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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 - June  /  2006

The drought that continues to plague the Horn of Africa, and North Eastern Kenya, sadly, also continues to be reflected in the Southern Section of Tsavo, and already the Voi orphans have taken to scaling Mazinga Hill in search of a few green shoots. We have also begun to supplement them by the addition of horse cubes to their daily ration of Copra, and meanwhile are considering the possibility of having to establish the group in a temporary Night Stockade near better pastures further afield. Lionel Nutter, our field Manager, is investigating this.

This month, Uaso has been a regular visitor to the Voi orphans, and is often quite a disruptive figure, wanting to target the females in order to “mount” them. He appeared first at the Stockades on the 2nd and since then has spent a great deal of time with the group; often with them all day, accompanying them to the mudbath, and back to the Stockades in the evening, then greeting them again either at the base of Mazinga Hill on following days, or out in the bush. Whenever he arrives there is an exuberant welcome, though I am sure the females have mixed feelings about his presence, and try to avoid him, not enjoying being constantly “mounted”. He is particularly keen on Edie, and was so persistent in his mounting of her on the 9th that the other orphans tried to come to her rescue, and Laikipia plucked up the courage to try and challenge Uaso, but had to give way, since Uaso is a very big l0 year old and bull elephants have to respect rank and age. Eventually, the Keepers had to intervene to allow Edie time to feed without a big encumbent on her back! Uaso was with the orphans on the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, l0th, 11th and 12th and again on the 20th, when as usual he was after Edie. On this occasion it was Natumi who confronted him, but to no avail, because he persisted in his persuit of Edie.

Uaso came in as a starvation victim aged plus or minus l8 months, way back in 1996, and is now classified as one of the “Big Boys”, independent of Keepers and established as a wild elephant amongst the wild community of Tsavo. He often travels with Edo.

Lissa and her first daughter, Lara visited the Stockades on the evening of the 12th, when they met up with Uaso, and Lara ran to greet him, since he is, of course, well known to them having grown up alongside Lissa. Lissa met up with the orphans at the foot of Mazinga Hill the next day, when the orphans were tempted to follow her and Lara, but later thought better of it since she was heading in a direction opposite to the orphans’ Night Stockades.

The friendship of Mweiga, Sosian and Mweya is again reflected in this Diary, as is the exuberance and happiness with which the Voi orphans greet each new day, when they play together before embarking on the serious quest for food. Burra emerges once again as a forceful character, eager always to lead the group and there was a day when Mweiga enjoyed this privilege for a short time before falling behind, when Sosian dropped back to comfort her and keep her company. Mweya has also done her share of Mweiga duties this month.

The orphans met up with a small wild elephant unit on the 18th, when Natumi initiated the greeting and Laikipia took on a wild age-mate in a test of strength and Icholta enjoyed climbing on a wild female teenager who obligingly lay down in order for her to do so. A large wild bull approached them a day or two later, but his size proved a deterrent, and the orphans moved off rather than encourage contact. Seemingly they enjoyed feeding alongside an old buffalo bull instead and they have enjoyed the usual fun and games with the resident baboon troupe, who are always fuel for a fun charging and trumpeting session.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Voi Unit

Edie enjoys a scratch against the rocks 6/1/2006

Uaso joins the babies for the day 6/2/2006

Uaso drinking at the stockade 6/3/2006

Laikipia takes a wonderful ride on Solango's back 6/4/2006

Mweiga feeding 6/5/2006

The orphans marching towards the stockade 6/6/2006

A buffalo at the orphans mudbath 6/7/2006

Mpala and Uaso take a wonderful moment together 6/8/2006

Natumi stops Uaso head on 6/9/2006

Uaso at the stockade 6/10/2006

Lissa and Lara at the stockade 6/11/2006

Lissa joins the orphans who surround Lara 6/12/2006

Icholta leaves the mudbath 6/13/2006

Morani having a bottle of milk 6/14/2006

Salama and Laikipia playing 6/15/2006

The orphans enjoying their noon bottle of milk 6/16/2006

Laikipia playing with Mpala 6/17/2006

Laikipia playing with a wild calf 6/18/2006

Edie soil dusting 6/19/2006

Loisaba & Icholta playing with a wild friend 6/20/2006

A wild bull seekin to join the orphans 6/21/2006

Natumi and Salama 6/22/2006

A wild calf greeting Laikipia as Ndara watches 6/23/2006

Emil, Illingwezi, Tsavo, Ationg and Sweet Sally 6/24/2006

Feeding time for the orphans 6/25/2006

Tsavo at the stockade 6/26/2006

BBC crew filming the Voi orphans 6/27/2006

Edie enjoying a dust bath 6/28/2006

Aitong and Sweet Sally at the stockade 6/29/2006

Natumi is followed by two teenage wild boys 6/30/2006
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