On the 1st of the month our dependent Voi orphans were joined by a wild herd – Ndoria remembering her wild family stuck close following them for a good long while before eventually deciding to head back to her new found orphan family. Her new found love and happiness amidst new friends won the day and persuaded her to part from the wild herd and rejoin the orphans.
Light showers are keeping the area green and fresh, and some overcast days have cooled things down significantly, with chilly days inhibiting mudbath time. However on the hotter days there have been some good mud bathing sessions with one where Dabassa almost became stuck fast in the mud but managed to extract himself before the Keepers had to perform an emergency rescue.
A Wild bull joined the orphans for awhile on the 7th of this month. This was an opportunity savored by the little bulls in the dependent herd, loving the exposure to such a magnificent, strong and admirable big boy. These interludes teach our orphans so many valuable lessons – the little bulls begin to immolate them. Layoni was hooked and stayed close longer than the rest, fixated on his every move. The big bull not only paid attention to the little bulls in the herd, but was interested in Wasessa, who is growing into a fine young lady, fast reaching breeding age.
The ex orphans arrived at the stockades on the 10th, the first time this month, and it was lovely to see how little wild born babies Emma and Eden have grown. They are looking in wonderful condition and to see our hand raised orphans becoming such competent mothers, of course enjoying much help from the rest of the ex orphan team, is very rewarding.
On the 11th our dependent Voi orphans encountered a wild herd and spent time with them at the noon mudbath, but Lempaute, Lesanju and Wasessa were quick to whisk their babies past, Bada, Ndoria and Mudanda, without lingering. Ndii, Naipoki and Kenia on the otherhand enjoyed their interaction with their wild peers, but with the ulterior motive of kidnapping a tiny baby in the group, but the baby’s sisters was well aware of their intentions and kept them at trunks length!
This month Mudanda has been suckling Wasessa’s teats which Wasessa simply loves. It gives her the feeling of being the complete mother – of course Wasessa’s teats are dry but all the same this maternal action is welcomed.
On the 16th a wild herd came to the stockades to drink, a herd that has visited the orphans Voi stockades before, and when they did the one female was very pregnant, and now this time she came with her new born calf. This herd is different from other wild herds, they are more familiar than one would expect from a wild herd, happy to rest up under the shade of an acacia tree while the Keepers pass on by doing their work without them vaguely perturbed or threatening. When they come to drink at the water trough the Keepers are able to continue their work around the herd, just feet away, only a thin wire separating them. This herd clearly understands the situation and remained completely relaxed. It was difficult to confirm for sure given the length of time past, but we feel sure that in this herd is one of our much older ex orphan females because of how comfortable and familiar they were with the surroundings.
Kihari had a moment of enticing all the babies in the orphans herd around her when she performed rolling antics on the ground which they found fascinating. This was then spotted by Wasessa who very quickly came and snatched her brood away giving Kihari a sharp jab in the back with her tusks. She remains very possessive of all the babies.
On the 17th of the month our orphans spent much of the day immersed in a huge wild herd numbering over 100 wild elephants. The keepers were concerned that Ndoria might move off with the wild herd, as it was not very long ago she was a wild elephant herself. They underestimated her love for her new found Mum Wasessa, and they all emerged from the middle of this giant herd ready to head back to the stockades. It was a very special sight to behold and a perfect illustration of the remarkable second chance the rescued orphans are afforded.
On the 22nd of this month Tundani, Lentili and Nelion made their journey from Nairobi to join our Voi Rehabilitation Unit. They were immediately immersed in love and attention from the eagerly awaiting Voi dependent group, and settled in fast. In the short time they have been in Voi they have already increased their body condition, savouring the browse and fresh green grass, and while the three are inseparable they have been adopted by Lesanju, Sinya and Lempaute who provide them constant attention and ensure all is ok at all times.
On the 28th our newcomers were confronted with a wild herd for the first time. Lesanju introduced them carefully to the herd, mindful that this was a big moment for them, and Lentili soon became captivated by a wild baby in their midst, and was then reluctant to leave. Eventually the Keepers and Lesanju managed to persuade her to do so.
Fittingly the month ended with Emily’s ex orphan herd meeting the new arrivals for the first time, Tundani, Lentili and Nelion were tempted to spend much of the morning with them. These little juniors were transfixed by the sight of Eden suckling Edie. Being exposed to these lovely welcoming big mummies was very comforting for the trio who have settled in extremely well and seem to be enjoying their new home enormously. You will find more details in the daily entries of the daily Voi encounters.