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After the morning milk and supplement feeding, the orphan elephants teamed up in groups for games around the stockade compound, some played a hide and seek game, while others enjoyed sizing one another up in strength testing games. Ndoria became extremely competitive and quite aggressive towards Nguvu which resulted in Kenia having to intervene and restore peace between the two. Soon after the games came to and with Mashariki, Mudanda and Rorogoi taking the leading role towards the browsing grounds, where they spent the morning browsing in single file.

The day was warm and the orphan elephants had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games in the afternoon at the baobab water hole. The juniors came into the water first closely followed by the senior herd members. All the seniors were focused on impressing the six new arrivals from the Nairobi nursery with their mud bathing prowess. Lasayen and Murit interacted more with their senior friends than the four other new arrivals did. Arruba went rolled around in the water showcasing her bathing expertise to the juniors, with Kihari moving right in front of her, stirring the water with her foot and making it extremely muddy and difficult for Arruba to wallow which resulted in Arruba getting up and out of the water. Kihari took over Arruba's bathing position, in a bid to steal her spectators’ attention but was unable to do so as Naipoki, who had been watching everything that had taken place, came and sat on her stomach preventing her from showcasing any mud bathing skills.

Today was quite a bit of tit for tat taking place as Nguvu pushed Araba away from a scratching tree and was soon ousted in the same way by Mashariki who had seen what Nguvu had done and water to give Nguvu at taste of the same medicine.

Today, Tawi the orphan male eland had his usual fighting game with Ngulia. Tawi's long and sharp horns accidentally punched Ngulia near the chest injuring her slightly. The keepers quickly applied an antibiotic spray and some green clay to the wound and the two continued with their games.

Panda and Naipoki browsing

Lasayen milk feeding

Orphans enjoying the mud bath altogether


It was a bright Sunday morning as the orphan elephants exited their stockades and downed their delicious milk bottle before their routine supplement feeding. There were some brief games after the morning feeding, with the orphan elephants following Mbegu towards the browsing grounds.

Upon arriving at the northern foot of Msinga Hill, Ndoria and Nguvu became naughty and attempted to take on Lasayen and bully him. Mashariki quickly came to the rescue and chased the two older orphans away.

In the afternoon Mbegu, Ngilai, Ndotto, Lasayen, Murit, Godoma, Tahri and Araba were the first to arrive for their milk bottle followed close by the senior members of the herd. The entire group then proceeded to the baobab water hole for a drink before entering the mud bath. Embu went right to middle of the babies and lay in the water rolling around while the new arrivals stood and watched her games but did not join in. Embu was soon joined by Arruba and her longtime friends Suswa who came and gave Arruba a huge trunk hug. Their wonderful game attracted Lasayen’s attention and they all enjoyed playing together. Mbegu and Ndotto came out of the water after splashing themselves with some mud and lay down on the red earth piles for a soil bathing game and were soon joined by Mudanda and Mashariki. Aruba went on for a fantastic scratching session against the baobab tree, before joining the others who were already moving away to the fields for the day’s final browsing session.

Ngilai out in the bush

Murit browsing

Ngilai, Ndotto and Murit going for milk


The orphan elephants were very happy as they exited their stockades this morning and emptied their milk bottles before proceeding for the range cube feeding. Mbegu’s herd interacted very well with Kenia’s for the days browsing activities.

The orphan elephants visited the stockade at noon, where the milk dependent orphan elephants enjoyed their afternoon milk bottle. Nelion and Ishaq-B engaged each other in a bathing competition, with the new arrivals watching them closely. Ishaq-B showcased her unique game of pocking the walls of the stockade water hole with her tusks while Godoma tried to copy her. Ndii saw their game and plunged into the water to challenge them, but was left surprised when the two sneaked out of the water leaving Ndii on her own. Arruba enjoyed a scratching session against one of the outcropping rocks in the stockade compound while Kihari lay down on the red earth piles as Mbegu watched.

Today the orphan elephants visited the middle water hole after the stockade bath, where Mbegu knelt down to wallow. Her game attracted Ndotto, Godoma, Ngilai and Lasayen who came to cheer on their mini-matriarch. The group then browsed their way to the big waterhole where Murit had a wonderful mud bath and became the day’s mud bathing star.

Ndii leading

Araba playing on the red earth

Nelion and Ishaq-B in the water


It was a wonderful Friday morning as the orphans began the days stockade activities before heading to the browsing fields. Ndii came up to Mbegu hugging her as she drank her milk bottle while Godoma and Ndotto stood by watching their interaction.

Kenia took charge of the group leading them half way up the southern side of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse. The interaction between the new arrivals and the Voi orphan elephants seems to have improved greatly. At midday Murit, Lasayen, and Godoma hurriedly ran into the stockade mud bath as it was a bright and sunny day while Arruba and Embu enjoyed separate rock scratching games.

Mbegu led the new arrivals into the water for a bath where she was joined by Godoma and Ngilai while Ndotto chose not to join them. Nelion and Embu enjoyed a soil dusting competition in the piles of red earth while Ndoria slid into the water from the water hole terrace in an attempt to showcase her bathing expertise. Ndii took her darling Tahri for some soil dusting games, assuring the youngster that she and not been abandoned for the new arrivals. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close by with Mbegu occasionally separating the other five nursery arrivals from the rest of the group so that she could enjoy some leadership abilities.

Rorogoi, Ndoria and others

Friendly Ndotto greeting the keepers

Nelion in the water


It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the keepers prepared for the arrival of three orphans from the Nairobi Nursery. The Voi orphans exited their stockades early in the morning and stayed close by awaiting the new arrivals.

At 9.15am, the truck ferrying the three orphan elephants from the nursery, mini matriarch Mbegu, the calm and polite boy Ndotto and his friend Lasayen, arrived. The Voi orphan elephants led by Kenia, Ndii and Kihari stood by in great expectation waiting for the babies to finish their milk so that they could rush in to greet them. The three led the rest of the Voi orphan elephants in receiving and embracing the three orphans from Nairobi with Kenia and Ndii being at the forefront of the welcoming ceremony. The meeting was very emotional with the bonding comprising of trunk touching and trumpet blasts. Arruba and Ndoria became a little jealous of the attention given to the new arrivals with Arruba pushing Mbegu and Ndoria pushing away Lasayen.

After the greeting Nelion and Lentili enjoyed showing off their skills as they rolled around and played on the red earth piles. Embu, Rorogoi, Mudanda and Mashariki took to the stockade water hole to showcase their wallowing expertise to the new comers. Tahri and Arruba remained reserved wanting to see what would change now that there were new babies for their “mothers” to coddle.

The entire herd then headed to the big water hole where they all enjoyed wallowing in the gallons of water. Ndotto took a wonderful mud bath with the Voi orphans while Mbegu and Lasayen watched seemingly still a little shy. Ndoria the tail bitter stuck close to Mbegu and Lasayen while the rest of the herd kept an eye so that she would not bite the tails of the new arrivals.

The orphan elephants then left the water hole for the browsing fields where Mbegu became more confident and enjoyed browsing with the Voi herd. The three new arrivals were in paradise in Voi as they feasted on the luscious grass, green bushes and colourful creepers while butterflies flew all around them.

In the evening Lissa and her two calves visited the stockade at 7pm and had a drink of water from the stockade water trough. They remained at the stockade compound for a while before returning to the park.

Preparing to offload the orphans

Mbegu having her milk on arrival

Mbegu, Lasayen and Ndotto




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