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Yatta’s and Mulika’s group of Ex Orphans came to the Stockades early before dawn, having been absent for almost 3 days. All were extremely hollow, stressed and thirsty, obviously having been without water for so long. It was noticed that Galana had an arrow wound on the left side of her stomach - the third Ex Orphan to be recently arrowed by Poachers, Mulika and Challa having been hit last month. Last year we lost Ex Orphan Selengai to Poachers, who never managed to make it back to the stockades in time for help. All these young elephants have only very small ivory so it is only a heartless and wicked human who could even think of trying to kill them, probably simply out of spire. May the curse of these innocents follow the perpetrators of this heinous crime to the bitter end!

At 11 a.m. the KWS Vet attached to our Mobile Unit arrived and to remove the arrow from Galana’s side and treat the wound, after which he immobilized Mulika in order to lance the swelling beneath her stomach. Gallons of pus poured out and a large piece of dead flesh removed, after which the wound was washed and packed with green clay. Whilst the Vet was attending Mulika, all the other female Ex Orphan were extremely concerned wanting to come and lift her back to her feet, but the Keepers kept them at bay. Instead they obeyed the command of their Keepers, milling around nearby, while Yatta escorted little Mwende away from her recumbent mother. Once Mulika was up again, she was warmly embraced by all the others, who left with her in their midst.

Now it was the turn of the Big Bull “Mshale” who had been at the mudbath earlier with a suspicious looking fresh wound behind the ear. Having been darted, he ran off some distance before falling near the road leading to the Ithumba Camp, where he, too, was treated and revived, the arrow having apparently bounced off rather than penetrating the flesh. (This was the third time that “Mshale” had been immobilized to have poisoned arrows removed from his body. That evening none of the Ex Orphans returned to the Stockades and no wild elephants came either.

Treating Galana

Treating Mulaika


In the morning we were very relieved to see Buchuma, who had been missing the day before, turn up with the other Ex Orphans, but without Selengai murdered by ruthless Poachers. Having taken Lucerne, the Ex Orphans accompanied the Juniors, filtering off, one by one, Ololoo challenging Kilaguni, which Kilaguni won. At the mudbath Ololoo tried to get his own back by blocking Kilaguni as he struggled to emerge. That evening a wild elephant with a day old calf came with Sidai and Wendi to take water at the Stockades, Sidai and Wendi obviously Nannies to the new baby, whom they escorted off along with its mother once the mother had taken water. 

Buchuma at the stockade

Kilaguni and Ololoo strength testing

Day old wild calf


No wild elephants showed up at the Stockades this morning, so the Juniors had a quiet morning, enjoying their noon mudbath on a hot day. Whilst wallowing Sabachi mounted Kilaguni, and was pushed off by Kandecha. In the evening we received a report that the body of a young elephant had been found about 500 metres from the KWS Headquarters. It so happened that the Ex Orphans were feeding not far from the Stockades, and upon counting them, we discovered that Selengai and Buchuma were absent. We went to inspect the body of the dead elephant, only to discover that it was indeed our precious Selengai, who had obviously been with Sidai, Meibai and Rapsu, trying to return to the Stockades for help when she collapsed and died from the affects of the poison deep into her back. The three appeared at the mudbath that day, emerging from the direction that Selengai’s body was found and were quite obviously very subdued and sad We convinced that they were with her when she collapsed, and that she as at least surrounded by her friends when she breathed her last. 

Sabachi mounts Kilaguni

Kandecha at the dustbath


This morning Kandecha took on Suguta in a Pushing Game because his friend Kilaguni was otherwise occupied, chasing some guineafowl around the compound. This attracted the attention of the whole herd who joined in filling the compound with dusk until all the guineafowl took to the air! At the noon mudbath the Juniors were joined by Mulika, her baby, Mwende, Wendi, Selengai and Tomboi who came with a wild Bull friend. Later the Ex Orphans and their wild friend accompanied the Juniors to the slopes of Ithumba hill to browse, before carrying on without them heading for the Stockades.  


The orphans left in a jovial mood today, swinging their trunks and bumping into one another on the way out which indicates joy. The KWS grader had been working on the road, so they relished the soft loose soil that had been dislodged, rolling in it and tossing it over their bodies. Suguta did a nose-dive into a large pile after which Melia led the group to the Kone area to browse. Just before 9 a.m. the Juniors were joined by Yatta, her calf “Yetu”, Kinna, Ithumbah, Selengai, Buchuma and Nasalot, all of whom browsed with them for about half an hour, before parting. At the mudbath Ololoo and Chaimu were the stars of the day in terms of bathing, later joining their colleagues for a soil dusting session.  

Suguta playing in loose soil

Yetu in a playful mood

Ithumbah, Yetu and Yatta




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