Keepers' Diaries, August 2014

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This month has been a busy one at the Nursery with a number of newcomers. The first to arrive on the 2nd of the month was an emaciated female elephant calf from Mount Kenya approximately 18 months old. Having been alerted about her first from KWS, we helped facilitate her rescue with our Meru Mobile Veterinary Vehicle and she was then driven to Nairobi as the Embu airport is being used by Kenya’s military forces at present and closed to civil aviation. She not only endured the trauma of the rescue, but a drive of approximately four hours to get to Nairobi. She had obviously been without Mum for a good long time before being discovered as she was desperately thin and riddled with worms. The first days were fraught with her collapsing a couple of times, but slowly slowly she grew stronger throughout the month. Then came a tiny calf rescued from the Ndoto Mountains on the 7th of August. Coming from such a remote corner of the country he was rescued by helicopter and delivered directly to our doorstep, with the helicopter landing close to the mudbath. The tiny calf arrived wrapped up in a blanket, newborn, and absolutely minute. He required a transfusion of blood plasma to ensure he received the all important antibodies as we doubted he had even suckled his mother so had not received the essential colostum. We named him Ndotto, with a slightly different spelling to the mountain range. On the 9th we received another baby elephant rescued from the Masai Mara this time; a young baby of approximately 5 months old. She settled in fast but a couple of weeks later had an emotional wobble and really appeared psychologically disturbed for a while until her friendship with new arrival Embu was reciprocated. It was not long before these two new arrivals became absolutely inseparable, imparting companionship, warmth, comfort and understanding to each other. After that Dupotto has settled and appears emotionally much more content and Embu much happier too. On the 19th the unexpected happened when a baby giraffe was rescued by our Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Team and delivered to the Nursery late at night. Rescued by KWS Veterinary Officer Dr. Njoroge the newborn baby had the long drive from Amboseli to Nairobi. He displaced Balguda who was forced to give up his stable and finally progress to a stockade, a move long overdue. It was not long before Kili the giraffe settled into his new routine and the Keepers learnt the ropes about feeding a giraffe which has required some climbing skills with the guys having to clamber onto the stockade bars in order to deliver the milk bottle at the correct elevated angle! Sadly this month we lost our little Arabukko, a tiny calf that came into our care towards the end of last month from the Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Malindi, but lasted only a week before succumbing to the diarrhea we were unable to get topside of despite our best efforts. Murit who arrived last month has also been slow to thrive with a persistent bacterial infection keeping him on medication for a long time, but towards the end of the month he has begun to show signs of feeling better and beginning to play which has been a great relief. The naughty boys led by Kithaka and Lemoyian are up to their usual pushing games and rambunctious playing, with Sokotei fast becoming one of the naughtier boys too! Ngasha is getting topside of Kithaka and instilling some much needed discipline into the ranks and it appears that Kithaka is responding. Nelion’s bad behavior seems to be matching his tusk growth! The longer his tusks grow the more confident and mischievous Nelion becomes. His old friend Tundani is giving him a wide berth these days and they no longer share a stockade because Tundani was getting prodded and poked at night. Now Nelion and Jasiri have become firm friends. Faraja has learnt to hold his own bottle with his trunk and even to shake it in an effort to get the last drops from it. A friendship between Kauro and Sokotei is emerging and it will not be long before Kauro graduates from being with the baby herd to the big herd as he really has doubled in size in no time. Despite being younger than Kamok and Ashaka he is very much bigger in body size, and being a boy is beginning to become more boisterous than they appreciate. Arruba, Mashariki, Lentili, Rorogoi, Suswa and Oltaiyoni are always on hand to impart love and comfort to the babies and any new arrivals so they have been busy this month with three new babies to care for. In the baby group which now consists of Kamok, Ashaka, Kauro, Mbegu and Murit we now have another rascal emerging – Kamok. Kamok is learning some bad habits which probably all stem from her coming to us literally the day she was born and having a very pampered and indulgent time before she was joined by some more babies. Kamok is prone to pushing and shoving and the Keepers are trying to instill in her what is acceptable and what is not! Little Mbegu is a firm favourite of Oltaiyoni’s and the two of them are inseparable. Oltaiyoni’s love and warmth has rubbed off on Mbegu, who is now giving tiny Ndotto the love she has known and received from Oltaiyoni. Mbegu has also learnt how to charm the visiting public between 11 and 12 noon with her lively midday frolics in the mudbath. Solio the rhino has been to visit once or twice throughout the month and Maxwell has been enjoying his treats of sugar cane enormously. He still gets his daily visits from Shabby the Sacred Ibis and is often part of the naughty elephant boy’s morning routine and charging games.

01 August 2014

Arabukko woke up feeling strong and ready to meet his new elephant family. In the end though he was far more interested in the keepers and refused to leave their side as he played with their dust coats and suckled on their fingers. At 9am this morning the bigger orphans joined the little ones as they awaited their 9am milk feed. This was the first time the big elephants met baby Arabukko and Suswa and Arruba came and greeted the newcomer first. Baby Arabukko began feeling Suswa’s mouth and ears while Suswa rubbed her trunk all over him. Later Arabukko’s blood was tested as he had loose stools, was losing weight and appearing to deteriorate. The results revealed a serious bacterial infection so he was immediately put on medication. He was given a drip to restore his fluids and to regain his energy. Arabukko is still taking milk, which is a good sign, and walking around, but his condition is worrying and we can only hope he only gets better from here on.

02 August 2014

As a result of a rescue today we have yet another baby elephant to add to the orphanage. The new baby was rescued from Irangi forest in Mt. Kenya area. Our Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit vehicle drove to Embu to provide vehicular transport to Nairobi as the closest airstrip was temporarily closed. The baby was rescued by some KWS rangers and DSWT Peter Kariuki after being spotted by some of the community people of the area. The fate of the baby’s mother is still unknown but she appears to have been alone for some time as she is quite emaciated. She is approximately 2 years old and has been named Embu after the area she was found. On arrival Embu immediately started feeding on greens – she has a very kind nature and shows barely any aggression towards the keepers.

03 August 2014

New baby Embu had a very peaceful evening as she has regained her energy she has become very aggressive, which is not unexpected. This morning Embu looked strong and even managed to have her first bottle of milk formula which is a great sign. As for poor little Arabukko he woke up and didn’t seem well at all, his stool was very loose, and he was put on drip for the remainder of the day to restore fluids and energy. He is also on tablets to try fight the bacterial infection. One very good sign is that Arabukko is still eating and drinking well having not lost his appetite but, because of his loose stool, he is losing weight very quickly. Later this evening Embu collapsed so she too was placed on a drip to restore fluids and replace glucose levels. After a considerable time Embu managed to get back up and stay up, which was a great relief.

04 August 2014

As soon as Kauro was let out of his stockade this morning he sprinted excitedly towards his friends Ashaka, Kamok and Mbegu who were waiting outside their stockade for him. They all greeted Kauro and slowly walked together into the forest for a day of fun with their elephant friends and keepers. Kithaka and Lemoyian, the two very naughty boys, engaged in a 3 hour long wrestling match. It started just before noon, during the public visiting hour, straight after they had downed their bottles of milk. The keepers tried to intervene and separate the two but they soon found a way back to each other to continue the fight. It was only after the 3 o’clock feeding time that the two finally left each other alone when they were both completely exhausted and could physically not carry on. Embu is looking stronger and now feeding on milk and greens, this means she is settling well into the nursery environment. She had to stay in the stockade all day today for monitoring and to ensure that she will not collapse again.

06 August 2014

Today the entire elephant family seemed to wake up in an excellent mood. They were playing around Maxwell’s stockade which resulted in him charging them and only then did they move off into the forest. Once all the orphans were there the keepers noticed that the naughty boys were up to something. Nelion, Jasiri, Balguda, Faraja, Ngasha, Barsilinga, Kithaka and Lemoyian were all battling each other, constantly swapping battle partners to try and distinguish who was the strongest. It became very competitive and the fight went on for a good hour or so. Suswa, Mashariki and Arruba, the big girls in our orphan herd, were content spending some quality time with Kamok, Ashaka, Kauro, Mbegu and Murit, rolling around in the soil. Mashariki allowed little Ashaka to climb on top of her, humoring the little girl for a while as she tried to prove her strength, and when Mashariki got fed up the keepers were close at hand to ensure Ashaka didn’t get hurt.

07 August 2014

Today Arabukko is a lot worse. During the night he was on a drip and now can’t even hold himself up, eat or drink. It seems baby Arabuko’s chances of survival are looking very slim. In the morning Angela received a call from Nanyuki about an elephant calf in desperate need of rescuing. Using a helicopter the little baby was swiftly flown back to Nairobi landing by the mudbath at around 10am. The tiny elephant was probably the littlest ever to be rescued, seemingly only born within the last 24 hours. He had been looked after by a Samburu community after materializing amongst their livestock and appears pretty healthy with no external injuries. Once the baby was put in his stable Angela advised that he should be given a plasma transfusion asit was unlikely that he had had his mother’s colostrum.

08 August 2014

Baby Ndotto woke up this morning seeming strong and playful. Although it is still very early to assume anything, it seems to be a positive start. Embu is now fully settled so at 9am this morning she was let out of her stockade and joined the other orphans who were eagerly waiting. She was warmly welcomed by Suswa, Arruba, Lentili, Balguda, Ngasha and Jasiri who then escorted her into the forest. Kithaka, Lemoyian and Nelion were quite rough with Embu and tried to bully her but the keepers kept control of the situation. She didn’t go to the public viewing hour, it had already been a very overwhelming day, and she and baby Ndotto stayed in the forest with their keepers and browsed until the rest of the orphans returned after the visiting hour. We lost our fight for Arabukko and everyone is feeling sad about the passing of this tiny calf. There is no doubt that we will all miss him dearly but we just hope and pray that he is in a safer and happier place, with his mother perhaps, and somewhere where they will never be separated again.

09 August 2014

Today yet another elephant rescue. The elephant was spotted, wandering desperately alone, by a local community in the Transmara earlier this morning. The reason for it’s abandonment is still unknown. The locals who spotted the lone elephant calf alerted KWS who responded rapidly and rescued the little elephant before anything could harm it. The KWS and Mark Goss informed DSWT about the baby and Angela arranged flights to get our team on the ground quickly. The elephant is a female and approximately 5 months old. She has been named Dupotto after the area in which she was found. The baby is very friendly with her new human family and seems to be responding very well to greens and milk formula. She has no external injuries so now we can only hope she has a quick recovery and settles in well in her new home.

10 August 2014

Little Dupotto seems to be doing very well in her new home, she loves her new human family and new elephant friends. Earlier this morning she walked out of her stockade in the company of the little baby group. She was welcomed very warmly by Kamok, Ashaka, Mbegu, Kauro and Murit, although Kauro tried to chase her and mount her but that’s just typical naughty boy Kauro! Eventually the bigger orphans joined the babies and Dupotto was delighted to meet them. She seems a lot more settled around the older elephants. Maybe it comforts Dupotto to be around the older ones as she obviously still misses her family and especially her mum. Arruba, Lentili, Mashariki, Rorogoi and Suswa were very curious of the newest arrival and kept touching and smelling her, which Dupotto seemed to like, feeling cared for and comforted.

11 August 2014

Little Murit is a very quiet baby who would much rather stay close to the keepers instead of playing like the other little babies. Kamok, Ashaka, Kauro Dupotto and tiny Mbegu have all had a day of fun and games, from pushing games to playing with the keepers it seems they are all very happy. Murit was given yet another blood test and once analysis showed a bad bacterial infection. He was given an antibiotic to fight infection as even though he has been feeding well it seems he is losing weight, which is quite a worry in a little elephant. He is now having intensive care and we hope little Murit will recover soon. Embu also had a blood test revealing a mild infection. It was decided that antibiotics were not required and she was dewormed. Embu is still feeding very well and loves the milk formula however both Embu and Murit don't seem to want to socialize very much with the other elephants. Embu sensibly doesn't like to be pushed around as she is still incredibly weak and wants to avoid the rough naughty boys like Kithaka, Lemoyian, Ngasha and Jasiri.

12 August 2014

The weather this morning was very cold, which meant that all the little babies had to stay indoors where it was warm. Oltaiyoni was then left feeling very disorientated as her little baby, Mbegu, was nowhere to be seen. She even tried to go back to the stockades to try and see her little favourite. By 11 o'clock the weather had warmed up a little, so the babies were able to go to the public visiting hour. Oltaiyoni was absolutely thrilled to see little Mbegu and refused to leave her side again, even leading the baby to the soil where all the other older elephants were playing. Little Ndotto is looking strong; his stool is also looking a lot better which is a great sign. Later on in the day little Ndotto walked into the forest to meet up with the other little babies, he was welcomed very warmly by Kamok and Ashaka. Kamok even gently laid her trunk on Ndotto's back and followed him everywhere, making sure that the newest and smallest baby was under tender loving care. When Ndotto decided to take a nap he lay under a tree with Kamok standing close by to be sure he was safe and sound, a true friendship in the making.

13 August 2014

Little Dupotto has settled down very quickly, her stool is improving which is a very good sign. The elephant Keepers do a lot of monitoring of stools! This morning Dupotto walked straight out of her stockade to the older orphan’s stockades, only to find them empty as the older orphans has already left. She still not keen to be around the younger orphans but instead likes to be with the older orphans and take refuge amongst them. She doesn’t have a specific favourite but goes to and follows whichever older elephant she comes across first. Faraja has learnt a new trick and is one of the few who have taught themselves to hold a milk bottle and feed themselves. He even shakes the milk bottle to be sure he has drunk every last drop of milk, just as the keepers do when they shake the bottle so that the elephant can drink every last bit.

14 August 2014

Immediately after the orphans walked out of their stockades this morning Balguda and Barsilinga greeted each other by pushing heads, this gained Nelion’s attention and he to tried to join too. Nelion has the largest tusks out of all the elephants and is highly respected, consequently as soon as he tried to join in to play Balguda and Barsilinga stopped their game so that they wouldn’t get hurt. Nelion then became quite irritated as no one wanted to play with him, instead turning on Balguda and pushing poor Balguda on his hind legs. Nelion’s tusks then poked Balguda, luckily not piercing the skin but still hurting enough for Balguda to cry in pain. The keepers quickly intervened and sent Nelion off into the forest as punishment for what he had done. Nelion ran into the bush feeling very embarrassed but shortly afterwards he sneaked back into the herd feeling very sorry for himself. After 6pm Solio came home going immediately to Maxwell’s stockade to steal some of the lucerne left outside his gate. Maxwell seemed happy to know that Solio was home as he stood near the gate and ate lucerne close to Solio.

15 August 2014

As the orphans left their stockades in the morning they were greeted by a Korean film crew. Kithaka introduced himself by attempting to push one of the film crew members over but the keepers were there to tell him off and point him in the direction he was meant to go...the forest! The film crew then knew to keep their eyes peeled for Kithaka was and his naughty boy tricks. The little babies came out a short while after the larger orphans had left and little Kamok also tried to push one of the film crew members over. Kamok is very playful but developing a naughty pushing trait which keepers are trying to show her is unacceptable.

16 August 2014

It was a cloudy day and none of the elephants wanted to go into the mud bath at the public visiting hour, it was too cold for them. Lentili, Arruba, Jasiri, Nelion, Kithaka, Ngasha, Mashariki and Suswa managed to test the temperature of the water using their trunks but quickly pulled back after feeling how cold it was. Instead the elephants played in the dust and walked back into the forest to continue exploring and browsing. Lemoyian and Barsilinga decided to push Mashariki and Suswa which led to them all chasing one another through the dense bush, however, after few minutes they were all tired and settled to graze, reviving at home time when they all ran back with intense speed as they knew milk was awaiting their arrival.

17 August 2014

A public visiting time the elephants finished their milk and all played in the dust, throwing pieces of soil all over the guests. The laughter and excitement from the guests made Kauro very excited, even to the extent that he climbed onto Oltaiyoni as she lay comfortably in the soil. Accidentally Kauro then tried to play with Sokotei who did not reciprocate but immediately got up and left, leaving Kauro to play with Ashaka who was rolling around in the soil next to him. As Kauro and Ashaka played together little Murit also joined in the fun. This is very encouraging as Murit rarely socializes with the little elephants and this is a great improvement for him.

18 August 2014

As the sun rose and the elephants left their stockades all the boys seemed very sad and not like their usual selves. Kithaka, Lemoyian, Barsilinga, Balguda, Jasiri and Faraja slowly walked into the forest with no interest in browsing or playing. On the other hand all the girls were very happy as they played with the young babies and browsed happily together. Oltaiyoni was even seen teaching Mbegu pushing tactics and mothering lessons, it seems these lessons are really paying off as Mbegu really nurtures and cares for little Ndotto. Let’s hope that Mbegu will grow to become a fantastic mother just as Oltaiyoni has taught her to be. As for the grumpy boys, they seemed to cheer up after their 11am milk feed but they still weren’t as naughty and joyful as usual. Hopefully they will be back to their normal selves again tomorrow.

19 August 2014

When young elephants are shown love and care they naturally try to share these characteristics with others. Mbegu is shown great love from the older females especially Oltaiyoni who mothers this little baby a lot. Now it seems that Mbegu is passing on the love by mothering baby Ndotto. When Ndotto went into the bush today Mbegu left her other little friends, Kauro, Kamok, Murit and Ashaka and went straight to Ndotto. Oltaiyoni eventually tried to get Mbegu’s attention but she didn’t seem interested in Oltaiyoni at all. When the little babies had to leave Ndotto and into the forest Mbegu refused to go with them, she wanted to stay with little Ndotto and was allowed to do so. Mbegu didn’t leave Ndotto’s side, if Ndotto slept Mbegu was sure to lie right next to him and she stayed with him until it was time to return to the stockades. There was a big surprise in the evening when Angela called Edwin, the head keeper, to tell him to expect a new arrival – a baby giraffe from Amboseli. The calf was 5-7 days old and was seen on his own with no sign of his family in the area. On arrival the keepers tried to feed him but he was very stressed and confused and refused to take any milk. He has been named Kili because he was rescued from the shadow of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.

20 August 2014

The giraffe had a very comfortable night and managed to settle in well. In the morning Kili managed to take some milk which was a brilliant sign for the little baby. A keeper had to climb high onto the stockade so that the milk came from above rather than below, feeling like Mum, so that the baby would feed. Later during the day Kili was moved outside to one of the open stockades where he will slowly get used to the keepers and eventually he will be allowed into the park. Balguda was moved from his stable into a stockade last night in order to make room for Kili. When the little elephants first saw the giraffe they were very nervous about the new arrival. Kamok’s first reaction was to run straight behind the keepers and as for Ashaka she ran straight for the bushes, this new creature in the stockades made them very nervous.

21 August 2014

It seems Sokotei has finally begun to enjoy playing with Kauro. The two boys had such fun together today and Sokotei, who normally doesn’t play with the young babies, seemed to be really enjoying the interaction. Sokotei is a real wrestler and it seems as if he was teaching Kauro his naughty ways, which was very amusing to watch, as they chased each other around the forest and wrestled endlessly. Meanwhile Balguda was playing with all the other little ones and it was so amazing to see how gentle he was with the little babies. Dupotto loves Balguda’s company as Balguda allows her to suck his ears and today he encouraged all the little babies to suckle his ears.

22 August 2014

The sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunny day. The elephants began to browse in the forest and played amongst each other. Sokotei and Oltayoni were, as usual, pushing each other and then got into a full on fight in which the keepers had to intervene. As the public visiting hour approached the elephants were getting very excited as they longed to get into the mudbath and cool off. The first group of babies went to the mud hole with only Murit staying out with the keepers, hiding in their shade. When the older group of elephants came to the mud hole they all went in the mud and enjoying splashing each other as they all cooled off. Later in the evening it began to rain and thunder and the orphans came home a little earlier than normal as the thunder scares and unsettles them. However, in the safety of their stockades, they all fell asleep knowing that they were safe and happy.

23 August 2014

Embu is still having great difficulty with the older orphans. She prefers to stay close to the younger elephants than with the older elephants. Her biggest problems are Sokotei, Ngasha, Lemoyian and Rorogoi. Whenever Sokotei sees Embu he runs and charges her for not specific reason and Rorogoi and Ngasha try and mount Embu every time they see her. Today the four of them gave poor little Embu such a hard time that she ran away into the thick of the forest. It took over 4 hours to find her. She was in an area that she had never been to before which was great worry as if she had come across lions or other predators she could have been killed given her delicate state.

24 August 2014

Dupotto seems to be completely attached to Embu but still Embu shows no interest her. Dupotto tries to suckle Embu’s ears but she runs away or pushes Dupotto off and attempts to scare her by charging. This leaves Dupotto screaming and crying as she again begins to follow after Embu. This evening when all the babies were coming home Dupotto completely refused to go back into her stockade and instead she screamed out loudly and tried to run back into the bushes. The keepers went after her but it was no use, she was not going to go back. It was only when the keepers brought Oltaiyoni to try settle her that she eventually decided to come home. Oltaiyoni checked that Dupotto was settled before returning to her own stockade. It seems that Dupotto has become more psychologically unsettled in the past days than when she first arrived.

25 August 2014

Mashariki had a wonderful day with the babies today. She left the older orphans in the forest to go and search for the little babies and was quick to spot Mbegu and Kauro, running up to them with her ears flaring and rumbling with joy. From that point on until the 11am public viewing she did not leave the babies’ side. During that time Oltaiyoni challenged Mashariki often as she feels herself to be Mbegu’s mother and is extremely protective of her. Nevertheless Mashariki had a good morning playing with all the babies and they too love her company.

26 August 2014

Recently Ngasha has been putting Kithaka in his place and not letting him get away with his naughty behavior. Kithaka has started to learn to be very careful around Ngasha as he knows Ngasha will not have any of his nonsense. This has been quite helpful as it can be very difficult to control Kithaka, especially when he gets into wrestling fights with the other elephants, sometimes it is virtually impossible to separate them. Now it rarely happens, at mud bath today, when Kithaka head butted Suswa, Ngasha saw and drove Kithaka back away into the bush, it was definitely time that Kithaka was taught a lesson or two about behavior.

27 August 2014

Things seem to be changing a lot recently, Nelion and Jasiri seem to be getting on better than whereas Nelion used to prefer Tundani. They were virtualy inseparable and even lived in the same stockade together but now Nelion charges Tundani every time they are together. Nelion has such long tusks that Tundani cannot risk fighting back as he could get seriously injured. Before the separation Nelion was mounting Tundani and there was a concern that the two would hurt each other, since then Nelion has been looking for a new best friend and Jasiri seems the best option. Jasiri too can be quite aggressive towards his peers so the two should get along just fine. It has been strange to watch Nelion’s confidence grow with his tusks, as he use to be so meek, but now, with his long tusks, he is really beginning to throw his weight around. For gentle mellow Tundani this is a development he could do without.

28 August 2014

Kili the giraffe unfortunately cannot go into the forest as he is still not used to his keepers and so could risk getting lost in the thicket of the forest, and he is still so vulnerable to predators. Today as we were moving Kili from his sheltered stable to his stockade outside, he somehow got away and almost vanished into the forest, however the keepers were able to surround him and after a good hour of patience slowly maneuvered him back into the safety of his stockade. It was quite cold today so the babies had to wear their blankets; it's always a challenge to get Dupotto's blanket on and it takes a number of attempts before the blanket stays on. Dupotto has become quite a difficult little elephant; at night when Dupotto has to go into her own stockade she screams and yells because she is being separated from Embu. As she approaches the stockades she normally shelters behind Embu, but tonight she was ahead of Embu which disorientated her so much she even ran into Kauro's stockade. A few of the keepers managed to lead her out with a bottle of milk, but she was screaming as Kauro tried to get past to go into his stockade. Mbegu and Kamok waited patiently for her so that they could all walk to their stockades together at the other end of the compound, but when they finally started to move off Dupotto refused to stop screaming until eventually she settled to her bottle in her stockade. It has definitely become a headache to get her into the correct stockade and settle her down.

29 August 2014

It was a beautiful sunny day, and all the elephants seemed happy as they walked out into the forest to browse. Lemoyian and Barsilinga were busy playing hide and seek in and around the bushes, as for Balguda and Kithaka they were busy mounting Mashariki and Rorogoi causing Mashariki to chase them off into the forest. It was a big day for Embu; it was the first time that she would go out to the public viewing at 11am. She joined the babies group as she is happy around the little ones and still doesn't have confidence around the older orphans. When she arrived at the mud hole for the very first time it was amazing to see how well she adapted to the visit, she was a complete natural. Dupotto didn't leave her side once which is probably why Embu was so calm and confident. The only sad part about the visit was when Embu was enjoying throwing dust onto herself suddenly Balguda head butted her and pushed her to the ground. It was very harsh treatment and it was very sad to see this happen to such a fragile and lovely elephant like Embu. Of course we were sure to let Balguda know this is unacceptable behavior.

30 August 2014

It was a lovely day, with Embu and Dupotto wandering in the bushes together as they have become so close; both are mourning their lost families and take comfort in knowing they are at a different and more fragile stage than the others. Today they came across a stream and drank happily alongside each other. Embu then got down onto her knees and proceeded to roll in the mud, this encouraged little Dupotto to do the same and they both were playing with each other for quite some time. When Embu was ready to get up, she struggled to get to her feet. Dupotto realized that Embu was having trouble so she tried to assist her by pushing her up, but soon found out that Embu is double her weight and she was no use, so instead she sat and waited for Embu to get up with our help and join her. When we came to Embu’s aid it was not easy as Dupotto began to charge the keepers as she thought we were trying to hurt her. Dupotto screamed and screamed throughout the process even getting Oltaiyoni and Mashariki's attention, who quickly came over to see what all the commotion was about.

31 August 2014

Mbegu has come to be a real attraction to the guests at mudbath time. Instead of walking alongside the keeper after she has finished her milk as she used to, she dives into the mudbath and rolls around making all the guests to admire this little girl. Today after she rolled around in the mud she decided to run along the line where the guests were standing, which covered all the guests in her mud as she ran alongside them. After causing such chaos she then went and rolled around in the mud again making her look like a ball of mud and dirt. Recently we have noticed that Kamok is taking on all of Kithaka’s tendencies, even pushing little children who stand by the line, luckily Kamok isn’t too strong yet so no damage is caused. Little Dupotto is doing very well and seems to be becoming very confident in everything that she does, even she is trying to push the keepers and other babies. Tiny Ndotto is doing well too, but not coming to visiting between 11 -12 yet because he is fragile and so tiny.