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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 - 4  /  2017

The rain was slow to arrive in the Voi area and it was only towards the end of the month that the cloud cover eventually started to give way to small showers; enough to wet the earth and moisten the grass which the orphans enjoyed feeding on the next day. During cold days they had avoided the mud bath but whenever there was any sunshine, they were straight into the mud to enjoy a happy bath.

On the 17th, with the assistance of one of the Trustís pilots, a young elephant was spotted wandering all alone. A rescue team from Voi was mobilized and he was transported to the Voi stockades with the aid of a canter as he was too big to fit into a Landcruiser. He was very thin and thirsty and was placed into one of the Voi Taming Stockades which have proved extremely vital for rescued orphans are too old to be sent to the Nairobi Nursery and yet are still vulnerable in the wild without the protection of their herd. Without these stockades elephants like Nguvu would have probably not survived in the wild, and those injured like Ajali would never have been able to receive the treatment they required or the gentle conditions and easy access to vegetation and water. Given such orphaned elephants become used to the Keepers and accept them as a surrogate human family as they progress back into the wild along with the older dependent orphans who also begin to undertake that transition. The new orphan was named Pasaka, the Swahili word for Easter.

Matriarchs such as Kenia, however, have not taken to Ajali, perhaps because he is an older elephant and no longer milk dependent, considered sufficiently old to leave the natal herd. Also she may not like the idea of an older bull being around Ďherí babies. Even although he is older, as a newcomer he can still be pushed around a bit by the other orphans, as are the newcomers to the Nursery in Nairobi. However, he has some friends like Suswa who always keep him company when browsing. Boys, like Tundani, who is one of the oldest bulls at the stockades but a couple of years Ajaliís junior, enjoy initiating the odd wrestling game with him to gauge their strength, as does little Bada who is several years his junior! The interesting thing is Ajali is now very attached to the dependent Voi orphans, and even the Keepers, and dutifully returns of his own free will to the stockades every evening, seemingly with no desire to head off with the wild herds. This will happen in the fullness of time, but in the meantime he has found a new family.

Suswa and Arruba, who are still close friends, take it upon themselves to chase away the baboons whenever they try to steal their morning supplements. Meanwhile Mbirikani, who is already 7 years old, is showing signs of becoming more independent this month. She has been disobeying the usual age bracket for milk and has been turning up at milk feeding times. On another day she chose to remain the whole day on Msinga Hill by herself when the rest of the herd had moved away, so a Keeper had to remain with her until she re-joined the others in the evening, by which time she was very thirsty!

Kivuko and Layoni are two partially independent orphans who remained within the vicinity of the stockades this month and frequently either visited, or browsed with the younger orphans. Kenia does not seem to mind having Layoni with her herd as he keeps a low profile and leaves the leadership roles to her and Ndii. However, she has not always been happy with female Kivukoís presence, and one day took this out on Kihari, Ajali and Nguvu in pushing games, which was unusual for her.

Kenia was delighted that the Ex Orphans and Lesanjuís herd had not visited for over a week, which meant she could have the babies in the dependent herd all to herself. On the 9th, after the dependent herd had left the Stockade, Ndara with her new baby, Neptune, Lesanju, Sinya, Lempaute, Dabassa, Kivuko, Tassia and Taveta arrived back to drink water from the stockade water trough. Ndara is evidently very attached to her baby and as such did not make it easy for Lesanju and Sinya to interact with him. However, while Ndara was busy feeding on lucerne, Lesanju managed to sneak a little ďalone timeĒ with Neptune, eager to implant herself as one of his Nannies. Other members of Emilyís herd as well as the few missing members of Lesanjuís herd were not seen that day.

The next morning partially independent orphans Wasessa and Rombo, in the company of a teenage wild elephant calf, were seen browsing towards the Voi River without the other members of Lesanju and Emilyís herds. The three seemed to be very comfortable in each otherís company. Kenia bellowed when she saw them, but the three didnít bother to come and join the juniors, leaving Kenia and Ndii very relieved.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Voi Unit

Kivuko arrives at the stockades alone 4/1/2017

Mbirikani lying in the water 4/1/2017

Ajali at the mud-bath 4/1/2017

Mashariki browsing 4/2/2017

Suswa browsing 4/2/2017

Tundani with the others 4/2/2017

Ajali scratching on the rocks 4/3/2017

Panda feeding on copra cake 4/3/2017

Nelion drinking direct with his mouth 4/3/2017

Tundani enjoying mud-bath 4/4/2017

Nguvu wall games 4/4/2017

Kenia plays whilst Naipoki watches 4/4/2017

Araba scratching on a rock 4/5/2017

Embu browsing 4/5/2017

Kivuko browsing alone 4/6/2017

Wild elephants browsing 4/6/2017

Ishaq-B and Ajali wrestle 4/7/2017

Taveta playing on the rock 4/7/2017

Panda and Mbirikani scratching on the same tree 4/8/2017

Suswa enjoying mud bath 4/8/2017

Lesanju 4/9/2017

Ndara and Neptune arrive at the stockades 4/9/2017

Dabassa 4/9/2017

Tassia at the stockades 4/10/2017

Kivuko at the water trough 4/10/2017

Kivuko browsing alone 4/11/2017

Lentili moves downhill to join Kivuko 4/11/2017

Layoni follows Kivuko 4/11/2017

Rorogoi greeting Neptune 4/12/2017

Ndii playing on the rock 4/12/2017

Kihari scratching up 4/12/2017

Mbirikani soil dusting games 4/13/2017

Tundani and Ajali strength testing games 4/13/2017

Orphans drinking water at the watering hole 4/14/2017

Rombo enjoying the lush green grass 4/14/2017

Ajali browsing 4/15/2017

Ndoria at the stockade 4/15/2017

Tawi and Kore wrestling 4/16/2017

Wild elephant family drinking at the stockade 4/16/2017

Small wild elephant family at the watering hole 4/17/2017

Pasaka in the stockade after rescue 4/17/2017

Ndoria browsing 4/18/2017

Orphans curious about the wild elephant cow 4/18/2017

A wild female with baby at the stockade 4/18/2017

Orphans feed on lucerne pellets 4/19/2017

Mudanda enjoying browsing 4/19/2017

Araba sucking trunk 4/19/2017

Naipoki early morning scratching games 4/20/2017

Ndoria enjoying mud-bath 4/20/2017

Panda and Bada wrestle whilst Tundani watches on 4/20/2017

Ndoria wall scratching games 4/21/2017

Tundani exiting mud bath 4/21/2017

Kenia scratches whilst Araba watches 4/21/2017

Pasaka in the stockade 4/22/2017

Mudanda being careful on the slippery rock 4/22/2017

Kenia moving Araba to a private browsing session 4/23/2017

Kenia staying between Ndii and Araba 4/23/2017

Nelion browsing 4/23/2017

Jamhuri and Tawi wrestling 4/24/2017

Ndii Kenia Araba and Mudanda browsing 4/24/2017

Orphans at the mud bath 4/25/2017

Bada mud-bath games 4/25/2017

Ndii loves being in the water 4/25/2017

Ajali with the others 4/26/2017

Nguvu browsing 4/26/2017

Ndii on Msinga Hill 4/26/2017

Naipoki browsing at Msinga Hill 4/27/2017

Mashariki browses alone 4/27/2017

Nelion and Tundani strength games 4/27/2017

Mudanda biting her trunk 4/28/2017

Ndii scratches against a rock 4/28/2017

Araba scratching on the rocks at Msinga Hill 4/29/2017

Ndara and Neptune visit 4/29/2017

Araba enjoys scratching on a tree 4/30/2017

Suswa and Ajali browse in the rain 4/30/2017

Rorogoi charges at Suswa and Ajali scaring them 4/30/2017
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