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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 - March  /  2016

It has been an incredibly hot month here in Nairobi meaning that orphans who would normally shy away from the mud bath are embracing its full protective and conditioning qualities with vigour. Kauro, Kamok, Balguda and Murit are babies who would normally never enter the mud pool without good reason, but this month have often been seen splashing and rolling around in the cooling mud. Throughout the month there have been a great many hilarious antics focused around the mud bath - the time that the Nursery is open to the public, so visitors have had the opportunity to watch the orphans in full playful mood and have been captivated by their amusing games. Alamaya continues to enjoy splashing unsuspecting visitors with mud while Godoma enjoys fully immersing herself in the mud with only her trunk visible like a snorkel, whilst Ngilai’s favourite pastime is getting his body as muddy as possible before running up and down the rope cordon muddying visiting onlookers. Ndotto and Lasayen entertain school children and visiting public alike by their climbing games enacting unlikely poses to the delight of their audience.

Amidst such happy fun times this month, we have suffered the devastating loss of Simotua along with the untimely and sudden death of one of our most dedicated Elephant Keepers in the Voi unit who suffered a heart attack whilst out overseeing the orphans out in the bush. All the staff from every unit clubbed together to ensure an appropriate burial for this popular and kind man. In the case of Simotua, who had spent a good amount of time with us here in the Nursery as all attempts were made to try and save him, it was very painful to watch the gradual decline of this stoic and brave little elephant who eventually passed away, despite our best efforts, during the late afternoon on the 17th March surrounded by his loving human family of Keepers. Having overcome so much in his short orphaned life, and growing into an elephant of great character, his loss has been sorely felt. Nevertheless, confronted by a further three rescues since his sad passing, we found ourselves compelled to focus on the living rather than dwell on the past. Included amongst these was an orphan with horrific bullet injuries to his hind legs who was rescued on the 31st March. We are currently analysing his situation and deciding what treatment will be the right course to take, always mindful that both Murera and Sonje who came in with severely compromised limbs, have made a good recovery able to enjoy a quality of life despite their disabilities at our Kibwezi Forest unit. We remain optimistic for this young bull.

On the 21st March we were kept very busy, performing 2 rescues in one day from different ends of the country. In the morning we were called to Namunyak Conservancy to collect a young bull that had been retrieved from a well over 39 hours before, and who arrived safely at the Nursery around 2pm. We called him ‘Joto’ mindful of the unusually hot conditions prevailing at the time, and especially in the North where he was from. On the same day at around noon we were called to rescue an orphan from Tsavo who had been found by KWS rangers without its mother or its herd. The young calf was slightly older in age and we called him Galla. He arrived very thin, having been without his Mum for some time, but remained strong and aggressive and had to be confined to his Stockade in order to settle into his new surroundings and become accustomed to his new human family.

Naseku, rescued in November of last year, has become a greedy character these days and inclined to be troublesome at milk feeding time, especially when she is fed ahead of the others. She has devised all sorts of tricks in an attempt to get more than her fair share, including marine-like moves of dropping and crawling along the ground in a bid to elude the Keepers and trying to extract milk directly from the empty bottles in the wheelbarrow! Sometimes such antics have the Keepers collapsing in hysterics! Roi’s greedy nature was shared in last month’s dairies, but Kamok is another wily one who likes to indulge in tricks and is an expert at avoiding the Keepers in order to embark on a mission of her own such as browsing on her own near the car park on fresh vegetation that has not been exploited by the orphans over the years.

Murit has been enjoying the company of the baby group recently due to his quiet and gentle nature which makes him prone to being bullied by other mischievous members of his herd, including those younger such as Lasayen and Godoma! The keepers have noticed that when he comes out of his stable, he pretends to walk out to the bush with the others, but instead secretes himself in Mbegu or Kamok’s stable, only to wander out when the baby group walk pass about an hour or so later, surprising the accompanying Keepers who wonder where he has suddenly appeared from. The ‘Big Boys’ Sokotei, Olsekki, Enkikwe, Sirimon, Boromoko and Kauro continue to be boisterous indulging in play fights throughout the day, picking on those weaker or younger than themselves which attracts punishment from the older girls, especially Oltaiyoni! Naseku is one who is really grown in confidence and who is learning to stand her ground, refusing to be pushed around by anyone anymore.

Ex Orphan rhino Solio has frequented the stockade sporadically throughout the month, much to the delight of resident Maxwell. When she arrives at the compound, she always greets Maxwell first and they communicate at length through the bars of his gate by touching lips and locking horns, or by running up and down the length of his stockade, before Solio returns to her old stockade and calls for lucerne to be brought to her by the keepers! On the 31st Solio returned in the early hours of the evening and stayed right up until dawn when the orphans came out of their stockades to head out into the bush, and Olsekki, Sokotei, Sirimon, Oltaiyoni and Siangiki relished the opportunity to mock charge after Solio into the bush.

The Elephant orphans have been socialising with Maxwell as well this month but often this is purely to sneak some of the tasty lucerne put out in his stockade for him. On the 28th orphans Mwashoti, Kamok and Alamaya ran up to Maxwell’s gate by his water trough in order to try and steal some of the lucerne he was busy enjoying in the early morning. After failing to scare them away by charging at his gate, Maxwell resorted to drastic measures and instead sprayed urine in Kamok’s face ! This tactic did the trick, leaving Kamok dashing off into the bush trumpeting in protest, with Mwashoti and Alamaya in hot pursuit.

The resident warthogs around the Nursery compound have been suffering this month with pressures from all sides – if not the orphans having fun chasing them, it has been the National Park lions keeping them on their toes having managed to make a meal of several. This month Mwashoti has been averse to their presence around the waterhole during milk feeding time and does not rest until they have been dispersed. Siangiki is another one who seems to dislike their company and tries to chase them away from the orphan group. Having experienced a restless night on the 25th due to be presence of the lions, Siangiki together with Kamok, Alamaya and Kauro would give them no peace but the warthogs insisted on sticking close to the elephants and their Keepers, and upon realising that the poor pigs were there to stay today, Siangiki gave up in the end.

Kiko has been driving his Keepers around the bend because as he grows in age, so he does in stubbornness and independence as well. He has taken up the habit of returning to the stockade compound on his own accord throughout the day, much to the exasperation of his keepers who have to go and retrieve him! On his home visits, he is either looking for milk in the milk mixing area or going to feed on the acacia tree beside Edwin’s office. Sometimes he tries to go back into his stable but finds the door shut. With all of these trips home throughout the day, what really annoys his Keepers is when it comes time to return home in the afternoon, he often flatly refuses to follow them back! Ignoring all persuasive tactics, eventually his milk bottle needs to be brought out to him in the bush in order for his keeper to lead him home with that! Kiko has a mind of his own, and is inquisitive and curious about anything in the bush, standing his ground when the elephant orphans try to chase him, viewing this as just a game, knowing that he can out-run them! On the 30th he happened upon an old Tortoise, which he examined carefully for a long time.

Many more stories can be enjoyed throughout the Keeper’s Daily diary entries.

Photos Taken During this Month for the Nursery Unit

Rapa was given a hard time by the older girls 3/1/2016

Oltaiyoni was being struct with Rapa today 3/1/2016

Murit is such a sweet and gentle boy 3/1/2016

Murit likes playing with the younger ones 3/1/2016

Maxwell playing through his stockade wall 3/2/2016

Naseku, left with Godoma 3/2/2016

Siangiki browsing 3/2/2016

Siangiki browsing on her own 3/2/2016

Kauro browsing in the bush 3/3/2016

Kauro and Godoma 3/3/2016

Boromoko playing nicely with Kauro 3/3/2016

Enkikwe can be a naughty boy 3/3/2016

Kiko walking in the bush 3/3/2016

Ndotto leading the group 3/4/2016

Mbegu is most fond of Ndotto 3/4/2016

Mbegu and Ndotto behind 3/4/2016

Lasayen and Ndotto 3/4/2016

Lasayen and Ndotto out in the bush 3/4/2016

Simotua out in the bush 3/5/2016

Greedy girl Roi! 3/5/2016

Dupotto started shouting for her milk 3/5/2016

Mwashoti impatient for his milk 3/5/2016

Sokotei knows how to tell the correct time 3/5/2016

Even at such a young age Tamiyoi is very clever 3/6/2016

All the orphans going out to the bush 3/6/2016

The orphans and their keepers 3/6/2016

Godoma heading down for milk 3/7/2016

Mwashoti had to drive all the warthogs away 3/7/2016

Mwashoti did not want any warthogs around 3/7/2016

Even Tusuja was chasing the piglets 3/7/2016

Alamaya was in a bad mood today 3/8/2016

Alamaya and Balguda behind 3/8/2016

Kamok went off with some of the boys today 3/8/2016

Kamok went browsing with Olsekki and Enkikwe 3/8/2016

Kiko doing his own thing today! 3/8/2016

Babies and the hanging blanket 3/9/2016

Murit still likes the hanging blanket too 3/9/2016

Ngilai still likes the hanging blanket too 3/9/2016

Ngilai back out with his group 3/9/2016

Oltaiyoni left the mud bath area running 3/10/2016

Kauro running around 3/10/2016

Pea and Pod browsing 3/10/2016

Olsekki wanted to run after Pea and Pod 3/10/2016

Kiko with his keeper 3/10/2016

Boromoko was enjoying a very fun game today 3/11/2016

Sokotei was being naughty and chasing Kauro 3/11/2016

Oltaiyoni has to discipline for bad behaviour 3/11/2016

Murit spent the day with the babies 3/12/2016

Murit going to find the babies 3/12/2016

Murit is such a sweet little boy 3/12/2016

Lasayen was in the lead for the milk feeding 3/13/2016

Lasayen with his ears spread wide! 3/13/2016

Naseku is becoming naughty at feeding time! 3/13/2016

Cheeky Naseku 3/13/2016

The orphans heading out on a hot day 3/14/2016

All the orphans out browsing 3/14/2016

View of the elephants browsing! 3/14/2016

Simotua in his stable not doing so well 3/14/2016

Ndotto has such a funny character 3/15/2016

All the orphans at mud bath 3/15/2016

Sirimon and others in the mud 3/15/2016

Orphans mud bathing 3/15/2016

Kauro standing  3/15/2016

Lasayen has not been feeling so well 3/16/2016

Ndotto and Ngilai behind 3/16/2016

Ngilai playing some games 3/16/2016

Olsekki, Oltaiyoni and Sirimon 3/16/2016

Alamaya, Sokotei and Kamok 3/16/2016

Balguda was in the first group to run down 3/17/2016

Balguda was naughty and blocked the way 3/17/2016

Balguda being naughty! 3/17/2016

Siangiki, Mbegu and Enkikwe 3/17/2016

Kiko with Pea and Pod 3/18/2016

Kiko, Pea and Pod 3/18/2016

Kiko, Pea and Pod with the babies 3/18/2016

Lasayen, left feeling better with Dupotto 3/18/2016

Lasayen with Ndotto 3/18/2016

Godoma had a fun day 3/19/2016

Orphans in the mud bath 3/19/2016

Dupotto drinking from a natural pool 3/19/2016

Ngilai had fun getting the public muddy today 3/19/2016

Ngilai messing around 3/19/2016

Enkikwe was playing a long game with Sokotei 3/20/2016

Enkikwe with Rapa 3/20/2016

Enkikwe with Sirimon 3/20/2016

New rescue Joto 3/22/2016

New rescue Galla 3/22/2016

Mbegu loves her keepers and little babies 3/22/2016

Enkikwe and Sirimon in pushing games 3/23/2016

Rapa did not like Tusuja's game with Mwashoti 3/23/2016

Rapa went to push Mwashoti away 3/23/2016

Mwashoti with Pea and Pod 3/23/2016

Murit likes to hang out with the babies 3/24/2016

Kamok out in the bush 3/24/2016

Sometimes Ndotto is naughty and pushes Murit 3/24/2016

Roi had a busy time this morning chasing warthogs 3/25/2016

Kamok had fun with the others  3/25/2016

Siangiki had the most fun  3/25/2016

Alamaya out in the bush 3/25/2016

The warthogs sticking close today 3/25/2016

Ngilai, Naseku and Godoma 3/26/2016

Ngilai, Alamaya and Roi 3/26/2016

Naseku was being a greedy one today! 3/26/2016

Ngilai and Kauro 3/26/2016

Boromoko charging around the bushes 3/27/2016

Sirimon playing some fun games this morning 3/27/2016

Kamok did not enjoy the games as much! 3/27/2016

Olsekki ran off with the other boys 3/27/2016

Mwashoti, Alamaya and Godoma 3/28/2016

Maxwell in his stockade 3/28/2016

Maxwell walking around his stockade 3/28/2016

Kamok had a nasty surprise from Max today 3/28/2016

All the orphans walked out in a peaceful manner 3/29/2016

Sirimon in the mud bath 3/29/2016

Olsekki down having fun in the mud 3/29/2016

Kauro and Enkikwe, down having fun in the mud 3/29/2016

Oltaiyoni and Dupotto 3/29/2016

Kamok likes to sneak off to browse on her own 3/30/2016

Kiko is very curious! 3/30/2016

Roi enjoyed chasing the warthogs  3/30/2016

Siangiki enjoyed chasing the warthogs as well 3/30/2016

Max walking around his stockade 3/31/2016

Ndotto stamping around the bushes 3/31/2016

Ndotto playing funny games 3/31/2016

Ngilai playing in the forest 3/31/2016
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