Keepers' Diaries, April 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
The beginning of the month started off excruciatingly hot as were the previous months, but around the 7th of April the weather turned, temperatures dropped and we knew that rain was on the way, having received news that rain had fallen in surrounding areas. Bongo surprised all his friends by continuing to mud bathe despite the change in weather – he has always loved being in water irrespective of the weather! Once the cooler weather came the orphans relished browsing and no longer having to seek shade from the harsh sun in the afternoon. Over the rest of the month there were further showers of rain and the orphans spent less time wallowing in the main waterhole, preferring instead the shallow rain puddles to cool themselves by splashing water behind their ears.
01 April 2017
The orphans were joined by a one-tusked junior bull early in the morning. The bull shared lucerne with the juniors before walking away. Sirimon, Kamok, Bomani, Kithaka, Kauro and Olsekki spent some time scratching on the nearby rocks. At the browsing field the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi. Orwa engaged Kasigau in a pushing game that ended soon when Orwa surrendered. Orwa then went to have a light strength testing exercise with Makireti. A wild mum with her two kids joined the juniors briefly. Bongo and Orwa decided to join the wild herd and lagged behind at the time of going to the mud bath. Orwa engaged the youngest calf into a strength testing exercise. At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by twenty wild elephants Galana, her baby Gawa, Ithumbah, Ishanga, Sunyei, Kenze, Lualeni and Ololoo. Half Trunk and a bull that was treated last month were also among them. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area. In the evening, Kinna, Kama and other some other Ex Orphans reported for water at the Stockade.
02 April 2017
The orphans were joined by Mutara’s group, Taita and three wild elephants in the morning. The herd settled for lucerne and later parted ways. Kauro scratched on nearby rocks while Sities pushed Garzi out of the way as she tried to catch up with her friends who had already left. The orphans settled to browse in Kone area. The day was hot and the much awaited rain had not yet been received. The orphans browsed as they walked under trees with good shade. At mud bath time, all the orphans wallowed and were later joined by eight wild bulls. Sokotei and Lemoyian had a brief strength testing exercise that ended when Sokotei surrendered. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area along the river; it's an area with many trees that the orphans like to use for shade when the sun becomes unbearable.
03 April 2017
Only two wild bulls that were at the stockade compound when the orphans were let out in the morning. The bulls only concentrated on drinking water as the orphans settled for lucerne. An hour later, Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. It was hot but the orphans just had to endure the heat to get enough food before sunset. Towards ten o'clock in the morning, Shukuru, Sirimon, Barsilinga and Orwa took a break from feeding to scratch against the nearby trees.
At mud bath, the orphans had a spectacular wallowing session with Shukuru, Siangiki and Bongo staying in the water longer than the rest of all their friends. Kauro, Naseku, Boromoko, Roi and Kamok headed for soil dusting and thereafter joined their friends who had started walking back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the temperature continued to rise, making the orphans take a break from feeding and relax under the trees that had a nice shade. Naseku, Roi and Kauro settled under the same tree. The orphans only resumed browsing when the temperature had dropped again.
04 April 2017
Kinna and Kama with other the other Ex Orphans reported to the stockade early in the morning. The herd shared lucerne together with the dependent orphans and later parted ways. At the browsing field Lemoyian got into a fight with Boromoko that ended in a pushing game. Lemoyian, who is older and more experienced, emerged as the winner and to show his dominance he attempted to climb on Boromoko. Boromoko opted to vent his anger by engaging Sirimon in a pushing game but the game ended in a draw.
At mud bath time the sun was really hot and all the orphans decided to go wallowing. Shortly later the orphans were joined by twenty bulls who were in the company of the Ex Orphans. Teleki engaged Kilabasi in a pushing game but ended up losing to her. Boromoko had a brief soil dusting session after his mud bath and later went with his friends to browse in the Kanziku area.
05 April 2017
Wendi, Galana, Yatta, Mulika and Kinna with their babies and other Ex Orphans came in to share lucerne with the orphans this morning. Wiva was playing with orphans and running here and there. Kinna has a mouth full of lucerne in order to produce enough milk for Kama. The wild bulls came in for water and some joined the orphans to eat lucerne as well. Enkikwe scratched on the rock with Gawa scratching her trunk there as well. Teleki stretched his trunk to try and reach some of the lucerne from the top of one of the rocks. Gawa was busy breastfeeding when all the dependent orphans left to go and browse in the park.
Every orphan was busy searching for food because it is still so dry in the area. Sirimon bent down to uproot some tree roots for food. Later on, Kamok led the group to mudbath.
At mudbath all the orphans were very active and played vigorously. The wild bulls came in to join them in the games but the orphans later got scared and came out of mudhole. Garzi scratched his neck on the bent tree before all the orphans walked back to the bush to browse.
It was a very hot afternoon and all the orphans hid in the shade for some time. Shukuru was spotted scrambling for some green leaves while the rest spread out across the grassy plains and feasted on grass. Later in the evening, Kamok led the group back home.
06 April 2017
The dependent orphans came out of their stockades this morning to meet the Ex Orphans who were ready for some lucerne. Kinna and Kama were among them and they interacted with the orphans, with Kama scratching on her mum's legs. Later on, Wendi and Wiva came in to join the group. We had also Yatta, Galana and Mulika with their babies among them. We had also a group of wild bulls who came for water and some interacted with the orphans as they eat Lucerne. Kama was scratching her trunk on the rock to take the ticks off. Roi and Bongo were eating from the high rock as some lucerne has been dropped there. Suguta and Turkwel were having a chat amongst themselves. Wiva bravely walked straight through the middle of some wild bulls to the water trough and started drinking water without any fear. Half Trunk was among them, struggling to bend down in order to drink water due to his cut trunk. Wiva and Kama with Kinna later came in to the water through and started drinking water together. Yetu on the other side was guarding Wiva in the middle of other orphans and Ex Orphans. The orphans walked back to the bush.
Naseku and Roi browsed together, while others were busy struggling for greener pasture. Later on, Enkikwe led the group to mudbath. It was very hot and most orphans enjoyed the mud bath. Kama and Wiva played there too. When he wild bulls arrived however, our orphans left the mud bath just like yesterday. Kama started breastfeeding from her mum Kinna. Wiva was scratching on the bent tree while the orphans walked back in the bush.
It was very hot in the bush and some of the orphans hid in the shade, whilst everyone else struggled to fill up their stomachs. Sokotei and Lemoyian led the group back home in the evening.
07 April 2017
It was a quiet morning as the orphans left their stockades and settled for lucerne. The sky was indicating the start of the rainy season, long overdue, might begin soon. The temperatures had dropped and we knew that some parts surrounding Ithumba had received rain the previous night. After feeding on lucerne, Narok led the way to the browsing field where they were joined by Kilaguni and Chaimu. Orwa settled to browse with Shukuru as Kamok scratched against the nearby trees.
At mud bath the juniors were joined by Ex Orphan bulls Madiba, Buchuma and four wild bulls too. The weather was chilly but this didn't deter Bongo from mud bathing. The rest of his friends just stood at the edge of the mud bath as if spectating, or wondering how Bongo was enjoying wallowing in the cold mud so much. Enkikwe, Kilaguni, Siangiki, Olsekki and Teleki were tempted to join Bongo in wallowing. Shortly after mud bath Kauro and Naseku, who opted not to mud bath, settled for a scratching exercise against a nearby tree. Olsekki tried to challenge Kilaguni but he was overpowered by him. Kamok led the way out to continue browsing. The temperatures was so cool compared to previous days and the orphans enjoyed each passing moment as there was no need to find shade to hide from the hot sun today.
08 April 2017
It was a chilly morning following the light showers we received overnight; it was only 3mm but it was a start! Narok opted for a scratching exercise as she waited for Lucerne. When the lucerne was given to the orphans, Orwa became greedy and pushed Boromoko away so as to take his share. Boromoko had no option other than letting it go and he moved to look for another piece of lucerne. At the browsing field the soil was moist following the showers received over night and this prompted Barsilinga to have a lone game of rolling on the ground. Later, he ran into trouble with Bongo when he tried to break a branch that Bongo had his eye on and he pushed Barsilinga away.
At mud bath time, eight wild bulls were there. It was still cool and only Tusuja enjoyed a proper mud bath. Laragai walked up to the water trough and joined the bulls briefly to drink water. Bongo later walked down and joined four wild bulls to mud bath while Oltaiyoni opted for a soil dusting exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans spend the rest of the remaining part of the day feeding in the Kanziku area.
09 April 2017
The orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockade and settled for lucerne. The sky was partly covered by clouds as the day looked forward to the rains. After feeding on lucerne, the orphans headed to Kone area where they settled to browse. Teleki, Vuria and Orwa got wind of the Ex Orphans passing close by as they headed to the stockade. The three orphans, who are ready to leave the human family, left as they rumbled and communicated to the Ex Orphans to wait for them.
At mud bath time, Boromoko emerged as the star of the day in wallowing. He rolled around in the water as the rest of his friends stood at the edge watching him. Shortly later, Siangiki spotted three warthogs coming for mud bath and denied them access by chasing them away. Bongo and Lemoyian walked up to the water trough to drink water as Sokotei settled for soil dusting. Kamok decided that it was more worthwhile returning to browse rather than relaxing at the mud bath area. Bongo could not leave without having a taste of the mud bath though and had a brief bath as his friends were hurrying up to catch up with Kamok.
In the evening, clouds gathered as the orphans met with Orwa, Teleki and Vuria who had disappeared in the morning. When the orphans were back at the stockade, light showers fell that yielded only 3mm of rain.
10 April 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, the juniors were joined by Rapsu, Sunyei, Taita and two teenage wild bulls. After sharing lucerne, the juniors headed to browse in the area of Kanziku while the five senior wild elephants headed east of the stockade.
At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by Yatta and Mulika’s groups. Makena met with Garzi and they briefly engaged one another in a light strength testing exercise. Garzi surrendered and invited Vuria, his long time friend, to take over the pushing game with Makena. Gawa tried to challenge Kithaka before her mother whisked her away since she knew that by the way she was behaving towards Kithaka then she might end up being knocked down. After mud bath, Narok, Orwa, Bongo, Teleki and Bomani opted to join the Ex Orphans as the rest of their friends headed to the west of Ithumba Hill where they settled to browse. In the evening, the temperature was high so the orphans passed by mud bath to cool off since there was no sign of rain today. At nine o'clock at night, Orwa, Narok, Bomani, Bongo and Teleki reported back to the stockade after close to nine hours of adventure with the Ex Orphans.
11 April 2017
A lone wild bull joined the juniors early in the morning. Amazingly enough, the wild bull just lined up just like the orphans waiting for lucerne. As soon as lucerne was provided, the wild bull took off with one of the bales, and stood a distance away enjoying the free food. Later, the orphans left for browsing leaving the bull at the stockade compound. Kithaka and Garzi spent some time in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area, where Kauro and Kamok teamed up to browse together. In the evening, when it was time to return to the stockades, Narok, Teleki, Bongo, Bomani and Orwa were reluctant to follow their friends and remained in the bush to come back at their own time.
12 April 2017
It was a lovely morning today with the Ex Orphans visiting the stockades in the early morning and sharing lucerne with the orphans. Wendi, Yatta and Galana with their babies Wiva, Yetu and Gawa were with them. We also had Bongo, Orwa, Teleki and Narok among the orphans who had slept outside last night, and came very early to enjoy their daily morning lucerne with the others. Wiva started scratching on the rock as she played with Kamok. Vuria also guarded Wiva from being pushed away by their friends. Gawa was breastfeeding and later started scratching her trunk while Wiva scratched her belly. Wiva went on and joined the orphans to drink water from the trough. The orphans later walked to the bush to browse while the six other orphans, now partially independent, Bongo, Bomani, Vuria, Narok, Teleki and Orwa, joined the group of Ex Orphans in Wendi’s herd.
In the bush, it was very dry and everyone was struggling to search for food. Laragai was the only one who followed the young babies in the bush and was seen browsing with no fear on top of the rock. The group later headed to the mudbath for milk. Olsekki showed off his cleverness by picking up the two bottles one by one and drinking them by himself. Some of the orphans walked straight to the mudbath and started playing in it. Lemoyian was the most playful with Roi. Roi was scratching her ears after playing in the mud bath and went on scratching her bottom while Boromoko scratched his trunk. They later walked to the dust bath and start dusting themselves. Naseku was rolling in the dust enjoying the game with Boromoko whilst Kithaka was scratching his belly on a tree. The group later walked back to the bush for browsing.
Out in the bush Oltaiyoni was play fighting with Siangiki while the rest were hiding under the shade from sun. The group later went on browsing and later they walked back to the mudbath to cool down their body temperature. They drank water and some walked to the mud hole for a shower. Boromoko was scratching on a tree and Olsekki was the most playful this time! Shukuru also played vigorously with Kithaka and Sirimon. Barsilinga and Garzi started play fighting and later the group headed back home in the evening. Back in the stockade we had Narok’s group of six, who came to drink water and left back to the bush. They are doing well trying to adapt to their new life in the wild. Laragai was not with them, but with the other orphans. There was no sign of rain today.
13 April 2017
It was a bright morning when the orphans walked out of their stockades to the lucerne field after their morning breakfast. They met with their other friends Bongo, Narok, Bomani, Vuria, Teleki and Orwa who were in the bush waiting to join them. They all shared the lucerne but Laragai decided not to stay with them and the dependent orphans walked off to browse further afield.
In the bush all the orphans were together but after some time, the six partially independent elephants, Bongo, Narok, Bomani, Vuria, Teleki and Orwa, started to drift away from the herd, separating themselves one by one as they left. The other orphans were really trying to look for the best food to eat; Kamok was tackling the bark of a big log to try and munch away on it. Others were stretching high into the topmost branches in search of food. The group later headed to the mudbath for their milk.
At mud bath, some of them played in the water; Lemoyian, Kithaka, Roi, Naseku and Olsekki were the most playful. Shukuru also joined them later when the others walked off towards the dusting soil. Sokotei started playing and rolling in the dust while Naseku scooped and tossing chunks of soil into air. The group later walked back to the bush for browsing.
It was very hot and the orphans were forced to stay in the shade to keep away from the sun. They started browsing a bit later, and Laragai remained in the group too despite her independent herd walking further away. It was very hot in the evening and the orphans went back to mudbath to cool off. The majority of them played in the water and later Laragai and Kithaka led them back home in the evening.
Back at the stockades, we had Wendi's group with Yatta, Kinna and Galana with their babies among them. They drank water and left shortly after. In the late evening, Narok and the partially independent group came into the stockade, they didn’t go inside but stayed around the lucerne feeding area.
14 April 2017
It was a bright morning again today. The orphans walked out of their stockades to the lucerne feeding area and after awhile Narok’s group of partially independent orphans came in from around the corner, running to share the lucerne with the dependent orphans. Their friends just welcomed them and they all interacted together. After lucerne, they went straight to the water trough to drink water and then out to the bush to browse. Narok’s group accompanied them to the bush for browsing. Everyone was busy browsing on the dry vegetation to get enough to eat before milk time. Olsekki later led the group to mud bath.
It was quite hot and most of the orphans decided to go into the water. Shukuru, Lemoyian, Roi, Teleki, Naseku, Kithaka, Boromoko, Garzi and Bongo played the most vigorously. Kithaka was drinking water directly from the water bowser's pipe. Then they all got out of the water, with Teleki scratching on the bent tree in the mudbath while Kithaka and Garzi wrestled each other on the other side. The group later walked back in the bush to browse. Narok’s group separated after the mudbath and went their separate way to the dependent orphans, except for Orwa and Laragai who remained with the dependent group until evening when they came back to the stockade. The other partially independent group came in later and ate all the greens which had been put in their stockade and then walked away again. No other Ex Orphans came today.
15 April 2017
The orphans came out of their stockades this morning after their milk and met with four wild bulls waiting for lucerne as well. One wild bull took a full bale of lucerne and walked away with it. Boromoko was scratching his bottom whilst Kamok and Kauro scratched separately on the same rock. We had a bright and beautiful sunrise.
Out in the park the orphans were browsing; Sirimon and Lemoyian were greeting each other and chatting with Sokotei and Olsekki. Olsekki and Sokotei started play fighting, and then Olsekki started trying to mount on Kauro. Sokotei started pushing a tree to try and break it, with Sirimon finishing it and pushing it to the ground. Narok's group joined them when they started heading to the mud bath.
At mud bath Olsekki was trying to scratch on the cement visitor’s seat. The rest of the group led by Shukuru and Lemoyian, were busy playing in the mud bath. Barsilinga and Garzi started play fighting inside the mud bath. Narok’s group of six drank water and headed to the mud to play in it as well. Lemoyian and Kithaka were play fighting beside it. The group later headed back to the bush to browse and Narok's group separated from the dependent orphans and went their own way.
After a few hours Narok’s group returned to join the orphans as they walked back to their stockades in the evening. They walked to the Lucerne field first, cleared the area of all the lucerne, then walked into their old stockade and started eating the food that had been put inside there too. Later on, they all walked out again and back into the bush. No Ex Orphans visited today.
16 April 2017
The orphans came out of their stockades this morning and enjoyed their lucerne without any competition from any Ex Orphans or wild elephants. Only Orwa, Laragai and Bomani from Narok's new independent group came in to join them. Naseku started scratching her bottom while Olsekki scratched an itch on his trunk. Barsilinga was carrying some of his bunch of lucerne on his head as if he were saving it for later. The dependent group went to drink water and walked to the bush with keepers.
Each elephant was busy looking for something to eat. Orwa, Laragai and Bomani stayed with them the whole day today, while Bongo, Teleki, Vuria and Narok stayed separate. Olsekki later led the group to mudbath.
At mud bath only some of the orphans played in the water. Lemoyian started but play fighting with Boromoko and then moved away and started playing and rolling in the soil having a dust bath.
Later, out in the bush, it was very hot and the orphans hid for awhile in the shade. It was very hot and they again decided to walk to the mud hole again to cool down after having some browse. Kithaka and Garzi scratched themselves on the trees while others played in the mud hole. They later started walking slowly towards the stockades in the evening. Narok's group to the stockade to drink water for a minute and then four of them Narok, Bongo, Teleki and Vuria walked back to the bush, the other three stayed with the young orphans until late evening.
17 April 2017
The sky was clear in the morning and this was an indication of a hot day a head. The orphans strolled nonchalantly out from their stockades and settled to eat lucerne. An hour after the orphans had left for browsing, Galana, Gawa, Lualeni, Tomboi, Challa, Meibai, Naserian, Sidai and a wild elephant passed by the stockade compound briefly as they headed towards mud bath. Due to the drought in the area, the orphans concentrated on browsing without any messing around or games.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Tomboi who showed the orphans how to wallow. Enkikwe and Olsekki had a brief strength testing exercise that ended up in a draw. Sirimon and Sokotei had a game of rolling on the ground while Naseku and Siangiki scratched against the nearby trees. Kithaka and Lemoyian got into the water, amazingly enough for Kithaka, to put into practice what they had learned from Tomboi. A while later, the two had a game of pushing each other, with Kithaka standing and Lemoyian laying down. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill, and in the evening passed by the mud bath for an evening cool-off.
18 April 2017
It was slippery in the morning following 20mm of rain received overnight. Naseku slipped and fell as she tried to come out of the stockade. She quickly stood up though and followed her friends out. Lemoyian settled to feed on lucerne with Bomani while Kauro picked his share and went to scratch on a nearby rock. Shortly later, Narok and Bongo arrived after their adventures outside. After sharing lucerne with their friends, Narok and Bongo took Orwa and Bomani with them and headed east of the stockade. At the browsing field Garzi, Barsilinga, Sirimon and Shukuru spent some time playing with the wet soil. At mud bath time, the temperatures were low and none of the orphans felt like wallowing. Kithaka and Lemoyian engaged in a pushing game when Kithaka attempted to pull Lemoyian’s tail. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area and in the evening it started to drizzle. The drizzling activated the orphans’ mood as they started rolling on the ground enjoying the cooling effect brought about by the light showers. Late in the evening, Ex Orphans Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau visited the stockade and left to an unknown location half an hour later.
19 April 2017
It was cool in the morning following 5mm of rain received overnight. The sky was partly covered by clouds as the orphans settled for lucerne. The orphans didn't stay long at the stockade compound as Laragai led the way out to the Park. Laragai is part of the group that has become semi-independent and is the only remaining member of that ground who comes back to the stockade. Bongo, Teleki, Vuria, Bomani, Orwa and Narok have bid farewell to the life of coming back to the stockade and are well on their way to returning to the wild. At the browsing field, Barsilinga spent some time rolling on the moist soil as he was being watched by Kamok, Tusuja and Oltaiyoni. Barsilinga's game also attracted Naseku who started her game of rolling on the ground. Later the orphans came across a small pool of rain water that they only used to wash their feet. Narok, Orwa, Teleki, Bomani, Bongo and Vuria arrived at mud bath an hour earlier, and left shortly before the arrival of the dependent orphans. At mud bath time the orphans only drank their milk and then some water before returning to the bush to browse.
20 April 2017
It was a wet morning following more rain over the night. Narok and her group consisting of Orwa, Teleki, Bomani, Bongo and Vuria reported to the stockade compound just minutes after the stockade dependent orphans were let out. They went into the stockades to investigate whether there was anything left, then came out to feed on the lucerne.
Out in the bush Olsekki and Naseku rolled around in a soil dusting exercise while Oltaiyoni enjoyed scratching her belly against a tree. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. On their way back to the browsing field the orphans came across a tree that had started shooting new leaves due to the rain, and they spent awhile enjoying the succulent leaves. In the afternoon, Shukuru and Kithaka took some time off from feeding to perform a soil dusting exercise using their trunks to scoop soil, while Kauro and Kamok had their own game of rolling on the ground. In the evening Laragai remained in the bush with her friends Narok, Teleki, Bomani, Bongo Vuria and Orwa. An hour later she left them in the bush and came back to the stockades and joined Kithaka, Lemoyian, Garzi and Barsilinga who are now her new roommates for the night.
21 April 2017
The sky was clear and the rain appeared to have taken a break. The orphans settled on the lucerne brought for them the previous day. Shortly later, Narok brought her semi independent group and they joined their friends for some lucerne too. Moments later, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. It was a quiet day as the orphans concentrated on picking the new green leaves starting to shoot from the trees. At mud bath time, the orphans only drank milk and then some water, before returning back to the browsing field. Kamok settled to feed with Kauro as Shukuru soil dusted. In the afternoon the sun became too hot, making the orphans want to relax under a tree for awhile before browsing again. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath again and only Shukuru decided to go into the water.
22 April 2017
The semi independent herd, under the command of Narok, reported to the stockade compound early before the juniors were let this morning. At six o'clock in the morning the orphans were let out and settled to eat some lucerne. Shortly later, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. The orphans settled in Kone area where Kauro and Kamok came across a small pool of water that they drank from starting to browse. Vuria and Bongo had brief strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. At mud bath time the temperature was low and none of the orphans dared to step into the water. On their way back to the browsing field, Boromoko and Sirimon played and rolled on the ground. Later, Sirimon engaged Olsekki in a pushing game that ended in a draw. The rest of the afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.
23 April 2017
The orphans settled for lucerne immediately after leaving their stockades. Shortly later, Tomboi showed up and the orphans were so happy as it had been awhile since they had seen an older Ex Orphans. Their happiness was expressed by raising their trunks to welcome Tomboi. Garzi walked towards Tomboi and they entwined their trunks in greeting. Tomboi then walked towards the water trough as Garzi and the rest of the herd followed him. After drinking water, the orphans left for browsing, leaving Tomboi at the stockade compound. At the browsing field it was all quiet as the orphans browsed calmly without any major observation. At mud bath time, the orphans drank milk and then water before moving towards a small pool of water that they used for mud bathing. Tusuja, Naseku, Kamok and Roi emerged as the stars of mud bathing. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area.
24 April 2017
Garzi started his day’s activities by scratching on a nearby rock as he held hay in his mouth. As soon as he was through, Olsekki came in and used the same rock to scratch his belly. Shortly later, Narok and her group checked in and together with the juniors, they all left for browsing.
All the orphans concentrated on feeding on the new shoots and leaves that are not yet mature. Shortly before mud bath time, the orphans came across a small puddle that they splashed themselves with and later headed for their milk. Narok and her group parted ways with the juniors at this stage, and headed west of the mud bath while the juniors settled to browse on the western slopes of Ithumba Hill. Kauro had a moment to himself whilst performing a soil dusting exercise as Boromoko and Tusuja teamed up to browse. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where Tusuja, Siangiki, Lemoyian, Sirimon and Roi had a cooling mud bath before heading back to the stockade for yet another night.
25 April 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, Boromoko settled to share his hay with Tusuja as Shukuru shared hers with Barsilinga. Kauro leaned on a rock as he enjoyed his hay and at the same time scratched his buttock. When they were all done, Boromoko and Tusuja led the way to the browsing field. The orphans spent time trying to get leaves high up in the trees which meant that they had to keep on stretching their trunks so as to get these succulent leaves. Naseku took a break from feeding to enjoy a lone game of rolling on the ground. At around ten o'clock in the morning, Lemoyian, Oltaiyoni, Laragai, Kithaka and Sirimon had a small mud bath in another puddle they found. At mud bath time the orphans had some water and then their milk before returning back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, light showers fell and after, Kauro and Roi spent awhile playing with the wet soil.
26 April 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade in the morning, Kauro and Roi started the by scratching on the rocks close to stockade as the rest of the group settled to feed on the hay. Shortly later, the orphans were joined by the newly independent group Orwa, Narok, Teleki, Vuria, Bomani and Bongo who joined the wild nearly two weeks ago. Shukuru shared her hay with Garzi as Tusuja led the way to the browsing field. Later Garzi joined Kithaka to drink water before heading to join their friends who had already left for browsing. Tusuja settled to browse with Sirimon while Lemoyian settled to feed with Naseku as Siangiki settled to browse with Enkikwe. Later, Naseku took a break from feeding to roll on the ground while Enkikwe and Siangiki went to a small pool of water that they sprayed behind their ears.
At mud bath time, Naseku bellowed loudly to complain about something but we were not sure what. Oltaiyoni rushed to the scene to find out what was the problem. She immediately calmed Naseku down by putting her trunk in Naseku's mouth. In the afternoon, Garzi, Barsilinga, Sirimon, Olsekki and Siangiki all rolled on the ground in a fun game. Tusuja came by and used Garzi as a scratching post before Barsilinga stood and pushed him away. Barsilinga then took over the scratching game and enjoyed scratching his belly on Garzi!
27 April 2017
At early morning milk feeding, it was discovered that Lemoyian’s only one tusk was missing. Upon searching in the stockade, it was found close to a rock. The tusk had been loose for some time. Now he becomes the second orphan to lose his tusk after Bongo who lost his early last year. The tusk was handed over to the Kenya Wildlife Service. Kauro was the first one to leave the stockade followed by Kamok. Orwa, who had spent the night just outside the stockade, joined the orphans for lucerne. Sokotei started the day by rolling on the ground while Enkikwe, Kauro, Kamok, Roi and Naseku participated in a scratching exercise on the nearby rocks. Shortly later, Roi led the way out to the Park.
Barsilinga and Olsekki competed who between them could reach and feed on the leaves of the tall trees. Barsilinga was able to get them but Olsekki didn’t manage. Like the story of the fox and the grapes, he decided that the leaves were not good enough anyway and went to look for shorter trees that he could manage to reach. At mud bath time, the orphans drank their milk and then had some water, before going back to browsing. Kauro, who rarely takes a bath, decided to scratch on a tree stump.
28 April 2017
The orphans headed straight to the browsing field soon after feeding on lucerne. It was a quiet morning as the orphans concentrated on browsing. At around ten o'clock in the morning, the orphans were briefly joined by Narok, Orwa, Teleki, Bomani, Bongo, Vuria and a wild bull and another wild orphan. The wild boy and wild orphan appeared to have met with Narok’s group somewhere in the bush and decided to take them through some wild lessons. Narok’s group does not seem to team up with the Ex Orphans but prefer to stay in their own group. It would be interesting to see what happens when they finally meet; would they continue as an independent group or join any of the Ex Orphans. Enkikwe and Siangiki had a brief mud bathing exercise with Narok’s group before the wild bull and wild orphan escorted them for their eleven o'clock milk feeds. Though the sun was shining, the orphans decided to only have their milk and then some water before returning back to the browsing field. In the afternoon Enkikwe, Olsekki, Roi and Tusuja came across a small pool of water that they used to cool down in by wallowing. Later, Enkikwe took a break from feeding and relaxed under a baobab tree for some time before resuming browsing.
29 April 2017
Orwa and Bongo joined the juniors early in the morning for hay. Shortly later, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. Barsilinga settled to feed with the now tuskless Lemoyian as Oltaiyoni settled to feed with Siangiki. Enkikwe and Orwa took a break from feeding to soil dust as Boromoko and Sirimon tried to use their small tusks to de-bark the same tree. Later, Barsilinga and Kithaka had light strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, Kauro used a tree stump to scratch his belly and later engaged Boromoko in a friendly pushing game. After their game, Boromoko attempted to climb on Roi but Roi managed to get away. In the afternoon, Shukuru and Kamok came across a pool of muddy water which they used to splash behind their ears.
30 April 2017
The wild orphan joined the juniors for the early morning feeding of lucerne and later escorted the dependent orphans to the browsing field. Barsilinga, Roi, Siangiki and Kauro scratched on the nearby rocks while Kithaka and Sokotei opted for a drink at the water trough before heading to the bush. The wild orphan chose not to browse close to the keepers but always kept a distance from them. At mud bath time, the wild orphan led the way to the mud bath. The weather was chilly and none of the orphans wanted to wallow in the water. The wild orphan parted ways with the orphans an hour later. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. The orphans converged under a tree for some time and resumed browsing when the temperature dropped. In the evening, Lemoyian, Sokotei, Shukuru, Laragai and Olsekki took a break from feeding to soil dust. Kithaka lay down to play and his game caught the attention of Barsilinga who came running and used Kithaka as scratching post to scratch his belly. Sirimon and Enkikwe had light strength testing exercise that ended quite quickly when Sirimon surrendered.