Keepers' Diaries, April 2015

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Umani Springs Reintegration Unit

The Umani orphans are extremely fat and healthy and if you could call an elephant glossy, glossy they are. Umani is a perfect habitat for the orphans who need a gentler environment because of past trauma, whether from injuries sustained from poaching, or medical health issues as was the case with our recent arrivals who joined the group this month.

The Umani orphans are extremely fat and healthy and if you could call an elephant glossy, glossy they are. Umani is a perfect habitat for the orphans who need a gentler environment because of past trauma, whether from injuries sustained from poaching, or medical health issues as was the case with our recent arrivals who joined the group this month.

Ziwa and Balguda joined the fold in the middle of this month making the transition from the Nairobi Nursery to Umani Springs Rehabilitation Unit.

For Ziwa this was his second time on the road, having been moved to Ithumba first last year. He fell ill shortly afterwards last year and was flown back to the Nursery to undergo intensive care treatment. He was brought back from the brink from a mysterious blood parasite. For Balguda, Ziwa's friend, but also an elephant who has had medical scares over the years, it only seemed appropriate that he be considered too.

These two little chaps were delivered to Umani on the 15th April early in the morning after a successful drive. All the details about how they have settled can be enjoyed throughout the Keepers diary daily entries, but safe to say they have not looked back having arrived in Utopia. Ziwa's condition is improving before our eyes, and Balguda has been lovingly adopted by Sonje.

The Umani herd consisting of Murera, Sonje, Quanza, Lima Lima, Zongoloni, Faraja, Jasiri, Ngasha and now Ziwa and Balguda have been having a wonderful month with so much food, water and easy living. Details about their month are shared in the Keepers daily entries.

April 2015 day to day

01 Apr

Murera came out of her stockade this morning full of energy charging at every tree in the vicinity, before breaking off some branches and covering her head with them. Sonje was more relaxed and browsed peacefully next to Murera, while keeping an eye on Zongoloni. Zongoloni was keen to keep close to Sonje and continued to make little trumpeting sounds in the bushes to make sure that Sonje didn’t leave her behind. Ngasha became disorientated in the bushes, lost the rest of the orphans and ended up in a dry area without soft greens to feed on. The Keepers became aware that he had become lost in the bushes and called his name. When he heard the Keepers he responded quickly and led the way out of the bushes towards the keepers and the bottles, followed shortly by Zongoloni. Zongoloni went straight to her feeding station and picked up her bottle with style, leaving greedy Lima Lima waiting to be fed by the Keepers. After the bottle feeding time, the orphans left for the bushes, once again looking for water from the previous night’s rain. It was a cold day, so the orphans were not interested in going to the waterhole, but content instead to look for standing water in the bushes.

Murera covering her head with branches

Ngasha looking for browse in a dry area

Zongoloni feeding herself milk

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