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Previous rain showers had generated little green shoots which the orphans greatly enjoyed. They fed in single file, arriving at the middle water hole at noon to quench their thirst and enjoy some mud bathing games. Later that afternoon, we received a report of an orphan elephant calf at Satao camp in Tsavo East. The calf who was very thin and in a state of near collapse had apparently been trying to join the wild elephant herds who came to drink, but without success. A rescue team from the Voi stockades drove to the location and the calf which was about 3 years of age was easily captured being so weak. We named the calf “Mtoni” and once he met the other orphans, (especially Araba who was still in the stockades), he was became much calmer. He was given an intravenous drip and was monitored throughout the night. ( It is good to mention too that Kenia, who has been unwell, has already started to improve after receiving her course of injections, and is beginning to put on weight again). 

Mtoni exhausted and standing on his own

Mtoni being rescued

Mtoni in his stockade

Mtoni meeting the other orphans


After enjoying the supplements, Kenia and Ndii were allowed by Sinya and Lempaute to lead led the orphans out to browse where the orphans spread out to browse. Ndoria lagged behind the others when they went to the water hole that afternoon, but came running after them to ensure that she got her share of milk. After the mudbath the orphans browsed peacefully until it was time to head back home in single file.  

Orphans enjoying the mud bath

Ndoria arriving last at the mud bath

A nice bathing moment between Kenia and Ndii


The keepers had been keeping an eye on Kenia as they noticed she was becoming dull and not very active. She was losing some body weight and the situation was seen to be gradually worsening so we quickly called Angela for guidance and some medication to treat her with. The suggested medication was quickly couriered down and a plan for treatment made.  

Panda and Kenia dusting up

Layoni, Ndii and Kenia at the stockade


On a beautiful sunny morning the orphans left the stockades for the browsing grounds where they scattered by still kept in touch with one another for the better half of the day. The orphans later teamed up with the juniors to move towards the water hole to get their afternoon milk bottle and were followed closely by their senior friends in Lesanju’s herd.

After a wonderful noon mud bath in the main water pool, Tundani proved he was indeed the days swimming star, with Kenia slowly growing jealous and forcefully evicting Tundani out of the water.
Kenia took over the whole water pool, but did not have any spectators to cheer her on, calling for an early exit from the pool to join her friends in browsing.
The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well with Lentili enjoying the lead of taking them back to the stockade that evening. 

Orphans leaving the stockade on a sunny day

Lesanju and the older herd

Kenia evicting Tundani from hi water games

Kenia takes over the mud bath


The morning was good with the orphan herd leaving the stockade in good time after the supplement feeding was over. It was a wonderful browsing time of the day as the orphans browsed in single file throughout the better half of the morning.
The juniors started out at the water hole as usual under a leadership of Kihari and Ishaq B. Their older friends joined them there and they all had a beautiful time bathing. Soon after they left, a wild elephant herd approached to drink from the middle water hole with their tiny calf, which jumped into the water and played games that attracted the orphans back to play with the young one. Taveta, Kenia and Ndii assembled out of the water but close enough to the wild calf, admiring its most amazing rolling games.

Soon another wild herd of elephants arrived and Wasessa moved in front in an attempt to block them from interacting with the orphan herd. However the commotion of the two wild herds in search of ample drinking space scared the orphans away, who moved out of there to continue browsing for the rest of the day. 

Mudanda drinking her bottle

Kihari in some dusting games

Lesanju shining in the bathing games

Taveta, right, Kenia and Ndii with wild calf




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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust   P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya

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