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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 - 7  /  2017

This month was characterised by plenty of interactions with wild elephants again, perhaps as they filter into the Kibwezi Forest with its lush vegetation and ever present spring in a drying Tsavo region, and each meeting is different to the next. It's one thing that the wild elephants are less cautious of the orphans, approaching them often, increasing less apprehensive of the Keepers it seems, but they are not always very friendly.

Sometimes the orphans bring this on themselves however, when they become over exuberant in their games with wild calves and pull them too close or pull their tails, which obviously draws the attention of their angry mothers. Sonje seems to be able to interact with these wild friends well and the orphans did enjoy some amiable meetings like drinking and sharing water with wild bulls. Every interaction for the orphans is instrumental in teaching them new social skills, and signifies a more seamless integration into the wild for them.

The weather was cold this month which meant the orphans did not always take a daily mud bath, and the babies Mwashoti and Alamaya would stick close to the matriarchs Sonje and Murera for warmth. As Murera's leg stiffens in the cooler weather, she has been walking around in the morning to help her blood to circulate and warm up a little, so she could keep up with the others. The cold seems to affect Murera's leg more than Sonje's, but both girls are doing well despite their compromised legs and have grown into fit and strong sub-adults. Mwashoti's compromised foot from his snare wound has also healed remarkably and we only see him walk with a slight limp these days. The cold weather does make him slightly stiff but like Murera, after walking he begins to loosen up.

Zongoloni, Quanza and Lima Lima are excellent supports to Matriarchs Murera and Sonje and they help lead and direct the other orphans on all matters like which direction to take and when it is time for bed. One day, Alamaya and Ziwa walked into the stockades holding trunks like the good friends they are, but Zongoloni pushed them apart so they would go into their own pens for their milk. When the boys don't listen regarding which direction to take they receive a firm shove from Quanza, who is always there to help them up after a vigorous wrestling battle as well. Lima Lima still dotes on Alamaya the most and one day we watched her try her hardest to fit him under her belly to keep him warm in the cold weather. She also continues to entertain the Keepers with her greediness, rushing to the feeding area before everyone else, grabbing her milk bottles from the vehicle before the Keepers are ready and even going to the length of trying to steal bales of lucerne in the morning from the food store! The Keepers have moved the morning feeding time to before 6am because of her impatience, and her greediness creates chaos on an almost daily basis, but she remains endearing to her beloved Keepers!

The presence of hyenas and leopards in the forest around the stockade this month meanwhile irritated the orphans when they were in their stockades and they made the most tremendous noise knocking on their gates, mainly because their smell upset the babies (especially Alamaya who had been attacked by hyenas when he was a baby before he was rescued) and the older girls wanted to reassure them.

When the naughty boys like Jasiri, Faraja and even Ziwa decide not to listen to the Keepers it can be to their own disadvantage, like the morning the Keepers had found their most lovely treat of acacia seed pods and the boys ignored their calls, leaving the little boys and the Matriarchs to enjoy them before they realized what they were missing out on! 

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

Mwashoti having a drink at the water trough 7/1/2017

Murera coming down from the forest 7/1/2017

Orphans running home with Ngasha in the lead 7/1/2017

Sonje peeling bark 7/2/2017

Orphans feeding on acacia pods 7/2/2017

Orphans looking for acacia pods 7/2/2017

Orphans in the field 7/3/2017

Sonje playing with Jasiri 7/3/2017

Ziwa trying to mount Lima Lima 7/3/2017

Mwashoti and Alamaya playing 7/4/2017

Orphans peeling bark from an acacia tree 7/4/2017

Murera trying to get green shoots to browse on 7/4/2017

Faraja rubbing his belly 7/5/2017

A wild bull at the mudbath 7/5/2017

Sonje and Faraja 7/5/2017

Orphans in the morning before going to the forest 7/6/2017

Faraja coming to the water springs 7/6/2017

Sonje  7/6/2017

Sonje with a mouthful of vegetation 7/7/2017

Lima Lima 7/7/2017

Murera and Quanza 7/7/2017

Orphans near the scratching rock in the morning 7/8/2017

Sonje waiting for Ngasha to finish mudbathing 7/8/2017

Mwashoti holding a stick 7/8/2017

Alamaya scratching 7/9/2017

Jasiri strength testing with Sonje 7/9/2017

The babies at the waterhole with Murera 7/9/2017

Ziwa splashing his feet with water 7/9/2017

Jasiri in the bushes 7/10/2017

Lima Lima browsing in the morning 7/10/2017

Faraja enjoying the mudbath 7/10/2017

Ngasha crossing over a fallen tree 7/11/2017

Faraja sitting in the grass 7/11/2017

Jasiri and Ziwa playhing a pushing game 7/11/2017

Mwashoti climbing on Sonje's back 7/12/2017

Murera at the stockade compound in the morning 7/12/2017

Orphans playing in the morning 7/12/2017

Orphans around the water trough 7/12/2017

Sonje playing 7/13/2017

Orphans in the field 7/13/2017

Orphans having a drink in the evening 7/13/2017

Faraja on the ground playing 7/14/2017

Orphans in the open field near the mudbath 7/14/2017

Orphans in a strength testing game 7/14/2017

Ziwa having a drink 7/15/2017

Quanza drinking at the waterhole 7/15/2017

Zongoloni picking acacia leaves 7/15/2017

Alamaya leading the babies home 7/16/2017

Murera browsing 7/16/2017

Lima Lima with ears spread 7/16/2017

Ngasha browsing 7/17/2017

Lima Lima with a mouthful of greens 7/17/2017

Quanza busy browsing 7/17/2017

Murera after a muddy mudbath 7/18/2017

Zongoloni having fun in the mud 7/18/2017

Sonje in field 7/18/2017

Sonje picking acacia pods 7/19/2017

Babies busy browsing 7/19/2017

Jasiri in a charging mood 7/19/2017

Faraja having fun in the mud 7/19/2017


Wild bull near the dustbath 7/20/2017

Alamaya and Quanza having a drink 7/20/2017

Sonje scratching 7/21/2017

Alamaya picking up pods 7/21/2017

Orphans browsing 7/21/2017

Faraja dustbathing 7/22/2017

Ngasha charging 7/22/2017

Zongoloni with Sonje and Alamaya 7/22/2017

Alamaya enjoying Lucerne 7/23/2017

Murera at the mudbath area 7/23/2017

Mwashoti and Alamaya at the waterhole 7/23/2017

Zongoloni feeding 7/24/2017

Browsing babies 7/24/2017

Lima Lima browsing by the mudbath 7/24/2017

Zongoloni in the lead at the waterhole 7/25/2017

Faraja by the mudbath 7/25/2017

Quanza and Ngasha in a pushing game 7/25/2017

Orphans headed to the bottle feeding area 7/26/2017

Lima Lima testing the water 7/26/2017

Ngasha by the waterhole 7/26/2017

Mwashoti in the forest 7/27/2017

Jasiri smelling the air 7/27/2017

Ziwa leading the group 7/27/2017

Zongoloni and Lima Lima 7/28/2017

Jasiri feeding on palm trees 7/28/2017

Zongoloni having a drink from the broken pipeline 7/28/2017

Quanza and her friends having a drink 7/29/2017

Mwashoti playing with Ngasha 7/29/2017

Faraja and Jasiri 7/29/2017

Murera scratching 7/30/2017

Orphans having fun at the mudbath 7/30/2017

Sonje holding her ear with her trunk 7/30/2017

Zongoloni at the waterhole 7/31/2017

Orphans leaving the waterhole 7/31/2017

Ziwa browsing 7/31/2017
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