Keepers' Diaries, August 2016
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
Tsavo remains gripped in the dry season, which has kept everyone busy with much coming and going of wild elephants, along with our orphans who are all remaining close because of the water. It has not been unusual to have up to 120 thirsty elephants within the Ithumba stockade compound this month. Aside from our orphans, these have included many wild elephant families, along with the faithful bulls who turn up year on year. Wendi’s wild born calf Wiva has enjoyed a number of wild play mates her age this month.
01 August 2016
Shortly after settling for lucerne in the morning, the juniors were joined by Mutara’s group. Mutara and her group had been away for several days and appeared to be very thirsty. They spent a lot of time drinking water. Orwa walked towards Turkwel and had a brief chat by entwining their trunks and putting their trunks in each other’s mouth. Kenze emerged on his own from the south eastern side of the stockade and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Teleki quit talking to Kainuk and walked towards Kenze as if to find out why he was on his own. Teleki and Orwa interact more with their friends living in the wild since now they are in the process of making up their mind when to join them.
After feeding on lucerne, Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to the browsing field. Teleki engaged Kanjoro in a pushing game that ended when Teleki decided to surrender. Boromoko settled to browse close to Orwa and from time to time Boromoko could be seen stretching his trunk towards him to chat. Bomani and Olsekki disagreed over something we were not sure about, which resulted in a pushing game that saw Olsekki lose to Bomani. Bomani went to the extent of mounting on Olsekki as a show of dominance.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Olare’s group. Missing from the group were Murka and Naisula. Orwa engaged Olare in a pushing game while Narok played Kibo. Orwa lost to Olare and later moved to play with Chemi Chemi. Boromoko spent some time scratching against the nearby acacia trees. After mud bath, the herd soil dusted before heading back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot and Shukuru, Siangiki, Bongo, Kithaka and Teleki spent some time relaxing under trees, only resuming browsing when the temperature dropped later in the afternoon.
02 August 2016
The orphans had a quiet morning. As soon as they were through with feeding on lucerne, under the leadership of Shukuru they headed to Kalovoto area where they settled to browse. Only two bulls showed up at the stockade to drink water.
At mud bath time, Half Trunk in the company of five wild bulls showed up early before the orphans. Boromoko led Sokotei and Sirimon in the first group as they came for their mid day bottle feeds. Soon after drinking his milk, Boromoko headed straight into the water to wallow. Then he walked up to the loose soil where he lay down to play. Sirimon, who was all this time following Boromoko, took advantage of the game to climb on Boromoko. As mud bathing was going on, Kainuk, in the company of a wild mum with her two daughters and another older girl, reported to the mud bath. Kainuk, used to belong to Mutara’s group and where she met this wild cow we are not sure but it must have been whilst they were walking far away from the stockade over the last few days. If this happens to be the case, then Turkwel might also quit Mutara’s group to join Kainuk as they are so close; only time will tell what the Ex Orphans will do this dry season. Half Trunk joined the orphans to mud bath as Vuria tried to block one of the daughters belonging to the wild female from accessing mud bath. The girl retreated to her mum as Vuria pursued her. Vuria got a rude shock when he was warned off by the wild mother though and he had no option other than to surrender and walk away.
The orphans settled for soil dusting soon after having enough of wallowing. Bomani took advantage of climbing on Teleki who was rolling on the ground. Just as the orphans were leaving, Yatta’s group consisting of Yatta, Yetu, Sidai, Loijuk, Chyulu, Meibai, Ololoo, Lualeni, Kinna, Nasalot, Wendi, Wiva, Ishanga, Kenze, Madiba and Sunyei showed up at mud bath. Orwa challenged Chyulu for awhile before deciding to follow his friends. Kainuk joined the juniors to browse for rest of the day. In evening, Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Chaimu, Kilaguni, Naisula, Kitirua and Murka came for water at stockade and shortly before dark left with Kainuk.
03 August 2016
Four wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans left their stockades and settled for lucerne. Shortly later, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. At the browsing field, it was all quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing. Later, Kithaka broke the silence by engaging Barsilinga in a pushing game, while Orwa played Bongo. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by five wild bulls and they shared water peacefully without any problem. It was a brief mud bath and the orphans returned back to the browsing field soon after they had done a bit of soil dusting where Sirimon climbed on Boromoko while playing. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area. The orphans browsed calmly throughout the remaining part of the day without any major observation.
04 August 2016
Four wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough this morning. After feeding on lucerne, the juniors headed to Kalovoto area where they settled to browse. Kainuk, who seems to have severed links with her group for now, emerged from the bushes and joined the juniors. Her old group headed by Mutara, was last seen on first this month. Kainuk, although she arrived with a wild herd, has refused to join any other group apart from the orphans which is lead by Shukuru at the moment. On the way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Makireti’s group that had eight members instead of the usual three members. The extra members were Chaimu, Kilaguni, Kitirua, Naisula and Murka. Its original members were Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau. Kitirua, Murka and Naisula appear to have left their group which is headed by Olare; we will see if this is temporary or permanent!
Six bulls showed up at mud bath and amongst them was Limpy, a wild elephant that was treated several months ago with a snared leg. Four warthogs also tried to access the mud bath but without success as Narok spotted them and signaled her friends by trumpeting that there were intruders who wanted to access their mud bath. Narok then charged and ran towards the warthogs who ran and hid on the northern bank of the mud bath, only to reappear when Narok had gone for soil dusting. Lemoyian spotted them and tried to scare them away as well but the warthogs stood they ground; so as not to face any further embarrassment Lemoyian pretended that he hadn't seen them. He picked a dry broken branch and carried it off in his trunk as he headed back to the bush. Bomani and Teleki couldn't understand why Lemoyian had given up in chasing the warthogs and so offered to help. The two boys ran towards the warthogs and warthogs kept on running round the mud bath which made Bomani and Teleki also want to surrender! Teleki was frustrated and decided to take this out on Kilabasi by engaging her in a pushing game. Vuria ‘the warthog chaser’, who never gives up easily, was the one who was able to bring to an end the game of chasing the warthogs away. Vuria pursued the warthogs until he made sure that they had completely disappeared into the bushes. With his head high, Vuria returned back to join his friends after succeeding in accomplishing the mission.
Boromoko led the way back to the browsing field as the rest of the herd followed behind him. Two hours later, Makireti and her group left leaving Kainuk with the juniors. Olsekki spent some time soil dusting and around five in the afternoon, Sokotei led the first group back to the stockade. In the evening, Kainuk found her group at the stockade waiting for her. It was a happy moment for Kainuk to see her friend Turkwel again.
05 August 2016
The stockade compound was flooded with Ex Orphans and wild elephants totaling up to eighty elephants this morning! It was very difficult for the dependent orphans to maneuver due to the heavy elephant traffic jam. At last they managed to make their way through after experiencing some hostility from some of their seniors. Orwa, who likes to challenge his seniors, engaged Ololoo in a pushing game while Narok settled scores with Makena. Bomani kept following Wiva and at one time attempted to climb on her! The keepers shouted at Bomani to stop misbehaving towards the little one and Bomani ran away. Bomani met with Olsekki and threatened to push him but Olsekki stood his ground and tackled Bomani. Teleki engaged Lenana in a pushing game but ended up losing. Soon it was time to leave for browsing and Kithaka led the way as the rest of his friends followed behind him.
At the browsing field, Bomani played with Lemoyian as Olsekki settled to browse with Enkikwe. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by four wild bulls. The orphans that had occupied the water trough, retreated to allow their seniors to have water. Garzi and Bomani kept themselves busy by engaging each other in a pushing game. Later Bomani tackled the fearless Olsekki as Garzi turned on Barsilinga while Kithaka played with Lemoyian. Olsekki felt that the bulls were taking to much time at the water trough and he couldn't wait any longer to have a drink, so he walked straight up to the water trough to the amazement of the other orphans. The other orphans watched what would happen to Olsekki but he just settled to drink water with the bulls. It was only then that Orwa, Barsilinga, Bongo, Bomani, Enkikwe and Garzi gathered enough courage and started walking towards the water trough, but fear took over when they were close to the bulls as they turned and left for browsing instead. Only Bongo went wallowing today.
In the afternoon, Orwa settled to browse with Vuria while in the evening Mutara and her group showed up for water. Kainuk has rejoined Mutara’s group as they have been staying close to water points. Only time will tell how long she will stay in that herd though.
06 August 2016
Boromoko took his share of lucerne this morning and walked off to a nearby rock where he scratched his neck while enjoying his lucerne. Orwa and Bomani had a brief strength testing exercise that also attracted Bongo and Narok to do the same thing. As the orphans were preparing to leave, One Tusk, the only female with one straight long tusk pointing towards the ground, arrived at the stockade compound. One Tusk, who shouldn't be confused with One Tusker, headed a herd of six members. Amongst them was her one year old daughter. The herd settled for water at the water trough. Garzi was interested in playing with the wild calf and so approached it and stood a few metres away, persistently calling the wild calf. The wild calf heeded the call and, with its ears raised, turned to face Garzi. Then there was a standoff when Garzi raised his ears and threatened to push the wild calf. The wild calf threw its trunk towards Garzi and this action made Garzi charge at the calf. The calf was wise and she immediately retreated to her mother, making it impossible for Garzi to retaliate.
Shukuru led the way to the browsing field and a short while later Boromoko realized that he had been left behind. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him so as to catch up with his friends. At the browsing field, Bomani settled to browse with Garzi while Bongo engaged Kithaka in a pushing game. At mud bath time the weather was chilly and Shukuru looked dull and unhappy as she drank her milk. The boys and girls kept themselves busy by engaging one another in pushing games. Barsilinga engaged Laragai in a pushing game while Bongo played with Vuria. Sirimon and Boromoko saw an acacia root that they really liked and assisted each other in uprooting it using their forelegs and trunks. It was a tedious exercise that saw Boromoko bend down to try and use his mouth to cut the root. It wasn’t hundred percent successful but they were content with what they got. Later, Vuria quit playing with Bongo and proceeded to develop his strength by lifting up logs and throwing them in the air. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Olsekki engaged Sokotei in a pushing game and later attempted to climb on him. The rest of the evening was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.
07 August 2016
Soon after the orphans settled for lucerne, Shukuru, who sometimes gets to a point where she doesn't like the lucerne anymore, walked away to an acacia tree and started picking up the fallen acacia pods instead. Every year we watch Shukuru behave in such a way and where she becomes very selective in what she is feeds on. Teleki and Bongo entwined their trunks in greeting as Narok rumbled to signal her friends that it was time to leave for browsing before the sun got hot.
At the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a pushing game while Sirimon spent some time soil dusting. Bomani climbed on Olsekki, as Vuria settled to browsed with Orwa. At mud bath time, it was all quiet until a flock of guinea fowls reported to the mud bath. The bulls got irritated being surrounded by these birds and Bongo started the chase. The birds were adamant to stay because they were so thirsty and needed water before heading back to the bush. But Bongo continued to charge at them and the birds continued going round trying to avoid him. It was only then Orwa, Bomani, Barsilinga, Lemoyian and Vuria joined Bongo in chasing the birds away. Vuria the warthog-chaser who is known for accomplishing whatever he starts, trumpeted and went for the birds at full speed. The other boys followed as dust and trumpets filled the air with each boy trying to chase the birds away. The guinea fowls couldn't take it in anymore and conceded defeat by flying away. Later, Bomani and Barsilinga walked over to Garzi and tried to beg for some of the pieces of tree root that Garzi had dug up. They tried to put their trunks in Garzi's mouth but Garzi resisted in sharing his roots. The two boys gave up and joined their friends to soil dust before heading back to the browsing field. In the evening shortly before returning back to the stockade, Vuria and Orwa had a moment of engaging each other in a pushing game.
08 August 2016
The stockade compound was flooded by one hundred and twenty elephants this morning. This included Ex Orphans and wild elephants. Three elephant calves that were aged less than one year were present, including Wiva and other two other calves, all girls which is good given the high number of bulls within the area. Shukuru was looking dull and walked down to pick the acacia pods that she likes so much. Enkikwe left with a branch in his mouth which he kept himself busy feeding on, since he knew very well that with the very high number of elephants in the stockade compound, the chances of ever getting to the lucerne were minimal. Garzi engaged Melia in a light pushing game and later played with Makena. Shortly later, the orphans left for browsing leaving the former orphans and wild elephants still drinking water at the stockade.
At the browsing field, Bongo engaged Lemoyian in a pushing game while Barsilinga played with Garzi. Olsekki tried to bully Boromoko by climbing on him as Orwa engaged Kithaka in a pushing game. Shukuru was feeding slowly and looked dull just like the weather of the day. At mud bath time the weather was still dull and none of the orphans wanted to step into the cold water. Garzi kept himself busy by trying to uproot roots of an acacia tree while Enkikwe used a tree stump to scratch his itchy foot. Later, Garzi played with Barsilinga while Bongo played with Vuria. As the orphans prepared their exit from the mud bath, the Ex Orphans and wild elephants started checking in one by one. Bomani entwined his trunk with Loijuk in greeting and later engaged Ololoo in a pushing game that he lost miserably.
09 August 2016
Shukuru looked lively in the morning when she left the stockade after drinking her milk. The weather was cloudy and two wild bulls were helping themselves to the water at the stockade water trough. One of the bulls had received treatment few months ago and had recovered fully, only a scar was left behind indicting his encounter with poachers. Soon after arriving at the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a pushing game while Bongo decided to settle scores with Teleki. Olsekki came across a tree stump that was high enough to scratch his chest. Barsilinga's game with Garzi ended in a draw and he walked to try his hand with the no-nonsense Laragai. Laragai didn't give Bomani a chance but knocked him out immediately. At around nine in the morning, the weather changed again and the cloudy sky gave way to showers that continued all the way until the afternoon. The orphans were happy due to change of the weather and spent some time rolling on the ground. At mud bath time, the ground was slippery and the orphans stepped carefully to avoid slipping and falling. However careful they were, Vuria slipped and fell as he tried to cross over a small valley. After drinking their milk, the orphans returned back to the browsing field. On their way, the orphans met with four wild bulls coming to the mud bath. After sniffing each other for some time, the orphans continued on with their journey while the wild bulls proceeded to the mud bath. In the afternoon, the orphans concentrated on browsing as they enjoyed the cool weather of the day.
10 August 2016
It was a chilly morning following the showers of the previous day. Soon after settling for lucerne, Bomani engaged Olsekki in a pushing game. Olsekki tried as much as he could to outdo Bomani but experience let him down since he didn't have quite the same techniques in order to win. Once he acquires the much needed experience, then Bomani should start to worry because the way Olsekki is showing determination, Bomani will have either to surrender or wait to be embarrassed in front of his friends! Barsilinga scratched his neck on the nearby rocks as Zurura, Tomboi and a wild elephant showed up at the stockade. At the browsing field, Orwa engaged Barsilinga in a strength testing exercise while Boromoko settled to browse together with Sirimon. It appears that Sirimon and Boromoko are good friends because they are seen together all the time. Sokotei jumps from one friend to another and has no permanent best friend. At mud bath time, the orphans only drank milk and then water before returning back to the browsing field. In the afternoon Orwa engaged Vuria in a pushing game while Narok soil dusted.
11 August 2016
The sky was clear in the morning as the orphans left the stockade in the morning. Buchuma joined the orphans at the stockade compound and shortly later teamed up with Vuria and Orwa to drink water. Buchuma escorted the juniors to the browsing field and after making sure that they had settled to browse, he left back into the bush. The orphans had a quiet morning and browsed calmly without any major events. At mud bath time, twenty five wild bulls were present. The orphans settled for mud bathing soon after they drank their milk. Their mud bathing activities were disrupted however by the wild bulls when they walked down to have a mud bath as well. Since they could not all fit in the water, the juniors decided to give way to the seniors. Only Garzi was left behind watching how the big bulls were mud bathing. The orphans settled for soil dusting and Vuria climbed on Barsilinga. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in Kanziku area and had a quiet afternoon.
12 August 2016
Only two bulls were present at the stockade compound when the orphans came out this morning. As soon as the orphans settled for lucerne, one of the bulls tried to sneak in to join the orphans in feasting on the lucerne. At the browsing field, the sun was shining brightly as the orphans struggled to get enough food for the day following the dry season. Barsilinga and Garzi took some time off from feeding to engage each other in a pushing game. Sirimon browsed with his friend Boromoko and later the sun became very hot, making Boromoko and Sokotei relax under a tree before proceeding to the mud bath.
The temperature was still high and all the orphans decided to wallow, including Shukuru who had gone for some days without a bath. Boromoko settled on a fallen tree to scratch soon after leaving the mud bath while Barsilinga, Narok, Lemoyian, Shukuru, Orwa, Bomani and Vuria settled for soil dusting. Shukuru took advantage of Orwa who was lying down and used him to scratch her belly. Shortly later, as the orphans were leaving, eleven wild elephants showed up for water at mud bath. After drinking their fill, the wild elephants walked down to the mud bath to cool off. Laragai led the orphans back to the browsing field. In the evening on their way back to the stockade, the orphans were joined by Mutara and her group of six. At the stockade compound, Mutara’s group met with Makireti’s group and they settled for water before finally leaving back into the bush.
13 August 2016
Two wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans settled for their morning lucerne. Laragai carried her share and went to feed on it close to the bulls. One of the bulls tried to charge at Laragai simply because she was carrying the lucerne raised up in the air with her trunk. Laragai dropped the lucerne to the ground and started to feed on it as the bull calmed down. A short while later Laragai stopped feeding and joined the bulls to drink water.
The orphans settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area and due to the dry conditions the orphans scattered in different directions so as to get enough food before the end of the day. Laragai developed an itchy foot and used a nearby rock to scratch it. The weather was chilly and the orphans enjoyed each moment as they fed on the vegetation. At mud bath time, only Laragai and Bongo the water boy decided to mud wallow. The rest stood at the edge watching and appeared to be deciding who among the two would have the best mud bath. Obviously Bongo won since he left the mud wallow fully covered in mud while Laragai was only partially covered. Boromoko relaxed under a nearby tree before joining his friends to soil dust. Narok briefly played with Teleki while Bomani rode on Olsekki. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area where Boromoko teamed up with Barsilinga to browse while Garzi browsed with Bomani. In the evening, Yatta and Mulika’s groups in the company of ten wild bulls reported for water at the stockade compound. The herd left to undisclosed location shortly after dark.
14 August 2016
The sky was clear in the morning and this was an indication of a hot day a head. Shukuru was lively and jovial and since she doesn't like lucerne, she settled under the only acacia tree in the stockade compound picking up the fallen acacia pods. She later led her herd to the browsing field where Barsilinga and Kithaka sorted out their differences through a pushing game. Their game ended when Garzi intervened and pushed the two away. Barsilinga walked away and happened to bump into Laragai and decided to vent his anger out on her. Laragai the ‘no nonsense’ girl, did not take any rubbish from Barsilinga and pushed him out of the way. Barsilinga had no other option than to surrender and walk away. Orwa picked a stick off the ground and started twisting it in the air as if he was the choir master of the herd. The peaceful Boromoko entwined his trunk with Garzi.
At mud bath, prior to the arrival of the orphans, twenty four wild elephants were busy mud bathing and drinking water. When the orphans arrived, they drank their milk then headed for the mud bath. One of the junior wild bulls disrupted the orphans the wallowing exercise by trumpeting and charging at them. The orphans did the respectable thing by withdrawing from the mud bath leaving the junior wild bull on his own. Later, Orwa came back to watch a huge bull that was scratching on the walls of the mud bath. Orwa watched the bull for a long time, as if wondering when he would ever grow to the same size! Probably in twenty years time, which is a long way still.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area. In the evening, Bongo and Vuria wound up the day's activities by engaging each other in a pushing game. Makireti’s group consisting of Makireti Kilabasi, Kasigau and Kilaguni showed up at the stockade in the evening. It appears that Kilaguni has now temporarily settled on Makireti’s group while Chaimu has joined Olare’s group.
15 August 2016
Sokotei settled for a scratch soon after he left the stockade. Enkikwe and Narok walked down to the acacia tree where they spent some time picking up the fallen acacia pods. Garzi and Orwa had a brief strength testing exercise that saw Orwa emerge as the winner. Shortly later, Buchuma with his new found wild friend, showed up at the stockade compound. Orwa and Garzi greeted the wild friend by extending their trunks to him. Narok had a game of rolling on the ground that saw Orwa come running over to mount on her. In the browsing field, Bomani rode on Olsekki, which Olsekki didn't like as he turned to Bomani and tried to fight back. Barsilinga and Garzi has a strength testing game which ended in a draw.
At mud bath, the orphans were joined by fifteen wild bulls. This group of bulls was tolerant of the orphans and they allowed the orphans to have water with them and even mud bath together. In the afternoon, One Tusker with his three friends came for water at the stockade water trough. Shortly after drinking water, the bachelor herd left back into the bush.
16 August 2016
Madiba, Ololoo and a wild elephant joined the juniors in the morning immediately after the orphans settled for lucerne. A while later, Mulika and Yatta’s groups in the company of several wild elephants arrived for water. Some of the Ex Orphans like Wendi, Mulika, Challa, Lualeni, Sunyei, Makena, Lenana, Chyulu and Loijuk invaded the juniors who were feeding, which made them withdraw from the venue. Garzi kept himself busy by scratching on the acacia tree while Enkikwe settled to feed on the fallen acacia pods. Orwa, Narok and Bomani surrounded Wiva as each tried to play with the baby. Sokotei had an opportunity to interact with Wiva as she tried to push him. Sokotei didn't take Wiva seriously but ignored her and left to drink water. Orwa threw a back kick when Wiva was passing behind him. The kick landed on Wiva but she didn't complain as she continued with her games and interacting with the orphans. Orwa then walked to play with Kithaka as Teleki challenged a junior wild elephant, while Vuria played with Makena. At the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a pushing game that didn't last for long.
Towards eleven o'clock in the morning, the weather changed abruptly and the cloudy sky gave way to showers. Boromoko led the way to the mud bath where the orphans drank their milk bottles and some water before returning back to the browsing field. Laragai had a brief conversation with Lemoyian before Lemoyian went to play with Teleki, Bongo, Garzi and finally with Sokotei who he attempted to climb on. In the evening Mutara and her group of six showed up at the stockade for water and stayed until dark which was an indication that they were intending to spend the night just outside the stockade.
17 August 2016
The orphans were joined by Makireti and Mutara’s groups in the morning soon after they settled to eat lucerne. Vuria tried to challenge Kilaguni who for some time now has stuck with Makireti’s group. A few minutes later, Olare brought her group to the stockade for water and later joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Orwa, who likes challenging his seniors, engaged Kibo in a strength testing exercise. Laragai challenged Kalama while Teleki played with Kanjoro. Later, Narok played with Kilaguni as Kibo played with Olare. Mutara and her group escorted the juniors to the browsing field leaving Olare and Makireti’s groups behind. Vuria and Orwa had brief strength testing exercise that ended when Mutara intervened and separated the two boys. Kainuk settled to browse with Kithaka as Boromoko settled to browse with Suguta.
At mud bath time, the sun was really hot making the orphans head straight for wallowing soon after drinking their milk. After having enough of wallowing, Teleki engaged Kanjoro in a strength testing exercise as Garzi walked to join Mwende and Yetu’s dad in drinking water. Soon more bulls joined in and Garzi opted to walk away so as to give his seniors more space to drink. Orwa had a misunderstanding with Bongo and the two boys decided to settle it physically. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot making Shukuru and Orwa want to relax under a tree until the temperature dropped to a favourable level.
18 August 2016
Yatta and Mulika’s groups in the company of wild elephants visited the stockade early in the morning. The Ex Orphans soon joined the juniors for lucerne as the wild elephants settled for water. The dependent orphans didn't hang around for long due to this disturbance and competition from their seniors. At the browsing field, Lemoyian started his day’s activities by trying to climb on Sirimon while Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a strength testing exercise that went on for quite some time. The exercise ended in a draw. Barsilinga then walked over to a fallen tree that he used to scratch his itchy foot on. The sun was really getting hot and at one time the orphans converged under a tree, continuously flapping their ears so as to generate air to cool themselves, as they looked forward for a nice cooling mud bath. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Half Trunk who was with group of ten wild friends. The bachelor herd was peaceful as they intermingled with the orphans just like brothers and sisters. Bongo tried to block Vuria from coming out of the mud, which angered him. Vuria tried as much as he could to free himself by fighting Bongo and at long last he won and was able to get out of the mud. When the orphans had enough of wallowing, Shukuru led the way back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at upper Kalovoto area where Boromoko teamed up with Sokotei to browse while Lemoyian settled to browse with Narok. Mutara and her group reported at the stockade in the evening and enjoyed drinking water and feeding on lucerne before leaving back to the bush.
19 August 2016
Fifteen wild elephants were at the stockade compound early in the morning. Noticeable among them were Half Trunk and One Tusker. The orphans settled for their lucerne as usual. After finishing their lucerne the orphans, led by Laragai, headed out to browse. The sky was clear and this was an indication of a hot day a head. At around nine o'clock in the morning, Makireti’s group in the company of twenty wild elephants showed up at the stockade to drink water. As it continues to drier and hotter, the number of elephants we have coming for water keeps on growing. Siangiki settled to browse close to Orwa while Olsekki settled to browse with Kithaka. As the day progressed, two dik diks passed close to the orphans running at a very high speed. The speed disrupted the feeding session making Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei run to their keepers for safety. The keepers calmed them down after assuring them everything was fine. The three babies still decided to feed close to their keepers!
At mud bath time, only three wild bulls were present; Olsekki and Siangiki were bold enough to walk to the water trough and join the bulls who were old enough to be their fathers! They shared water briefly with the bulls then walked down to join their friends who were mud bathing. After mud bathing, Boromoko lay down to play; Sirimon came over and attempted to mount on him. Vuria and Bongo came out of the mud bath trumpeting and charging out of their own pleasure. They disappeared into the thickets, knocking down small bushes in happiness. In the evening, Yatta and Mulika’s groups showed up at the stockade and stayed until dark before leaving back into the bush.
20 August 2016
As the orphans were enjoying peacefully feeding on their lucerne this morning, suddenly the Ex Orphans arrived. It was everybody for himself as the juniors scrambled to carry away as much as they could as they moved aside to pave way for their seniors. Bomani spent some time playing with Wiva as Laragai threatened to push Mwende who had passed close to her. Mwende stood her ground and even tried to push Laragai back, but unfortunately she was overpowered by Laragai. At the browsing field, the orphans browsed calmly without any major distractions.
At mud bath time fifteen wild bulls were present. Olsekki, Laragai, Narok and Boromoko headed for red soil dusting soon after having enough of wallowing. Barsilinga had a lone game of rolling on the ground just a few metres from the rest of the group. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area and had a quiet afternoon as each tried to eat enough food before the end of the day. The evening was also quiet as no wild elephants showed up for water at the stockade water trough.
21 August 2016
Rapsu, Buchuma, Ololoo, a wild junior female and Orok were at the stockade compound early in the morning. When the orphans were let out Narok entwined her trunk with Ololoo in morning greetings. At the browsing field, Bongo and Vuria started their day's activities by engaging each other in a pushing game which ended in a draw. Enkikwe and Siangiki settled to browse together while Olsekki and Bomani put their heads together as if thinking about something. Orwa relaxed his trunk on Boromoko’s back before trying to climb on him. Barsilinga developed an itchy ear and decided to take a break from feeding to scratch the itchy part against a tree. The sun was really hot and at mud bath time, the orphans all decided to wallow with the exception of Bomani and Vuria. Shukuru headed for soil dusting soon after she was through with wallowing while Bongo and Vuria had a strength testing exercise that lasted for quite some time. In the afternoon, Barsilinga and Garzi who were feeding together had a misunderstanding which resulted in a physical fight. As short while later though the boys appeared to have arrived at some sort of understanding because they stopped fighting and resumed browsing together! In the evening, Mutara and Makireti’s groups showed up at the stockade for water.
22 August 2016
The stockade compound was flooded with elephants early in the morning, both Ex Orphans and wild elephants. It was difficult for the juniors to maneuver their way through the jam as the Ex Orphans also wanted to access the stockade. Bomani engaged Kibo in a pushing game as Garzi played with Kitirua. Vuria tackled Chemi Chemi in a game that he lost miserably. Teleki tried Olare but Olare proved to be so much stronger than him so he surrendered. At the browsing field, Orwa attempted to mount on Boromoko as Garzi settled for a strength testing exercise with Barsilinga. Kithaka settled to share feeding on one shrub with Narok, while Barsilinga withdrew from playing with Garzi and went to play with Laragai instead, a game that didn't last for long as Bongo interrupted by pushing them away. Olsekki played with Bomani but their game came to an end when Bomani attempted to climb on Olsekki. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans and some wild elephants too. Vuria played with Kitirua and after losing the game to Kitirua, he went to play with Chemi Chemi. Wiva was escorted by her nannies for a soil dusting exercise that lasted for quite some time. Later, the Ex Orphans headed to the stockade while the juniors headed to the Kanziku area where they settled to browse.
23 August 2016
It was a quiet morning today. The orphans settled for lucerne without disturbance from any outsiders. Bomani, Siangiki and Barsilinga spent awhile scratching on the nearby rocks. On the way to the browsing field, Garzi and Kithaka came across a fallen tree that they used to scratch their bellies on. When they were finished the two boys started a strength testing exercise that saw Garzi emerge as the winner. Kithaka walked to tackle Bongo but he lost the game to and he saw the only option left was to settle for browsing. Lemoyian, the little tough guy, decided to test his strength against Orwa who is much bigger than him. Lemoyian obviously lost to Orwa and walked off to watch Vuria and Bongo's strength testing game, as if to acquire some new skills that would help him in fighting his fellow age mates. After Bongo and Vuria’s game was over, Lemoyian went to practice what he had seen and learnt on Bomani. Meanwhile Barsilinga tried to bully Boromoko by attempting to climb on him. Boromoko ran towards his keepers making Barsilinga surrender since he knew very well that he would be told off by the keepers.
At mud bath time, it was all quiet without any wild visitors. The orphans wallowed soon after drinking their milk then returned back to the browsing field. Bomani played with Olsekki and later climbed on him while Vuria played with Barsilinga. Later, the sun was so hot making the orphans want to converge under a tree as they continuously flapped their ears to cool off. In the evening, Olare and Makireti’s groups showed up at the stockade. Missing from Olare’s group this evening were Murka, Naisula, Kitirua and Chaimu who must have decided to stay out in the bush.
24 August 2016
The Ex Orphans in the company of forty wild elephants reported early before dawn and decided to take a nap in the stockade compound, as they waited for water to be turned on in the troughs. At six o'clock in the morning, the orphans were let out and joined their friends outside. Orwa, who always likes a challenge, engaged Kibo in a strength testing exercise. Narok picked on a wild a calf and had a pushing game for sometime while Wiva played with Vuria. Orwa withdrew from playing with Kibo and walked towards Narok and wild the calf where he intervened and separated their pushing game. The wild calf threatened to push Orwa because of interfering with their game. Orwa stood his ground and defended himself as the wild calf threatened to attack him. Shortly later Wiva met with Teleki as she was running towards her mother. She attacked Teleki by trying to push him out of the away. Teleki only pushed her lightly back, then gave way to her because he understood that she was only being childish.
In the browsing field Garzi engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game as Orwa played with Vuria. Barsilinga quit playing with Garzi and went to play with Laragai. The orphans then all engaged in serious browsing up to eleven o'clock in the morning when Boromoko led the first group for the midday milk feed. On the way, the orphans were joined by Mutara and her group. The orphans joined wild bulls that were drinking water at the water trough. Bongo the water boy was the last one to leave mud bathing. In the afternoon, Orwa played with Vuria and in evening the Ex Orphans in the company of wild elephants showed up at the stockade. Present among them were One Tusker, Mwende’s dad and Limpy who had been caught in a snare several months ago and who’s wound as successfully treated.
25 August 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the juniors were joined by all the different herds of Ex Orphans. It was a hectic time for the juniors who scrambled for lucerne and left with their share some distance away. Mulika showed off her greedy character when she took more than her share then headed into the stockade where she placed it down and started to feed on it slowly. Kibo tried to go in with her and tried to beg for a piece of lucerne but he was kicked out. This was a show of greediness of the highest order since Mulika is a mother and should have been mindful of the younger ones. Orwa engaged his senior Olare in a pushing game and later tested his strength against Kibo. Bomani took some time to scratch his buttocks against the nearby rocks while Lemoyian played with Garzi. Bomani quit scratching when he saw Lemoyian and Garzi having a good pushing game. Bomani walked over to them and intervened by pushing them away. Bomani then proceeded to play with Kibo while Garzi settled to play with Tumaren. Orwa tackled Makireti and later played with Zurura. Orwa couldn't withstand Zurura’s big tusks and so quit to look for someone else to play. The orphans left for browsing and were followed by the Ex Orphans, but they parted ways an hour later. At mud bath time the orphans met up again with the Ex Orphans and twenty wild elephants. Vuria engaged Chemi Chemi in a pushing game that he lost a few minutes later. In the evening, one hundred and twenty elephants flooded at the stockade, all coming for water.
26 August 2016
The wild orphan in Mutara’s Ex Orphan herd joined the juniors for the morning lucerne feeding session. The wild orphan, who appears to have lost its family quite awhile ago, was nervous and kept on raising its ears from time to time in alertness. Half Trunk and One Tusker amongst a group of several wild friends came for water at the stockade water trough. The Ex Orphans then showed up followed by a wild herd that had a baby the size of Wiva. For the first time, Wiva met a calf of her own age and size, and they swiftly engaged one another in a pushing game. The wild calf was much stronger than Wiva as at one time, she pushed Wiva to the ground. Funnily enough, it was the mother and the sister of the wild calf that were the first ones to arrive and assist Wiva to get up. The sister of the wild calf then tried to stand in between the two babies because Wiva was bitter and wanted revenge! At long last the sister gave up in controlling the two babies and left them to play. As time progressed, the wild mother rumbled, signaling her herd that it was time to leave. The wild calf quit playing with Wiva and followed its mother, leaving Wiva reveling in the good time she had together with the wild calf.
In the browsing field Garzi engaged Kithaka in a pushing game as Boromoko went down on his knees to try and cut a shrub with his teeth that he was unable to pull using his trunk. At mud bath time the sun was hot and Bongo, Laragai, Orwa, Shukuru, Garzi, Boromoko and Sirimon went wallowing in the water. After mud bathing, Bomani engaged Sokotei in a pushing game that lasted until Sokotei surrendered. Vuria the warthog chaser spotted a warthog coming for a mud bath and couldn't wait it for it to come close. Vuria charged and trumpeted as he ran towards the warthog. The warthog turned with its tail in the air and disappeared into the bushes. In the afternoon, Olsekki spent some time playing with Sirimon and in the evening it was all quiet with no wild elephants visiting the stockade.
27 August 2016
This morning Vuria, Garzi and Orwa spent some time scratching on the nearby rocks. In the browsing field Kithaka came across a fallen log that he enjoyed scratching his belly on. Later Kithaka engaged Garzi in a pushing game, which he finally lost. Barsilinga played with Garzi while Kithaka played with Bomani. At eleven o'clock in the morning, Boromoko led the first group to the mud bath. The sun was really hot and Barsilinga, Garzi, Bongo and Narok decided to go wallowing. Later in the day Orwa took a break from feeding and engaged Narok in a pushing game while Bomani played with Olsekki.
28 August 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Makireti’s group. Orwa was pleased to have Makireti’s group around since he was able to gauge his strength by playing with Kilaguni. Later, Orwa surrendered and went to play with kilabasi. On the way to the browsing field, Orwa came across a fallen log that he used in scratching his belly on. Garzi engaged Ishanga in a pushing a game as Olsekki scratched his neck against a tree. Sirimon settled to browse with Sokotei. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by six wild bulls and in the afternoon the sun was hot, making the orphans want to take a break and relax under a tree until the temperature dropped to a more favourable level.
29 August 2016
It was a quiet morning as the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockade and settled for lucerne. Shortly later, Shukuru led the way out to the bush. Bomani and lemoyian started their day’s activities by engaging each other in a pushing game. Vuria briefly played with Bongo as Barsilinga ran into trouble with Teleki when he grabbed Teleki's tail. Teleki turned and pushed him hard, to remind him that he should have respect for his seniors. Barsilinga was upset and since there was nothing he could do he just moved away and resumed browsing.
At mud bath time, the weather was cloudy and only Bongo the water boy went wallowing as he was watched over by Orwa and Vuria. After coming out of the mud bath Bongo picked a quarrel with Vuria which ended in a fight. Orwa walked to play with Kithaka as Garzi settled old scores with Barsilinga. In the afternoon Vuria soil dusted while Olsekki settled to browse with Siangiki. In the evening, Wendi, Wiva, Nasalot, Sidai, Chyulu, Lualeni, Ololoo, Zurura and three wild elephants showed up at the stockade and left later after drinking enough water.
30 August 2016
Several bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out this morning. Then Yatta and Mulika’s groups arrived and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Laragai, Orwa and Garzi took their share of lucerne and walked a distance away to avoiding being harassed by their seniors. Narok ran into trouble with Yetu when she tried to take over babysitting Wiva. Yetu tried to block Narok from getting to Wiva and this initiated a standoff between the two girls. Finally, Narok won and she was able to spend some time with Wiva. Laragai walked close by and Wiva, who appears to love Laragai very much, ran over to her to have a brief chat, by putting her little trunk in Laragai's mouth. Orwa attempted to climb on Narok, something that obviously annoyed her and made turn and to fight Orwa off. Sunyei, who was close by, intervened and separated the two juniors. Vuria engaged Ololoo in a strength testing exercise but lost the game shortly afterwards. Teleki learned some pushing techniques from Sidai while Garzi learned from Zurura.
Out in the bush, Lemoyian engaged Bongo on a pushing game while Shukuru and Narok spent some time scratching on a big rock. At mud bath, it was all quiet with no wild elephants visiting. Boromoko and Sirimon relaxed a distance away as their friends happily enjoyed wallowing. Barsilinga initiated a pushing game with Bongo while still in the water, and soon after leaving the mud bath he engaged Vuria in a pushing game too. Orwa, Shukuru, Bomani and Vuria went to soil dust before heading back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area.
31 August 2016
Twelve bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out. Olare and Makireti’s groups in the company of the wild orphan that has joined them this month, settled with the juniors to eat lucerne. Orwa engaged Kilabasi in a pushing game and later played with the wild orphan. At the browsing field, Bongo engaged Barsilinga in a strength testing exercise that saw Bongo emerge as the winner. Orwa had his own game of rolling on ground and Boromoko came and stood next to him and relaxed his trunk on his back. At mud bath time the sun was really hot and the orphans were joined by seven wild bulls. Orwa, Garzi, Bomani, Bongo and Vuria were brave enough to join the bulls in drinking water. Shortly later, Garzi spotted some warthogs that were trying to come for the mud bath. Garzi didn’t want to allow them access to the mud bath and so charged at them to chase them away. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area where Vuria, Orwa and Boromoko spent some time soil dusting. Barsilinga came across a suitable rock that he enjoyed scratching his buttocks on. In the evening Yatta and Mulika’s groups reported for water at the stockade and left shortly after drinking enough water.