April was mostly overcast, heavy with the promise of rain but barely delivering it. While we had a few small showers, we certainly wouldn’t mind more before we enter the long, dry stretch between June and September. It is already turning quite cold, heralding the dry months, but we remain hopeful. This premature shift in weather did bring some perks: The lions who spent much of last month targeting well-trafficked water sources moved around to the southern side of Msinga Hill. Of course, we remain vigilant just in case they return. Little Diria the zebra has become very attached to his Keeper since losing his friend, Nzuki, and rarely leaves their side while browsing.
The Voi orphan elephants together with Diria, Cheza and Ivia left for the Park following the milk and supplement feeding. It was raining as the group of orphans headed out to the Park following Sagala, Tamiyoi and Tagwa to the rocky side of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse before making their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon.
The milk dependent babies had their milk before following their older friends to the waterhole where Tundani settled at the edge of the waterhole splashing himself with the muddy water. Pika Pika and Emoli had fun inside the waterhole as they rolled around playing while enjoying a sparring session before Tundani joined them. Rorogoi, Suswa and Mbegu lined up beside the water bowser at the water trough for a drink of fresh water.
Pika Pika exited the mud bath and headed to the dust pile where she enjoyed rolling around on the loose soil, with Ishaq-B and Ndii standing over her watching and making sure that she wasn’t bothered. Rorogoi then came for a dust bath as the rest of the orphans were already heading out for the afternoon browsing session. She caught up with the rest of the group once she was done.
It was a bright morning as Godoma, Emoli and Pika Pika came charging out of their stockade for the morning milk feed. Once the milk feeding was over the orphans all enjoyed feeding on the Lucerne pellets after which they had fun interacting and bonding with one another. Mashariki was a bit of a bully towards Araba today and kept pushing her away from the feeding area, but Ndii quickly came to Araba’s rescue and chased Mashariki away.
The orphans left the stockade compound for the Park and settled along Msinga Hill, a short distance from the stockade compound, for the morning browsing session. Mudanda enjoyed browsing at the foot of the hill while the rest of her friends chose to climb uphill in search of greener vegetation to feed on.
After the noon milk feed the orphans walked the few meters to the baobab tree water hole where they had a refreshing wallow in the mud bath. Ngilai and Emoli had fun playing a sparring game while Pika Pika exited the mud bath to join Kenia and Mudanda at the water trough for a drink of water.
When the wallowing games were over the orphan herd followed Mashariki to the eastern side of the waterhole where they spent the afternoon browsing before returning back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The dependent orphans hung around the stockade compound playing and bonding with one another this morning. Ngilai invited Murit for a sparring session but was turned down by Murit so he went to join Sagala who was already making her way out to browse. Tagwa and Tamiyoi were the next to follow together with the others, except Suswa and Tundani who headed off in a different direction to the rest of the orphan herd.
As noon approached the orphan herd made their way to the milk feeding area near the baobab tree waterhole. The milk dependent orphans downed their milk bottles before joining their older friends who were headed to the mud bath. They all stopped for a drink from the water trough before playing in the water. Sagala walked out of the water leaving Ngilai and Ndotto behind, both of whom were having a lot of fun splashing around. Pika Pika and Suswa visited the water trough for a drink after mud bathing while Emoli and Ngilai enjoyed a pushing game. Pika Pika had a quick game at the soil pile where she rolled around before catching up with the rest of the group who were ready to begin the afternoon browsing session.
Ndotto and Mbegu were busy enjoying a pushing and strength testing game in the stockade compound following the morning milk feed. After some fun interacting with one another the orphan herd left for the Park where Emoli settled at the foot of Msinga Hill to browse. He was soon joined by Kenia, while Ngilai and Godoma enjoyed feeding on fresh acacia shrubs a little further uphill. The orphans spent the better part of the morning browsing in the open grasslands close the baobab tree waterhole before heading further down for the noon milk feed and a mud bath.
As it was a cold day the orphans weren’t very active at the mud bath today and returned to their browsing activities quite quickly, spending the afternoon browsing on Msinga Hill before following Sagala and Tagwa back to the stockades in the evening.
It was a bright morning today as the orphan elephants exited their night quarters ready to begin the day with the usual milk and supplement feeding. Ngilai and Emoli engaged in a pushing game which Murit came and interrupted, spoiling their fun. Pika Pika was enjoying Lucerne pellets at the feeding trough while Araba watched on, wanting to approach Pika Pika but unsure how to do so.
Sagala, Tagwa and Tamiyoi led the group out for the day with Emoli, Kenia, Ngilai and Godoma browsing on acacia shrubs on the way. Mbegu joined Godoma and the two spent the morning browsing together as the group slowly made their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon for their milk bottles.
Once the milk feed was over the group walked down to the waterhole. Panda splashed around at the water trough, while Sagala struck a pose looking for attention, standing with one foot on the water trough. Ndotto then came over and decided to climb into the trough where he swung his trunk from side to side. The rest of the group headed back to their browsing activities, leaving Ndotto playing a while longer before rushing to join his friends for the afternoon feeding session.
The day started with the milk-dependent orphan elephants running out of their night quarters to the milk feeding area where they downed their bottles before joining their older friends for the supplement feeding. Godoma remained at the milk feeding area trying to suck up any spilled milk from the ground before joining her friends for the Lucerne pellets. Suswa was busy stretching her trunk as high as it would go to reach some green leaves from a tree in the stockade compound.
The orphan herd left the stockade compound for the browsing grounds where they settled to browse in single file on the lower grounds to the north of the compound. It was an overcast day with lots of cloud cover and a strong wind blowing which resulted in the orphans forgoing the mud bath today.
They paused their browsing activities at noon to have their milk feed after which they headed to the water trough for a drink of water. Kenia was drinking with her adopted baby Pika Pika but Araba didn’t want to be left out; she came and got close to Kenia too, to draw some warmth from her.
Soon after the orphan elephants left the waterhole to resume their browsing activities, a teenage wild bull came to the water trough for a drink of water and left soon after quenching his thirst.
After the morning milk and Lucerne pellet feeding, the orphan elephants hung around the stockade compound playing and having fun, before leaving for their routine bush walks.
Ishaq-B decide to stop and browse on some green acacia leaves in the stockade compound before rushing to catch up with her friends for the mornings browsing activities.
The orphans browsed their way to the baobab tree arriving in time for their noon milk bottle after which they enjoyed a mud bath. Pika Pika was the star of the show today as she rolled around in the deeper side of the waterhole while Kenia stood guard to ensure she wasn’t bothered. Emoli and Ngilai enjoyed a sparring session as they took one another head on while Mbegu used her long sharp tusks to dig a shallow hole to play in. Mbegu got to enjoy her private dust bath for a short spell before Ndotto came and ousted her to play in it himself!
The afternoon browsing session took place near the waterhole where the orphan herd remained until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The orphans were having fun this morning playing around the stockade compound following the morning milk feed. Pika Pika enjoyed feeding on Lucerne pellets while standing next to her adopted mother Kenia. Tundani was conducting his favourite risky activity - standing by the electric fence to stretch his trunk over the fence line to reach the fresh leaves on an acacia tree on the other side!
Today Sagala led the orphans out to the Park where the orphan herd spent the morning hours browsing on the northern side of Msinga Hill. At noon they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk feed before heading to the mud wallow. Mashariki stood at the edge of the mud wallow to have a drink of water while Rorogoi splashed water over herself.
Panda was enjoying a dust bath by the baobab tree while Tundani stood at the edge of the mud wallow, undecided as to whether or not to have a mud bath. Once the wallowing activities were over the orphan herd resumed their browsing activities to the south of the waterhole.
It was a bright and sunny day as the orphans left the stockade compound for the Park and the days browsing activities. Mashariki led the orphan herd up Msinga Hill with some of the group, but Panda, Emoli and Ndii chose to remain in an open grassy field at the foot of the hill to browse. The morning was spent browsing peacefully with Mashariki and her friends coming down hill to join those at the base to head to the milk feeding area just before noon. Pika Pika was kept sandwiched between Kenia and Ndii as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole.
Once at the waterhole following the milk feed, Panda rested her trunk on the water trough while the rest of the group quenched their thirst. Rorogoi then went to the edge of the mud wallow where she splashed around in the water with Mashariki doing the same in the middle of the mud bath.
The afternoon was spent browsing along the western side of Msinga Hill after which the orphan herd returned home to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The orphan elephants exited their night quarters in the morning with the milk dependent group making a bee line for the milk feeding area where they downed their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Tagwa was in no mood to play this morning and headed out to the Park with Tamiyoi and Sagala following a short distance behind her.
The orphan elephants spent the morning browsing peacefully with the orphan zebra and buffalos Diria, Ivia and Cheza. When it was time for the noon milk feed the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole in groups of five for their bottles, after which they walked to the waterhole for a drink of water and a mud bath. Diria, who is still missing Nzuki, spends his time browsing close to the Keepers.
It was a rather chilly day today but this did not deter Ngilai who headed straight to the middle of the mud bath where he submerged his head to try and entice his friends to join him, but none of them seemed too interested. Pika Pika was having fun playing while being watched over by Ndii and Ishaq-B. Ndotto was having fun at the dust pile where he played in the loose soil before joining his friends for the afternoon browsing session.
The morning began on a good note with the orphan elephants concentrating on their milk and supplement feeding following a peaceful nights rest. Ngilai went to engage his best friend Ivia the buffalo in a sparring game, but Ivia wasn’t interested and ran away from him.
It was then time for the orphans to head to the Park for the days browsing activities. They spent the morning browsing for a good three hours before Mbegu stopped to play. She had fun rolling around on the ground until Ndotto came up and spoilt her game. She quickly got to her feet and turned to engage him in a pushing game and the two enjoyed a spirited sparring session. Ngilai saw the two playing and started trying to get someone to play with him by kneeling on the ground. He managed to catch Murit’s attention and the two enjoyed playing together until Ngilai left to help Ndotto in his game against Mbegu.
The browsing activities stopped at noon for the milk feed and some fun and games at the mud bath after which the orphans resumed browsing until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was drizzling as the orphans exited their stockades this morning. The orphans had their milk and supplement feed before playing around the stockade compound. Tagwa enjoyed scratching against a big rock while Tamiyoi lay on the red earth pile where she rolled around while Ngilai and Emoli watched.
The orphans headed out to the Park for the day and settled to browse on the lower flat lands on the far northern side of Msinga Hill. Ndii, Kenia and Ishaq-B were all close to Pika Pika and the three never left her side while they browsed.
At noon the orphans downed their milk bottles and had a drink at the baobab tree waterhole before returning to their browsing activities as it was too cold for a mud bath. Soon after the orphan herd left the waterhole a small wild elephant family of four members came to the water trough for a drink.
The orphans began their day as usual with the milk and supplement feeding. Embu, Rorogoi, Araba, Kenia, Pika Pika and Ndii congregated along the top of one of the stockade terraces to enjoy their Lucerne pellets. There were some brief games around the stockade compound before the group headed out for the day.
The morning was spent browsing peacefully under some thick cloud cover. At noon the orphans visited the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk and a drink of water but again chose not to go into the mud bath as it was still too cold. Ivia and Cheza the buffaloes didn’t seem to feel the cold as much as the elephants though and they plunged into the mud bath. Ngilai then decided to run in after them in a kind of game. He started chasing them around, as if in an effort to have the waterhole to himself. Araba and Lasayen stood at the water’s edge watching all of Ngilai’s antics. He played in the water for a while before coming out to engage Ivia in a sparring game. Ivia wasn’t interested and walked off, only to be engaged in a game by Godoma. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole.
It was a bright and sunny morning for the orphans. Rorogoi enjoyed a scratching session against a rock close to the stockade terrace. Ndoria walked past in a rush to catch up with Tagwa, Tamiyoi and Sagala who were heading out to the Park for the day.
The orphans arrived at the southern foot of Msinga Hill where Ndotto stopped browsing to enjoy a scratching session against a rock. They spent a short spell browsing here before heading to the northern side of Msinga Hill for the remainder of the mornings browsing activities. Here Mbegu and Ndotto enjoyed a wonderful sparring session. Ndotto has grown quite tall and Mbegu likes to take him on once in a while to show her superiority.
At noon the milk dependent orphan elephants visited the milk feeding area in groups of five. They downed their milk bottles before joining the rest of the group who were making their way to the waterhole.
It was a fairly cloudy and overcast day again and the orphans stood at the edge of the waterhole where they splashed water over their bodies. Ngilai once again went into the water and ran around the mud bath showing off. Murit wanted to join him but chose instead to lie at the edge of the water and have a partial wallow.
Once Ngilai was done wallowing he exited the water to engage Ivia in a sparring session but by lying down on the ground to get Ivia to play with him. Once they were done playing they joined the rest of the group who were ready to resume the days browsing activities.
It was a lovely morning for the orphans who all enjoyed playing around the stockade compound following the milk and Lucerne pellet feeding. Tamiyoi and Mashariki had fun playing on the dust pile while Tagwa invited Ngilai for a sparring session. Pika Pika enjoyed scratching against a rock following a dust bath. Once Ngiali had finished playing with Tagwa he invited Pika Pika for a pushing game while Araba had fun playing on the red earth pile.
Sagala led the orphans out to the Park for the day and they spent the morning browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill.
At noon they walked towards the milk feeding area above the baobab tree waterhole where the milk dependent orphans had their milk bottles, after which the group headed to the mud wallow. Godoma and Tagwa made a bee-line for the dust piles while Ngilai and Lasayen enjoyed a sparring session and Ndotto had fun playing on the dust piles as well.
Following a mud bath Ishaq-B paid a visit to the dust pile where she tossed some soil into the air and over herself before catching up with the rest of the orphan herd who were slowly heading back out to the browsing grounds for the afternoon browsing session.
Once the morning’s milk and Lucerne pellet feeding was over the orphans had fun teaming up and playing games around the stockade compound. Ngilai went straight to the soil pile where he picked up a trunkful of soil and tossed it skyward. Pika Pika seemed to be very interested in what he was doing and came to join him but was taken by surprise when Ngilai stopped playing and turned to engage her in a sparring session. Embu and Mashariki also came to the dust pile where they copied Ngilai’s previous game of tossing soil into the air.
Pika Pika managed to evade Ngilai and bring went to enjoy a dust bathing session. Ndii thankfully came and stood guard over her to make sure that she wasn’t bothered by anyone, especially Ngilai. While the orphans were heading out to the browsing grounds, Kenia and Pika Pika stopped to enjoy a scratching session while Godoma sat on the ground to play, which attracted Murit and Mbegu’s attention and the two came to watch her game.
The orphans had a lovely time at the noon mud bath as they splashed around in the water. Mudanda stayed in the baobab tree waterhole longer than the others, enjoying a scratching session, after which she rejoined the rest of the herd to spend the afternoon browsing until it was time to return to the stockades for the night.
The morning’s milk and Lucerne pellet was followed by socializing games before the orphans left for a day out in the Park. Ndotto and Mbegu enjoyed an early sparring session while baboons stood atop the soil pile watching the orphans eating and playing. Tamiyoi wasn’t happy about having an audience and charged up to chase them away, opening up the dust pile for her friends to enjoy a dust bath too. Arruba headed to the top of the dust hill where her games attracted the attention of Pika Pika and Ndotto who came to watch.
Ndotto, who was standing beside Pika Pika, was singled out by Ndii who thought he was bothering Pika Pika and she came charging over to chase him away by pushing him with her tusk. Ndii managed to puncture Ndotto’s skin a little with her sharp tusk (she only has one) but the Keepers swiftly attended to him, and it was only a minor scratch. When the Keepers were done with Ndotto, the herd headed out for the day.
In the afternoon the Voi stockade team received a report of a tiny orphan elephant calf near Bachuma from the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit. The calf was badly injured, following what is suspected to have been an attack by hyenas, and was missing her tail, her behind and her genitalia. Upon rescue the calf was airlifted to the Kaluku HQ in the Trust’s caravan as she appeared to be less than a month old, but she sadly passed away from her injuries.
The morning began with the usual milk and supplement feeding after which Arruba engaged Ndotto in a friendly sparring session while Ngilai lay on the soil pile in an effort to engage Ivia in a sparring session. Ngilai’s antics caught not only Ivia’s attention but everyone’s everyone else’s including the Keepers. Not wanting to be left out, Lasayen went and lay close to Cheza the buffalo in an attempt to get Cheza to play with him but he was unsuccessful in his efforts. Ndotto tried to interrupt Ngilai and Ivia’s games but the two walked away from him and headed out to the Park.
After a morning spent browsing peacefully the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole at noon so that the milk dependent babies could have their milk bottles, and then they all walked to the waterhole for a drink of water. They chose not to wallow because it was overcast and chilly again. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole with Sagala and Tamiyoi leading the herd back to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
The orphan elephants had a lovely time playing around the stockade compound this morning once the milk and supplement feeding was over. Kenia and Ndii were very relaxed this morning as they stood with their heads and trunks hanging down with Pika Pika sandwiched between them. Mashariki and Mudanda seemed to be curious about what they were up to and slowly approached them while keeping their eye on Ndii, who can become quite aggressive when other orphans approach Pika Pika.
Once the stockade activities were over, the orphans headed to the Park where they spent the morning browsing peacefully until noon when they headed to the baobab tree waterhole. Once there Ndotto took advantage of the fact that Ngilai was wallowing to engage Ivia in a pushing game. Ndoria enjoyed scratching against the baobab tree after which the orphans left the waterhole for the afternoon browsing activities.
In the late afternoon Ndotto was taken to task by the ladies who decided to engage him in a sparring session. Mashariki was first to play with Ndotto followed by Suswa and when she was done playing with Ndotto he seemed exhausted and happy to follow the others back home for the night.
As soon as the stockade gates opened this morning the milk dependent orphans came running out eager to receive their morning milk bottles which they downed in a matter of seconds. When they were done they slowly filed out, walking to join their older friends from Kenia’s herd for the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding.
Ndii took an interest in a female baboon and her baby who were sitting on one of the stockade terraces, but it ran away with its baby safely tucked onto its belly when Ndii got too close. Ndotto enjoyed a scratching session against a rock before joining his friends at the soil piles where he found Ngilai with his head down and bottom in the air as he played. He was pulling such funny poses that the rest of the orphans were watching him too. Ishaq-B didn’t seem too happy about Ngilai being the center of attention and tried to imitate him, but she wasn’t as successful in the pose as he was.
Lately we have noticed that Lasayen has been more reserved and certainly isn’t as playful as Ndotto, Ngilai, Murit and Emoli. Ndotto tried to engage Lasayen in a sparring session to try and get him to play, but Lasayen showed no interest and walked away from Ndotto, who instead went to play with Arruba.
The orphans had a lovely morning browsing, stopping at noon for the milk dependent babies’ milk bottle followed by a visit to the baobab tree waterhole where they had a quick bath before resuming with their browsing activities for the rest of the day.
It was a bright morning as the orphans exited their stockades for their morning milk bottle before heading to the supplement feeding area where they enjoyed feeding on Lucerne pellets. Ndotto, Pika Pika and Arruba visited the soil pile for a morning dust bath where they were soon joined by some other orphans and they all enjoyed playing together.
Sagala took the lead of the orphan herd out to the Park today and they spent the morning browsing along Msinga Hill. At noon the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where the youngsters stopped for their milk bottles while the older orphans made a bee line for the water trough. Diria tried to steal another milk bottle but gave up and joined the older orphans for a drink of water. Ndotto was busy playing on the loose soil where he was thoroughly enjoying rolling around. Arruba came over to join in and their game ended up in a sparring session.
The orphans spent the rest of the afternoon browsing on Msinga Hill until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
After the morning milk feed the orphans hung around the stockade compound feeding on pellets while playing and bonding. Pika Pika stayed side by side with her adopted mothers Kenia and Ndii as they enjoyed the pellet supplements.
Tagwa and Tamiyoi led the orphans out to the Park today, maneuvering the group along the rocky side of Msinga Hill and eventually settling to browse on Msinga overlooking the baobab tree waterhole area. When they saw the milk van approaching they came down for the noon milk feed and after, Godoma led the orphan herd to the baobab tree water trough for a drink of water followed by a mud bath.
The orphans then resumed their browsing activities for the remainder of the afternoon during which time Ngilai engaged Emoli in a sparring game while Lasayen took on Murit. When the strength testing games were over Ngilai browsed a little bit longer before taking on Murit for a pushing game and Ndotto took his best friend Lasayen to task.
This morning, following the milk feed, Godoma had fun playing with Pika Pika while the rest of the orphans were busy enjoying feeding on Lucerne pellet supplements. When the two were done playing Pika Pika enjoyed a scratching session against a rock. Ndotto was busy making sure that every last pellet was eaten before the group left the stockade compound for the day.
When the orphan herd headed out to the Park, Suswa and Tundani remained behind a while longer. Once out in the browsing fields Godoma kept busy browsing while Ndotto and Mbegu played. Ndotto then joined up with Arruba for a while before inviting Mbegu for a strength testing game during which he enjoyed a climbing on Mbegu’s back.
Ngilai was busy sparring with his best friend Ivia and the two enjoyed a very spirited game while Godoma and Murit hugged one another and engaged each other in a sparring session away from the rest of the group.
At noon the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where Ndotto skipped the mud bath to play with Ivia, thus preventing Ngilai from doing so. Pika Pika and Lasayen drank from the water trough while Tagwa and Ngilai bonded with one another and Ndoria had a dust bath. Once the waterhole activities were over the orphan herd resumed their browsing activities south of the waterhole before returning to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
All the early mornings activities took place as normal today beginning with the orphans being let out of their night stockades with the milk dependent babies gathering for their milk bottles before joining their older friends from Kenia’s herd for the Lucerne pellet feeding. There were some brief games at the soil piles before the group headed out for the day.
After the noon milk feed the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole where they joined up with a visiting wild elephant herd and they all drank from the water trough. Ishaq-B managed to separate a wild calf from the family without them noticing, giving Godoma, Emoli, Tamiyoi and Sagala the opportunity to play with her. The wild herd upon preparing to leave noticed that the calf was missing and waited for her a short distance away. When she left she tried to get the orphans that she was playing with to join her but none of them did.
Sagala enjoyed the mud bath today while Ndotto skipped playing in the muddy water to engage Ivia in a sparring session which left Ngilai on his own until Emoli approached him for a strength testing game. Ivia has become quite popular with the orphan elephants and they all seem to want to play with him, with Mbegu coming in for a turn when Ndotto finished. Ivia then ran off to join Cheza and the two lay on the ground, close to the Keepers. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole.
Today the orphans left the stockade compound as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over. Once in the field Ndii, Kenia, Ishaq-B and Araba all wanted to browse with Pika Pika and surrounded her, squeezing her between them in an effort to be near her and share her amongst them.
At noon the orphans had their milk bottles near the baobab tree waterhole after which they made their way to the mud bath where they had fun playing in the muddy water. Pika Pika lay in the water and showcased her bathing tactics while being watched over by Kenia, Godoma and Rorogoi, all who seemed to be cheering her on. Kenia and Godoma then left the water for a dust bath while Rorogoi took charge of looking after Pika Pika until Arruba came charging in to take over. Murit and Ndotto lay on the ground near the waterhole and rolled around getting soil over their bodies as they played. Emoli joined Godoma who was dust bathing in a small hole and engaged her in a pushing game after which they joined the rest of the group for the afternoons browsing activities.
The day began on a high note with the morning milk feed followed by the Lucerne supplement feeding after which all the orphans engaged in games around the stockade compound. Sagala and Tagwa led the orphan herd out for the day with Kenia and Ndii keeping Pika Pika between them and not letting her out of their sight.
The morning was spent browsing on the flat lands north of Msinga Hill with the orphans making their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon so that the milk dependent babies could have their milk feed. They then all headed to the waterhole where they had a drink of water from the stockade water trough followed by a wallow in the mud bath.
There was a snake swimming around in the mud bath which the Keepers managed to safely remove so that none of the orphans would be bitten by it. Suswa and Tundani stood at the edge of the mud bath where they scooped up water with their trunks and sprayed it over their bodies. Ndotto lay at the top of the soil mounds and slid down the side before getting up and doing it again, while Ndoria did the same on the other side.
Murit and Godoma were both sat in a small hole playing before engaging in a sparring session. Once the fun and games were over, the orphan herd returned to their browsing activities which took place to the west of Msinga Hill.
The orphans were out and about early this morning for their milk and supplement feeding. Pika Pika squeezed herself between Kenia and Ndii displacing Araba who was there. Sagala headed to the soil pile in the stockade compound where she was joined by Godoma and Embu and together they enjoyed a dust bath.
Tagwa and Tamiyoi set off for the Park followed by most of the herd, with the exception of Suswa, Panda, Tundani and Ndotto who remained in the stockade compound to make sure that every last Lucerne pellet was eaten, before rushing to join the rest of their friends. The orphan herd spent the better part of the morning hours browsing on the northern side of Msinga Hill and when they heard the milk truck they made their way to the noon milk feeding area before walking down to the baobab tree mud bath.
Ndotto and Mbegu were enjoying a sparring session when Ivia the buffalo came in between them as he wanted to play; it was only a matter of seconds before Ndotto stopped playing with Mbegu to take on Ivia, then the two elephants teamed up to take him on together, pushing him towards the soil pile, after which he ran off.
Murit was having fun rolling around on the soil while Diria the zebra stood at the top of the soil pile keeping watch over everyone and everything. Tundani was having a blast in the waterhole as he rolled around wallowing in the muddy waters where he was joined by Panda and the two were soon engaged in a pushing game, while Ndii spent some time with Pika Pika. Rorogoi was busy having so much fun rolling around at the water’s edge that she didn’t notice the rest of the group leaving for the afternoons browsing session and she had to bring a quick end to her game to run to catch up with her friends.
After the morning milk feed the Voi orphan elephants gathered for their routine Lucerne grass pellet feeding before following Pika Pika and Emoli out to the Park for the day. The two stopped on the way out giving Sagala time to catch up with them. Ngilai tried to catch up with them as well and take over the lead, but he was prevented from doing so by Sagala who blocked the way and Tagwa came up behind Ngilai and grabbed his tail to pull him back.
On arriving at the southern foot of Msinga Hill, Mbegu engaged Ndotto in a sparring match which attracted Arruba who came to take on Mbegu once the game with Ndotto was over. The three then had to move quickly to catch with the rest of the orphan herd who had moved further afield to browse. The orphan zebra, buffaloes and elephants browsed in single file to the baobab tree waterhole at noon for the milk feed and a mud bath.
Ngiali has slowly been losing his playmate Ivia to Ndotto, who keeps engaging the orphan buffalo in sparring sessions. Mbegu has also taken to playing with Ivia, with Ngilai often being left on the outskirts. Ndotto has taken to skipping the mud bath so that he can spar with Ivia first and today was no exception as the two played together away from the mud bath and their friends.
The orphan elephants exited their stockades this morning to begin their day with the usual milk and supplement feeding after which Rorogoi walked over to a rock for a scratching session. Ndotto stood at the bottom of the stockade terrace trying to engage Ivia in a sparring match which didn’t take place as Ivia ran off to follow Cheza out to the Park for the day.
The morning was spent browsing peacefully and by the time the orphans arrived at the baobab tree waterhole, a wild elephant herd who had come for a drink of water had just left. A second wild herd arrived to join the orphans for a drink from the water trough and Pika Pika stood in the water watching a tiny wild calf. Pika Pika then invited Mbegu to climb on her back as the two tried to entice the wild calves to join them for some games.
Tundani had a drink with the wild herd at the water trough and got to take a closer look at a tiny calf before the wild herd started to head off. Pika Pika quickly exited the mud bath to follow them but was prevented from doing so by Rorogoi who blocked her from leaving and the Keepers who called her back to the orphan herd as she is still milk dependent and too young to follow wild elephants.
Ndotto was busy playing with Ivia and the two enjoyed a sparring session which Mbegu interrupted as she wanted to play with Ivia herself. Mbegu first engaged Ndotto in the strength testing game but he soon ran off and the orphan herd headed away from the waterhole for the afternoon browsing session.
The Voi orphans left their night stockades amid a light rain shower this morning which was a wonderful start to the day. The milk-dependent orphans had their bottles and fed on the supplement food before playing a game of hide and seek, after which they headed out to the Park for the day.
Ndoria and Arruba had a private browsing session away from the rest of the group but rejoined them when it was time to head to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed. After the milk dependent babies had finished their milk bottles they joined the rest of their friends as they made their way down to the waterhole.
As it was a chilly day only some of the orphans chose to wallow while the rest skipped the water and chose instead to dust bath. Panda enjoyed playing on the red earth with Pika Pika, while Ishaq-B stood guard to make sure that none of the other orphans bothered them while they rolled around in the loose earth. Kenia watched Pika Pika from a distance but did not come over knowing that Pika Pika was in good hands with Panda. Once the orphan herd returned to the stockades for the night Diria the zebra enjoyed a dust bath at the stockade compound.