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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:  | Nursery Unit |  (Print This Page)


Monthly Summary for: Nursery Unit - November  /  2010

For the Nursery elephants, it has been an exciting month, involving the training of Suguta, Melia and Tumaren to the new Elephant Moving Truck which will be taking them to the Ithumba Rehabilitation Centre at the beginning of December. The month also brought the rescue of little “Ishanga” on the l7th from Tsavo West National Park, rescued just in the nick of time, lions having seized her by the throat as the De- Snaring Team rescuers were moving in to surround and capture this lone calf who was obviously an orphan. A Ranger who was with the team fired two shots in the air to drive the lions off the calf. Having come into the Nursery extremely traumatized, emaciated and wounded, Ishanga then collapsed and had to be revived by the intravenous infusion of Dextrose through an ear vein. Amazingly, she was up the next morning, and sufficiently calm to be introduced to the other orphans in the yard at 8 a.m. There she was warmly welcomed by Suguta, Olare and Tumaren, but also by Junior Matriarchs Mutara, Kudup and Kalama who clearly sensed her need for reassurance and comfort. However, Melia and Murka were not quite so friendly towards her, and had to be disciplined by the Keepers when they tried to push her away. Sadly another November rescue, this time of an orphan from Shaba National Reserve in Laikipia, had to be aborted because the elephant calf died before the Rescue Plane could reach it.

November has been memorable also due to the regular presence of hungry Nairobi Park lions who have been targeting the resident warthogs who hang around the elephants and their Keepers, where they feel safer. Naisula and Kitirua, both relative recent arrivals who enjoy spending quiet time feeding close together out in the Park forest separated from the others as they come to terms with the loss of their natural family, have found themselves face to face with the lions on several occasions, and have fled back to their Keepers, triggering a stampede of all the others en route! At such times Suguta and Olare (main Nursery Matriarchs) rush to surround and protect little Sities, who is their favourite baby. During the morning of the 8th when the lions were roaring all around the Orphans’ Stockades, the Keepers had their work cut out keeping a close eye on their charges, who like to playfully chase one another around the shrubbery near the compound. And on the 11th it was brave little 6 month old orphaned rhino “Solio” who put the lions to flight who were eyeing her! Unhappily, on the 14th several newborn baby warthogs fell prey to the lions, having recently emerged from their natal burrow and on the 15th when the lions were taking too much interest in the younger orphans, including Naisula and Kitirua, a Keeper had to snatch the blanket from the back of Sities and flap it at them in order to deter them! On the 22nd it was not lions but hyenas who caused panic amongst the orphans, so there has never been a dull moment for the elephants and their Keepers at the Nairobi Nursery this month.

Sities, who is a very mischievous and high spirited little baby, has continued to charm all the human mudbath visitors during the one Open Visiting hour a day, as usual running up and down the cordon that segregates the visitors from the elephants as well as deliberately scaring visiting African schoolchildren by rushing towards them. She then lies down before them to show them that she is, indeed, only playing, undoubtedly reveling in the chaos she has created! However, after one such prank, she inadvertently barged into Chemi Chemi on a day he was testing the temperature of the mudbath waters and was reluctant to go in. He was pushed in instead, which infuriated him, so he was out in a flash to retaliate! Chemi Chemi is no push over and easily downed Sities who bellowed, bringing both the Keepers and Suguta to the rescue at the run. Wisely, anticipating trouble, Chemi Chemi then made himself scarce by running away and taking refuge behind some bushes.

It was a happy moment on the 5th when little Wasin who has been struggling to cut her first molars, was brought out to be introduced to the older orphans for the first time. All jostled with one another to be closest to her, so much so that the Keepers decided to remove her from the melee. Olare and Suguta then went in search of the baby, leaving Sities with Kalama, something that pleased Kalama no end, since she is an aspiring Nursery Matriarch, as is Mutara, both having great potential to fill that role in the fullness of time. Wasin was with the group again on the l8th to be filmed in amongst the other Nursery elephants, and yet again became the main focus of attention of all the females, totally eclipsing Sities!

Kibo and Chemi Chemi enjoy regular Pushing Tests of Strength, with Chemi Chemi sometimes trying his luck against the Big Girls. He certainly has spirit, and one day will make a fine high ranking bull.

The Nursery had only drizzles and light intermittent showers during the month so Nairobi Park has been unusually dry throughout a month which normally should be very wet.

The Rhinos:- Shida continues his twice daily visits which coincide with the noon Visiting hour and the Evening Foster-Parent Visiting hour, thrilling blind Maxwell in the next door Stockade. Fortunately Shida likes to remain close to his Home Base, and can often be seen browsing along the new Banda access road to our Headquarters. With rhino poaching at an all time high, we are anxious to see him on four legs each and every day. Max remains besotted by little Solio, regularly coming to spray her greens (and often her attendant Keeper) with urine to label her as “His”. Solio who was once so fierce and “wild” is now is a calm and gentle little rhino who is happily settled into her daily routine, and thoroughly enjoys the excursions in the Park forest to add her contribution to the urinals and dung piles of the dwindling number of wild rhinos that remain in Nairobi National Park, now conspicuous by their absence. Whereas at one time we used to often see them at the salt lick on the rocks by our compound, sadly no longer.  

Photos Taken During this Month for the Nursery Unit


Kitirua (left) and Naisula 11/1/2010

Kandecha browsing 11/1/2010


Chemi Chemi at the mudbath 11/2/2010

Sities walking in the bush 11/2/2010


Kibo with Galgallo 11/3/2010

Tumaren 11/3/2010


Sities follows the Keepers 11/4/2010

Mutara in the middle of all the orphans 11/4/2010


Waasin is warmly greeted by Olare 11/5/2010

Waasin is warmly greeted by Olare and Mutara 11/5/2010


Kalama 11/5/2010

Naisula (left) with Kitirua 11/6/2010


Suguta 11/6/2010

Kandecha browsing 11/7/2010


Kibo climbs on Kalama 11/7/2010

Tano leads the way in the forest 11/8/2010


Shukuru next to Patrick 11/8/2010

Chemi Chemi in the bush 11/9/2010


Melia playing 11/9/2010

Tumaren 11/10/2010


Waasin is watched over by Olare 11/10/2010

Solio 11/11/2010


A very relaxed Maxwell 11/11/2010

Kandecha greets a keeper 11/12/2010


Kitirua 11/12/2010

Solio heading out to the bush 11/13/2010


Shida eating 11/13/2010

Wasin heading out to the bush 11/14/2010


Orphans in the forest 11/14/2010

Kitirua 11/15/2010


Naisula 11/15/2010

Murka lies on Tumaren 11/16/2010


Tumaren 11/16/2010

Kalama playing 11/17/2010


Ishanaga's wounds 11/17/2010

Ishanga gets a very warm welcome from the others 11/18/2010


Olare next to Tumaren 11/18/2010

Wasin followed by Olare 11/19/2010


Wasin close to her keeper 11/19/2010

Kalama with Julius 11/20/2010


Suguta having milk 11/20/2010

Ishana leaving her stockade 11/21/2010


Ishanga out with the others 11/21/2010

Tumaren playing 11/22/2010


Melia in the bush 11/22/2010

Olare playing 11/23/2010


Kibo sucking on Kalama's ear 11/23/2010

Maxwell 11/24/2010


Orphans walking 11/24/2010

Melia taking milk 11/25/2010


Suguta running for milk 11/25/2010

Ishanga in the bush 11/26/2010


Murka playing 11/26/2010

Melia smiling 11/26/2010


Solio browsing 11/27/2010

Kandecha 11/27/2010


Kalama checks for water in a tree 11/28/2010

Naisula 11/28/2010


Tano checks for water in the tree trunk 11/29/2010

Shukuru in the lead 11/29/2010


Sities in the bush 11/29/2010

Kudup (left) & Mutara 11/30/2010


Makireti browsing 11/30/2010

Ishanga 11/30/2010
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