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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 - 11  /  2017

This month we continued to experience the rain showers that forgivingly broke through last month, but these were interspersed with very warm days as the weather would build up to the next rain storm. The orphans had gone some time without mud bathing but the weather couldn’t keep mud bath-lovers like Maktao, Enkesha and Esampu away for long. One day Esampu charged towards a natural pool that some warthogs were using to seek relief from the morning sun, only to occupy it herself for the next few hours with Kuishi and Enkesha. While the others decided it was still not quite warm enough for a mud bath, Maktau decided to jump in from the side and wallow to his heart’s content for the entire visiting hour one morning - he eventually had to be forced out by the Keepers in order to return to the forest! When it did rain the orphans had a very hard time attending the public visit. As they are usually in a hurry for their milk and run to the area holding their delicious meal, they cannot help but slip and slide on the clay soil that becomes a very slippery surface when wet. One day poor Ambo slipped right onto his bottom, but Godoma came to his rescue and they continued to walk down to the mud bath area together. When it begins to rain during the public visit it is a very funny sight to watch the younger orphans try and crowd under the keepers umbrellas, and sometimes those of the visitors as well! With the rain has come new fresh vegetation which the orphans have really been enjoying, after months of chewing on hard branches and stripping bark, they have new fresh, soft leaves to enjoy. Newcomers like Namalok, Sapalan, Maisha and Emoli are very happy with this change in weather, and sometimes partnered with Kauro, Ndotto, Pare, Ndiwa, Mundusi, and Maramoja to browse further afield, in the new grassy areas.

If there can be a downside to the rain it is the pesky insects and ticks which bother the orphans in greater numbers during these months. To assist the orphans in dealing with this we continue with the application of coconut oil every Friday, which is so good for their skin as well. Due to the insects bothering the orphans we applied it on some Wednesdays as well, but unfortunately new orphans like Sapalan, Namalok, Sagala and the little girl Kiasa, are not yet used to this funny experience and unfamiliar feeling! They gave the Keepers such a hard time, running all over the place to avoid this strange liquid, but the Keepers persevered and in the end they got their coconut oil conditioning as well.

Black rhino Maxwell is one orphan who always loves the rain and runs about his stockade in delight as soon as he can smell it and feel the drops on his back. The orphans often like to walk to his gate in the morning and share his left over lucerne pellets, or else start a game of chase on either side of his stockade walls, running up and down. One morning Max was no where to be found as he had spent most of the night running about his stockade and sharpening his horn; by the time dawn broke he had to take a nap in his bedroom! The warthogs still annoy him and he will chase them away from his lucerne grass and pellet trough every time.

Kiasa has taken a while to settle down when out in the forest with the others and always wants to return home to the stockades, or go to the mud bath. She dodges the Keepers and makes her own way to these areas. This has made it hard for her to make friends, but girls like Tagwa persevere and always try to look out for her. Maramoja and Malima have also stepped up to the task and block her from trying to leave the herd before it is a feeding time. We have considered that it might be her love for the delicious milk formula that causes her to make these breaks for freedom! On the 2nd of the month a little bull arrived from Tsavo in a very poor state and very dehydrated. After spending some time on drips and recuperating in his stable, Mapia, as we have named him, joined the orphans for the first time just a week or so later, and he took the new step very well. All the orphans, especially the young females, were as usual very attentive towards him and fought to get as close as possible to him. Rapa was his typical self and not as welcoming towards the new baby, pushing him over - though big boy Kauro soon put a stop to any of that kind of behaviour. Esampu has also been a very naughty girl this month and because of that she has graduated to the older group for feeding times as the older orphans would not stand for her mischievous ways. This tactic seemed to work and with the likes of Sapalan and Mteto around, there was no one for Esampu to push around, and so she was forced to comply and behave herself.

Tagwa is still very caring towards Sattao and will always be there to assist him, like on one occasion when he was struggling to cross a small stream and she guided him from behind. Recently she has been showing more attention towards the little baby Maktao, but Sattao doesn’t seem to mind as he is not the jealous type, and instead he focuses his affections towards Mbegu, the matriarch. He can only do so however, when Ambo is not around, as he is very much a jealous little boy and cannot stand Sattao being close to his adopted mother. When he is able to be with Mbegu though, we see Sattao standing quietly and suckling on Mbegu’s ears. Little boy Musiara has been playing with Jotto a lot this month and they look for each other in the morning to play pushing games, but Musiara’s special friend is still Luggard and he will wait for him at feeding times in order to walk down together at Luggard’s slower pace. Musiara has funnily also developed a strong dislike towards the giraffe, poor Kiko. At any given opportunity Musiara chases Kiko away from the herd, but Kiko just ignores the small elephant who is so tiny! Kiko has enjoyed spending his days quietly foraging alongside the orphans, but still returns to the stockades when he smells lions in the area. One day he even decided to turn up to mud bath, much to the delight of the visiting public! He really does treat the world as his own, as he demonstrated when he decided to leave, choosing to walk straight through the visitors who had to part ways for him and let him through! Kiko came across some wild giraffes early on in the month, whilst browsing with the orphans in the forest. He remains very shy of wild giraffes, and only gathered the courage to move towards them when he had the elephant orphans as reinforcement! In the end the wild giraffe’s moved away when Kiko showed no interest in them, but every meeting is an important one for Kiko.

Towards the end of the month on the 20th, we received a very special charge in the form of the tiniest orphan we have ever rescued. She was only a few days old and possibly premature as well, even smaller than Ndotto when he arrived from the Masai Mara, and she faces a great number of challenges ahead. When she was found she was presumed dead as her motionless body lay in the grass with only a faint whiff of breath from her trunk indicating she was still in fact alive. We will do everything possible for this baby to give her a second chance, and so far she has been doing okay in the Nursery.
Ndotto was less than a week old when he arrived in the Nursery, but today he is growing into a large bull with a soft nature. He has taken to foraging further afield with Kauro these days, and it will not be long before he is ready to make the next step and graduate to our Tsavo Reintegration Units, and start that most crucial phase of returning to the wild.

Photos Taken During this Month for the Nursery Unit

Godoma browsing but keeping an eye on Kiasa 11/1/2017

Kiasa browses as the girls watch on 11/1/2017

Jotto finds some soft green grass 11/1/2017

Ambo leads orphans to the mudbath 11/2/2017

Emoli enjoys the lush grass after the rains 11/2/2017

Enkesha onher way to mud-bath 11/2/2017

Namalok getting ready to chase the buffalo 11/3/2017

Sapalan also getting ready to chase the buffalo 11/3/2017

Babies at the mudbath 11/3/2017

Esampu enjoys a quiet browsing moment 11/4/2017

Enkesha leaving the mud bath 11/4/2017

Kiko gets his bottle feed 11/4/2017

Sattao joins his friends after crossing the strea 11/5/2017

Tagwa browses peacefully after helping Sattao 11/5/2017

Malima walks to the mud bath 11/5/2017

Sagalla ready for morning browsing activities 11/6/2017

Maxwell getting ready to enjoy the mud 11/6/2017

Maktao bottle feed 11/6/2017

Mapia with his keeper 11/7/2017

Kauro browsing 11/7/2017

Kiasa getting stronger 11/7/2017

Emoli enjoying soft green grass 11/8/2017

Ndotto after his bottle of milk 11/8/2017

Pare rests on one leg 11/8/2017

Kiko sees the wild Giraffes 11/9/2017

Maisha in a playful mood 11/9/2017

Ambo waiting for the 9am milk feed 11/9/2017

Lasayen early morning browsing 11/10/2017

Murit and friends heading to 11am feed 11/10/2017

Tamiyoi enjoys browsing 11/10/2017

Kiko arrives at the 11am feed 11/11/2017

Mbegu keeping close to the little ones 11/11/2017

Mteto, Musiara and Malkia browse together 11/11/2017

Mapia sniffs the air 11/12/2017

Maramoja and Godoma browse together 11/12/2017

Musiara watches over Malkia 11/12/2017

Mapia joins the others for browsing 11/13/2017

Rapa after being disciplined 11/13/2017

Tagwa and Maramoja arrive for the 5pm feed 11/13/2017

Ngilai looking for a playmate 11/14/2017

Rapa not interested in Ngilai's games 11/14/2017

Kuishi picking at shoots on the ground 11/14/2017

Kiasa keeping distance from Esampu 11/15/2017

Esampu after troubling Kiasa 11/15/2017

Luggard returns home early 11/15/2017

Ndotto finds his way back to the herd 11/16/2017

Ndiwa and Sana Sana 11/16/2017

Sagalla and Sapalan rush for their 5pm milk feed 11/16/2017

Luggard feeling a bit more energetic 11/17/2017

Maxwell in his stockade 11/17/2017

Mbegu with Esampu and Malima 11/17/2017

Kiko carries on browsing ignoring Musiara 11/18/2017

Kiasa learning to browse with the rest 11/18/2017

Orphans leaving the mud bath area 11/18/2017

Sana Sana keeps Ndiwa company 11/19/2017

Sapalan and Enkesha browse together 11/19/2017

Tamiyoi and Lasayen find greener pastures 11/19/2017

Ambo browses 11/20/2017

Jotto happy to browse by himself 11/20/2017

Emoli learning to browse 11/20/2017

Browsing orphans 11/21/2017

Maisha and Emoli walk to the mud bath 11/21/2017

Mteto stays close to Musiara and Malkia 11/21/2017

Mapya getting more comfortable with the Orphans 11/22/2017

Mundusi and Jotto browse together 11/22/2017

Namalok and Ndiwa getting ready for 11am feed 11/22/2017

Enkesha and Sapalan have a tender moment 11/23/2017

Esampu browsing away from the rest 11/23/2017

Maisha and Emoli find a quiet browsing spot 11/23/2017

Maxwell scratches his chin 11/24/2017

Ndotto and Godoma in a playfull mood 11/24/2017

Ngilai, Godoma and Lasayen walk to the mudbath 11/24/2017

Sana Sana finds a puddle 11/25/2017

Sapalan and Jotto browse together 11/25/2017

Tamiyoi reaches for green branches 11/25/2017

Ambo at the mud-bath 11/26/2017

Enkesha walking to the mud-bath 11/26/2017

Kiasa sniffing the air 11/26/2017

Kiko having his 9am milk feed 11/27/2017

Kuishi putting grass on her head 11/27/2017

Maktao finds a green shrub 11/27/2017

Malkia reaches up to find green leaves 11/28/2017

Mapia looking to join the rest 11/28/2017

Mbegu keeps the babies together 11/28/2017

Ndotto and Lasayen entwine trunks 11/29/2017

Orphans browsing 11/29/2017

Pare walks to the mud-bath 11/29/2017

Sapalan sniffs the air 11/30/2017

Tagwa among the other babies  11/30/2017

Sagala run back for the 5pm feed 11/30/2017
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