Keepers' Diaries, April 2018

Nairobi Nursery Unit

Losing Dame Daphne has been monumental and as you can imagine we are all so very saddened by this, but everyone understands too that the days have to continue as usual, as they have always done, mindful that we have to persevere and continue Daphne’s important pioneering work just as she would have wished. Daphne would have been especially gladdened by the news that Luggard has been improving daily and the swelling in his leg has reduced significantly. Towards the end of the month he was even trying to run to keep up with his friends when it was time for their milk bottle feeding. This is such positive news for us and this wonderfully brave little bull, which was dealt such a cruel beginning to life.

01 April 2018

Tiny Musiara seems to be missing the company of his friend Luggard who has not been accompanying the others out to the forest recently due to his poor swollen leg. Recently he has started to look better and the swelling has gone down a lot which eases his walking as well. Today Musiara came out of his room and went straight to Luggard’s door and pushed on it, as if to alert Luggard that it was time to walk out together like they used to do before his leg became so swollen. When the door to Luggard’s stable was opened Musiara rushed in and they entwined trunks which is a sign of morning greetings. Luggard takes some time to warm up for his walk outside into the compound and beyond, but Musiara walked behind him and pushed him from behind, and that was all the encouragement that Luggard needed and he happily walked out with Musiara walking behind him to make sure they both walked out to the bush together. They stayed together up until the morning bottle feeding time, after which Musiara went to join the other group leaving Luggard happily browsing with his keeper.

02 April 2018

Soon after the orphans had settled to browse in the bush after the 9am milk bottle, Shukuru decided to browse on her own some distance away from the other orphans. She was browsing and going further into the forest, following the delicious fresh green vegetation she could find there. She decided to browse in the opposite direction the keepers were walking with the other orphans and she went so far she even missed the midday feed again. However just after noon she walked back of her own accord and joined the orphans in the older group who had settled to browse in the forest again after their bottles. She has a very independent character, and that is probably because she is much older than the others. She enjoys browsing deep in the forest and sometimes is even reluctant to return back to the Nursery stockades for the night! She is looking so much better these days.

03 April 2018

Around 10am this morning the commotion caused by two lions fighting scared the orphans who were browsing nearby in the forest. The sudden and expected noise prompted the orphans to run about in fear with little Maktao, Kiasa, Musiara, Sattao, Emoli, Tamiyoi, Malima, Enkesha and even some of the older ones like Mapia, Sagala, Maisha, Jotto, Esampu trumpeting and yelling out trying to gather around the keepers who were calling them altogether. Some of the orphans like Maisha, Mapia, Sagala and Ndiwa lost their way in all the commotion and ran in the wrong direction, making it hard for the keepers to find them and gather them altogether again. The keepers cautiously looked everywhere and eventually managed to get the group together again. They were found with Ndiwa slowly leading the group back towards home, as Ndiwa knows the forest the best from all her foraging deep into the woods.

04 April 2018

Since the orphans in the Nursery are not being fed lucerne pellets as it seemed to be proving disadvantageous towards their condition, it is funny to see Mbegu, Ngilai, Tamiyoi, Murit, Ndotto, Godoma and Kuishi all running like crazy in the morning and afternoon when they return home. They rush towards Maxwell’s stockade where they stop to pick some of his leftover Lucerne pellets until they are cautioned by the keepers to stop. It is funny when Tamiyoi yells in protest when the keepers tell her not to have any lucerne pellets! Maxwell has his own way of deterring these naughty elephant orphans however. When he hears Mbegu and her gang trying to pick up his lucerne pellets he walks over and sprays the area with urine, marking his territory and his pellets! This quickly sees the hasty retreat of the elephant orphans as they do not like the smell of strong rhino urine.

05 April 2018

Today Kiko woke up looking naughtier than ever! First he gave his keeper a hard time opening his stockade doors and made him very difficult for him to open the lower half. Then as soon as the door was opened he bolted into the forest looking for the elephant orphans. He found them in the forest but then he started misbehaving with the keepers there as well, chasing them around and playfully trying to kick them; although it is not such a joyful game on the keepers’ side! He is certainly acting more wild and independent these days. When the orphans settled out in the forest to browse again after the public visit and many were busy browsing, little Maktao and Sattao were also very busy charging after a troop of baboons. The two little boys were very playful and were enjoying chasing after the baby baboons until the babies started crying out for their mothers. This made the mothers come down from the trees and challenge little Maktao, who got scared and turned tail yelling for help himself! Godoma heard him and came running over to rescue him, but the baboons had already decided to run off into the bushes, away from the two playful baby elephants.

06 April 2018

Murit, who previously respected the older boys like Ndotto and Lasayen, is these days trying to seriously gauge his strength and dominance among them. This morning he was seen in a very serious pushing game with Lasayen, in which he seriously challenged the big boy. At one stage, Lasayen was fighting from down on his knees as Murit gave the pushing game all he could. After watching the tough game, Ndotto came to join in. He tried to fight with Murit in order to give Lasayen a chance, but Murit managed even to push Ndotto away before turning back to Lasayen again. The keepers tried to separate them after it had gone on for some time, but even once they managed to break them up, they would circle around and continue their game. When Lasayen walked around a bush to try and gain some advantage, Murit saw his opportunity and took Lasayen’s tail and bit it hard, seeing Lasayen run off yelling and bringing about an end to the challenge.

07 April 2018

Just before the 9am milk feed this morning as some were slowly walking and browsing towards the feeding area, we saw Mbegu, Tagwa, Ambo, Sattao and Maktao all enjoying rolling on the ground in the damp soil. Mbegu lay on her side allowing the two little boys Sattao and Ambo to enjoy climbing on her belly, bumping and sliding against each other. Tagwa became jealous as the two little boys never opted to climb on her and we watched on as she tried to push Sattao, Ambo and Maktao away from Mbegu! She tried to lure them away so they would play with her, but she was unlucky as when Sattao and Ambo realized that Mbegu was still playing and not following them, they ran back to join Mbegu. Tagwa yelled when she saw Maktao also turn to follow the other two boys. She is such a gentle and caring girl and she just wants to spend as much time with the babies as possible!

08 April 2018

Little Kiasa is developing a feisty little character much like Esampu these days! She is not very tolerant of the others, especially when they are all grouped together waiting to have their milk bottles. She pushes, shoves and bites tails in order for the others to pave the way for her to be at the front of the line so she can be the first to run down for her milk bottle. Today as the first group were waiting together to go down to the mud bath area for their milk bottles, she was shoving and head butting the likes of Maktao, Maisha, Sattao and Musiara. She and Musiara had a rough pushing moment as Musiara wasn’t allowing her to get ahead of him. In the end Kiasa used the clever tactic she has developed when she doesn’t get her way of biting his tail! This saw Musiara run off yelling, leaving Kiasa at the front and the first to go down for her milk bottles. Due to this new character trait she has inherited the name the ‘tail biter’! Luggard’s swollen leg is really improving and the swelling that was around his ankle area is reducing which is a huge relief for him. Today he was seen happily enjoying rolling around on the wet soil enjoying a mud bath, which he hasn’t been able to do since his leg worsened. H e had a very happy face today!

09 April 2018

In the morning all the orphans seemed very happy and relaxed, browsing in a very calm and peaceful way. Even little Maktao, Jotto, Enkesha and Kiasa who normally like to browse next to their keepers were seen happily browsing alongside the big girls like Mbegu, Godoma, Mteto, Malkia and Shukuru. In that respect even the older ones including Shukuru, Ndiwa, Sagala, Mundusi, Ndotto and Mapia who like to go off and browse stayed with the group this morning and they all moved and browsed together as one herd. During the public visit, after the first group had finished their milk bottles, it was lovely to watch mud bath lovers like Enkesha and Kiasa dive into the mud, accompanied by Tamiyoi, Godoma, Mapia, Emoli, Malima, Sattao and Kuishi. They were very playful in the mud and had a fun time rolling and swimming, even sliding in from the mud bath edges. Kiasa and Enkesha were too funny when they saw Emoli and Sattao trying to slide into the mud pool. They were trying to slide in on their sides and Enkesha and Kiasa were trying to push them out at the same time. It was a very funny scene and the visitors that day really enjoyed watching the orphans having fun.

10 April 2018

Emoli seems to be slightly afraid of rain, especially when it is raining very hard and it is making a noise on his roof during the night. When it rains hard at night he walks around his stable very restless and sometimes yelling out as well, pulling on the blanket of his keeper trying to wake him up to comfort him from the loud noise of the rain. When the keeper tries to assure him that everything is okay he continues to yell out, even though the keeper is standing next to him. He only really begins to settle properly when the rain abates. If he yells very loud he wakes up his neighbor Sattao who is usually sound asleep, and sometimes even Kiasa and Maktao too! Luggard seems to miss going to the mud wallow for the public visit as when it draws close to 11am he starts to walk towards that area! He is not yet fit enough to join everyone for this very playful activity which might harm his bad leg.

11 April 2018

Kiko was very brave today in the morning when he behaved just like a grown up wild giraffe. He went out to browse with the elephant orphans which he had not done for the past three days as lions had been seen in the area. Having not seen or heard the lions last night it was decided he should be able to enjoy some freedom out in the forest. When the elephants moved off deeper into the forest to browse, he stayed close to the keepers and browse around that area. No one knew that there was a lioness near the same thicket he was browsing from. When he saw the lion he stood up to her and made himself very tall. The keepers called Kiko to come back towards them but instead of Kiko running away he confronted the lion even more. The keepers called him some more as they could see he was ready to take on the lioness and the lioness got scared, and ran away to join her pride in the forest. Although he was very brave we couldn’t risk another encounter and he was taken back to browse in the stockade area for the rest of the day. The little girl Kiasa had a lot of fun playing in the mud during the public visit today despite the weather. It took the others a long time to decide to join her in there as well. Malima was in the mud bath playing a pushing game with Tamiyoi who was standing outside on the edge of the mud pool. The two polite boys Murit and Jotto were also happily enjoying a wrestling game.

12 April 2018

In the very early morning when the orphans were enjoying browsing in the forest, some of them seemed to get a fright from something. Mbegu, Shukuru and quite a few others were browsing in their own group a short distance away. All of a sudden they came running out of the bushes, rumbling, yelling and trumpeting towards the keepers. Ndotto stayed at the back of the group and had his ears raised up. He was charging at an area of bushes and made sure that everyone else was behind him and safe. We are not sure what they were running from but it was lovely to see Mbegu leading the family away to safety, and Ndotto making sure everyone was safe at the back of the group – they are all a very loving family who look after each other. Emoli is growing into a strong young bull. Sometimes he has a bit of a pushy character as well, and he seems to love climbing on his friends, especially Kiasa and Musiara. He seems to like the fact that Musiara is shorter than him and easier to climb on! Today this seemed to get on Musiara’s nerves though and he charged at Emoli, pushing him away.

13 April 2018

The visitors to the public visit made were quite talkative today and made quite a lot of noise. Most of the babies in the first group all got into the mud pool and were rolling around. Murit and Jotto were also playing with a ball up and down the pool, so the visitors were very excited to see the orphans playing. Some of the elephants were not happy with the noise and decided to help the keepers maintain silence, like Kiasa. Kiasa decided to run along the line where most of the noise was coming from and throw out some muddy back kicks at the people standing there. If that didn’t work she tried rubbing them with mud until they moved. Eventually Godoma came over to assist as well and she took it that step further. She went to the edge of the mud pool that was also close to the rope cordon, and started splashing mud everywhere! The Head Keeper explained why she decided to do that, and from then on at least the visitors were much quieter!

14 April 2018

When it comes to giving injections to the orphan elephants, just like with human children there is a trick to doing so, to make the process easier! Some of the orphans needed an injection today and the best time was around the 9am milk feed as they love their milk bottles so much; they would be more fixated on the milk bottle! Shukuru was one of the ones who needed an injection today for her ongoing treatment, and she is a very sensitive elephant. She does not like very many keepers around her at once, and today as soon as the keepers began walking up behind her as she was having her milk, she immediately knew it was injection time! She decided to abandon her bottle and run away. She is too big and strong for the keepers to hold her whole she has an injection, so the keepers just had to wait until she was back among the herd to do it. The orphans are not fond of injections, just like humans! The younger orphans are much easier and the keepers can easily manage. Maktao was also a bit dull so received some boosters as a precaution. He started yelling however and the older girls Mbegu Godoma and Tagwa caused a lot of issues. They thought the little one was in danger so they came charging and trumpeting over trying to rescue the little boy. Luckily the keepers were very quick and it was all over with before the girls could do anything, and the keepers spent the next few minutes calming and assuring the older girls that everything was alright!

15 April 2018

Whilst some of the elephant orphans are not enjoying the rainy weather, Maxwell is in his element and is having lots of fun in the wet weather. Today he had a lot of fun playing with the warthogs in his pen, before the elephants went out to the forest this morning. He also spent some time playing with Sattao, Enkesha and Malkia. They were running up the outside of his stockade, and he was inside, pushing at the gate to encourage them to play more. Mundusi tried to charge at Kiko when he approached the elephants while they were having their 9am feed. Kiko wasn’t afraid of him at all however. Mundusi tried to drive him away several times but Kiko kept walking up to them. It wasn’t until Mbegu came over to assist Mundusi that made Kiko leave and wander off into the bushes. When Kiasa arrived back to her stockade this afternoon she decided to run out again after finishing her milk. Luckily when she got close to Ndiwa’s pen, she met with Tamiyoi, Enkesha and Maktao who were just arriving from the forest to go into their own rooms. With an empty bottle of milk and in the company of Maktao she was led back into her room and the door was closed immediately behind her. We are wondering if she does not like the sound of rain at night at the moment? And that is why she does not want to be in her room.

16 April 2018

The little girl Kiasa is becoming a little cheeky these days as she has taken to fighting with the other youngsters. During the public visit today she was inside the mud pool doing what she loves most. She was having fun there with Maktao when she saw Emoli walking along the pool preparing to join them in the mud. She started wading towards him with the intention of preventing him from getting in the mud. She was so fast and managed to get out and push him away from the edge of the mud pool! Emoli fought back as it was his aim to get into the mud and cool down as well. Their difference of opinion ended up in a fight. Murit and Kuishi were feeding on some green browse nearby but neither one paid any attention to the quarreling babies. Musiara had been watching them for some time but he was standing some distance away. Nevertheless he decided to intervene and bring peace between the two; he separated them and pushed them in opposite directions, although Emoli was a bit resistant at first.

17 April 2018

Before the rain started last night some lions started roaring close to the stockade area which woke some of the orphans that were already fast asleep. Maisha, Luggard, Enkesha and Sattao were among those that were woken up by the roaring. They started yelling and shouting as Ndotto and Mbegu charged around their rooms, trumpeted and pushed on the gates of their rooms as they desperately wanted to get out and help the little ones who were crying for help. The lions heard the trumpeting and it seems they must have been a little afraid as they disappeared into the forest and didn’t make any more noise. It was a very cold and wet morning when it was time for the orphans to come out. It was such hard rain they couldn’t come out at their normal time. At 7am it was still pouring but only Mteto, Esampu and Sagala were fighting to get out of their rooms, pushing on their gates. They wanted to go out to the forest and have some fun. All the other orphans were quiet and standing under the shade in their stockades, or resting peacefully in the stables. The three who were struggling to leave were eventually let out, but they did not leave the compound; they chose to stay and browse on the bushes surrounding the stockades. It was not until 8am this morning that all the other orphans came out of their rooms to head to the forest.

18 April 2018

Tagwa, Sagala, Ndiwa and Malkia had a plan to join the first group at the public visiting time that, unfortunately for them, was nipped in the bud! They were spotted by the keepers at the mud bath while they were still some distance away. Although they had managed to sneak away from the keepers in the forest, they had been spotted early by the ones near the mud bath. It was very hard for the keepers to turn Tagwa and Malkia away as they fought hard to be allowed access to the visiting area. They yelled loudly and complained that they wanted to join Godoma’s group. Ndiwa and Sagala knew immediately they had been naughty and complied immediately; they turned and ran back to the forest as soon as they saw the keepers coming towards them. All the shouting from Tagwa and Malkia made those enjoying the mud bath like Godoma, Kuishi, Malima, Jotto and Mapia also start shouting as they were scared, but they were not entirely sure of what! The little ones Maktao, Musiara, Sattao and Enkesha surrounded their keepers for safety. The keepers had their work cut out to reassure everyone that nothing was wrong and it was just the other two naughty orphans causing all the trouble for no reason; soon all the orphans went back to what they were doing, and Tagwa and Malkia had their milk bottles!

19 April 2018

Godoma’s group was on their way back to the forest after having their milk feed. Godoma was in front leading the way and Murit was at the back as he was browsing along the path. It was very wet in the bushes after the rain, and the orphans preferred to walk along the path in a line. Murit then started acting up and began pushing and poking the little ones in front of him with his small tusks. Maktao, who is very good at complaining, as well as Musiara and Sattao were the first victims. As he went on poking them the babies were all yelling out and Godoma had to stop and turn to find out what was going on behind her. When she realized it was Murit who was causing all the trouble she remained calm and quiet as the others past her and when Murit got closer she charged at him and drove him away into the thicket. She then decided to remain at the back of the line so that Murit didn’t decide to enact any revenge on the young ones. The young ones including Emoli didn’t want to stray far from Godoma once they reached the forest!

20 April 2018

Tamiyoi awoke this morning is a very happy mood. She was so energetic and playful and together with Maisha she engaged Luggard in a gentle pushing game. Luggard dug up some fresh soil with his little tusks and the three had a wonderful time rolling in the long wet grass. As all this was going on, the others members of the herd were walking deeper into the forest. Luggard was so grateful for the company of Tamiyoi and Maisha as he stays on his own with some keepers these days, since his leg is too bad for him to accompany the others on their long walks. Ambo was naughty towards Jotto during the public visit today. He arrived at the milk feeding area and had his share before Jotto arrived. When he saw Jotto having his milk bottles he approached him and tried to fight him for some of his milk. The polite boy Jotto remained very calm and did not react even though he was being pushed about. Ambo was being naughty and did not listen to the keeper who was trying to keep him away from Jotto whilst he was feeding. When Jotto finished his bottle he decided to take action and teach Ambo a lesson to have some respect for others whilst they are feeding. He pushed Ambo towards the mud bath and pushed him in for a wallowing session he had not prepared for!

21 April 2018

Out in the bush it is very green and lush, and muddy too, giving the orphans a lovely environment to walk around in. They were walking around browsing this morning and some were playing too, rolling around in the wet sludgy mud. After their 9am milk feed, Maisha, Kiasa, Maktao, Musiara, Tamiyoi and Malima were spotted enjoying a very fun game running about the bushes and crossing back and forth a little stream, splashing the water with their trunks and legs and having a lot of fun. They were very excitable and eventually poor little Maktao slipped as his legs splayed out to either side in the slippery mud. He obviously cried out and this made the others run away. Mbegu, Godoma and Tagwa came running over to make sure he was okay, but they found him already standing up. They surrounded him and patted him all over with their trunks just to make sure he was okay.

22 April 2018

Kiasa is proving these days to be a bit of a naughty girl, with similar character traits to Esampu! Funnily enough they also look alike, like they might even have the same family genes; they have similar faces and body shape too. Kiasa is a little trouble maker at feeding times, whether it is out in the bush or down at the mud bath feeding area. She starts pushing and head butting the young ones the same size as her like Maktao, Sattao and Musiara, and gentle Maisha sometimes too. During the public visit today when she came down to get her milk bottles, she found Musiara, Maktao and Maisha standing close to the wheelbarrow holding the milk. Before she could even have her milk bottle she ran towards Maktao and pushed him hard. She then drove him towards the mud bath and forced him inside before going back to have her milk! After she had her bottle she remained restless and charged after those who were running down to have their milk bottles. This kind of behaviour is forcing the keepers to make sure she is last from now on to have her milk bottle. It was this kind of thing that forced Esampu to join the older group before, when she was still quite young, so that they could discipline her when she was behaving badly. We might have to consider this for Kiasa too!

23 April 2018

Luggard is seen to be very much enjoying all the fresh new greenery around as the rains continue. He has a much happier face these days with all this browse around and now that the swelling has gone down on his leg that was causing him so much upset before. We are so happy to witness him running down for his milk bottles now, something he has been unable to do for awhile. This morning at the 9am milk feed we were so happy to watch him scampering down with Maisha and Musiara – he was so happy to run down with them! These days when the keepers leave him to come and collect his milk bottle from the mixing area, they are always surprised how quickly Luggard has moved, as they often finds him already in the stockade area, waiting for his milk bottle! All these are good signs pointing in the right direction for Luggard and we hope he will continue to improve.

24 April 2018

It is quite funny on the mornings when it is raining to watch the smaller ones like Musiara, Maisha, Maktao, Sattao and Emoli trying to stay in their rooms as much as possible, to avoid the wet and cold weather. When the keepers open their doors wide for them to come out, Maktao, Emoli and Maisha yell out in protest as they don’t want to walk out. The keepers always give them a bit more time and allow them to come out when they want. When they want they can come out and join the others who enjoy the chilly weather a lot more. Today after the 3pm milk feed, Ndotto, Ndiwa, Sagala and Mundusi sneaked off and walked deep into the forest. The keepers found it very hard to find them! Ndotto and Ndiwa are very brave, and clever too. They always walk off quickly and go as far as possible as they know the keepers will notice and come to find them before they have had any fun.

25 April 2018

After the orphans in the first group had finished their milk bottles during the public visit today, it seemed like they all wanted to play together. Musiara, Sattao, Maktao, Kiasa, Malima, Ambo, Jotto and Murit were all seen happily playing some pushing games, which the visitors really enjoyed watching too. The orphans seemed so happy. Musiara played with Sattao, and of course there was Jotto playing with Murit. They have become such good play mates recently and Jotto learns so much from Murit, who is older and has more experience. Malima took on Ambo as well! In fact this was the one that captured most people’s attention as neither one was ready to surrender the game. They pushed each other along the rope cordon with Ambo trying to push Malima into the mud pool, an act which Malima was firmly resisting! Unfortunately eventually Ambo succeeded in his task and poor Malima ended up in the mud. When she tried to climb out Ambo was there making sure she was unable, pushing her back in with his head. The visitors were amazing to see how clever the orphans are and how well they play.

26 April 2018

Esampu has picked up Mbegu’s habit of sucking up every drop of spilt milk from the ground with her trunk. This combined with how naughty she is at feeding times and she is a little terror! Today she wouldn’t move away from the feeding area as she was trying to suck up all the milk, and when she had finished there she tried to push her way through to the wheelbarrow holding the bottles in order to get the spilt milk there. Mundusi was having his milk bottle and getting very frustrated with Esampu’s behaviour. He started throwing back kicks trying to get her away and when he was done with his bottle he decided to discipline her properly and chased her away. Ambo and Malima are becoming great play mates, especially during the public visiting time. When the public applaud and are happy to see them playing Malima doesn’t like the noise however, and charges at them to be quiet!

27 April 2018

Kiasa has a little stubborn character and is still causing trouble at the milk feeding times. Today she didn’t even spare the keepers and she kept headbutting everyone that came to get their own share of milk after her. It’s like she believes that every milk bottle belongs to her. She was very hard on Emoli and Maisha. She is just a tough girl and Emoli tried to teach her some manners after he finished his bottle but she didn’t listen. The warthogs always browse alongside the orphans and today they were at the mud bath during the private visit as well. No one knew that there was a lioness around and suddenly she caught the largest warthog in the whole group. It was a battle between the warthog and the lioness but unfortunately the lioness eventually won. Ndotto and Mbegu tried to move to save the shouting warthog but they were prevented from doing so by the keepers. The other orphans moved towards the keepers for safety and they all walked away from that area back towards the mud bath.

28 April 2018

Tagwa and Malkia look to be forming a nice friendship. They spend quite a lot of time together and where we find one, the other is never far behind. Today they spent most of the day together and away from the others as well. Mbegu and Ndotto seem to have quite a deep level of respect for each other. They have been browsing together over the past few days as well. Ndotto normally likes to browse further away but Mbegu likes to stay with the little ones. Sattao is very attached to Mbegu and will never stray very far from her. Today all three of them disappeared from the main group only to be found some time later quite a distance from the group, browsing along the stream inside the forest. Ngilai has always known to play rough but these days he is getting a little cocky as well. If you insist on telling him to move or back away from doing something naughty he raises his ears up and holds his head high, which is a sign of defiance! Boys will always be boys!

29 April 2018

Today the funny girl Mteto managed to succeed in her plan of hiding from the keepers just before the public visit in order to have her milk bottle before it was her turn! This is something she tries all the time but she is not usually successful. Today she was very clever and once she realized where the first group were waiting she snuck over to that area and waited there with them. When those that weren’t escorted by any keepers went down she made a break for it too so she wouldn’t be noticed, and that was how she made it down today! While she was there though she was ignored by the rest of the group as none of the other babies were interested in her company! She remained on her own browsing on the greens that had been laid out… but at least she got her milk bottle early! When the second group were at mud bath the two old friends Ndotto and Lasayen had fun playing together in a wrestling game. Ngilai tried to join them but Lasayen wasn’t ready to permit him to join. He wasn’t very friendly and pushed Ngilai whenever he tried to wrestle with him or Ndotto too. On his way back to the stockades in the afternoon Maktao came across a mother warthog with her youngsters in the middle of the compound. He tried to drive them away but the mother charged at him. He screamed and ran towards the keepers shouting for help; it probably taught him a valuable lesson about taunting another animals.

30 April 2018

In the morning just after the orphans had arrived in the forest the weather changed, and it started raining. The cold weather is so enjoyed by Maxwell but this morning Mbegu and her herd also enjoyed it. Sana Sana started digging at the ground with her short tusks to make some soft piles of soil. Then she started rolling around it and Musiara decided to join her. Mbegu seemed to feel that is was her duty to play with Musiara and she came over to push Sana Sana away so she could take her place. Being the leader of the group everyone will obey her decision! As soon as Mbegu started rolling on the soil Musiara started climbing on her back. Sattao and Mundusi came to join in but Mundusi’s game did not last long as Mbegu stood up and pushed her away – this game was only for the babies! Soon it was like all the babies were rolling and sliding down Mbegu’s back as she was acting like a true mother and trying to accommodate and play with all the babies. As the rain went on they all enjoyed rolling and playing in the mud having a lot of fun. They only finished their game when it was time for their 9am milk bottle!