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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 - 9  /  2017

It is incredibly dry in the wider Tsavo region at the moment in drought-like status; Ithumba received more rain than most areas and therefore is only just starting to dry out like the rest of the region, nevertheless large numbers of wild elephants and our own Ex Orphan herds too have frequented the watering points at the stockade and mud bath, and indulged in the Lucerne supplements we offer our dependent orphans every morning as well. We saw Galana and her herd including her baby Gawa and Nannies Loijuk, Naserian, Lualeni, Lenana, Kenze Yatta’s main herd usually consisting of the others like her baby Yetu, Mulika and Mwende, Kinna and Kama, Nasalot, Chyulu, Lenana, Wendi and Wiva, Ithumba Meibai, Ololoo, Ishanga and Sidai; sometimes they would all join forces and arrive at a particular place altogether. Their wild born babies, the youngest being Kama (to Kinna), Wiva (to Wendi) and Gawa (to Galana) like playing with the younger dependent orphans. Yatta’s baby Yetu and Mulika’s baby Mwende are slightly older at 5 years old. Little Wiva especially likes to play with Wanjala as one of the smallest in the dependent herd, but he does not often indulge in her games and often pushes her away.

We have watched with joy at how the dependent orphans mingle with the Ex Orphans and wild elephants at mud bath. In the midst of so much dryness we make sure to keep this waterhole and mud bath topped up with fresh water every day from the Tiva River. Nearly one hundred elephants or more make their way to this watering point, and we know from their jubilant behavior how relieved they are to make it. They stand aside for the water bowser to fill up the water trough or drink directly from the spout as the water cascades out. Adult wild bulls play in the water and our orphans look on, learning from their elders and copying their behavior. Karisa seems to have become embolded after his two month hiatus in the bush and will easily approach these wild bulls now and share water with them, probably after sharing their company for so long whilst out in the bush. Dupotto is also doing so well back in the company of her old Nursery friends and new, and aside from Kamok and Oltaiyoni has been browsing a lot with Enkikwe and developing her friendship with him as well. When it did rain one day this month the orphans were clearly delighted, rolling around in the wet soil and Olsekki was throwing chunks of soil and mud in the air and on his back.

Shukuru remains the leader of the dependent herd and is she who rumbles, giving the signal in the morning for their time to head out to browse. Other orphans like Kamok and Ukame can lead the way back in the afternoon but at eight years old it is clear Shukuru is the unspoken leader of the dependent group. Lemoyian can be a mischievous little boy especially at milk feeding time. Sometimes he tries to snatch more than his share from his friends and is disappointed when he is told off by the Keepers for doing so!

There were quite a few shifts and changes amongst the Ex Orphan herds this month but nothing seemed to be permanent. Narok’s recently independent group of herself, Bongo, Orwa, Vuria and Bomani split into the first two and the latter three but it seemed as this were only a tactic to lure more dependent orphans like Barsilinga and Garzi into their herd. Barsilinga is becoming increasingly bullish in behavior, one day pushing poor Karisa for no reason at all, and we have noticed he and Garzi hanging back from the rest of the group to socialize with the Ex Orphans; we are sure their time is approaching, when they too will decide to stay outside of the stockades and become wild again.

Olare’s herd also fragmented into herself, Melia and Tumaren while the rest of her herd was lead by the wild orphan that had adopted her herd. This only lasted a few days though and they day they were reunited altogether near the mud bath there was immense trumpeting and ululating from the whole herd. Mutara’s group consisting of Naisula, Murka, Kitirua, Makireti and Kilabasi also frequented the stockade to see what leftover food supplements like lucerne they could find, and enjoyed browsing with the dependent orphans sometimes too. 

Photos Taken During this Month for the Ithumba Unit

Orphans drinking with wild elephants 9/1/2017

Loijuk enjoying some lucerne grass 9/1/2017

Lemoyian climbing on Sirimon 9/1/2017

Wanjala and Roi coming in for their milk 9/1/2017

Tusuja plays with Boromoko 9/2/2017

Ukame peeling bark 9/2/2017

Sokotei feeding himself some milk 9/2/2017

Sirimon climbing on Naseku 9/2/2017

Orphans feeding on lucerne 9/3/2017

Galana's herd arriving 9/3/2017

Garzi and Lemoyian 9/3/2017

Makireti leading Olare's herd 9/3/2017

Garzi playing on the ground 9/4/2017

Enkikwe climbing on Olsekki 9/4/2017

Karisa in the bush 9/4/2017

Barsilinga soil dusting 9/4/2017

Loijuk and baby Gawa in the early morning 9/5/2017

Wanjala, Oltaiyoni and Narok 9/5/2017

Tusuja eating a tasty plant 9/5/2017

Big girl Narok 9/5/2017

Boromoko with Tusuja 9/6/2017

Shukuru soil dusting 9/6/2017

Wild elephants arrive while orphans mud bath 9/6/2017

Shukuru and Olsekki browsing together 9/6/2017

Bomani waiting for his lucerne 9/7/2017

Wild elephant bull eating with the orphans 9/7/2017

Galla playing and soil dusting 9/7/2017

Ukame pushing Galla 9/7/2017

Dupotto eating with Kibo 9/8/2017

Enkikwe playing with Olsekki 9/8/2017

Garzi playing with Vuria 9/8/2017

Orwa, Vuria and Bomani in the stockade compound 9/8/2017

Orphans drinking water 9/9/2017

Kithaka playing with Garzi 9/9/2017

Shukuru looking lovely  9/9/2017

Yatta and her Ex Orphan herd 9/9/2017

Roi scratching in the morning 9/10/2017

Olsekki chats with wild baby 9/10/2017

Roi greets a wild baby 9/10/2017

Orok mud bathing with the orphans 9/10/2017

Murka and Kitirua 9/11/2017

Kithaka playing in the soil 9/11/2017

Kithaka scratching his chest on a tree 9/11/2017

Wanjala relaxing 9/11/2017

Wild bull referred to as 'Dad'  9/11/2017

Boromoko pushing Dupotto 9/12/2017

Olsekki and Oltaiyoni drinking water 9/12/2017

Kamok relaxing under her tree 9/12/2017

Orphans going to soil dust 9/12/2017

Sokotei playing with Lemoyian 9/13/2017

Boromoko playing with Olsekki, wild bulls behind 9/13/2017

Roi enjoying a leftover branch 9/13/2017

Shukuru leading 9/13/2017

Lenana plays with Vuria 9/14/2017

Naseku in a charging mood 9/14/2017

Orphans relaxing in the shade  9/14/2017

Boromoko playing around with Olsekki 9/14/2017

Karisa says hi to baby Kama in the stockades 9/15/2017

Olare's group arriving 9/15/2017

Narok's group arriving 9/15/2017

Wild bulls relaxing 9/15/2017

Enkikwe wallowing 9/15/2017

Galana and her herd 9/16/2017

Olsekki and Boromoko messing around 9/16/2017

Ex Orphan Zurura 9/16/2017

Ex Orphan Ololoo 9/16/2017

Tumaren, Melia and Olare 9/17/2017

Buchuma in the lucerne field 9/17/2017

Melia, Olare and Tumaren 9/17/2017

Naseku soil dusting 9/17/2017

Wanjala chats with Mutara 9/17/2017

Kinna and her baby Kama at stockade compound 9/18/2017

Kinna enjoying her lucerne 9/18/2017

Orphans mud bathing with wild elephants 9/18/2017

Makena with wild elephants near the water trough 9/18/2017

Karisa messing around 9/19/2017

Boromoko playing in the loose soil 9/19/2017

Boromoko playing with Tusuja 9/19/2017

Sirimon riding on Naseku in the water 9/20/2017

Barsilinga playing with Garzi 9/20/2017

Dupotto looking lovely in the bush 9/20/2017

Orphans with a wild elephant 9/21/2017

Wild elephants at the stockades 9/21/2017

Galla and Dupotto 9/21/2017

Laragai 9/21/2017

Kinna and Kama 9/22/2017

Sokotei relaxing under a tree 9/22/2017

Lenana, baby Gawa and Galana 9/22/2017

Ex Orphans at the stockades 9/23/2017

Boromoko running down the road 9/23/2017

Olare's herd joining wild bulls 9/23/2017

Kithaka playing with Lemoyian 9/24/2017

Enkikwe playing with Sirimon at mud bath 9/24/2017

Half Trunk relaxing with the orphans in the shade 9/24/2017

Half Trunk and his friend 9/25/2017

Olare's herd arriving 9/25/2017

Kalama walking in 9/25/2017

Chemi Chemi 9/25/2017

Kilabasi and Makireti 9/25/2017

Sirimon eating lucerne with Karisa 9/26/2017

Sokotei wrestling with Tusuja 9/26/2017

Orok drinking with the orphans 9/26/2017

Kitirua charging at buffalos 9/27/2017

Kitirua sharing water with buffalos 9/27/2017

Karisa soil dusting 9/27/2017

Olare scratching 9/27/2017

Evening wallow 9/27/2017

Mutara looking for food and Karisa 9/28/2017

Naseku scratching her hind 9/28/2017

Shukuru and Siangiki sharing branch with Olsekki 9/28/2017

Dupotto and Ukame 9/28/2017

Mutara chasing wild dogs  9/28/2017

Lenana and Karisa 9/29/2017

Garzi playing with Ololoo 9/29/2017

Wanjala soil dusting 9/29/2017

Melia with Kithaka 9/29/2017

Kithaka playing with Barsilinga 9/30/2017

Orwa says hi to the orphans 9/30/2017

Sokotei and Siangiki scratching 9/30/2017

Evening wallow 9/30/2017
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