RAGES-Fonterra New Zealand Donates Milk To Orphaned Bornean Elephants

Debbie Mair, right, South East Asia RAGES’ Project Director who has made possible the shipment of 1 tonne of milk formula for orphaned Bornean elephants.

KOTA KINABALU: Following the increasing trend of orphaned Bornean elephants into the care centre, the biggest challenge faced by the Sabah Wildlife Department is to provide best husbandry care for the babies.

These baby elephants were rescued throughout the elephant habitat across the state by the SWD’s Wildlife Rescue Unit. Currently these orphaned are being cared for at Elephant Care Unit, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

The SWD through its Rescue Unit has been working hard to reach out to corporate bodies for collaboration in assisting the department to fund for daily care and feeding of the babies.

One tonne of Fonterra milk powder being transported into storage unit in Sepilok, air freighted from New Zealand to Kota Kinabalu.

“Last year, WRU in association with the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) has been investigating the best milk powder food option for the endangered orphan Bornean Elephants.

“A few products were tested during the trials. After the trial, it was decided that the Unit going to use Fonterra milk as the main product to feed the baby elephants,” said Dr Diana Ramirez, acting Manager of WRU.

The first shipment happened last year with initial donation by BCT-Japan towards cost to purchase 1.2 tons of milk powder from Fonterra New Zealand.

And after seven months, Fonterra and RAGES continue their support towards the plight of the Bornean elephant through a second shipment of 1 tonne of milk formula directly from New Zealand.

Rangers of WRU that care for the orphaned elephants receiving with the donated milk at Sepilok.

The milk powder arrived in Kota Kinabalu on last July 25 before the consignment was collected by WRU and later sent to Sepilok. This will help to feed the orphaned elephants for the next 6 months and saving the department up to RM100,000.00 on the feed cost.

All were made possible by continuous support of South East Asia RAGES’ Project Director, Debbie Mair.

“We at RAGES-SE Asia committed to preserving and investing in the conservation of the endangered Bornean elephant and in the same time through the collaboration to boost eco-tourism and boost economic growth” said Debbie.