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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 - 7  /  2016

It was a busy high season in full swing at the nursery this month, and thankfully we have been enjoying numerous visitors in support of the Orphan’s Project. The busy season coincides with Nairobi’s cold season so we are all wrapped up warm, and that includes our youngest elephant babies who need special care to keep warm at this time of year as they are extremely susceptible to pneumonia. In a wild situation they would, of course, have the body heat of an attentive herd protecting them from the elements. There have been some sunny days which the elephants have made the most of, savouring their mud baths and dousing themselves with layers of thick mud, however on chilly days the water and mud is avoided at all costs!

July has seen us rescue a number of orphans, all at the beginning of the month, which kept us exceptionally busy. On the 1st and 2nd two orphans were rescued, the first from Voi whom we named Maramoja and the second from Amboseli National Park, a fragile young calf emaciated and thin rescued by Big Life Scouts from Rombo, which is adjacent to Tsavo West National Park. Pare, named after the hills that shadow the area was sighted alone for a number of days by the Maasai community before being rescued. Riddled in parasitical worms and with terrible body condition, we have had to work extremely hard to save him.

Maramoja was difficult to tame and initially extremely aggressive so it was a while before she could join the others in the forest and slot into the daily routine, but when we did let her out of her Taming Stockade, she rapidly assimilated into the group. On her first day out in the bush, it was Mbegu as usual who looked after her, nurturing and protecting her from the other boisterous babies. As it turned out she was much more settled out in the bush than she had been in her stockade, responding to Mbegu’s love and attention. Towards the end of the month she had fast become another greedy little girl, literally giving Naseku a run for her money by racing to reach the milk bottles first ahead of Naseku! Pare settled into Nursery life much faster, as by the time he arrived in the Nursery he was clearly desperate to be safe, having experienced such a traumatic time alone and abandoned. Amazingly he was tame from the outset, and soon made firm friends with Tusuja which we were afraid might stimulate Rapa’s bullying nature! Fortunately however, Rapa has welcomed this new friendship and the three of them are regularly spotted harmoniously browsing together.

While Tusuja has been looking after Pare, Sana Sana has been on a mission of her own and trying to look after another new little baby orphan rescued from the Chyulu Hills, again by Big Life Scouts, who has been named Esampu. This baby was rescued on the 6th of the month, and judging by her body condition she, too, had been alone without her mother for some time. Esampu seemed to be a quiet and withdrawn little girl who preferred to isolate herself from the others, obviously grieving due to the trauma of losing her family. Sana Sana used to be similar although recently she has become much more sociable with the others. It was as though she empathized with Esampu’s psychological struggle and stepped in to provide the necessary understanding and care needed to heal emotional scars. Galla is another gentle and reserved little elephant and Sana Sana spends much time browsing alongside him for the same reason. We can learn so much about love, care and compassion from the elephants, so humbling to watch, that it never ceases to amaze us. On the 4th of the month another calf from Tsavo East was rescued but very tragically her rescue came too late as she arrived in a coma which she never recovered from.

We have also watched Ndotto and Ngilai trying to interact with Ambo this month, but so far the little one has no interest in playing with them! The two boys have tried all sorts of games to attract attention, rolling on the ground and posing with their trunks in the air, in an effort to lure the baby, but to no avail – Ambo has eyes only for his adopted mother, Oltaiyoni, and sticks by her side! Ambo’s little friend, Jotto, is a very friendly baby to all people and has portrayed such a strong and resilient character that we were happy to be able to add him to the Fostering Program, joining Ambo, Tagwa, and Sana Sana who have all recently become available for fostering. Mbegu has taken a particular shine to Jotto and often tries to get him to follow her, but Jotto loves his devoted Keepers and usually opts to remain with them seeking a finger to suckle on instead! On one occasion all this attention seemed too much for Godoma, who is normally a very sweet little girl, but she resorted to pushing Jotto away from his Keeper when seeing Mbegu’s and Oltaiyoni’s interest diverted! Our little elephant orphans are just like human children and can display fits of jealousy as well.

Recently we have noticed Tagwa, rescued from the slopes of Mt Kenya, showing very similar traits to our little mini matriarch Mbegu. She is a sweet little elephant, very calm and gentle, and she allows the more boisterous bulls Ambo and Jotto to push her around without reacting and fighting back. She has a very modest character and in future we envisage her becoming the new mini Mum once the older females move on to Tsavo in the fullness of time.

On the 10th of the month it was time for more naughty boys, this time Sokotei, Sirimon and Boromoko, to make the move down to Tsavo. They were loaded onto the moving lorry smoothly and within minutes were happily confined in their pens on board and browsing on the greens provided. Their move down to Ithumba where they were reunited with old friend Olsekki, Enkikwe and Siangiki plus all the new faces if the Ex Orphans went extremely well and they are happy and confident in their new wild environment, loving every minute of it. Benjamin, Head Keeper of Ithumba, on the other hand has been struck by trouble, having to handle a batch of extremely naughty boys! We are hopeful that some discipline will be meted out by the older elephants and that they will step in and do the disciplining. This has left our big girls Oltaiyoni, Kamok, Dupotto, Mbegu enjoying a more peaceful time in the Nursery without the hectic naughty boys. Kauro is now one of the big boys, and he has best friends Ndotto and Lasayen as company much of the time. Our special, gentle little Murit, Kauro’s peer, does still love spending time with the babies and younger elephants, happy with their less boisterous antics.

Maxwell’s stockade required much attention after the sodden conditions of so many months, and needed a rebuild with him in residence. This obviously caught Solio’s attention as it affected her stockades where she grew up as a baby. Rhino’s hate change and so this month Solio returned numerous times to her stockade in the early evening or early morning hours, to demand for lucerne from her keepers who are always delighted to see her again, and to check on proceedings. Her visits send Maxwell into an excited frenzy and he charges and runs energetically around his stockades, before butting his horn against the bars that separate him and Solio in order to get her attention; she is always friendly and stops to greet him as part of her returning routine.

Orphan giraffe Kiko continues to march to the beat of his own drum and does what he likes, despite pleads and temptation of a milk bottle offered from his keepers – sometimes he complies, and sometimes he shows how much he really still does depend on them. One day he decided he was going to browse away from the others with Pod the ostrich and kept running away from the keepers, until he ran into a herd of wild giraffes who appeared from behind the bushes. This caused him to make a quick U-turn and run back to the company of his keepers and the baby elephant group, and watch the wild herd from afar! He is still nervous of wild giraffes but the more encounters he has with them on a regular basis, the more he will learn that he is in fact a giraffe!

Please read the Keepers daily diary entries for tales of different individuals.


Photos Taken During this Month for the Nursery Unit

Ambo with his adopted mother Oltaiyoni 7/1/2016

Ambo out in the bush 7/1/2016

Jotto out in the bush with the others 7/1/2016

Tagwa out with the other babies 7/1/2016

Boromoko out with the orphans 7/2/2016

Sirimon and Boromoko having a pushing game 7/2/2016

Sokotei browsing 7/2/2016

Kiko enjoying some browse 7/3/2016

Kiko running to join the orphans 7/3/2016

Naseku gave Kiko no peace 7/3/2016

Ndotto with Lasayen 7/3/2016

Godoma fell over when chasing warthogs 7/3/2016

Orphans all busy out in the field 7/4/2016

Tusuja playing with a stick 7/4/2016

Jotto walking along the path to feeding 7/4/2016

Jotto with his blanket on a cold day 7/4/2016

Naseku out in the forest 7/5/2016

Roi chasing dik diks with the others 7/5/2016

Godoma got a fright in the forest 7/5/2016

Mbegu walked to console Godoma 7/5/2016

Oltaiyoni is such a caring matriarch 7/6/2016

Dupotto is another caring girl 7/6/2016

Maramoja in her stockade 7/6/2016

Galla looking for Sana Sana 7/6/2016

Sana Sana is a sweet little girl 7/6/2016

At last a sunny day 7/7/2016

Going back out to the bush after milk 7/7/2016

Murit is so friendly with the babies 7/7/2016

Tagwa is very sweet and gentle 7/7/2016

Tagwa browsing with Dupotto 7/7/2016

Kiko walking back to his stockade 7/8/2016

Kauro playing around 7/8/2016

Sokotei browsing after playing  7/8/2016

Roi was chasing the warthogs too 7/8/2016

Boromoko's last day before his move 7/9/2016

Kamok happy to escort the boys to the lorry 7/9/2016

Tusuja enjoying some nice browse 7/9/2016

Kauro one of the big boys in the nursery now 7/10/2016

Dupotto playing some funny games in the forest 7/10/2016

None of the boys challenge Oltaiyoni 7/10/2016

Tusuja, a quieter bull, with Jotto 7/10/2016

Oltaiyoni  7/11/2016

Esambu 7/11/2016

Kiko 7/11/2016

Mbegu 7/12/2016

Roi 7/12/2016

Dupotto 7/12/2016

Naseku browsing 7/13/2016

Naseku and Kamok 7/13/2016

Kauro in the forest 7/13/2016

Rapa dusting 7/14/2016

Tusuja and Jotto  7/14/2016

Pea in the forest 7/14/2016

Ndotto in the forest 7/15/2016

Lasayan browsing 7/15/2016

Murit surrounded by friends 7/15/2016

Maramoja at the stockades 7/16/2016

Luggard browsing  7/16/2016

Mbegu with a stick 7/16/2016

Roi looking for Ngilai 7/17/2016

Ngilai eating 7/17/2016

Ambo in the forest 7/17/2016

Sana Sana 7/17/2016

Maramoja in the forest for the first time 7/18/2016

Naseku and the others 7/18/2016

Maramoja being uncertain in the forest 7/18/2016

Ambo finds Oltaiyoni  7/19/2016

Rapa and Godoma 7/19/2016

Tusuja eating 7/19/2016

Tamiyoi with his blanket 7/20/2016

Tagwa and Dupotto 7/20/2016

Kamok in the forest 7/20/2016

Jotto and Maramoja 7/21/2016

Jotto following his keeper 7/21/2016

Mbegu browsing  7/21/2016

Pare and Oltaiyoni  7/22/2016

Kiko joining the others 7/22/2016

Kauro 7/22/2016

Ngilai chasing the others 7/23/2016

Roi in the forest 7/23/2016

Tusuja grabbing a branch 7/23/2016

Oltaiyoni Dupotto and Kamok 7/24/2016

Ambo 7/24/2016

Kiko emerging  7/24/2016

Mbegu 7/25/2016

Godoma eating  7/25/2016

Murit browsing  7/25/2016

Max in his stockade 7/26/2016

Max eating  7/26/2016


Galla smelling something 7/27/2016

Pare in the forest  7/27/2016

Pea running 7/27/2016

Kauro 7/28/2016

Dupotto getting down for the best vegetation  7/28/2016

Oltaiyoni and Ambo 7/28/2016

Rapa and Godoma  7/29/2016

Maramoja 7/29/2016

Naseku browsing  7/29/2016

Kiko following to the visit time 7/30/2016

Kiko browsing on the way 7/30/2016

Kauro being naughty 7/30/2016

Godoma browsing  7/31/2016

Tagwa and Dupotto browsing  7/31/2016

Sana Sana 7/31/2016
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