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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 - 3  /  2014

Emily’s group of ex-orphans continue to visit the orphans at the stockades or the mud bath, which always causes much excitement. Both Wasessa and Lesanju are not entirely happy with the older elephant’s visits as they repeatedly try to kidnap some of the smaller orphans. Wasessa on one occasion even resorted to hiding in a stockade with Mudanda, who she is very protective of! The others however, love the ex-orphan group visits and enjoy pushing and strength testing games with the older elephants. Laikipia joined them on the 1st and Mudanda, Naipoki, Kihari and Rombo relished having him around and kept touching him with their trunks in greeting.

Poor little Mudanda is still the focus of attention from all the older females. Seraa joined the orphans at the mudbath on the 3rd much to Lesanju and Wasessa’s protests. The pair kept Mudanda between them as Seraa often competes for Mudanda’s affections. Mzima, though managed to keep her entertained with pushing games. However, on the 20th Seraa successfully took little Mudanda from Wasessa, who was all set to fight Seraa. Wasessa thought twice about it as Seraa is much bigger than her and in the end she had to wait patiently for Mudanda to come back to her.

Icholta has also joined the orphans at their mudbath and she too loves to play with Mudanda. On this occasion, due to the nice weather, she was content lying in the mud and encouraging the youngsters to climb on her. On the 18th Emily and her herd showed up to join in the bathing games. Lesanju concentrated all her energy into taking her group away and eventually succeeded. However, Mzima was having too much fun and stayed behind until it was nearly time to return to the stockades. Mzima seems to have a particular fondness for the ex-orphan group and quickly engages them when they come to visit. Even on the 21st he elected to stay behind at the stockade for a while with Emily’s herd instead of following the others out to browse.

Wasessa definitely has her work cut out being the self-appointed adoptive mother of Mudanda as it’s not just the older orphans that she has to worry about. On the 2nd Sinya tried to commandeer little Mudanda and on the 19th succeeded, causing Wasessa to charge through several other orphans to get her back. On the 31st Lempaute snatched Mudanda and took her to a different browsing area from where Wasessa eventually retrieved her.

Each month is not without drama and this month it was Mbirikani that caused a fuss. On the night of the 12th she went missing with some of the ex orphans and wild herds. All efforts were made to find her before night fall but to no avail. The next morning she still hadn't returned to the stockade and by 11am everyone was frantic with worry. The Trust's plane and pilot, Nick Trent, were called in for an aerial search. Julius the head keeper accompanied him as he was certain he could identify Mbirikani from the air. After hours of searching with no sightings time was slowly running out and storms were brewing all around. Finally, they spotted her amongst a small herd with young calves. Unfortunately, so had a pair of hungry lions that were skulking in the bushes close to the younger elephants. The ground team were quickly mobilised and directed to Mbirikani's location. Thankfully they got to her in time and encouraged her back to the stockade!! This was a great relief to everyone involved.

It has been very warm recently in Tsavo which has led to a lot of fun and games at wallowing time. Rombo and Taveta are particularly fond of the mud bath and often try to entice Ndii and Kenia to join them. On the 7th it was Wasessa and Mudanda taking center stage in the mudbath whilst Lesanju and Rombo had a good roll in the water. On the 14th Kihari and Ishaq-B were the ones diving into the water, rolling around and submerging themselves, which also attracted Ndii and Kenia. Ndii has since introduced a new game of scratching on the banks of the water hole.

On the 22nd Panda, Ishaq-B and Mudanda were the masters of the wallowing games which were watched closely by Lesanju, Mzima and Kenia. Occasionally, an individual becomes a little too rough, which was the case on the 23rd when Rombo was enjoying a sliding and rolling game with Lempaute and Ndii. However, he got over excited and climbed onto Lempaute who screamed for help. Luckily, Sinya was quick to come to her aid and calm was restored to the group.

The young orphans have been in a mischievous mood this month with lots of pushing games and various antics. On the 8th they were particularly jovial and were trumpeting loudly to get the keepers attention. The keepers found Ndii and Sinya spraying Kenia with soil whilst Lesanju tried to rally them together for a browsing session. In the evening Layoni and Rombo fought over a tree and Lesanju, Lempaute and Sinya had to separate the two. Taveta then tried to display his strength by pushing over a tree but failed to do so. Tough Taveta then tried to mount Kihari on the 16th, which forced the keepers to intervene and drive Taveta away. Throughout the day he continued misbehaving and was reprimanded repeatedly by Wasessa.

It was Mzima and Tassia, on the 17th that were testing each other to determine position and hierarchy whilst Taveta acted as referee. On the 25th Mzima was showing off his strength by pushing and breaking a dry tree in front of a group of females. The next day Tassia tried the same thing and managed to pull a dry branch from a tree which fell and hit him on the head. The others were quick to respond to his cries and came running to see what had happened and offer comfort. Tassia and Taveta then had a small fight on the 28th which was ended by Kenia.

Other than the occasional squabbles the orphans spent the month enjoying each other’s company as they browsed in the fields and on Masinga Hill. Lesanju taught new comers Naipoki, Kihari and Ishaq-B some new techniques of rolling whilst twisting their trunks. All the orphans have enjoying playing hide and seek, sharing scratching rocks and engaging in wrestling matches. There were a few rain showers in March and all of the orphans, other than Taveta, decided it was too chilly to bath on these days, electing to spend most of the day browsing or dust bathing instead.

Lualeni the orphan zebra still occasionally enjoys accompanying the orphans and he gave Panda, Mudanda and Ishaq-B quite a fright when he ran past them suddenly and stepped on Mzima’s foot causing him and the others to jump.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Voi Unit

Mweya and Laikipia drinking at the stockade 3/1/2014

Wasessa taking Mudanda into a nearby stockade 3/1/2014

Mzima tackling Laikipia 3/1/2014

Wasessa dustbathing with Mudanda 3/2/2014

Emily's group at the stockade 3/2/2014

The orphans browsing  3/2/2014

Mzima and Seraa strength testing 3/3/2014

Seraa and Mzima in pushing games 3/3/2014

Orphans at the mudbath 3/3/2014

Rombo coming out of the mudbath 3/4/2014

Taveta enjoying the mudbath 3/4/2014

Icholta joins the youngsters for browsing 3/5/2014

Icholta at the mudbath 3/5/2014

Layoni playing in a gulley 3/5/2014

Sinya front with the other orphans 3/6/2014

Orphans busy feeding 3/6/2014

Wasessa showing off her bathing skills 3/7/2014

Rombo and Lesanju playing in the mudbath 3/7/2014

Kenia relaxing 3/8/2014

Taveta trying to push over a tree 3/8/2014

Layoni and Rombo 3/8/2014

Naipoki dusting up 3/9/2014

Ishaq-B and Kihari at the waters edge 3/9/2014

Dabassa dustbathing 3/10/2014

Orphans mudbathing at noon 3/10/2014

Kivuko browsing 3/10/2014

Ndii left and Kihari browsing together 3/11/2014

Rombo has a quick bath watched by the others 3/11/2014

Wasessa browsing with Mudanda 3/12/2014

A giraffe and big bull coming for a drink 3/12/2014

Giraffe and bull coming for a drink 3/12/2014

Dabassa enjoying a scratch 3/13/2014

Tassia on the move 3/13/2014

Kenia enjoying the water hole 3/14/2014

Ndii enjoying the water hole as well 3/14/2014

Kenia and Ndii enjoy playing at the water hole 3/14/2014

Kenia slipping and sliding 3/14/2014

Icholta with the little ones 3/15/2014

Icholta playing with Lempaute 3/15/2014

Icholta showing off 3/15/2014

The mischievous Taveta 3/16/2014

Kihari with Layoni and Madanda 3/16/2014

Tassia and Mzima 3/17/2014

Mzima enjoying a bath 3/17/2014

Mzima pushing a tree 3/17/2014

Orphans at the water hole 3/18/2014

Emily's group at the stockade  3/18/2014

Lesanju trying to get her group to follow her 3/18/2014

Orphans browsing  3/19/2014

Sinya and Rombo 3/19/2014

Emily's group arrive for water 3/20/2014

Wesesa and Mudanda 3/20/2014

Seraa tussles with Wesessa for Mudanda 3/20/2014

Mzima left and Sweet Sally 3/21/2014

Wasessa browsing 3/21/2014

Wasessa watching Mudanda dustbathing 3/22/2014

Orphans enjoying a mudbath at noon 3/22/2014

Kenia in the water 3/22/2014

Rombo holding Lempaute in the mudbath 3/23/2014

Sinya left rubbing her buttock on Taveta 3/23/2014

Taveta and Sinya scratching on the same rock 3/24/2014

Taveta browsing 3/24/2014

Mzima surrounded by females tries to break a tree 3/25/2014

Mzima succeeds in breaking the tree 3/25/2014

Tassia pulling down a dry branch 3/26/2014

Lolokwe with Taveta 3/26/2014

Kivuko on the rocks 3/27/2014

Layoni standing in the mudbath 3/27/2014

Tassia scratching her buttock 3/28/2014

Mzima coming for a drink of water 3/28/2014

Lualeni browsing 3/29/2014

Sweet Lualeni at Malaika House 3/29/2014

Sweet Mudanda 3/29/2014

Laikipia comes to the stockade 3/30/2014

Laikipia drinking with the babies 3/30/2014

Laikipia browsing 3/30/2014

Lempaute with Mudanda 3/31/2014

Wasessa and Mudanda at the mudbath with the rest 3/31/2014
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