hips from the working equipment.
He spent a good first night with us and is eating well, are hoping to fatten him up a bit as he is underweight. We are allowing him to settle for a few days before a vet comes to give him a full assesment to check his physical and mental health, in the mean time he is being kept slightly apart from the other elephants until they all get used to eachother and will not be working immediately with volunteers.
Although he has very healthy feet his walk is not as easy as it should be and we are very keen to check for any spinal damage that may have been caused by the Howdahs and logging equipment. He is also reputed to have behavioural issues, probably caused by the illtreatment he likely received as a working elephant and he came from an area that had little water meaning he wuld have dehydrated and unable to bathe properly.
His owners are however very caring and will visit him every month, they were struggling to afford his upkeep which was why he ended up in the logging industry. We are hoping that with the love and care he will receive at MEF he will soon be a very happy elephant and that his personality will reflect this.