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Total Daily Entries found: 142
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Just after midday today, the weather changed from sunny to a heavy downpour. Water was running everywhere in little streams. As the rain poured, Maxwell moved from his bedroom to run up and down his stockade. Everywhere, except for his bedroom, was soon wet and muddy which is just how Maxwell likes it and he was running around with excitement. At the peak of his enthusiasm, he got down on the ground and rolled around, covering his huge body with red, muddy soil. His frequent yet uninvited guests, the warthogs, were also enjoying a mud bath, but on the other side of his stockade, as they know that he can get excited and strike at any moment.

The baby elephants out in the forest were also enjoying the rain in different styles. Mapia and Ambo rolled in the mud, while Enkesha and Tamiyoi sprayed themselves with running water. Sattao and his friend Musiara were engaged in a play fight which went on for some time. Due to the weather Luggard, Dololo and Mukkoka were taken to the stockades as they are not yet strong enough to withstand heavy rain.


We have had some lions around the area at the moment and the warthogs have been keeping a close eye on all their babies. They like to browse close to the elephants for security, as the elephants and the Keepers will act as a deterrent to the lions attacking in the day time. Today it wasn’t made easy for them however as Maisha, Tamiyoi and Enkesha kept driving them away from the group. Either they did not want them around or sharing their food, or they did not want the lions around either!

Sagala was browsing from a small bush slightly away from the others. As she was browsing, out of the thicket walked a big tortoise which gave her a fright. She ran shouting towards the group and Tamiyoi, Maisha and Enkesha charged in the direction she had come from. They were not sure what lay ahead of them when they encountered the ‘moving rock’. Maisha tried to kick the moving rock, but it kept walking towards her, so she turned back yelling and running towards the group as well. Enkesha and Tamiyoi followed suit when they saw what looked like a moving rock moving towards them, and they turned to look for the Keepers help as well. The Keepers went to find out what was bothering their elephant babies, only to find the poor big tortoise who quietly went on his way.


Maktao was in his best ‘playing’ mood today. He has been playing almost all day since the start of the day when the orphans first walked out to the forest! He has especially enjoyed playing in the holes where the warthogs like to sleep. There are so many holes everywhere, where the warthogs like to hide their tiny babies from the lions. Maktao was making good use of the soil dug out to make these holes as his personal soil dusting piles, and was moving from one hole to the next. Enkesha must have been watching him as she began to push him out of the way so she could enjoy the soil herself, before moving on to the next one, but this did not stop the little boy from enjoying his fun. He just moved to a different place until Enkesha caught up with him. Jotto is a very friendly boy and seems to not have appreciated Enkesha’s bullying behaviour. He started following Maktao and whenever Enkesha tried to interfere he stood between them to block Enkesha from intruding in his games. At one stage he even joined Maktao in his rolling games, but still made sure Enkesha did not try to bother him. 


Our morning was very gloomy amongst the human-elephant family this morning as in the early hours of the morning our dear little Merru slipped away peacefully, surrounded by his loving Keepers. He sadly was not able to overcome the internal injuries which obviously still plagued him since his rescue, despite the best efforts of his Keepers and staff in the Nairobi Nursery, and he will be greatly missed. When Merru took his last breaths, his neighbour Enkesha rumbled and knocked on her door, as she knew something was wrong and her little neighbour had slipped away. When the doors were opened for the orphans in the morning to go out to the forest, little Enkesha did not want to leave her stable, until she walked out emitting low rumbling sounds communicating something we obviously could not know. Sadly, we see animals who have lost their mothers and families arrive in all kinds of condition, and are sadly used to some of them not making it despite our best efforts, but this does not make it any easier, and Merru’s loss affected us all, especially when we thought we had begun to see some improvement. Elephants do mourn the loss of their family members but it is important to remember that all the orphans in the Nursery are babies, and are not necessarily as experienced or emotionally developed as older elephants. These are feelings, emotions and skills that will be honed as they develop and get older. They might be more subdued for a few days as they notice the absence of a friend that they cared about, but they are very good at moving forward and forging new friendships and relationships. We think of them as little toddlers for example, who do not quite understand the concept of death, but only loss, and the absence of a loved one that was once there. Our little elephant orphans have already gone through so much, and are hardy little animals that will be drawn even closer together as a family unit. 


Last night’s food feud between the neighbours Ndiwa and Malkia spilled over into this morning. The two girls pushed at the posts partitioning their stockades as they fought over the leftover branches. Malkia provoked her neighbor first by stealing one of her leftover branches. As soon as the gates to their stockades were opened, they both came out and within second they had begun tussling with each other, Ndiwa probably wanting to take revenge for Malkia stealing her branch. A push and pull fight ensued as they followed the rest of the group who were walking slowly out to the forest. Ndiwa looked a bit stronger, and pushed Malkia so hard that she stumbled and fell into Maktao, knocking him to the ground. This prompted the matriarch Tagwa to step in, who wanted no harm to befall one of her precious babies, and she came between the warring girls to separate them. Ndiwa tried to turn her anger on Tagwa as Malkia walked away, but Sana Sana then came over to back Tagwa and in the end Ndiwa left in the company of Malima and Enkesha to walk off deep into the forest. 

Ndiwa, Kiasa and Jotto


Enkesha with a Keeper




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