Keepers' Diaries, April 2014

Voi Reintegration Unit

The month has seen the orphans in a jovial mood, as every morning they assemble outside their respective stockades to take their morning bottle of milk. Lualeni the orphan zebra tries at this time to engage them in a game but gives up when he sees that he will be ambushed.

01 April 2014

All the orphans were in a jovial mood today when they assembled outside their respective stables to take their morning bottle of milk. Lualeni the orphan zebra tried to engage them in a game but gave up when he saw that he would be ambushed. The morning was spent browsing on the foot of the Msinga hill before heading for the noon mudbath where they all had a lot of fun playing in the water. Layoni led the group back to the stockade in the evening.

02 April 2014

The orphans were not in a hurry to leave the stockades this morning, playing around the compound before Lesanju led them to the bush where they spent the better half of the day browsing on fresh vegetation. Layoni and Lempaute separated themselves from the others while Rombo enjoyed a tree trunk scratch. Mzima, Dabassa and Rombo engaged in a bathing competition at the noon mudbath. Ndii led the way home at the end of the day.

03 April 2014

After having their morning bottle of milk the orphans enjoyed a game of hide and seek at the stockade compound. Lempaute and Mudanda browsed together for about an hour before Wasessa charged up to reclaim Mudanda. The orphans had a lot of fun in the mud bath. Ishaq-B led the milk dependant orphans back to the stockade in the evening.

04 April 2014

The morning began with the milk dependent orphans having a bottle of milk while the older orphans enjoyed some Lucerne. Taveta and Mzima engaged in strength testing games. After the stockade games Sinya led the group to the foot of the Msinga hill to browse. Here the orphans enjoyed soil dusting games in erosion trenches with Layoni being the star. At the noon mudbath Lesanju and Lempaute were kept busy by Kivuko who enjoyed rolling and sliding from one corner to the other. Dabassa then started his mimic mounting onto Layoni a scenario that brought all the games in the water to a halt. Kihari enjoyed taking the lead in the evening.

05 April 2014

The orphans today left the stockade early in the morning for the browsing fields. Dabassa excelled in at the bathing games where he was joined by Lempaute. Kivuko plunged herself into the water to challenge Dabassa. While Tassia engaged Dabassa in a pushing game which Dabassa won. The two rejoined the rest of the group for an afternoon browsing session.

06 April 2014

It was another beautiful morning as the orphans played at the stockade compound before heading to the main browsing grounds. Lesanju set the direction and pace for the better half of the day. Kenia brought up the rear and was unsuccessful in her attempts to separate a few orphans from the main group. Mbirikani who is the slowest in the group got a little left behind and the rest of the orphans came back for her before heading to the mudbath. Naipoki enjoyed leading the group back to the stockade.

07 April 2014

It was a cool morning as the orphans were led out of the stockade into the bush by Mzima who was followed closely by Taveta with the boys enjoying some leadership as well. Kivuko became a perfect time keeper today when she sneaked away from the others and started moving to the water hole by the time the rest of the group caught up to her she had already downed her bottles of milk. Even though it was cold Mbirikani decided to have a mudbath and was joined by Kihari, Naipoki and Ishaq-B joined her.

08 April 2014

In the morning after taking their milk, the babies browsed on the western lower part of the stockade where they intermingled with a wild herd of elephants. The keepers noticed that Lolokwe was among the wild herd and he welcomed Lesanju’s group to join them. There was a small wild calf that Kivuko, Naipoki, Ishaq-B and Kihari wanted to touch and take, but its mother was very protective and thwarted all their attempts. Wasessa made sure that her little one Mudanda never came close to the wild herd for fear of losing her. Lesanju managed to get her group away from the wild herd when it was time for the mudbath. It was too cold for a wallow so the orphans had a drink before heading back out to browse.

09 April 2014

Before heading out for the day Tassia took on Dabassa while Mzima engaged Taveta in pushing games. Lesanju led the group to the browsing fields where they were joined by Morani who tried to mount Wasessa. Mudanda got a fright and hid behind Sinya and Lempaute sneaking a peak at what was happening with Wasessa. Morani escorted the youngsters to the noon mud bath and had a lot of fun in mud bathing games with them before taking them back to the browsing fields. In the evening Emily’s group met up with the youngsters who were on their way to the stockades with Morani.

10 April 2014

The gates of the stable were flung open in the morning and the milk dependent orphans had their milk bottle while the rest of Lesanju’s group had a drink from the water trough. At 4pm it started to rain which brought much enjoyment as the orphans played in the erosion gullies and had fun sliding down the embankments. Tassia dug his tusks around a rock intent on getting it loose but was unsuccessful. Ndii secured Mudanda for some games, while Panda was sat on Kivuko impairing her movements and allowing her to win. The games ended with the journey back to the stockade in the evening.

11 April 2014

Emily’s group came to the stockades after the youngsters had left and enjoyed some Lucerne and dairy cubes before heading back to the park. Just before heading to the mudbath Layoni and Rombo played strength testing games before running to join the rest of the group at the mudwallow. Naipoki enjoyed led the group home in the evening.

12 April 2014

It was a nice and cool day as the orphans headed out for the day. At the noon wallow Tassia played some rolling games on the waters edge. Upon leaving the water several wild elephants came by and took turns having a drink. Mzima was quick to notice their arrival and wanted to join them but did not want to get cut off from the rest of his group. He stood watching two teenage wild bulls play strength testing games before rejoining the orphan group.

13 April 2014

It was a nice as the orphans played at the stockade compound. Kivuko and Lesanju sat on a rock close to the stockade water trough enjoying a good scratch. Rombo engaged Dabassa in some pushing matches, while Mbirikani, Naipoki, Ishaq-B and Panda teamed up for some rolling games in the soil. Sinya cut the games short by heading out for the day. At around 4.30pm it rained and Lesanju a quick dustbath as the others headed home.

14 April 2014

It was a nice and warm day and the orphans enjoyed playing at the mudbath. Layoni and Kivuko rolled and wallowed in the shallow water while the rest showcased their expertise in different games. Taveta and Rombo played strength testing games watched over by Lesanju who was quick to break them apart when she thought they were being too rough. Kihari led the group home for the night.

15 April 2014

The day started was nice and cool as the orphans headed out. Soon after their departure Lolokwe arrived at the stockades where he had a drink and some copra cake before heading off to find the youngsters. At around 11am the orphans joined a wild elephant family that had a small calf. Mzima and Tassia followed them for a while before rejoining the orphan group. Ndii enjoyed taking the lead in the evening.

16 April 2014

In the morning, the babies enjoyed playing and mimic mounting onto each other in the stockade compound. Mbirikani and Kivuko were busy drinking water when Rombo ambushed them pushing them from behind. The two took cover behind Wasessa for their safety. At the mudbath Kenia had lots of fun splashing everyone enticing them into the water. Mudanda, Panda and Mbirikani played rolling games while Mzima waited till the rest had left before wallowing.

17 April 2014

This morning Rombo and Layoni had a wonderful time playing pushing game with Panda and Mbirikani watching and acting as referees. At the browsing fields Mzima enjoyed kicking up soil with his toes and dusting himself while Mudanda and Ishaq-B watched. The orphans spent the rest of the morning browsing on Msinga hill before heading to the mudwallow. Panda stayed behind with Mbirikani who moves slower than the rest.

18 April 2014

The orphans enjoyed a scratching session on Msinga hill before heading to the browsing fields with Mzima and Ishaq-B enjoying it the most. Ishaq-B, Kihari and Naipoki arrived at the mudbath first and had a quick swim before the others joined them Sinya led the group to the fields for the afternoon while Panda led them back to the stockade in the evening.

19 April 2014

Icholta came to join the youngsters at the noon mudbath today. She plunged herself into the water and rolled around trying to entice them to play. Lempaute mimicked Icholta’s movements by the mudwallow. Emily’s’ group arrived at the mudwallow soon after the babies had left. They had a lot of fun and their trumpeting called Icholta back to rejoin them. After the ex orphans left the waterhole a big wild bull came by for a drink.

20 April 2014

While enjoying some lovely Lucerne Tassia and Layoni got in a fight as Tassia did not want to share any with Tassia. Dabassa intervened separating the two as there was more than enough Lucerne for them all. It was a warm day as the orphans arrived at the mudwallow where they found the new tractor filling the mudbath. The orphans had a drink from the water barrels before coming to drink directly from the bowser before enjoying a mudbath.

21 April 2014

Panda, Ishaq-B and Kihari ran for a morning bottle as Mbirikani came slowly to join them. Soon after the orphans arrived at the browsing ground, Kenia and Lesanju snatched Mudanda from Wasessa for a feeding session. It was not long before Wasessa came to reclaim Mudanda and the two spent the rest of the day browsing together.

22 April 2014

Taveta and Layoni began the day with a wrestling match just outside their stable watched over by Kenia. Kihari and Mudanda enjoyed a dustbath watched over by Wasessa. While out browsing Dabassa and Ndii enjoyed scratching their bellies against the rocks. At noon the orphans had their milk and a wonderful mud bath. Mbirikani lead the group back to the stockade in the evening.

23 April 2014

Emily’s group came to the stockade in the morning soon after the youngsters had left. Irima the ex-orphan who had been missing for sometime was amongst them and the keepers were happy to see that he was well. Irima and Tsavo have become more independent nowadays, and enjoy joining up with other bachelors. The ex-orphans enjoyed some wrestling games with Lolokwe taking on Icholta and Seraa taking on Thoma. They later left for the bush but never linked up with the youngsters.

24 April 2014

The orphans headed out to the browsing grounds early. Emily and her group came to the stockade with a young teenage bull. The big ex-orphan boys Laikipia and Lolokwe seemed to have welcomed him, but Laikipia was quick to chase him off when they were given their copra handout. The young bull broke through the fence and ran away.

25 April 2014

Laikipia, Thoma, Mweya and Seraa joined the youngsters in the browsing field before leading them to the middle waterhole where Thoma, Mweya and Seraa joined them in the water. Mweya sat on her bottom, tossing her trunk from side to side touching the youngsters. Emily and the rest of her group were enjoying themselves at the big water hole where they were later rejoined by Laikipia, Thoma, Mweya and Seraa.

26 April 2014

Icholta, Thoma, Mweya and Laikipia came to the stockade after Lesanju’s group had left. They had a drink and enjoyed a copra cake handout after which Laikipia tried to mount Mweya and mate her but was unsuccessful. Icholta came to Mweya’s rescue by engaging Laikipia in a pushing match.

27 April 2014

This morning Dabassa tried to engage Mbirikani in a pushing match but was ignored as Mbirikani was enjoying a dustbath and as such Dabassa took on Panda instead engaging him in head butting games before taking a ride on Panda’s back. Members of Emily’s group were seen on the western side of Msinga hill but they never joined up with the youngsters.

28 April 2014

It was a cool morning as the orphans had their milk and some water before heading off to the browsing fields where Ndii and Kenia played pushing games while Lempaute enjoyed a scratch against a tree. At the mudbath Kivuko and Kihari playing a game of splashing water onto one another as Naipoki and Ishaq-B watched and acted as referees. Panda and Mudanda enjoyed wallowing next to Wasessa after which Taveta lead them back to the fields for the afternoon. Naipoki led the group back to the stockade in the evening.

29 April 2014

Tassia and Dabassa today engaged each other into a very tough head on encounter at the stockade. Kivuko came in to separate the two and lay down between them leaving the two confused as to his intentions and as such they joined the rest of the group who were heading out to the fields.

30 April 2014

The orphans enjoyed playing games at the stockade this morning. Mbirikani who has always been quiet was seen playing a game of hide and seek with her closest friend Panda. The orphans stopped their games when a troupe of baboons arrived and they all charged at them to chase them off. The chase was long with the orphans chasing the baboons all the way to the middle water hole where they stopped to enjoy a mud bath. They browsed close to the waterhole until it was time for their noon milk feed. Kenia enjoyed taking the lead in the evening.