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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:  | Ithumba Unit |  (Print This Page)

Monthly Summary for: Ithumba Unit - 7  /  2017

It is starting to dry out in the area surrounding Ithumba but thankfully they received more rain than other parts of Tsavo during the rainy season. This means the area will take a while to become very dry and as there is still water in the water hole which the DSWT keeps topped up, more and more wild elephants and Ex Orphans have been returning to the stockade area where a permanent source of water can be found. Sometimes this leads to a bit of jostling for the lucerne and as the junior dependents dislike all the pushing; they often end up leaving early for the bush to begin their day of browsing. Other times, the likes of Kamok and Laragai will pick up their share of lucerne and move to a quiet corner to enjoy it in peace.

On any given day, there can be over one hundred elephants at the mud bath area, with elephants mud bathing in a queue like fashion, neatly orchestrated without fuss due to the strict social hierarchy that elephants have in place. Sometimes the dependent orphans will bathe on one side and the Ex Orphans and wild elephants on the other, as a show of respect and to give them their space. All the Ex Orphans in Yatta’s group, as well as Kinna and Galana and their babies Kama and Gawa and nannies, were around this month and seen on an almost daily basis. Gawa in particular loved to play with the dependent orphans, especially Wanjala, although sometimes he would lose his patience with her and the nannies would whisk her away before the playful games became more serious. It’s lovely to see how comfortable the wild babies are in the company of the Keepers and the dependent orphans, enough to even take a nap in the middle of them watched over by Roi, Naseku and Oltaiyoni, the latter being the former Matriarch at the Nairobi Nursery.

The younger Ex Orphan elephants in Narok’s herd (Orwa, Bomani, Bongo and Vuria) and Mutara’s group (Olare, Makireti, Kanjoro, Kainuk and Chaimu) were also present throughout much of this month and joined the dependent orphans most mornings to share their lucerne. Sometimes Narok would wait for the orphans at mud bath with the others and rush forwards to greet them when she saw them coming. They would occasionally be in the company of Ex Orphan bulls Tomboi and Buchuma, especially around mud bath time, and the two big bulls would join the orphans to mud bathe. One day Olare, Mutara, Makireti, Chaimu and Narok took Siangiki off to browse with them after mud bath but they made sure she was back at the stockades in time for afternoon milk. Zurura was around as well and would sometimes play with the orphans, especially Kamok who is still a very playful girl like when she was in the Nursery.

The orphans have valuable lessons to learn from their older peers especially with regards to respect. One day little Enkikwe tried to stand in front of 13 year old Madiba as if to challenge him, but he certainly did not stand there long when confronted with the face Madiba was showing him and for fear of being knocked down! He moved on to challenge Olsekki to a pushing game which was much more suitable for his age-group. Garzi has been looking slightly restless this month and looking for his recently-independent friend Vuria quite often; we think he might be ready to join his friends in the wild soon, perhaps with Kithaka and Barsilinga too. The three new arrivals, Wanjala, Galla and Ukame are settling in well although Ukame is still the most anxious and sometimes keeps herself a separate from the others. She is doing well though and enjoys leading the orphans ‘home’ in the afternoon.

We were delighted to see the wild bull ‘Limpy’ towards the end of the month at the mud bath in amongst all the other wild bulls; a bull we treated for a nasty cable-wire snare wound a year ago and which has healed so nicely. Masikio, who has a collapsed ear, was also at mud bath towards the end of the month, the wild bull we presume to be Yetu and Mwende’s father.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Ithumba Unit

Orwa joining the orphans 7/1/2017

Buchuma with the orphans 7/1/2017

Naseku with Oltaiyoni 7/1/2017

Narok feeds with Roi 7/2/2017

Mutara's herd arriving for a mud bath 7/2/2017

Kanjoro playing with Garzi 7/2/2017

Half Trunk with a friend 7/2/2017

Makena playing with Barsilinga 7/3/2017

Gawa with the orphans 7/3/2017

Gawa running and playing 7/3/2017

Tusuja leading 7/3/2017

Ex-orphans enjoying lucerne with orphans 7/4/2017

Wildbull at mud bath 7/4/2017

Ukame ready to start browsing activities 7/4/2017

Rapsu with the orphans 7/5/2017

Kamok soil dusting 7/5/2017

Boromoko wallowing 7/5/2017

Tomboi and Buchuma 7/6/2017

Shukuru splashing water 7/6/2017

Kalama and Barsilinga play 7/6/2017

Barsilinga scratching bottom 7/7/2017

Sirimon finds a scratching post 7/7/2017

Kilaguni engages Kasigau 7/7/2017

Laragai carrying lucerne 7/8/2017

Gawa charging at the Keepers 7/8/2017

Ishanga, Gawa and Galana 7/8/2017

Chemi Chemi browsing 7/9/2017

Oltaiyoni dusting 7/9/2017

Garzi plays with Kalama 7/9/2017

Shukuru dusting 7/10/2017

Afternoon wallow 7/10/2017

Wild elephants arrive at the stockade for water 7/10/2017

Baby Gawa playing 7/11/2017

Baby Wiva nursing 7/11/2017

Olsekki and Wanjala 7/11/2017

Kamok finds a rock to scratch against 7/12/2017

Laragai plays with Bomani 7/12/2017

Orok plays with a wild elephant in the water 7/12/2017

Kamok with her share of lucerne 7/13/2017

Naseku running for milk 7/13/2017

Olsekki using a stick to scratch with 7/13/2017

Sities getting ready for browsing activities 7/14/2017

Tumaren protecting her pile of lucerne 7/14/2017

Bongo at the water trough 7/14/2017

Galla scratching 7/15/2017

Vuria Bongo and Narok 7/15/2017

Orphans sharing water with wild bulls 7/15/2017

Sirimon and Lemoyian 7/16/2017

Roi in a playful mood 7/16/2017

Garzi engaging Chemi Chemi 7/16/2017

Naseku scratching 7/17/2017

Elephants at the mud bath 7/17/2017

Enkikwe playing with Murka 7/17/2017

Siangiki chatting to Kanjoro 7/18/2017

Barsilinga scratching 7/18/2017

Shukuru soil dusting 7/18/2017

Lemoiyan running after Wanjala 7/19/2017

Galla and Ukame soil dusting 7/19/2017

Naseku and Oltaiyoni taking respite from the heat 7/19/2017

Siangiki and Wanjala head for browsing 7/20/2017

Half Trunk pays a visit 7/20/2017

Teleki, Nasalot and Ishanga 7/20/2017

Kainuk browsing 7/21/2017

Olare playing 7/21/2017

Olataiyoni soil dusting  7/21/2017

Ex-orphans at the stockade early morning 7/22/2017

One Tusker visits the stockades 7/22/2017

Ololoo plays with Kilaguni 7/22/2017

Enkikwe and Lemoyian 7/23/2017

Lemoyian rides on Siangiki 7/23/2017

Enkikwe and Olsekki dusting 7/23/2017

Boromoko with a branch in his mouth 7/24/2017

Garzi and Lemoyian browse together 7/24/2017

Ukame leading the orphans 7/24/2017

Kalama and Barsilinga at the water trough 7/25/2017

Early morning games between Kithaka and Sirimon 7/25/2017

Soil dusting time for the Orphans 7/25/2017

Yatta visits the orphans 7/26/2017

Naseku in a playful mood 7/26/2017

Mudbath time 7/26/2017

Wild elephant with Olare 7/27/2017

Sirimon and Siangiki have a tender moment 7/27/2017

Half Trunk with a friend 7/27/2017

Gawa greeting Boromoko 7/28/2017

Nasalot with a wild elephant 7/28/2017

Boromoko leads the orphans 7/28/2017

Boromoko plays with Lemoyian 7/29/2017

Wild elephants wallowing 7/29/2017

Sunyei relaxes in the shade 7/29/2017

Ex-orphans and wild elephants at mudbath 7/30/2017

Kibo 7/30/2017

Kithaka  7/30/2017

Kilaguni and Chemi chemi playing 7/31/2017

Shukuru browsing alone 7/31/2017

Madiba with the orphans 7/31/2017
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