Borneo’s jungles are home to some of the
most impressive animals on the planet. This episode is all about one that
stands head and shoulders above the rest. The Bornean elephant a subspecies of the Asian elephant, might be the smallest in.. ..the world but they can still weigh up to
3 tonnes and can stand over 2 meters high. Elephants are some of the jungles most
sociable species. Highly intelligent and evolved animals, elephants protect their family units. Many generations can often be found in a single herd. People travel from all over the world to see the Kinabatangan’s famous elephants. One person who spend her life studying
these animals is elephant ecologist, Farina. A while back, Farina and I tagged
the matriarch called Ratu, as part of another project. Today we’re off on a mission to find her and the other collared elephants.. .. to make sure
they’re all well and happy. My name is Nurzhafarina Othman. But people just call me Farina. And I’m from Kedah, which is the northern
part of Peninsular Malaysia. I am doing a project on the movement of Bornean
elephants in the lower Kinabatangan. What I love the most about the elephant
is their social life. I’m a mother, so it’s good to see the bond between family
groups – how much they care. I realized when I follow this group, they need
some voice to tell the world what are.. ..their problems and I think I could tell
people the plight of the elephants. -So, Farina, it was a while back that we went on that
crazy mission.. ..to tie Ratu. How important has this data been to you?
-So far we have collared about 14.. ..elephants in Kinabatangan, so she will be representing a different family unit. So she will tell us again if she is
using the same area with the other.. ..collared elephant or different one, because we
need to understand which area in.. ..Kinabatangan that important to this family. Elephants must travel great distances to.. ..find enough resources to sustain
themselves. With the increase of human population, development and agriculture.. ..the elephant’s natural habitat is disappearing. People and elephants are
encountering each other on a more regular basis. As a result, human-elephant
conflict is on the rise. In order to mitigate this growing crisis, it is vital to understand the elephants and their movements. As we headed into the jungle,
we were joined by experienced research.. assistants Coco and wildlife rescue unit
vets Laura Benedict. I felt very safe. -Usually when you want to try to detect
the elephant using VHF, you will have to.. ..try all of the directions and you find out
the strongest sound, then you go to that direction. -Okay, so we’re heading..deep into that..? -Yes. – ..to that Bornean jungle.
A little bit more trekking, yes. Even without the VHF,
it was easy to see we were on the right path. Let’s go this way. I decided to. – So, it’s the beep we’re listening out for..?
-Yes. How far do you think they are? -Oh that one is quite strong, so not too far. -Elephants?
-Yes. So they are just behind us but
they’re not that relaxed so we need to.. ..give them some times to be a bit relaxed.
We don’t want them to think that we are.. threatening them. With Farina leading the way,
we proceeded with caution and.. respect but sometimes wildlife is as it
should be.. ..wild. So, Bertie, you just got “mock charged”. – That’s a mock charge?
– That was not a real charge. It’s just to scare you off. -It worked. It scared me, it scared the crew. And certainly scared the cameraman.. ..who ended up down on the floor.
Did you get any of that cameraman? -Did you filmed any?
-No. Farina decided to let the elephants
relax and come back in the afternoon.. ..when they come down to the river to feed. With the VHF and collars working
perfectly.. ..it wasn’t long before we got our reward. The elephants were on the river. -We’re lucky. They look so much more chilled out than earlier. -Yeah, it’s their feeding time, so yeah. Hopefully more will come out. Well done, after those hard works this morning. Yes. Well done Farina! And then, something entirely unexpected happened. The elephants began to cross. They are so lucky, right? It’s been hot.. and being able to swim in the river. I’m not often lost for words, but that is
truly one of the most special and.. ..remarkable things I’ve ever seen. Whilst we didn’t see Ratu, we did see.. ..another collared elephant and this
family unit is doing just fine. Farina, thank you. That was an amazing experience. -Oh don’t thank me.
You are very lucky that I am lucky as well. The Kinabatangan is an incredible place. And thankfully there’s people like you guys around to do the best to protect it. So, thank you. Through their research, the scientists at
Danau Girang Field Centre are helping to.. ..unravel the mysteries of the jungle. With Borneo’s rainforests under siege.. ..DGFC have shown the importance of science and conservation. As I leave the centre, this passionate team of scientists will continue their selfless work to safeguard.. ..the future of Borneo’s wildlife. There is so much we can learn from their dedication. Together we can conserve these species. We must all act.