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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:  | Kibwezi Forest/Umani Springs Unit |  (Print This Page)


Monthly Summary for: Kibwezi Forest/Umani Springs Unit - 6  /  2017

There were some interesting developments at the Umani Springs stockades in the Kibwezi Forest this month. The Keepers were delighted to see Murera, who is normally extremely wary of any wild elephant bulls, take quite a keen interest in some of them during their covert visits. June saw some very impressive big bulls with big tusks visit the stockades for the first time, and perhaps their sheer size and presence was enough to attract the attention of shy Murera. Although the keepers are happy that Murera is beginning to warm up to the wild elephant herds of the forest, it is a concern for the keepers to have such large wild bulls creeping around through the bushes trying to get to the girls, as it is very easy to accidentally stumble upon them without warning. Despite this, the keepers are being extra vigilant and encouraging the visits, whilst Lima Lima is great at giving them forewarning when wild elephants are around in order to keep them safe, and she provides them with great comfort instinctively knowing they need her forewarning.

During one of these forays in the forest with the wild bulls, the keepers looked on in awe as the orphans all happily mingled with them, with Lima Lima and Ziwa getting up close and feeling them tentatively with their little trunks, easily walking beneath the bellies of the big males, and not even being able to reach up and touch their ears or heads, making all the orphans look so tiny in comparison. Sonje and Quanza were a little more tentative, but clearly they too were enjoying the attention. Such interactions are hugely important for the orphans, teaching them how to behave properly in wild elephant company, as when any of the orphans misbehave or get too boisterous with their wild elders, the bulls are all too ready to give them a good prod with their huge tusks to warn them to watch their manners. Seeing this incredible interaction develop here at our relatively new reintegration unit is a great joy for us all.

All of the orphans really have made Umani their home and have settled in effortlessly, yet some of the babies do experience some bad memories from the trauma they experienced before their rescue. Alamaya, has some terrible memories of the hyenas that attacked him when he was alone in the Maasai Mara before he was taken to safety, so when one night some hyenas came close to the stockades and started making their loud and eerie whooping calls, Alamaya was immediately terrified. When he heard the calls, he began defending his stockade by pushing on the wooden posts and pushing the gates to make lots of noise, whilst signalling to the other orphans to be aware. The keepers came out of their night duty tent immediately, understanding that Alamaya was scared, and ran towards the hyenas shouting at them to scare them off and stop their calling, which made Alamaya settle down.

As with this time of year, the forest is now experiencing some chilly overcast weather. Without the sun to warm things up the orphans are always a little more docile, especially in the mornings. Mwashoti and Murera feel the cold more than the other orphans at Umani, and when they are first let out from their night stockades, the keepers can see that their old leg injuries are stiffer than normal, as they walk slower, trying to warm themselves up and stretch out their legs. It doesnít take long for them to feel better after some good exercises with the others, whilst Mwashoti has also found a great new game to wake himself up in the mornings, chasing the little resident dik diks around the compound as they try and grab snacks to eat, which makes him feel like he is a big boy, enjoying not being the smallest animal in the stockades.

Just as Mwashoti wants to feel like a big bull, Faraja and Jasiri are also trying to act more and more grown up. During their daily walks out into the forest they always try and go their own way, whilst one day during the month they refused to follow the keepers at all, stubbornly stomping in the opposite direction. The keepers called and called, but they didnít listen until Murera had to step in and, as mini matriarch, herded them back with authority, not taking any disobedience and warning them about their rebellious behaviour and that they are not ready yet to take on the wild world alone.

 

Photos Taken During this Month for the Kibwezi Forest/Umani Springs Unit


Orphans ready to join the bushes for new day 6/1/2017

Murera ready to take babies to the waterhole 6/1/2017


Quanza enjoying eating  6/1/2017

Zongoloni with her friends  6/2/2017


Faraja after having his bottle feed 6/2/2017

Sonje joining the mudbath 6/2/2017


Limalima talking to Mwashoti 6/3/2017

Ngasha coming out from the forests 6/3/2017


Orphans in the swimming pool  6/3/2017

Murera walking back home 6/4/2017


Biggest wild bull to visit the babies yet 6/4/2017

Biggest wild bull and Lima Lima and others 6/4/2017


Faraja in-front leading the orphans back home  6/5/2017

Alamaya picking some browse after bottle feeding 6/5/2017


Orphans at dustbath time  6/5/2017

Mwashoti browsing down the hill 6/6/2017


Wild bull elephant together with Ziwa  6/6/2017

Lima Lima testing the water temperature 6/6/2017


Alamaya trying to mount Zongolonis back  6/7/2017

Murera walking away to the bushes 6/7/2017


Little boys Alamaya with Mwashoti  6/7/2017

Orphans arrived at the waterhole 6/8/2017


Murera taking Alamaya away after drinking water 6/8/2017

Quanza with Ngasha browsing in the fields 6/8/2017


Orphans playfully walking out to the forests  6/9/2017

Zongoloni scratching her trunk 6/9/2017


Ziwa drinks clean water from the trough 6/9/2017

Sonje leads the babies back  6/10/2017


Playful babies at dustbath time  6/10/2017

Alamaya pushing himself with Limalima  6/10/2017


Jasiri together with Quanza  6/11/2017

Mwashoti holding his bottle  6/11/2017


Orphans arriving at the waterhole to drink  6/11/2017

Ngasha and Jasiri pushing each other 6/12/2017


Sonje patrols on the grasslands  6/12/2017

Ziwa walking out of the waterhole 6/12/2017


Lima Lima follows Alamaya and Zongoloni 6/13/2017

Faraja browsing along the Chyulu hills 6/13/2017


Orphans arriving at the waterhole  6/13/2017

Alamaya walking along the springs 6/14/2017


Sonje smelling some bulls around the forests 6/14/2017

Babies at the waterhole  6/14/2017


Orphans beginning their morning 6/15/2017

Ngasha scratching his neck  6/15/2017


Murera leading babies out to the bottle feeding  6/15/2017

Sonje chasing away bushbucks  6/16/2017


Alamaya ready to drink water from the hole 6/16/2017

Ziwa picking green grass 6/16/2017


Quanza in front leading babies for swimming 6/17/2017

Orphans in a straight line walking to stockades 6/17/2017


Babies at the waterhole drinking clean water  6/17/2017

Lima Lima in the morning getting ready to lead  6/18/2017


Ngasha having water  6/18/2017

Mwashoti going to Murera and Sonje 6/18/2017


Murera caring for the playing babies in the bush 6/19/2017

Mwashoti at the waterhole drinking water  6/19/2017


Sonje testing water with her trunk 6/19/2017

Jasiri walking back to Ngasha  6/20/2017


Ngasha and Ziwa playing the pushing games  6/20/2017

Quanza and Alamaya at the water trough 6/20/2017


Boys pushing each other to see the dominant  6/21/2017

Alamaya pushing Lima Lima  6/21/2017


Murera scaring bushbucks away 6/21/2017

Friendly bushbuck relaxing 6/22/2017


Jasiri dozing after long walks  6/22/2017

Lima Lima walking behind Sonje 6/22/2017


Mwashoti with his mum Murera 6/23/2017

Ngasha scratching his neck on the trees 6/23/2017


Orphans at the dustbath after a long day  6/23/2017

Sonje drinks from the water trough 6/24/2017


Faraja scratching  6/24/2017

Jasiri playing with Murera  6/24/2017


Faraja at the water hole 6/25/2017

Murera and Mwashoti going away after saltlick  6/25/2017


Orphans enjoying the salt lick 6/25/2017

Zongoloni leading out from the bushes 6/26/2017


Faraja and Ziwa playing 6/26/2017

Zongoloni in the evening getting ready for home  6/26/2017


Mwashoti walking around the palm trees  6/27/2017

Zongoloni together with Murera  6/27/2017


Quanza with Sonje  6/27/2017

Wild bull visited the orphans at the waterhole  6/28/2017


Murera with Alamaya at the saltlick  6/28/2017

Jasiri with Alamaya and friends  6/28/2017


Orphans at salt lick  6/29/2017

Sonje rolling in the mud 6/29/2017


Ngasha walking to a wild bull 6/29/2017

Alamaya and his friends  6/30/2017


Ziwa greeting Murera 6/30/2017

Jasiri trying to push Faraja  6/30/2017
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