December 9, 2022

Borneos Pygmy Elephants


For many years Borneo’s diminutive pygmy forest elephants were believed to be a feral population derived from domesticated imported Asian elephants.. Now DNA testing has confirmed they are a unique subspecies, who’ve lived on Borneo for at least 300,000 years. This story tells of tells the story of a forest guide, Bert Dausip, who observes and befriends the elephants. His daily expeditions deep into the jungle reward him with some of the most intimate and close up encounters with forest elephants ever filmed. The film culminates in his successful mission to save them from poachers, and have their forest home protected Following Bert we witness some incredible footage revealing the most intimate secrets of elephant family life.
Bert discovers one-year-old Fig and his elephant family living in the forests alongside the Kinabatangan River, in north-eastern Sabah. Occasionally these animals are seen bathing in the river–a magnificent sight where 50 elephants come together for a spectacular water show. Adults, juveniles and infants all spraying water, rolling in mud, and socialising. Most often the elephants move about in smaller family groups in the forest.

In befriending these elephants Bert has discovered something amazing: Pygmy elephants are far gentler than anyone could have ever imagined. He can regularly approach them within just a few meters. They aren’t the aggressive killers that people think they are. Even females with newborns accept his presence.

Getting so close to the elephants means Bert has got to know them and observe these secretive animals close up. What he has seen, and what this film will show is very special indeed.

No expert who studies forest elephants in Asia or Africa has ever gotten this close to their subjects, but Bert can. He is probably the only person in the world who can track down observe forest elephants in their wild forest home daily. This is a spectacular accomplishment, but little did Bert know that once he collected the DNA samples for science, his familiarity with the pygmy elephants would become crucial to an action plan to save these remarkable animals and their habitat.


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