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Fearing the lions, the junior Ex Orphans have been choosing to spend the night outside the stockades. For the second time now, the lions, early at dawn, roared not far away. The scuffle with the lions which made Enkikwe lame also left Barsilinga limping as he tried to escape from the scene, which resulted in him hurting his front leg. The junior Ex Orphans joined the orphans to feed on Lucerne, and later they left to browse altogether. On the way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Tomboi. After mud bath the junior Ex Orphans, Mutara and Narok’s groups left with Kithaka, Boromoko, Sokotei, Lemoyian and Laragai. In the evening, Boromoko didn't show up at the stockade with Laragai, Kithaka, Sokotei and Lemoyian, but decided to stick with the older Ex Orphans. This is not the first time Boromoko has spent the night out with the Ex Orphans and it appears that he is always comfortable being in their company. 

Pare feeds with Ukame

Rapa leading

Sapalan mud bathing

Orphans relaxing in the shade


Rapa woke up looking dull in the morning. When the keepers checked where he had been sleeping they found some loose stools with some small white worms as well. When the gates were opened for the juniors to come out, Rapa didn't go for lucerne but headed straight to the water trough where he joined Kilaguni to drink water. Kilaguni moved closer to Rapa and placed his trunk on him for comfort before wishing Rapa a quick recovery, as he could sense he was down.

The independent Sapalan separated himself from the rest of the group and spent awhile scratching his neck. Narok joined the juniors with Orwa, Vuria and Bomani, and settled to browse with Naseku and Tusuja. She had a lengthy chat with the two juniors as she tried to explain to them what was best for them during the dry period. Tusuja and Naseku could be seen copying what Narok was doing as far as picking the right vegetation is concerned. Kamok briefly joined Rapa who wasn't in a good mood and was feeding slowly. Kamok took Rapa for a soil dusting exercise to see if she could make him feel better but Rapa didn't feel up to it and stood watching what Kamok was doing. At mud bath time, the sun was really hot. The orphans headed for a drink of water as soon as they finished their milk and then jumped into the water to cool down. They all went to the soil to dry off where Sapalan emerged as the star of the soil dusting exercise by making sure that every part of his body was covered in red soil. In the afternoon, the temperature continued to skyrocket and this prompted Kauro and Rapa to look for a nice tree with shade. They settled to relax until the temperature dropped and they felt like browsing again. In the evening, Tomboi in the company of the Olare paid a visit to the stockade. Tomboi after getting treatment is now walking properly without limping. It is amazing to see how he stays around the stockades and is always looked after by a friend whilst he recovers – he knows he is safe here.

Chaimu and Sapalan

Kilaguni and Rapa

Naseku, Narok and Tusuja

Kauro and Rapa relaxing


The sky was partly covered by clouds in the morning when the orphans were let out. Outside the stockade, the orphans were joined by Orwa, Narok, Bomani, Vuria and Garzi who appeared to have been in the company of Laragai and her group the entire night. The herd settled for lucerne and after Narok led the way to the browsing field. Karisa and Rapa started their day activities by engaging in a soil dusting exercise, a game that also attracted Roi who joined them. Roi treated Karisa and Rapa as her younger brothers unlike Ukame, who tries to bully the young boys whenever they join her in whatever activity. If Roi stays like this she will grow up to be a very motherly elephant that will be mindful of her friends, although she still has got a long way to go and only time will tell. An hour after the orphans had left for browsing, Wendi, baby Wiva, Sunyei, baby Siku, Chyulu, Galana, baby Gawa, Kilabasi, Bongo and Tomboi reported at the stockade compound. Tomboi was looking fine after receiving treatment for his arrow wound yesterday.

Dupotto and Rapa boycotted the mud bath and opted instead for a soil dusting exercise. After mud bath, Narok and her group parted ways with the juniors. Garzi remained behind with the dependent orphans to share stories of how life has been treating him outside the stockades, and probably to find out whether any of them felt like joining him yet. In the evening, Garzi returned to the stockades where the dependent orphans went to bed and he met up with the rest of his friends, so it seems as if none of these dependent orphans are quite ready for life in the wild yet.

Vuria in the compound

Tomboi and Wendi

Sunyei, Siku, Chyulu, Kilabasi and Galana

Roi soil dusting

Naseku scratching on Kamok


Nasalot, baby Nusu, Meibai, Kilaguni, Chaimu together with Olare’s group brought Laragai and her group to the stockade in morning where they teamed up with the juniors to feed on the lucerne. Galla left the stockade with a branch in his mouth that he continued to chew as he waited for the keepers to provide the lucerne for them.

Shortly after the orphans had left for browsing, the senior Ex Orphans led by Yatta showed up at the stockade. Tomboi, the fifteen year old boy had an arrow injury at the right upper side of the back hip. The injury looked fresh, about two days old. Tomboi is one of the Ithumba old boys and came to Ithumba 18th June 2004 in the company of others including Wendi, Taita, Napasha. Treatment for Tomboi was organised by Nairobi HQ and the vet arrived in the evening. Tomboi was successfully treated and rejoined his friends after his ordeal. Nothing was found in the wound and it was suspected that Tomboi rubbed against a tree and the arrow came off.

Galla settled to browse with Dupotto and they shared stories of how life is treating them at Ithumba given that now it is the dry season and they would be forced to walk long distances in search of better browse. Dupotto agreed that life would be tough but to her it would not be worse than the one that she experienced in May last year when she went off wandering with Karisa and Kelelari before she was found and brought back to the safety of the stockade. She told Galla that now she has no intention of repeating the same mistake and she would wait until she is capable of dealing with life in the wild before she would try that again. Pare settled to browse with Wanjala and the story was the same about the drought. Pare wanted to know from Wanjala how to cope with the dry season since Wanjala has been at Ithumba for longer than him. The two boys played and tussled with each other. The senior Ex Orphans briefly joined the juniors at mud bath. In the afternoon, Kilaguni spent the remaining part of the day with the juniors and in the evening escorted them back to the stockade.

Kasigau with a wild elephant

Tomboi with a wound

Treatment of Tomboi

Tomboi's treatment

Tomboi after his treatment


Laragai and her group originally consisted of Garzi, Kithaka, Barsilinga, Lemoyian, but now Siangiki, Enkikwe, Olsekki, Sokotei, Sirimon and Boromoko have also become independent and have joined this group out in the wild as well. When the new arrivals came from Nairobi they were very badly behaved towards them and since they were off milk as well, the keepers saw this as a sign that they were ready to stay out at night. Most of the time they spend the night just outside the compound, or close by, and come back in the morning to share lucerne with those still dependent. They were relaxing outside the stockade this morning with Tomboi when the juniors were let out. Galla and Roi left with branches in their mouths, which they continued to enjoy on their way out to browse. Tusuja developed an itchy neck and decided to use a nearby tree to scratch it.

Later Pare settled to browse with Maramoja as Karisa teamed up with Namalok. Sapalan, who still totally refuses to take his milk, browsed a short distance away from his friends. At mud bath, Karisa led Wanjala and Dupotto in the first group while Ukame led the second group consisting of Galla and Oltaiyoni. Maramoja led the third group of Namalok and Kauro. Rapa led Pare and Kamok; the orphans have to come in groups as they all get two bottles and the keepers cannot feed them all at once! After having their milk, the orphans headed to drink some water from the trough and to enjoy a short wallowing session, before going to dust themselves dry as usual. In the process, Galla picked up a piece of stick that he used to scratch what appeared to be an itchy chest. When he was done, he dropped the stick and joined in the procession of those heading back out to browse. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot as Pare joined Maramoja to feed while constantly flapping his ears to keep cool. Roi had a private soil dusting session before heading to relax under a tree that had good shade. In the afternoon the sun was still hot and the orphans passed by the mud bath to wallow and cool down. Shortly before six in evening, the senior Ex Orphans in the company of five wild elephants reported for water and left later after having enough. They left with Laragai and her group since Laragai had opened the gate to let her friends out again. She is clearly very eager for she and her friends to soon join their friends in the wild.

Tomboi at the stockade compound

Maramoja browsing with Pare

Karisa, Wanjala and Dupotto

Kinna, Kama and two wild bulls

Sunyei, baby Siku and some wild bulls




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