Posts Tagged ‘Namfon’

Update on Baby Namfon

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I have some sad news to share.  On December 18, 2009, Soraida wrote:

At 8.55 p.m. Baby Namfon fell on the sand and we helped her up, trying to walk her to the mattresses but she resisted. Now she is standing but shaking, urinated what we think has blood in it but will check for certain.

The owner has been contacted for final decision. He puts it in our hands. We shall do all we can to take good care of the Baby until the final moment comes.

Bless her,

Soraida

Within hours, Soraida wrote:

I am sorry to share with you this sad news. Baby Namfon could not make it, she died early this morning at 2.50 a.m.

We shall bury her next to Baby Dumbo, Tiny and Toansai.

We are all very sad but there are many more lives to be saved. MaeNoi who is expecting the baby needs our care, Somsri, Jok and other elephants are waiting to be tended too. Even though our hearts are heavy… we shall move on with our strong determination to help the elephants in need.

Thanks to you all for the support.

Soraida and all at FAE

I met Baby Namfon, an Asian Elephant who was rejected by her mother shortly after birth, while filming The Eyes of Thailand at FAE in August 2009.  At that time she was 5-months old, and, though slow to put on weight, still very curious about new people.

Baby Namfon and Julia in August 2009

Baby Namfon and Julia in August 2009

On December 14, 2009, Namfon was featured in the “Meet the Patients: Namfon” blog post.

Soraida, and all her staff and supporters at FAE, are in our thoughts.

-Windy Borman

Producer, Writer and Director, The Eyes of Thailand

Meet the Patients: Namfon

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Namfon is the youngest elephant at FAE.  Earlier in 2009, we reported that:

Namfon was disowned by her mother, Boonpan, shorty after she was born on April 27, 2009.  Because elephants are social creatures, they learn parenting skills from the matriarchs in their herd.  Namfon’s mother never learned how to be a mother and therefore tried to trample Namfon when she attempted to nurse.   Soraida writes, “We tried to persuade Boonpan to recognize her own baby but her behaviour this morning was the intention to kill. They have to stay in different Infirmaries away from each other… Boonpan killed her first offspring and Namfon, which means “rain water”, is her second. We would not risk the baby’s life and shall do our best to make the two happy.”  After several unsuccessful atempts, FAE found an elephant from a nearby elephant camp who just weaned a baby to be Namfon’s wet nurse.  Several weeks later, she is beginning to gain some weight.

In August 2009, I met Namfon while filming the The Eyes of Thailand at FAE.  Here she is saying hello to Production Coordinator Julia.

namfon_julia

Namfon gives Julia a Hello sniff at FAE in August 2009.

Since then, Namfon has become more active, but still struggles with eating and putting on weight.  FAE is experiencing an usually cold winter, so they’ve given Namfon a blanket, which she wears as a “coat” on her walks.

Namfon walks with Dr. Kay at FAE.

Namfon walks with Dr. Kay at FAE.

On December 12, 2009, Soraida reported, “Baby Namfon has 13.1 Litres of milk yesterday and 2.5 litres this morning. Now she is having a walk with blanket over her body.”

We hope that her health continues to improve into 2010.

-Windy Borman

Producer, Writer and Director, The Eyes of Thailand

P.S. December 14, 2009–Soraida wrote: “Baby Namfon has fever, we are trying to do our best. I do not know what else to say, but she is standing, having slight difficulty in  breathing. Dr. Preecha and Dr. Kay are treating her.”

Baby Namfon and Aunty Motala

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Baby Namfon walks down to her new nursery near Motala.

Baby Namfon walks down to her new nursery near Motala.

Soraida emailed the following update on Baby Namfon, who was rejected by her mother and has been nursed at the FAE Elephant Hospital since this spring, and Motala, the elephant landmine survivor who received her her first prosthetic limb on August 15, 2009–10 years after stepping on a landmine:

Motala is quite interested in Baby Namfon. When Namfon walked down, the baby was only looking for what was new to her. Now, Motala is always watching the Baby and Namfon is fond of playing in the bath tub. She is getting to know Aunty Motala, standing there, talking together and climbs into the bath once again. What a sight!

Asso. Prof. Therdchai and his team [from the Prostheses Foundation] will be here this afternoon to work on Motala’s Prosthetic Leg. Hope the noises from the machines would not scare the Baby.

Soraida

Soraida, Motala and Asso. Prof. Therdchai all appear in the documentary, The Eyes of Thailand.  We are currently raising post-production funds to distribute the film in 2010.  Please continue to support our efforts by making a tax-deductible donation through the film’s fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Film Society, by clicking here.

Thank you,

Windy Borman

Producer, Writer and Director, The Eyes of Thailand

Production Day 10: Thai Elephant Conservation Center

Friday, August 21st, 2009

In order to round out my elephant sightings, I visited the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, the government-sponsored elephant center that neighbors the FAE Elephant Hospital. I had received some mixed reviews about it prior to my visit, but seeing it with my own eyes (and camera), I found it to be very similar to a zoo or animal park in the United States.  They feature an Elephant Show, Elephant Riding, Day-long or Month-long Mahout Training, an Elephant Hospital and an Elephant Dung Papermaking facility.

In the afternoon, I interviewed Richard Lair, a San Francisco native who has lived in Thailand for several decades and works as an international adviser to the TECC.  He told me that the key to the Thai Asian Elephant’s future is tourism.  Because logging was outlawed in Thailand in 1989, there are few viable jobs left for the captive elephants, which are expensive to keep.  It then comes down to what kinds of “work” or activities tourists want to see and what kinds of camps they support.

All the more reason for tourists to educate themselves about the different types of camps and atrtactions they can see in Thailand, if elephants are on their wish lists.

I’m in Thailand for 2 more days, so please continue to stay tuned.  For now I’ll leave you with two pictures from FAE.  We were so close, I had to stop by and see Motala, Mosha and Namfom before I depart for the states.

Sincerely,

Windy Borman

Producer, Writer and Director, The Eyes of Thailand

Mosha and Windy at FAE.

Mosha and Windy at FAE.

Namfom says hello to Julia at FAE.

Namfom says hello to Julia at FAE.