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Please be sure to take the time to look through the daily entries which can be accessed by clicking the calendar days, as this is the section the photographs are placed, wonderful candid shots taken monthly from each of the Units, captured by the Keepers.

Print this Page - Sheldrick Wildlife TrustDiary Summaries Shown Below:  | Voi Unit |  (Print This Page)

Monthly Summary for: Voi Unit - 10  /  2017

It was a rather sombre month at the Voi stockades as we continued to rescue young babies that have succumb to the biting drought that has gripped southern areas of Tsavo. We could not always get there in time to save all of the victims, despite racing to the scene after every report. Elephants are sensitive creatures and consume a large amount of vegetation every day to survive; without this nourishment they quickly succumb to the harsh environment. These sad incidents were punctuated by moments of happiness however, like rays of hope, when mothers were reunited with their calves trapped in thick mud, or when we could reach an orphan in time to save it’s life, or even watching our healthy orphans, the lucky ones, frolic around in water holes knowing they were safe and that we would do everything to keep it that way. Providing daily supplements for our dependent orphans and the four Ex Orphans who chose to stay close to the stockades this month as well, Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni, has been a must. The lucerne grass and pellets provided in the morning ensure the orphans have a good start to the day, and enough energy to forage on the vegetation found in this dry area. Towards the end of the month the first few showers of the short rains broke through and we hope this is just the start of a sufficient rainy season to come. Apart from caring for the elephant orphans we have an eclectic herd of other animals at the Voi stockades including Ngulia, a feisty zebra and leader of the ‘pack’ and two eland calves called Tawi and Kore. This month there was an addition to their group in the shape of Oltukai, a male buffalo brought to the stockades on the 9th by the DSWT/KWS Amboseli Veterinary Unit. It was very unsettled and traumatized and took awhile to settle into its new surroundings.

The orphans were delighted to play in light rain that fell and wet the earth and the grass, joyfully chomping on the wet and tasty grass which was a relief from the hard bark they have been chewing for nutrients. A welcome part to their day is always the relieving mud baths, a break from the midday sun after their milk bottles. Ndii is certainly the most playful water-baby at this time and is enjoying the new water hole built for the orphans under a baobab tree. We watched one day as she slid down the sides of the mud bath into the water, only to get out and repeat the process over and over again. On two separate occasions the water hole didn’t prove enough for Ndii however, and she plunged herself into the water trough where the others wanted to drink clean water. She splashed about in the clean water with her dirty feet turning it nice and murky, so the others had to wait for it to settle again before choosing to drink water there!

On the 5th the dependent orphans were browsing peacefully with a wild herd and when they separated Ajali, Pasaka and Nguvu, the three older more recent arrivals, and a group that had previously enjoyed browsing on their own, decided to run off with them into the bush. One of our aerial surveillance aircraft was called to assist in finding the orphans and the next day Ajali was spotted with a wild herd including a female that had just given birth, so an extraction at that point proved rather fraught. Finally in the afternoon of the 13th, the keepers came across Ajali and Nguvu with a herd of wild elephants. They were looking thinner so the keepers decided to separate them by bringing their dependent orphan friends to join then and the two rejoined their friends and wandered back to the stockades with them with was a relief so that they could be more closely monitored given how dry it is an how many wild elephants have died this drought year. They were warmly greeted by the orphans with loud trumpeting as their friends touched them all over with their trunks. To date we have not located Pasaka but continue to search for him, and we are sure that whilst he is in the company of a wild herd he will be okay.

We were thrilled to receive a report of Emily’s Ex Orphan herd from a Sanctuary near Mageno Ranch on the 27th, closer to Tsavo West than East, they were thankfully were both food and water remained abundant amidst plenty of wild herds within the same area. We immediately sent a team of Keepers to identify the members, and were delighted to find Emily, Eve, Emma, Edie and her calf Ella, Sweet Sally and her calf Safi, Laikipia, Lolokwe, Mweya and Rombo all safe and looking well despite the current harsh conditions. This was a huge relief as they had not been sighted for many months. Other members of Emily’s herd such as Thoma and her baby Thor, Seraa, Wasessa, Irima, Mzima and Siria were not among the group and we believed they were together with Ndara and her baby Neptune, Lesanju, Sinya and Tassia who had been seen in the same sanctuary almost a week prior

The four independent orphans sticking close to the stockade compound this month, Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni, visited every single day for lucerne, sometimes to interact with the juniors. The leaders of the dependent herd are still wary of the four and Kenia, Ndii and Kihari are quick to lead the others out in the morning, so ‘their’ babies do not have to socialize. Ranging from 7 to 11 years old, the four older elephants aren’t shy of having fun and enjoyed some lovely games rolling on the red earth in the compound. One day after eating lucerne Layoni and Dabassa went and rolled around in the red soil pile. Their game caught the attention of Ishaq-B, Mudanda, Rorogoi, Mbirikani and Panda who came up and stood in a line watching their older friends. Dabassa got up from the soil and engaged Panda in a strength testing game, scattering the rest of the spectators in the process. One day Kihari was enjoying a game on the soil but was sure that Layoni and Dabassa had mischievous intentions when they approached her, so she got up and moved away.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Voi Unit

Orphans feeding on lucerne 10/1/2017

Bada and IShaq-B browsing 10/1/2017

Pasaka enjoying lucerne grass 10/1/2017

Rorogoi browsing 10/2/2017

Embu looking for a browsing spot 10/2/2017

Naipoki and Mashariki 10/2/2017

Bada browsing 10/3/2017

Embu and Ishaq-B enjoy a quiet browsing moment 10/3/2017

Mbirikani looking for green shoots 10/3/2017

Pasaka enjoys the lucerne 10/4/2017

Kenia on a scratching mission 10/4/2017

Orphans dusting games 10/4/2017

Panda and Ndii browsing 10/5/2017

Kenia solo browsing 10/5/2017

Rorogoi scratches on a rock 10/5/2017

Ndii taking Araba 10/6/2017

Ajali with the wild herd 10/6/2017

Wild herd that Ajali spent time with 10/6/2017

Kihari and Panda on dust piles 10/7/2017

Sola the orphan elephant 10/7/2017

Sola at the Voi stockade 10/7/2017

Kiangazi rescue 10/8/2017

Embu browsing 10/8/2017

Bada trying to reach the top shoots 10/8/2017

Lion along the water pipe 10/9/2017

A wild elephant also visits the water pipe 10/9/2017

Orphan baby Buffalo arrives from Amboseli  10/9/2017

Ngulia and Kore welcome the baby Buffalo 10/10/2017

Tawi curious about the baby Buffalo 10/10/2017

Baby buffalo still a bit hesitant to make friends 10/10/2017

Tawi tries to make friends with baby Buffalo 10/11/2017

Baby buffalo in the stockade 10/11/2017

Wild bull at the water pipeline 10/11/2017

Ndoria following the other orphans 10/12/2017

Arruba and Panda browsing 10/12/2017

Suswa on Msinga Hill 10/12/2017

Dabassa engages Nelion 10/13/2017

Kihari enjoys scratching 10/13/2017

Lentili intervenes between Dabassa and Nelion 10/13/2017

Suswa wrestling with Dabassa 10/14/2017

Naipoki playing on the red earth 10/14/2017

Tundani at the water trough 10/14/2017

Panda playing in the red soil 10/15/2017

Arruba scratchign against a tree 10/15/2017

Mashariki at the water trough 10/15/2017

Mudanda moving down Msinga Hill 10/16/2017

Ishaq-B, Kenia and Ndii with Arruba 10/16/2017

Nelion after mud bath 10/16/2017

Tundani and Ajali in deep communication 10/17/2017

Lempaute scratching against a tree 10/17/2017

Lentili and Naipoki 10/17/2017

Panda and Kihari engaging 10/18/2017

Kivuko sniffing the air 10/18/2017

ishaq-B at mud bath 10/18/2017

Tundani at mud bath 10/19/2017

Bada dusting games 10/19/2017

Arruba scratches on a tree 10/19/2017

Suswa at the water trough 10/20/2017

Mudanda leads the orphans for browsing 10/20/2017

Wild elephants at the Baoba waterhole 10/20/2017

Layoni engaging Panda 10/21/2017

Ndii reaches up to the higher branches 10/21/2017

Arruba scratches on the water trough wall 10/21/2017

Ajali charging 10/22/2017

Orphans enjoying bathtime 10/22/2017

Wild bull with Dabassa 10/22/2017

Ndii sliding in the mud 10/23/2017

Kenia watches over Araba 10/23/2017

Kavu in the stockade after treatment 10/23/2017

Arruba drinking water 10/24/2017

Panda walking slowly on the steep hill slopes 10/24/2017

Embu and Lentili lead orphans to browsing 10/24/2017

Naipoki and Lentili engaging 10/25/2017

Kivuko at the stockade 10/25/2017

Kenia mudbath games 10/25/2017

Bada dustbath 10/26/2017

Ndii down in the mudbath 10/26/2017

Ajali after mudbath 10/26/2017

Nelion walking towards a wild elephant herd 10/27/2017

Ndii with a dry stick in her mouth 10/27/2017

Luna in the stockades 10/27/2017

Mweya visits 10/28/2017

Sweet Sally with Safi 10/28/2017

Emily and Emma 10/28/2017

Tawi sniffing Kore 10/29/2017

Ajali on Msinga Hill 10/29/2017

Mbirikani browsing on Msinga Hill 10/29/2017

Nelion and Tundani early morning games 10/30/2017

Lentili wallowing 10/30/2017

Dabassa and Kihari dust bath games 10/30/2017

Nguvu biting his trunk 10/31/2017

Layoni enjoying the mud bath 10/31/2017

Kenia dust games 10/31/2017
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