Keepers' Diaries, April 2016
Voi Reintegration Unit
Lesanju’s herd, who have recently become independent of their Keepers, no longer come into the Stockades at night. Included in her herd are Lempaute, Sinya, and Kivuko, and bulls Taveta, Mzima and Dabassa. Wasessa seems to have opted to remain within Emily’s herd. The transition to a wild life of this group is certainly assisted by the presence and guidance of Emily’s herd, with whom they fraternize. When not with Emily’s Ex Orphan herd, Lesanju’s group often browse closer to home around the Stockades, either searching for left over copra cake or visiting the dependent orphans wherever they may be, the incentive being the fact that many of their friends remain within the dependent herd. Should they absent themselves for a few days, the Keepers are not concerned, but celebrate their new found independence and successful reintegration back into a wild life, as they are often seen in amongst both the Ex Orphans and wild herds alike. On the 22nd Lesanju’s herd was spotted in the distance in the company of a wild bull, unfortunately too far to be able to capture on camera.
01 April 2016
It was a brilliant morning with the Ex Orphans in Emily’s herd coming in with Lesanju’s herd into the stockade early this morning, missing the stockade dependant orphans by just a few minutes. Lesanju’s herd separated themselves from the main herd, waiting patiently for the seniors to drink water from the stockade trough before they assembled to drink as well.
Morani, who was waiting for the ladies to finish drinking, joined Lesanju’s herd to drink, moving to stand inside the water trough after drinking to cool down even more.
The Ex Orphans and Lesanju’s herd then walked out of the stockade heading towards the east but did not catch up with the stockade dependant orphans who had moved further towards the northern side to browse. Panda browsed closely with Bada throughout the day. The stockade dependent orphans visited the middle water hole at noon, and had only a very brief bath before moving out browse for the rest of the day.
02 April 2016
The morning was good with the orphan elephants coming out of their respective stables, running to drink a morning milk bottle before settling down for some copra cake. The orphans then started to move out of the stockade under the leadership of Kihari and Naipoki. They settled half way up the western side of Msinga Hill, browsing until noon. The orphans then came back to the stockade to drink water and have an afternoon bottle of milk as there were some school pupils visiting the stockade with the Trust community outreach bus. The orphans arrived and the school pupils were very excited to see them running in for their delicious milk bottle. Nelion went for his rock scratching game that the pupils watched in great amazement. Ishaq B went down in her own unique game with Mudanda coming over and lying on her, a scenario that made the pupils laugh in happiness.
Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Taveta and Dabassa caught up with them briefly in the stockade before leaving for the last browsing of the day. Lesanju’s herd came back to the stockade with them in the evening and left sometime after at 8pm.
03 April 2016
It was a blessed morning with the orphans coming out of the stockade amid rain showers. They quickly emptied their milk bottle leaving for the browsing grounds without many games in the compound. It was a heavy rain storm but it lasted for a relatively short time; we recorded 10mm of rain.
When it was still raining there was a thunder strike and the sound was magnified by the nearby Msinga Hill. This caused a few of the orphans to split from the rest of the herd and run in panic. Lentili, Arruba, Suswa, Nelion, Mashariki, Panda, Rorogoi, Tundani, Ishaq B, Bada, and Kihari ran onto the far northern side in fear and confusion.
The keepers had to use the stockade pick-up truck to try and maneuver around the bush to search for the orphans but without any success. After two hours of unsuccessful searching the assistance of the Trust air craft was called from our Kaluku HQ to assist with finding the orphans from the air. That attempt succeeded in sighting the babies on the far northern side of Msinga Hill in the dense bush.
The keepers then moved with a pick up to locate them and bring them back to join their eight friends in Kenia and Ndii’s herd that had been left behind browsing on the foot of the hill. Tundani and Nelion had a wonderful strength testing game with another in a head butting competition.
The rest of the browsing day went on undisturbed with Tundani enjoying the lead of taking the others back to the stockade that evening.
04 April 2016
The morning started well and the orphans were out browsing after the stockade feeding and playing routine was over. The browsing today was well coordinated with Kenia, Panda and Lentili contributing their expertise in leading.
Thick clouds then drifted in, covering the sun and the weather turned quite chilly whilst the orphans were browsing. Afternoon came fast with the orphans reluctant to move into the water hole at noon. Milk was taken up to those still browsing in the bush.
In the evening Nelion got the idea in his head to climb up Msinga Hill to browse. He went ahead trying to encourage Naipoki to accompany him; but she would not due to the time and it was almost time to return to the stockades.
In the evening Lempaute, Sinya and Dabassa without other members of Lesanju’s herd visited the stockade to drink water.
The three stayed around the stockade compound browsing close by, leaving towards midnight for the main park where their other friends were believed to have been browsing.
05 April 2016
The morning was good with the orphans assembling for their morning milk bottle before settling to eat some sweet copra cake. There were some games of ambushing and chasing off baboons that were coming down-hill to steal their copra cake. The baboons ran under one fence to the opposite side of the fence giving the elephants no chance to catch up with them. The elephants remained along the fence line in an ambush position with the baboons becoming brave and resorting to moving into the lower camp instead of falling into the elephants trap. The orphans then left the stockade for the browsing grounds where they spread out, grabbing as much vegetation as they could.
Later in the day a herd of wild elephants passed close to the orphans and Panda moved over to join them. She retreated back to her herd though upon noticing that no one was joining her to meet the wild herd. The orphans went to the middle water hole and had a lot of fun in mud bathing games, before settling down to browse again.
The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well with Mashariki enjoying the lead of taking them back to the stockades that evening.
06 April 2016
The orphans were happily browsing on some nice green, lush grass. They later visited the water hole at noon and had a lot of fun in some mud bathing games after milk feeding. Ndoria was left behind as the others moved off to browse that afternoon, but Kihari went to her and offered her some browsing company for the rest of the afternoon.
Mudanda encountered a big monitor lizard as he was browsing. She was scared and ran away but Kenia took charge and assuring her that all was well. They changed course and browsed away from that big reptile for the few hours remaining.
A single wild elephant bull came to drink water from the stockade water trough at 11am. He drank and stayed around ten minutes before walking away towards the main park whilst browsing. Half an hour later, Emily’s herd arrived in a rush as they were very thirsty, settling to drink water from the stockade water trough.
After quenching their thirst it was socializing time, with Emma taking Mzima for some wonderful games near the rocks. Eve also played with little Inca. Mzima was the only one present today from Lesanju’s herd with all others whereabouts unknown. Sweet Sally jumped into the stockade trough with her two front legs in the water. Safi attempted to do the same but his small size prevented him from following his mother!
Morani rested his big trunk on Safi’s back, before Safi sneaked under his mother Sweet Sally to join Mzima and Emma in the rock scratching games.
They then left the stockade without catching up with the stockade dependent orphans for the rest of the day.
07 April 2016
Ndii and Lentili led all the orphans out of their stockades this morning. Soon after their departure, Lesanju, Taveta and Kivuko made a grand entrance into the stockade at 7.30am, just missing the juniors. The three went to drink from the stockade water trough before going to eat some left over copra cake. They later left towards their usual browsing grounds.
The stockade dependant orphans had a marvelous morning browsing in the bush, visiting the middle water hole later in the afternoon.
The weather was fairly cold with only Bada moving into the water to take a bath. Ndoria came close to him, congratulating his excellence in the mud bathing games. Panda, Ishaq B, Embu, Rorogoi and Mashariki all stood at the edge of the water cheering Bada on.
Lentili and Kenia had a wonderful scratching moment on a tree trunk, with Ndii later coming over to oust Panda from her scratching point. Panda, who hadn’t finished her scratching session, went back to the same spot when Ndii left again. Kihari chose a separate tree where she enjoyed a peaceful scratch without being disturbed. The orphans then returned to the middle water hole at 3.30pm for a second bath, where Arruba enjoyed bathing in the middle of the water pool, taking advantage of the plentiful water there.
08 April 2016
It was a wonderful afternoon with Emily’s herd visiting the stockade around 11.50am to drink from the stockade water trough. Today they were in company of two teenage wild bulls elephants, one which was particularly interested in Seraa. Laikipia was also present and showing some interest in Seraa as well, suggesting she might be coming into season. The other wild bull had a soft spot for little Eden and Emma and embraced them like they were his own babies. Ten minutes later, Lesanju’s herd arrived; Safi moved to the front to welcome them to the Ex Orphan herd. Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Taveta and Dabassa shied away from fully interacting with Emily’s herd but Mzima mixed perfectly with them. Ella played nicely with little Inca, playing with a rock close to the water trough. Lesanju and Dabassa snatched Emma and Eden away from the wild bull that was busy drinking water at the time. Inca bravely went to steal some milk by suckling from Sweet Sally without Safi noticing. He got some milk and enjoyed feeding. Lesanju, Sinya and Lempaute then collected their herd together and sneaked away from the Ex Orphans but Sweet Sally noticed them and followed them towards the browsing grounds with all the others following suit.
09 April 2016
It was a nice morning with the orphan elephants drinking their morning milk bottle and eating some copra cake feeding before leaving the stockade for the browsing grounds.
They settled to browse in single file with Kenia taking her adopted baby Araba for most of the day. Ndoria was seen to be getting jealous of Araba but she could not do anything about it, such as a bullying tail biting mission, because of the presence of Kenia. Instead she ended up biting the tip of her own trunk in anger as she watched Araba in paradise with her beloved Kenia. The orphans followed their daily routine attending the afternoon mud bath in the middle water pool and later went on with their usual browsing day close to that water hole.
At 11.45am Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Mzima, Kivuko, Dabassa and Taveta arrived at the stockade in company of Morani and Seraa from the Ex Orphan herd. Morani was very interested in Seraa and followed her everywhere. Sinya played some games close to the stockade water trough after drinking water, but this was met with some annoyance from her peers as they tried to avoid stepping on her whilst trying to drink, calling for her to give up her ill-timed game. Sinya went to play an alternative game leaning against the big rock close to the same water trough.
The dependent orphans then went to browse in the field with Suswa and her close friend Arruba enjoying the lead of taking them back to the stockade that afternoon.
10 April 2016
It was a nice morning with Laikipia arriving alone into the stockade without any other members of Emily’s herd; he just missed the juniors who had already left for the bush.
He drank water and stayed around the stockade, eating some acacia branches before marching off to the browsing grounds.
The stockade dependent orphans had a wonderful time browsing on the northern side of the stockade and didn’t visit the water hole today as it was fairly cold. Milk was instead taken to their favorite browsing grounds. They later moved on with their browsing but Ishaq B was left behind by the other orphans who had moved on towards the western side of the park. She later realised she was alone and ran and charged to join them in a flurry of excitement at being left behind.
11 April 2016
This morning after milk and feeding on copra cake there were only some brief games in the stockade compound before the juniors took off towards the browsing grounds. The afternoon arrived fast with the juniors moving to the water hole in groups of five. Ndoria, Bada, Mudanda, Rorogoi and Mashariki were the first group to arrive followed by the others. There was a lot of fun in mud bathing games with Panda diving into the water to shine in those games. Kihari could not wait any longer and slid off the walls into the mud to catch up with Panda in the bathing competition. Nelion saw them and decided to tackle them in his own unique style. He squeezed himself against the walls as if trying to bulldoze and move the earth to deny the others a place in the water hole.
The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well and later Naipoki enjoyed leading them back to the stockade that evening.
12 April 2016
The morning was good with the stockade dependant orphans coming out of their pens in a happy mood as they engaged baboons in some chasing games to safe guard their sweet copra cake piles. They later went out to browse, arriving in the field well on time. They browsed in single file, opening up on the far northern side and turning slowly to browse their way to the water hole at 11.30am. There were then some beautiful bathing competitions between Panda and Tundani with Tundani performing a very unique style of riding on the banks of the mud hole. This attracted most of his friends’ curiosity with Lentili cheering him on for the whole time he was in water. Tundani’s great style of game reduced Panda’s games to irrelevant which made her sneak away from the water to the opposite side to avoid any further embarrassment.
They then moved out of the water to browse and return back to the stockades that evening.
13 April 2016
This morning the orphans were happily playing games around the stockade compound before proceeding to the browsing grounds. The browsing went on well and after three hours, four ostriches came walking past the orphans. The orphans watched them curiously but did not charge or chase them away. They browsed in that area and their milk was brought to them on the eastern side of the stockade.
The clouds later drifted away paving way for bright sun shine. This forced the orphans to seek refuge under the nearby trees for shade. They then sought out another alternative to cool themselves down and headed to the water hole, arriving there at 1.20pm. Nelion led them into the water and all the orphans decided to have a bath.
Araba fled out of the water upon seeing Ndoria approaching to take a bath, but Ndoria seemed not to have any bad intentions this afternoon, or any interest in biting Araba.
Arruba and Ndoria enjoyed a wonderful bathing moment with all the other juniors watching them, the babies in Kenia’s herd could not believe that Ndoria would be so social to play with. Mudanda and Mbirikani went for a dust bath in separate areas, with Mbirikani moving after to scratch on a tree trunk.
14 April 2016
It was a wonderful morning with the orphans following their morning routine in the stockade compound before heading towards the browsing grounds. Upon arriving at the foot of Msinga Hill, Nelion took charge of leading the others to browse half way up the hill.
They spent the better half of the day browsing there, before coming back down the hill for the noon mud bath.
Araba took centre stage enjoying her bath with the others. Ndoria entered the water as the last bathing character with all the others moving out of the water for browsing. Rorogoi was the first to exit the water upon noticing that Ndoria was making her grand entry into the water behind them.
Ndoria enjoyed a very brief bath before also leaving to join others in browsing.
They then went on browsing at the base of Msinga Hill for the remaining half of the day.
15 April 2016
There was a wonderful moment in the stockade area with the orphans assembling around a rock for a nice scratch before heading to the browsing grounds at 6.30am. Kenia was seen enjoying a nice browsing session with Araba her adopted baby, while Ndii was in constant touch with Bada. Suswa went to harvest some lush, green grass from a fallen tree which she thought was delicious.
The orphans then browsed peacefully for the rest of the day, visiting the middle water pool for a brief bath before moving on with their browsing session.
Lesanju’s herd has not been seen in the stockade for the last five days, signaling a positive sign of their independence from the stockade and a huge success story of these recently re-integrated Ex Orphans into the wild.
16 April 2016
The elephants were in a browsing mood this morning. Ndii and Naipoki lead the others out to the browsing grounds after they had finished all their milk. The weather was fairly cold and they all enjoyed quietly browsing. Later they headed to the middle water hole for their milk and to drink water but they did not have a bath as it was cold. The orphans grouped themselves into their favorite browsing partners and together they enjoyed the rest of the day browsing. Panda was quick today to take Mudanda and Ndoria their own separate way to browse. Kenia was left with Bada and did not hesitate to take him aside for some browsing company. Arruba went with Suswa and Nelion while her friend Mashariki settled with Rorogoi in a nice browsing session.
Ndoria didn’t mind browsing alone whilst the rest of the herd split into their groups. This browsing continued until evening when they all headed back to the stockade to feed on grewia branches and lucerne grass.
17 April 2016
The morning was good with the orphan elephants coming out of the stockade amid some light rain showers. They fed on their wonderful copra cake in the stockade and only had some brief games of hide and seek in the stockade compound before heading onto the browsing grounds. Here they enjoyed feeding on the wet, green grass and branches; their afternoon milk was brought to them on the northern side of Msinga Hill where they were browsing. They browsed here for the day and later the dark clouds gave way to bright sun later on in the day. Suswa and Rorogoi were seen browsing closely with their friendship only growing better over time. The orphan’s then moved towards to the middle water hole just after 1pm, with Suswa and Rorogoi, who had separated themselves from the others whilst browsing, following slowly behind. The orphans drank water and only had a brief bath, before coming out to continue with their browsing day.
18 April 2016
It was a wonderful morning with the orphans running out of their stockades when their gates were opened in the morning, assembling for their delicious milk bottles. They then started out to the browsing grounds with the boys Tundani and Nelion leading the way.
They settled down to browse and the afternoon arrived faster than expected for the orphans. They visited the middle water hole at noon, where they had their delicious milk bottle and went to drink clean water in the half drum barrels before proceeding to the water hole for a bath. Rorogoi is the mud bathing star now days with Nelion also falling in love with his own water games; they both played for hours trying to devise how they could be even better swimmers than any of the others. The rest of the browsing day went on close to that water pool.
19 April 2016
It was a bright morning with the orphans enjoying a morning milk bottle and then moving on to feed on the sweet copra cake before walking to the field for the beginning of a busy browsing day. They browsed on the eastern side of the stockade, moving all the way to the northern side and arriving at the middle water hole that afternoon. After all the milk feeding was over. Nelion and Rorogoi went to perfect their bathing styles by engaging Mbirikani and Panda in a tough bathing competition. Panda accidentally sprayed muddy water into Rorogoi’s ear, eliminating her from the bathing competition. She fled out of the water to siphon the water from her ear with the help of her trunk. Nelion engaged the other two in that bathing competition but gave up upon noticing that the two were not in a hurry to leave the water. The two left in the water, Panda and Mbirikani, declared themselves the winners by trumpeting away, before joining the others to browse for the remaining half of the day.
20 April 2016
The morning was cloudy with signs of a possible downpour today. The orphans came out of their stockades assembling to drink water around the stockade water trough before continuing with the rest of the supplement feeding and later leaving for the browsing ground. Milk was taken to the northern side of the Msinga hill as the orphans were not in a hurry to visit the water hole this afternoon. They day then started to warm up considerably, forcing the orphans to move towards the water hole for a bath after 1pm.
Here they had a wonderful bath with Rorogoi, Mashariki, Lentili and Arruba enjoying some wonderful games of riding on the walls of the mud bath, posing like motor bike riders in some riding competition. Mashariki went a step further and went swimming in the water in such a dramatic style but Ndii arrived and spoiled her games. Tundani, who had decided to explore further uphill to browse, was left behind by the others and he arrived at the water hole when they were almost all about to leave the water pool for browsing.
21 April 2016
This morning it was raining on and off. The orphans hurried their feeding business and took off towards the browsing grounds where they enjoyed browsing in the cool weather.
They browsed in single file and consolidating themselves together in fear of another thunder storm strike, but that did not happen today. The orphans enjoyed lying on the moist soil and creating their own little mud baths created by the light rain showers.
Milk was taken to them on the lower western flat side of the stockade, where the orphans browsed for the whole of this day.
Later in the evening a heavy rain storm that lasted for over half an hour in which we recorded 20mm closed the day, with the orphans coming back to the stockade amid that shower.
22 April 2016
The morning is here and the orphan elephants once again welcomed the day with happy games in the stockade compound before taking off to the browsing grounds. The vegetation is still wet from the rain and the orphans enjoyed browsing on the lush grass.
Today they never visited the water hole and their milk was again taken to them on the northern side of the stockade where they were browsing.
Lesanju’s herd that has become more and more independent was sighted from far coming to drink in the Voi Wildlife Lodge water hole. They were sighted with a wild elephant bull in their company but it could be captured on camera due to how far they were away.
On the way to the stockade in the evening, Rorogoi was leading with Mbirikani attempting to overtake her but with little success. Ishaq B forced her way to the front to convince Nelion not to move ahead with his plans to climb the hill to browse as it was already time to head back to the stockades. Nelion respected her followed the others towards the stockade.
Kore and Tawi the orphan baby eland, together with Salla the orphan Oryx, Jamuhuri the buffalo and Ngulia their adopted mother orphan zebra are all growing up fast and in good health. Ngulia has a special love for the orphan baby buffalo Jamuhuri, and has become very protective and jealous over him; so much that she charges anybody approaching the baby buffalo in her presence.
23 April 2016
The morning was cloudy with some very light rain showers. The orphans were playing a ‘lying on the ground game’ to draw some warmth from the soil before heading to the browsing grounds. Kenia had taken her adopted little Araba today as she kept moving around locating her for some browsing company whenever Araba moved. The morning had only a few activities with the orphans concentrating more on browsing and less on games.
They visited the water hole at 12.30pm, after they had some milk on the northern side of the stockade at 11am. Here they only drank some water but did not take a big bath as it was fairly cold.
Back in the stockade, Jamhuri the orphan buffalo was seen advancing to suckle Kore’s ears – he loves to suckle on the ears of the other little orphans in the stockade group!
24 April 2016
The morning was good with the orphans playing in happy mood in the stockade compound after all the feeding activity was over, welcoming another busy day.
They travelled all the way to the eastern side and then later moved to the north, arriving at the middle water hole around noon.
After an afternoon milk bottle, Bada took the lead, plunging into the water to take a wonderful noon mud bath. Ndoria then went in who was taken by Arruba for a wonderful mud bath. Ndoria felt in paradise today lying and striking the surface of water with her trunk splashing the water all over the place. She became very excited and repeatedly ran out of the water charging the keepers who were cheering her on. The keepers were sometimes forced to run away as Ndoria was ready to hit anybody, even the keepers who were running while giving her stern warnings for her behavior. Ndoria and Arruba’s games became extra animated and they were happy to be left in the big water pool running and splashing the muddy water with their front feet. The two later left the water hole for a brief soil dusting before joining the others to browse for the rest of the day.
25 April 2016
It was a wonderful beginning of the day with the orphan elephants concentrating with their normal feeding routine in the stockade compound before heading out to the browsing grounds. Ndii, Panda and Lentili took to the front leading the orphans to the far northern side of the stockade for browsing. Soon a light rain shower began and the orphans moved further to the north than normal to avoid heavy rain falling on their heads. Milk and the keepers lunch was taken to those browsing grounds and the orphans decided not to visit the water hole today due to the prevailing cold weather conditions.
They browsed for the rest of the day and all continued perfectly well with Kenia browsing closely with little Araba. On the way to the stockade in the evening, Ndii secured some nice and sweet branches and was left behind by the others heading to the stockade. She later ran to catch up with them and the safety of the stockade compound for the night.
26 April 2016
The morning started well for Nelion and Bada, the only two remaining boys in the stockade dependent orphans apart from Tundani, who decided to test their strength with each other in a competition focused on showing off to the other sixteen orphan females soon after milk feeding. Tundani posed as a spectator among the other orphans but did not involve himself in that game as he is usually more reserved. Mbirikani went to a rock to scratch and lie on the ground in rolling games, ignoring the show down between the two boys Nelion and Bada.
Naipoki and Lentili then started out towards the browsing grounds, with Kenia and Panda bringing up the rear to make sure all the orphans were following the daily routine. The stockade dependent orphans then visited the water hole at noon but did not have a bath as it was very cold.
27 April 2016
The orphans stopped to scratch on some trees half way up Msinga Hill this morning, before moving on to browse on the lower flat lands of the park. Here Arruba enjoyed scratching on a tree trunk and browsing at the same time, with both the two activities getting equal concentration. Nelion went to hide in his own private browsing place behind a big rock boulder away from the rest of the orphan elephants. He was very brave to browse on his own and from time to time would come out from behind the boulder to see his friends briefly, before returning to browse on his own again like an old bull.
As soon after they started out towards the water hole, Nelion emerged from his private browsing area to join the others. Ndii got left behind and ran to catch up with the others as they were reaching the water hole that afternoon.
At the mud bath there was a lot of fun in mud bathing games, with Ndoria posing as if she was very calm and good today, playing some wonderful wall games with Mbirikani and Ishaq B. The bathing could not end without mischief though and Ndoria ran back into the water to launch a quick attack onto a shinning Arruba, but she missed her by a few inches when Arruba fled out of the water. Nelion went to scratch on a tree stump, while Mbirikani, Naipoki and Ndii positioned themselves against a big tree trunk altogether to all scratch at the same time; there was ample space for them all against the big tree. The rest of the browsing day went on well close to the water hole.
28 April 2016
It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising on the horizon of the Tsavo East, forecasting some bright sun for the day. The orphans rushed their stockade feeding routine and moved out to head towards to the northern side of Msinga Hill. They browsed half way up the hill under the stewardship of Nelion and Tundani.
The orphans then came down the hill at noon to head to the middle water hole in groups of five. After a very calm and peaceful milk feeding session, Ndoria engaged little Araba in a chase, leaving Araba screaming for help and the keepers running behind to rescue her. Araba ran as first as her legs could take her, denying Ndoria the chance to catch up with her as she understood what was in store if she did. Ndoria shied away from the keepers but still ran to ambush Araba from another direction, but the keepers escorted her up to the water hole for her much needed safety.
At the water hole the mud bathing was great fun. Ndii forcefully pushed Tundani out of the water so she could take her private mud bath alone in that small water pool adjacent to the main water pool. Kenia then took her adopted baby Araba to browse away from the others, ensuring she was safe from the naughty Ndoria.
The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well with all enjoying feeding on the fresh green shoots.
29 April 2016
It was a brilliant morning with the orphans coming out of their respective stables at 6.30am, drinking a milk bottle before assembling for copra cake feeding. They only played briefly before leaving for the browsing grounds. Soon after they left the stockade Emily’s herd, who had not been visiting the stockade for more than two weeks, arrived to drink from the stockade water trough. It was amazing to see how Emma, Safi, Eden and Inca had all grown in such a short period of time. Today Kivuko was the only one present out of the ten members in Lesanju’s herd, with others all missing someone out in the bush still. They have been seen browsing on the lower grounds towards the Voi River and they get plenty of water there as the Voi River has a lot of flowing water from the Taita Hills where there has been a lot of good rain. Kivuko stood alone after drinking water and was watching the four calves Emma, Eden, Safi and Inca playing as their sister Eve was carefully watching and blocking her interaction with them. They stayed around the stockade compound for twenty minutes before heading out to browse. They did not interact with the stockade dependent orphans today.
30 April 2016
It was a nice beginning of the day with the orphan elephants drinking a morning milk bottle, feeding on the copra cake and heading out to browse. We are so happy to see that Lesanju’s herd comprised of Lempaute, Sinya, Wasessa, Rombo, Taveta, Layoni, Dabassa and Mzima are very much now independent of the stockade and their keepers for more than two weeks now; they have not been visiting the stockade very frequently and this is another huge success story for all within that small herd, well on their way to becoming wild.
The stockade dependant orphans had a brilliant moment browsing calmly on the western side of the stockade arriving at the water hole around 10.50am. They had only a brief bathing moment after drinking their milk and having some water. Nelion still wanted to establish his high ranking among the bulls and went politely went to take Tundani for a strength testing game to ascertain this. Tundani accepted his offer but he is a very peaceful and calm elephant and after only some time he moved away from that game to maintain his profile as a peaceful elephant.
The rest of the browsing day went on well with Embu and Mashariki enjoying leading the others back to the stockade in the evening.