Bandara is in his 30’s and has a distinctly shaped head and no tusks. He arrived at MEF in November 2011 after spending 15 years working in the logging industry. Many elephants were mistreated in this industry and expected to work extremely long hours hauling logs up and down hills. When they got tired and stopped listening to commands they were often punished by their mahout (elephant keeper). While working as a logging elephant Bandara was extremely mistreated and suffered from leg injuries as well as an axe wound to his head. MEF was cautioned about him and his behaviour problems/dislike for mahouts when he first arrived. After this extreme mistreatment though it is hard not to have a soft spot for him and understand why he wouldn’t like people.

Bandara is currently in musth, which is a normal hormonal change in male elephants. Their testosterone levels become up to 60x higher than normal and they can get very aggressive. Before coming to MEF Bandara hadn’t had musth for 8 years which is a sign that he wasn’t healthy or happy. Since arriving at MEF he has had musth every year.

Elephant Paper

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