Saw the doco on your elephant relocation from Sumatra to your park. I want to share some pictures I took on Operasi Ganesh back in the early 80's when about 80 or so elephants were rounded up over a two month period and moved from a transmigrasi area in Sth Sumatra. You may be able to use the pictures in a way to help their plight. I covered the project as a photojournalist and I guess they're now very rare pictures.
Look forward to hearing from you.
We watched a television program where elephants were transported from Sumatra to Bali throughout the past week. We were both deeply touched and inspired by what you were and ARE doing. What a champion! My husband is a professional truck driver and was dismayed by the difficulties you were encountering with transport and asked me to contact you. If you ever need truck drivers he is sure he could round up some of his truck driving mates and they would fly over at their expense, to help transport the elephants is a very professional manner. i.e staying together as a convoy and following your instructions directly. Keep up the fabulous work-the show was amazing to watch.
Lynda & Shane Woods
LEWISHAM, TAS. AUSTRALIA
Just saw your doco on SBS TV, what a journey, wish I was there, anyway, I'm a 40 yr young guy from Perth WA, I really loved the passion you have have towards, all creatures great and small, I will get straight to the point, I want to dedicate my life to animal welfare and conservation, if there is any opportunity, to help out with your awsome resort, at any level, please let me know as I am keen and am willing to give anything a go.
Perth WA Australia
Dear Mr Mason.
Christmas 2006 my family visited Bali for the first time and unfortunately we did not get to your park, priority for our next visit. On Sunday ABC aired your 2004 rescue of 10 Elephants from Sumatra my daughter and I cried with joy and sadness during the showing. We both wanted to pass on our depeest gratitude to you and your staff for your unrelentless determination and courage at releasing these graceful creatures from a life of pain and suffering, we only wish the 2month old was realeased to you for a better life. These graceful creatures need so much respect and understanding and your park does this. Whilst in Bali and seeing all the Elephant merchandise I fell in love with these wonderous creatures my husband even purchased a large painting which hangs in my office carrying you away to a different world upon looking at it. We would like to make a personal donation to help keep these creatures safe could you advise how we can do this other than purchasing a painting.
Sue & Thea Burnett, Western Australia
Just saw your documentary about the elephants on ABC TV Australia ...excellent work Nigel there should be more guys like you. We will definitely be staying at your resort when we go to bali just waiting on baby to reach one before we travel.... This is a pat on the back your a champion for a great cause.
John May, Australia
Last night my husband and I sat and watched a documentary about Elephants being driven from a training camp in the north of Sumatra to your safari park on Bali. We were deeply moved by your efforts and determination in getting those beautiful animals safely to your park. I can't find the words to express our astonishment at your efforts and the emotions provoked. We would love to visit your park but are wary of travelling to Bali for obvious reasons. I have only just read your warning about the devious methods used by drivers to take people to other parks. You have lived there for many years and yet they do this to you, what would they do to two middle aged tourists trying to get to you? Only interested in seeing the animals and maybe spending time in their presence. Not interested in white water rafting or any of the other adventure type experiences. We are drawing up a "bucket list" so to speak.........I think we will try to get to see you in the early part of 2010 but will contact you direct for fear of being ripped off. Look forward to spending time with you and your beautiful elephants in 2010. What would be the best/safest method of sending a donation to the safari park.
Lorraine Jones, Brisbane, Australia.
Watched the documentary on ABC TV last evening, showing you taking the elephants from Sumatra to Bali, it was absolutely wonderful, congratulations on a job well done, it was very emotional.
We visited your park in August just before the Bali bombing, but it wasn’t until last night that we became
aware of the work you have done and continue to do, keep up the good work, the Indonesian people should be so proud of having someone such as you, who is committed to saving these beautiful creatures.
So glad to see on your web site that you have had babies born since the completion of the documentary.
Sandra Lymbery, Coral Bay, Western Australia.
Watched the doco you made in 2002 (on our ABC) about rescuing the elephants and bringing them back to Bali. A great effort. I am wondering how they are after 7 years and do you intend to rescue any more..it was heart breaking to see you leave the 6 month old behind....it was only a baby, why wouldn't the Indonesian government let you buy him? Do you think people in Indonesia will gradually become more respectful of elephants and improve their treatment of them?
We live in the South East of Victoria in Gippsland and are focused on buying land to provide a safe haven for the release of rehabilitated wildlife, injured or orphaned...even in Australia native animals are not given the chance of a peaceful safe existence. Good luck with your elephants.
Janette Collins, Thorpdale, Vic, Australia.
I saw 'Operation Jumbo' on the ABC last night and have done my homework looking up your websites. What a wonderful, rewarding life you live. I am teaching Year 5 next year and have included 'Endangered Species' as a unit of work so we will be definitely making the boys aware pf the plight of the Sumatran elephant. Denise rang me a couple of years ago but I have since lost contact. Are you able to help me with a phone number?
Christine Marks, Hampton, Victoria, Australia.
I trust this site is the one through which I am able to make contact with you.
I live in South Australia, just outside Adelaide, and was viewing the documentary, last night, on your amazing rescue of 10 elephants, from the Elephant Training Centres in Sumatra.
It was so gut wrenching and upsetting to view the elephants left in Sumatra, and I understand you won't be re-locating any more, from that area.
In your opinion, and having seen the situation first hand, is there anything we, as a community, can do to rescue or re-home the remaining animals, by way of setting up a scheme whereby donations can assist in some type of mass evacuation to more amenable living conditions? I don't know how, but surely there is something we can do. It is almost unbearable to think they are going to suffer a horrible life and early demise, through lack of care!! The decimation of their habitat is so distressing, and it appears nothing is being done to stop it!
Any comments re the above, if you have the time, would be most appreciated. I know there are also many other species requiring assistance, and to think about all of their needs, is overwhelming; one feels so helpless, in the face of such blatant destruction of habitat, and 'poaching'!!
Thank you, for having the compassion to rescue those already in your care.
Denise - South Australia
To the Elephant Safari Park Manager,
I have just watched a documentary on the Elephant Safari Park called "Operation Jumbo".
Watching the documentary, I admire Nigel's dedication to rescuing the elephants who were in such poor condition and would likely not have survived let alone have much quality of life without his intervention. They are obviously more comfortable at the Elephant Safari Park than they were in their previous situation - they are now receiving the food and water they need, as well as the veterinary care they require.
I too am passionate about elephants - their declining numbers across Asia due to loss of natural habitat, malnutrition and insufficient care is cause for great concern. I believe it is important to educate people (both locals and tourists) about the Asian elephant - their history as slaves to man and the potential for a return to their natural way of life in the future with the help of man.
However, the program also raised some concerns for me with regards to some of the practices used by the mahouts and the activities the elephants appear to be required to engage in.
In particular I am concerned about the use of the hook to "persuade" the elephants to obey the will of their mahout. I'm sure you are aware of the process called "the crush" (the torture process used to break the elephant's spirit and fear man as their master - a large number of juvenile's do not survive this training as it is so brutal). As an animal lover, I could not imagine that you would be an advocate of this process and the part the hook has to play in it.
I am also concerned about the elephants entertaining tourist by painting, being used for rides, and engaging in heavy labour such as lifting logs. These would seem rather unnatural practices for an elephant and the training process they endure to get them to "perform" can be not only cruel but also cause permanent physical injury. If an elephant chooses to do these activities of their own free will, without the any "persuasion", then it would be doing what it enjoys and what comes naturally. However, if this is not the case, then I would find this not only cruel but also demeaning to these majestic and amazing creatures. I for one would much rather have the experience of seeing an elephant being an elephant doing what they do naturally than have it "perform" for me.
Therefore, I am keen to learn more about the Elephant Safari Park and how the elephant's are rehabilitated after their often traumatic past experiences. I am also interested to understand whether the Park endorses the use of the hook and whether you educate your visitors on the "training" that captive elephants undergo to perform for man's entertainment?
I look forward to your response.
Jody Blackburn, Palmwoods, Queensland, Australia.
I've just watched The ABC and your fascinating journey across Sumatra, Jawa and into Bali by truck. Bloody amazing! A great program, incredible publicity for you guys which is well-deserved, and a kick in the rear end for the officious sods in JKT.
The plight of the elephants, other fauna and the forests is hard to imagine, and the program really showed up the sorry state of affairs there. Also, last night they ran a long program on the plight of the Orang-Utan in Borneo, also for the same reasons.
Keep up the great work, and we'll come and visit on our next trip to the Isle of the Gods.
Cheers mate and a Happy New Year/Selamat Tahun Baru.
Adrian and Nyoman, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
I was just watching on ABC TV about saving the elephants from Sumatra - it was a few years old as the second bombing of Bali happened during the filming but I was wondering how much it costs to transport an elephant from there to Bali ? Also how everything is going there now and if Debi is still alive - I was there in July 2007 at the Elephant Park and there was a baby elephant there then but not sure of its name, also there was 7 of us so we had 3 x elephants for rides and each gave the owner/rider? some money, just wondering if we do that again does it actually help with running the park and the animals or do the riders keep it themselves and if so how can/do we donate while we are there? I am heading to Bali again in 3 weeks and would love to come visit again. You are all doing a fantastic job - on behalf of an animal lover thank you. Please keep up the good work.
Billie Browne, Beeliar, Western Australia.
I visited your park this year and was truly amazed and then heart broken when I had to leave. I have such love and true passion for Elephants and had tears in my eyes when I heard the story "Project Jumbo" and i just wanted to thank everyone involved for caring and making such an effort to save those elephants and to take such good care of them. The world is lucky to have people like all of you. I hope to myself one day work with Elephants and help protect them and their habitat in the wild. I am finding it difficult to gain any experience and would greatly appreciate any advice on gaining some work volunteering, just want to help in any way I can.
Please let me know if there is anyway I can get involved.
Thank you all again.
Sarah Hubber, Australia.
Dear Nigel and Yanie,
I'm from Melbourne, Australia and just seen your documentary this evening. I wish I could have been on that 4 day and 6 hour trip to help. I admire your determination and courage in saving these beautiful animals.
I've never been to Indonesia and never intended to go but now I would like to come and stay in your Park one day.
Have a lovely New Year. God bless your family and the support you have to continue growing the elephant kingdom.
Jana Holmer, Coburg, Victoria, Australia.
I watched your show regarding the movement of Sumatran elephants to your park tonight even though it may of been viewed many times prior.
I feel the show was a few years old but I was extremely moved by your efforts and the concern you have for theior plight. Bloody well done and we now have your park on our travel agenda.
All the best and well done on your conservation of these wonderful animals
Adam Jacobs, Willunga, SA, Australia.
Long time no see but had to email & congratulate you on the great work you are doing with the elephants. Ray & I have just watched the mammoth task of moving the elephants from Sumatra to your park, well done. Your park looks a lovely place. I love animals so really appreciate your efforts. We have'nt been to Bali but will certainly make a visit to your park should we make it sometime.
Your "old" neighbour Marilyn (Stewart)
Marilyn Craig, Mornington, Victoria, Australia.
Just wanted to thank you and your team for the amazing work you do. You're truly inspirational!
Peace and happiness for 2010 my friends!
Phil Read, Tasmania, Australia.
Hello Mr Nigel Mason,
I feel I need to write to tell you that I have just watched your " OPERATION JUMBO " on TV over here in Australia. You and your team are incredible human beings, the love and care you showed those wonderful creatures had me using up a box of tissues. How sad we humans cause so much damage to the earth. I'm sorry if this is strange but I just had to let you know how much we are all blessed and so lucky that there are beautiful people like yourself in the world. I feel so sad for all the other elephants not in your care especially the baby you were not allowed to take. Once again thank you for having the guts to make a change to the world. You are truly amazing and thank you for sharing your story and i will be forever grateful.
Megan Champion, Hamilton South, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Just had the privilege of seeing your documentary on the Elephants, on our ABC TV.
I was so impressed with what you have achieved I thought I would just like to let you know our admiration for you and your family’s achievements.
We will get there one day, however at the moment are getting a Riverine Buffalo Dairy and cheese business off the ground. Keep up the great work.
Beatrice Buffalo Pty Ltd, Humpty Doo, NT, Australia.
Nigel and Yanie,
Just watched "Operation Jumbo" on ABC TV and moved to say 'good on yer' for what you've done and
are doing to save the Sumatran elephants.
My name is Tennille, I live in Newcastle NSW (Aust) with my 2 year old son. As I was putting him to bed tonight I flicked on the TV and caught "Operation Jumbo".
I wanted to email to tell you what my little boy had to say. Let me preface by telling you that elephants are one of his favourite animals. The section we caught was towards the end, you were taking the elephants off the truck at the park, you took the chains off and made a comment about "no chains here". My boy (Sam) watched wide-eyed and gasped, "oh mummy, look, the man is making them be free".
He wouldn't go to sleep until I sat down at the computer with him and showed him more elephant pictures and told him all about your park.
Even my 2 year old could see that what you're doing is a really cool thing. He was chatter boxing to me about "free big nele-pants" and fell asleep muttering "ride in the truck to go and be free".
We'll be in Bali in March next year, up in Ubud for a few days before we head down to Tanjung Benoa for some serious r&r. Sam and I have had a rough 12 months, his dad left us (moved away) just over 12 months ago and through it all Sam has been a shiny, positive happy creature. I made a promise to him when his dad left that no matter what he & I would go on adventures, that we'd see the world, that I'd show him that good people exist and do great things.
So tonight, I told we're going on a holiday AND I also told him we might even get to see elephants. We are celebrating our "freedom" and I'm hoping that I'll be able to show my boy the 'nele-pants' that you have set free while we are there.
Nigel, you're a special person. Thank you, truly, for removing the chains, for letting freedom prevail.
Hopefully we'll be able to visit your park in March when we are there, I'm really into the concept of showing my son the whole world by taking him to it- Bali is his first overseas trip. Elephants will make it even more special. I'll be the harassed looking mama with a son who is refusing to leave the park! If you're around I'm sure my boy would love to meet the man who set his beloved elephants free.
Just watched your documentary on TV. Congratulations on your fabulous work! Love the elephant art! Can you tell me the cost of postage and handling for a painting to Melbourne?
Sue Gilbert, Australia.