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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 - 9  /  2017

It has been an especially trying month this September with too many orphaned babies pouring through our doors, victims of the ongoing drought in large parts of the country, meaning that mothers cannot produce the milk required for their young babies and are even collapsing and dying from exhaustion themselves. It is heartbreaking to watch another factor contributing to the decline of this species when they already have so much to contend with; aside from poaching and clashes with communities they now have to face shortages of food. We work hard on the ground in Tsavo, home to Kenya’s largest population of elephants, contrasting and maintaining our wind-powered boreholes, to alleviate the pressure of water shortages but we know the main contributing factor this year is the scarcity of vegetation. Our DSWT funded Kenya Wildlife Service Mobile Veterinary teams have been kept very busy on the ground too, attending to multiple cases and assisting in rescues as well. The younger orphans have come to the Nairobi Nursery for the more intense treatment and care they require, whilst other older orphans have been taken to our Voi Rehabilitation unit to assimilate back into the wild with our dependent orphans there. Orphans Maisha, Namalok, Sapalan, Sagala and tiny Pili were all rescued from across the country this month, as the drought grips large areas of the country and not just Tsavo, and are currently in our care at the Nursery. We received a couple of showers at the Nairobi Nursery this month that were very welcome and good for settling the dust and reviving the parched flora, but much more is needed and we hope will come in the impending short rains.

Luckily our bore hole in Nairobi means that the Nairobi Nursery orphans are unaware of such water hardships and are looking healthy and plump with all the lucerne supplements they are getting! They continue to fight over these and Tamiyoi especially is an ardent fan. When the decision was made to cut down slightly on this nutritious snack, she was the first to notice and was almost distraught, running from one end of the mud bath area to the other and inquiring with outstretched trunk from her keepers where they might be. Jotto and Malima were spotted arguing over lucerne pellets by Maxwell’s stockade one morning, an argument which Tamiyoi soon joined in. Unfortunately, Jotto used dastardly measures by biting Tamiyoi’s tail to get the pellets for himself, but his triumph was short lived as Mundusi came along and pushed him away.

Mundusi, Ndiwa and Mteto are being little trouble makers these days, especially during the morning public visit. They are giving their keepers a hard time as they are supposed to go down for their milk in the second group but they have learnt how to dodge the keepers to get their milk faster! Ndiwa is the group leader, but the keepers have cottoned-on to her tricks and have learnt how to prevent their escape! Enkesha can be a naughty girl at times as well but all the orphans are very good at disciplining one another and keeping each other in check. Her trunk continues to heal very well after it was almost severed in half by a wire snare, and she still enjoys mud baths the most, come rain or shine, as it must be soothing for her injury.

Fortunately for all our new arrivals, the majority of the Nursery females are extremely welcoming and understanding. Females like Kuishi, Malkia, Maramoja, Godoma, Tamiyoi, Tagwa, Maramoja and Mbegu will all mill around outside a new arrivals stockade desperate to meet and comfort the traumatized orphan. One morning we couldn’t help but smile as Malkia tried to open Maisha’s door, before realizing she could communicate through the partition from Musiara’s stable – we watched on as Malkia, Tagwa and Tamiyoi all tried to fit through the door at once, desperate to be the first one to greet her. Maisha, rescued at the beginning of the month, settled in very well and soon became very attached to Emoli who was rescued only the month before. The two are always together and the keepers have observed them to be like brother and sister, with Maisha usually trailing behind her ‘brother’ Emoli in the lead.

Murit and Luggard are known for being caring bulls towards the little ones as well, but occasionally some of the other boys surprise us, like when Ngilai, normally known for pushing some of the other orphans around, was spotted allowing the tiny new baby Pili to suckle his ears, a comfort he used to receive from Elkarama when he was young. Another morning when Ngilai was in a very playful mood and none of the other orphans or keepers would indulge him, he invited the youngsters Maktao, Musiara and Sattao to come and play with him; this is most out of character for the young bull but he had a lovely morning with the babies rolling around in the dust as they clambered and slid down his big body on the ground. Normally it is Malkia and especially Tagwa looking after Sattao and often they do not let him out of their sight. One morning at mud bath Sattao got stuck in the mud and couldn’t right himself but before he could even yell for help these two girls were there in a flash. Between them they helped support him upright and escorted him out of the mud bath. It is remarkable to witness such caring acts as these between our orphans, seeing how they truly care and watch over each other, despite coming from different families and parts of the country and knowing what they have gone through to arrive at the Nursery.

The other orphans in our nursery are getting on just as well. Kiko, the giraffe, has been behaving himself this month, but the elephant orphans are still having none of his company, preferring to charge at him and chase him away than browse in his company. Maxwell the rhino was spoilt with Solio’s company numerous times this month, as he always enjoys her visits, and they charge up and down either side of this stockade wall together. One night Solio was so bothered by three buffalo bulls after the lucerne grass the keepers had given to her that she had to escape into a nearby stockade, assisted by the keepers, until she left around 8am the next morning and the buffalos were long gone. 

Photos Taken During this Month for the Nursery Unit


Malima with a soft branch in her mouth 9/1/2017

Jotto finds some soft green leaves 9/1/2017


Enkesha waiting for her milk bottle 9/1/2017

Kuishi and Maktao share some greens 9/1/2017


Ndiwa at mud-bath 9/2/2017

Mteto and Kuishi early morning browsing 9/2/2017


Ambo leads the orphans for the morning browsing 9/2/2017

Luggard running for his milk bottle 9/2/2017


Mundusi being a little trouble maker 9/2/2017

Maxwell in his stockade 9/3/2017


Maramoja walks to the Keepers for his milk bottle 9/3/2017

Lasayen looking for lucerene pellets 9/3/2017


Ndotto getting ready to dust 9/3/2017

Tamiyoi browsing 9/4/2017


Mbegu looking for green leaves 9/4/2017

Godoma with Musiara 9/4/2017


Maktao holding a stick  9/4/2017

Kauro browsing 9/5/2017


Pare at the mud-bath 9/5/2017

Sattao smelling Maisha's mouth 9/5/2017


Enkesha browsing 9/5/2017

Kuishi wallowing 9/6/2017


Malkia in the forest 9/6/2017

Maramoja wall games at mud-bath  9/6/2017


Mbegu with a friend 9/6/2017

Sattao taking comfort from Mbegu 9/7/2017


Tagwa in the forest 9/7/2017

Malkia waiting for bottle feed 9/7/2017


Kuishi looking for Warthongs to chase 9/8/2017

Tamiyoi sucking her trunk 9/8/2017


Wanjala and Ndiwa browsing 9/8/2017

Sana Sana exiting the mud-bath 9/9/2017


Ngilai finds a quiet spot to browse 9/9/2017

Mteto reaching up for some soft leaves 9/9/2017


Luggard using a branch as a scratching post 9/9/2017

Mundusi greeting a friend in the forest 9/9/2017


Ngilai walking back to the Keepers 9/10/2017

Mteto busy browsing 9/10/2017


Ambo flapping ears to cool down 9/10/2017

Sana Sana having fun 9/10/2017


New baby Namalok in the stockades 9/11/2017

Murit at the mud bath 9/11/2017


Musiara picking soft green leaves 9/11/2017

Tagwa looking for shrubs 9/11/2017


Kauro browses as his Keeper looks on 9/12/2017

Kuishi and Mteto browse together 9/12/2017


Kiko in the stockades 9/12/2017

Pare at the mud-bath 9/13/2017


Ngilai in the mud-bath 9/13/2017

Maramoja browses 9/13/2017


Ndiwa finds some soft green leaves 9/13/2017

Mbegu and Sattao browsing 9/14/2017


Godoma and Musiara browsing 9/14/2017

Malima finds a twig to play with  9/14/2017


Ndotto looking for shrubs on the ground 9/14/2017

Ndotto and Kaura having fun at the mudbath 9/15/2017


Namalok browsing on greens 9/15/2017

Ndiwa out in the park 9/15/2017


Kauro and the others in a clearing 9/15/2017

Ngilai having a lovely time in the mudbath 9/16/2017


Murit and Malima browsing together 9/16/2017

Kuishi enjoying some greens 9/16/2017


Enkesha looking so muddy 9/17/2017

Maktao looking so sweet with his blanket 9/17/2017


Malima sucking on her trunk 9/17/2017

Maktao enjoying mud bath 9/17/2017


Musiara browsing 9/18/2017

Sweet little Sattao 9/18/2017


Sattao, Tagwa and Godoma 9/18/2017

Malkia came rushing in to protect Musiara 9/18/2017


Poor Emoli wearing his blanket 9/19/2017

Maisha and Emoli behind 9/19/2017


Sweet Maramoja 9/19/2017

Godoma is such a caring girl 9/19/2017


Sweet girl Sana Sana 9/19/2017

Rapa was playing around 9/20/2017


Enkesha was jealous of the new arrival 9/20/2017

Maktao wanted to stay with the others 9/20/2017


Luggard was taken to cover while it rained 9/20/2017

Sweet Musiara with Enkesha 9/21/2017


Luggard browsing 9/21/2017

Murit got quite a fright this morning 9/21/2017


Murit playing with Malima 9/21/2017

New arrival Sapalan 9/22/2017


Kiko walking out to the forest 9/22/2017

Kiko out in the forest 9/22/2017


Smiling Kuishi 9/22/2017

Orphans walking out to the forest 9/23/2017


Mbegu browsing 9/23/2017

Lasayen after his pushing game  9/23/2017


Ndiwa browsing in the tall grass 9/23/2017

Pili with Maramoja 9/24/2017


Mbegu with tiny Pili 9/24/2017

Pili with Mbegu 9/24/2017


Esampu with little Pili 9/24/2017

Malima, Pili and Maramoja 9/24/2017


Maxwell sleeping by his stockade gate 9/25/2017

Maxwell playing with warthogs 9/25/2017


Jotto got such a fright 9/25/2017

Esampu was a naughty girl today! 9/25/2017


Maxwell loves Solio's visits 9/26/2017

Malima was in a very excitable mood today! 9/26/2017


Godoma joined in Malima's fun 9/26/2017

Ngilai was so nice to little boy Pili 9/26/2017


Mteto browsing 9/27/2017

Esampu and Maktao 9/27/2017


Esampu and Pili 9/27/2017

Maramoja took Pili away from the others 9/27/2017


Maxwell fighting off some warthogs 9/28/2017

Maxwell in a very excitable mood 9/28/2017


Pili with Maramoja 9/28/2017

Tamiyoi was very upset there were no pellets 9/28/2017


Ndotto began his day with a pushing game 9/29/2017

Maktao still yells when it's time to leave 9/29/2017


Naughty little Ngilai 9/29/2017

Sweet little Maisha 9/30/2017


Maisha and Emoli 9/30/2017

Malima, Maktao and Tagwa 9/30/2017


Kiko and Musiara 9/30/2017

Kiko following his Keeper 9/30/2017
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