Keepers' Diaries, August 2016

Voi Reintegration Unit

The weather fluctuated this month between hot and cold. On the cold days the orphans avoided the mud bath, but they relished being able to cool off on hotter days! Tassia and Taveta visited the Stockades this month returning after a long absence to join the orphans in the morning for lucerne and supplements. The dependent orphans were always happy to see them and share their supplements so the two semi-independent bulls took to returning most mornings in order to share the dependent orphans’ supplements. Taveta also enjoyed frolicking with the dependent babies in the mud bath, focusing on Panda and Ndii both of whom love the water.

01 August 2016

Taveta arrived around 8am this morning, missing the stockade dependant orphans who had left for the browsing ground an hour before. As usual he waited for his equal share of copra cake that was given to him by the keepers in the stockade, before he left to go back into the park half an hour later. The stockade dependant orphans had browsed their way to the far northern side of the stockade with Ishaq-B and Mashariki taking each other on in a leadership contest. Kenia stuck off with her adopted baby Araba while Ndii was seen browsing closely with Bada. Neither Taveta nor Tassia caught up with the stockade dependant orphans today. Later in the afternoon Taveta came into the stockade at 5.20pm, after all the dependent orphans were already in their stockades and browsing on the grewia branches. At 6pm, a big wild herd of elephants came in and assembled to drink clean water from the stockade water trough. Taveta fell in love with the wild elephant calves but could not interact with them very well as their brothers and sisters were guarding them. Taveta went around and around trying to get access to them but in vain. The wild herd hung around the stockade for half an hour before leaving back into the bush, leaving Taveta who then moved off later that night.

02 August 2016

It was a beautiful beginning of the day with the stockade dependant orphans quickly drinking a morning milk bottle and proceeding for the copra cake feeding session. Taveta was punctual today arriving well on time, helping himself to the first round of Lucerne and the copra cake given out in the morning. Tassia did not turn up for the second day running. After a wonderful supplement feeding session, Mashariki, Rorogoi and Ndii assembled around the stockade water trough, drinking water without any hurry. Naipoki started an amazing neck scratching game, with Lentili opting for a soil dusting game. Soon Arruba and Ishaq-B took the lead of others towards the browsing grounds. Arruba later stopped to wait for her friend Suswa who was late following the others. On settling down to browse, Kihari took Bada to browse away from the others and close to her side. The orphans visited the water hole at noon and they had a lovely interaction with a wild herd after milk feeding. The dependent orphans were then feeling mischievous and tried to take a wild elephant calf away with them, with its mother struggling up to stop that huge operation. Bada was comfortable staying close to a big wild elephant mother, but ran away when the big tusker approached him to say hello. Kenia and Naipoki placed themselves in an ambushing position to snatch a bathing wild elephant calf, while Ndii showed off in her usual mud bathing games. When the wild elephant herd left Tundani and Lentili followed them for a short distance, before returning back to join their orphan herd in browsing.

03 August 2016

It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the orphans exited their stockade in a happy mood, emptying a morning bottle of milk before feeding on the special Lucerne grass pellets and copra cake that they get given by the keepers. Ndoria started to chase Mudanda in an attempt to bite her tail, which didn’t last long before she came back and rejoined the others for the supplement feeding. Lentili and Panda lead the orphan herd to the browsing grounds where the entire group enjoyed feeding in their own unique style until it was time to head to the noon mud bath and milk feed. In the afternoon the Trust veterinary unit that was on patrol in the Ndara plains spotted an orphan wild elephant calf that all alone and desperate for company. The vet unit consulted with the Voi stockade keepers who mobilized a rescue team to capture the calf and bring it back to the stocked for some TLC before being airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery. The orphan female elephant calf had some back bruises on her back which were from a lion attack. It is more than likely that the calf would not have survived another night alone in the wild. The calf, named Zawadi, was very dehydrated and thin and we hope that she will be able to pull through and in the coming years return to her rightful place in the wild.

04 August 2016

The orphan elephants went on with their usual morning routine of drinking their milk and enjoying their supplement feed before proceeding to the browsing fields. The weather today was fairly cold. When it was time for the midday milk bottle the milk was taken to the northern side of the stockade browsing grounds as due to the cold weather the orphans were in no hurry to visit the waterhole. After milk feeding, Lentili took the lead. Most of the orphans were not happy with the pace she set and protested before they all eventually stopped, leaving Lentili and a couple of orphans who were following her to continue on their way as the rest of the group settled down to browse where they stopped. Mudanda and Rorogoi who were closely following Lentili eventually decided to stop where they were as well to browse, as it was already mid afternoon and it would not be long before they would need to return to the stockades. Mudanda and Araba took up position between the two groups while Ishaq-B started to head in the opposite direction taken by Lentili. It was not long before the rest of the orphans followed Ishaq-B leaving Lentili no choice but to give up her leadership for the day and follow the group.

05 August 2016

It was a nice morning with Kenia enjoying a wonderful scratching session against a rock in the stockade together with her adopted baby Araba who spent most of the time watching her. When Kenia saw that the morning was getting on and none of the orphans were making a move towards the browsing fields she decided to take charge and lead the orphan herd out. Bada engaged Tundani in a tough strength testing and pushing game soon after the morning supplemental feeding session was over. Tundani was good enough not to use all his strength against his opponent who he could easily beat as he is the stronger of the two. Naipoki sneaked her way into the boys game, giving Bada a bit of a push and supporting him so that he would be successful in his attempts to beat Tundani. This did not last long before Naipoki thought it would be better to referee the match rather than spoil their fun. The majority of the day was spent browsing with the stockade dependant orphans visiting the water hole at noon to drink water and their milk bottles. As it was another cold day none of the orphans went into the mud wallow.

06 August 2016

Today Tundani was engaged in strength testing games by Nelion who approached him right as Tundani was in the middle of drinking water from the stockade water trough. Tundani who is generally a nice and calm elephant was not happy to have his morning routine disrupted and made sure to move away from Nelion refusing to become engaged in his pushing games. The orphans had their midday milk bottle on the northern side of Msinga hill. Soon after the milk feed Mudanda seemed to want to settle an unknown grudge with Araba by chasing her down the hill. The keepers thought the grudge may have resulted from Araba taking Kenia away from her and Bada. Araba had to move in a bit of a circle in order to avoid Mudanda and rejoin the rest of the orphan herd. Ishaq-B was quick to welcome Araba into the group and took it upon herself to protect and assure Araba that everything would be ok. Lentili went running to Mudanda who sought refuge with Panda first before attaching herself to Ndii fearing retribution from Kenia for her actions towards Araba. Embu enjoyed a soil dusting session while Naipoki and Mbirikani relaxed under the shade of a small tree. Taveta and Tassia arrived at the stockades at noon. Nelion and Tundani were quick to welcome the two into the junior herd. They spent the rest of the afternoon browsing together and the two returned to the stockades with the dependent group leaving after they had enjoyed some Lucerne grass and pellet supplements.

07 August 2016

It was a cloudy and cold morning as the orphans drank their morning milk bottle. Taveta and Tassia were at the stockade right when the orphans were exiting their stockades and were able to join the stockade dependant orphans for the special Lucerne grass pellet feeding. Taveta pushed his way between Panda and Kenia drawing warmth from them both. Ndoria fed on the Lucerne pellets for a short while before enjoying a scratching session against a rock at the stockade compound before rejoining the others, who were still enjoying their supplement feed. Out in the field, Nelion, Ndii and Bada separated themselves from the rest of the group and enjoyed browsing together for the better half of the day. The orphan herd later visited the middle water hole to drink water and milk but they did not take a bath as it was fairly cold. During the afternoon’s browsing activities Ishaq-B went down on the ground rolling around trying to entice Rorogoi to join her. Rorogoi ignored her however, feeling that browsing was a bigger priority for the day. Kihari and Mashariki enjoyed leading the orphan herd back to the safety of the stockades in the evening.

08 August 2016

Arruba and Nelion led the orphan herd towards the browsing grounds after the milk and the supplement feeding was over. The two leaders were quick to notice the presence of a wild elephant herd who were browsing on top of the eastern side of Msinga hill and they made their way to join them for the rest of the morning. The rest of the orphan elephants chose to browse on the base of the hill, waiting for their two friends to complete their browsing interaction with the wild elephant herd, so that they could continue with their normal browsing activities. Mbirikani and Suswa approached the two as soon as they rejoined the group so that they could hear all about the experience they had with the wild herd. The orphans then headed to the water hole for the midday milk feed. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the water hole before returning to the stockades in the evening.

09 August 2016

The day started well with Arruba and Suswa leading the orphan elephants towards the browsing grounds. After four hours of a peaceful browsing session, Kihari, Embu and Rorogoi led the orphans to join a wild elephant herd of close to fifteen members. One friendly wild elephant calf had a soft spot for Arruba and Suswa, but its mother came to take her when she saw Arruba and Suswa trying to entice that calf away. Ndii and Mudanda got themselves into a lot of trouble when they were chased away by a wild elephant cow after attempting to snatch a tiny wild calf away. The orphan herd had to run away to avoid the wrath of the angry charging mother. The wild herd then left with Embu following them for a bit before she was successfully called back by the keepers to rejoin her orphan herd as she is still milk and needs protection from the many Tsavo lions; we do not want a repeat of what happened before! Tassia and Taveta were the next visiting guests to join the stockade dependant orphans at 11.20am. Lentili was happy to see them and welcomed them before enjoying a scratching session on a nearby tree trunk.

10 August 2016

It was a bright morning today with the orphan elephants leaving the stockade in the early hours. After the supplement feeding Embu led the group out for the day followed closely by Mashariki and Suswa. Despite her experience last month, Embu seems to be in a rush to return to the wild and often attempts to join up with wild herds that have been interacting with the orphans. We wondered if she had seemingly forgotten the lion attack incident that happened to her last month! Arruba, who was somewhere in the middle of the herd, lifted her trunk to sniff the air in search of her lovely friend Suswa who was towards the front of the group; upon finding her friend she made her way towards her so that the two could spend the day together. Kenia was given her first dose of the IVOMEC plus injection after the keepers noticed that she was not putting on weight as quickly as the rest of the orphans. The IVOMEC will give her a boost and we are sure it won’t be long before she is as plump as the rest of the group. Kihari and Naipoki enjoyed leading the orphan’s home in the evening. It was a wonderful and joyful day for the keepers when Lissa, one of the older Ex Orphans now 29 years old, came to the stockades without the rest of her herd, to show off her new born calf to the keepers. This was the greatest present that Lissa could have brought to the human family as it has been several years since she has been to the stockades. She was given a bale of Lucerne grass to congratulate her on the arrival of her sweet calf, who we named Leo.

11 August 2016

Today Tundani took Mashariki aside from the rest of the orphan herd and the two headed for their private browsing place away from the others. This seemed to have upset Bada very much and he engaged Tundani in a tough pushing exercise. Bada tried to push Tundani as much as he could, while Mashariki watched on helpless to do anything to help her friend. Rorogoi and Ndoria stayed away from the battle ground, enjoying their browsing activities too much to want to stop and watch the match which lasted for more than half an hour. The tough battle was brought to a premature end by the rest of the orphans leaving to go back to the stockade. Tassia arrived at the stockade at 4.30pm, without Taveta, and was given a bale of the Lucerne grass. Lissa, who seems to have appreciated the Lucerne grass she was given yesterday, arrived once again alone to the stockades with her new calf, and joined Tassia who was happy to have a close encounter with the two. Lissa stopped feeding in order to introduce her calf to the stockade dependant orphans who were arriving to go to bed. Arruba pleaded with Lissa to be allowed to take her little calf into her stockade but she was not allowed to do so. Ndii tried to sneak up from behind to snatch the little one from Lissa but ran off when she was met resistance from Lissa.

12 August 2016

The morning was wonderful with the earliest arrivals at the stockade being Lissa’s entire herd who arrived at around 6.20am. More of Lissa’s family members were present today, and there was even greater excitement for the keepers today when we realised Lara, Lissa’s daughter, had a calf of her own; so Lissa had seemingly had her first grandchild as well! This little granddaughter we have names Leah. The orphans had a brief interaction with Lissa’s group before Kenia and Ndii took charge, moving their herd out of the stockade, worried that Lissa’s frequent visits would result in her trying to take the stockade dependant orphans with her. Lissa’s herd later left after feeding on Lucerne grass and drinking water. Kenia’s herd settled on the far northern side of Msinga Hill to browse. They visited the water hole at noon but didn’t take a bath due to the cold weather which lasted the whole day.

13 August 2016

It was another beautiful morning as Lissa came to the stockade with a few more members of her herd that hadn’t visited the stockade in the recent years. The keepers noticed that Lissa had another teenage male calf that was weaned off milk before the new arrival Leo was born, named Lazima. Lissa’s herd fed on Lucerne grass while resting under a tree. A little while later Lissa came to interact with the stockade dependant orphans who were enjoying their special Lucerne grass. Panda was brave today and tried to chase Lissa’s calf Lazima away from the Lucerne grass as he was younger than her, and Mashariki and Naipoki tried to engage Lara’s calf in a wrestling match. The calf ignored them choosing to suckle from her mother instead. Tassia came to the stockades a few minutes later and joined the entire group for some supplement feeding. Kenia later took off with her herd leaving Lissa’s herd behind, who headed off to the bush about 10 minutes after the orphans had left. Tassia went after the stockade dependant herd, and Kihari turned and charged up to him to welcome him, as Ishaq-B and Rorogoi welcomed him with a pushing game.

14 August 2016

The orphans exited their stockades in a hurry this morning, emptying their milk bottles before settling to feed on the special Lucerne grass pellets. Tassia and Taveta arrived soon after and joined the stockade dependant orphans. Tassia chose to feed near Tundani and Bada who were enjoying their supplements a short distance away from the ladies. Bada grabbed Tundani, engaging him in a strength testing game in an effort to impress Tassia who was watching the two. Nelion enjoyed some under side belly scratching on a rock, before giving Panda a chance to do the same, who then in turn gave Kenia the same opportunity. A short while later a wild elephant herd came to the stockades for a drink and to join the orphans for some supplemental feeding. Kenia was quick to try and get her group away from them. Naipoki pretended to drink water while all the while she watched a tiny wild calf suckling its mother. Naipoki later left to follow the orphan herd when she saw that the wild calf’s sisters were taking up strategic positions that would prevent her from trying to get anywhere near the calf.

15 August 2016

Taveta and Tassia arrived at the stockade in the very early morning hours in an effort to get to the Lucerne and copra cake before anyone else. Soon after the orphans had drank their morning milk bottles, Panda engaged Taveta in a strength testing pushing game which ended when it was time for the orphan herd to head to the browsing grounds. Once out in the field the orphans scattered around grabbing as much vegetation as they good whilst they browsed this morning. Tassia was seen sharpening his tusks against a rock, something that is completely natural so he can fend for himself in the wild and dig for roots as well. The orphan herd visited the water hole at noon for milk and a very brief wallow before resuming their browsing actives until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades in the evening.

16 August 2016

It was a nice and cold morning as the orphans came out of their stockades, running for the morning milk bottle before settling for the special Lucerne cubes combined with copra cake. It has nowadays become routine for Taveta and Tassia to come to the stockade as early as possible so as to be on time for the supplemental feeding. Today during the milk feeding session, Rorogoi grabbed her milk bottle from her keeper’s hand to feed herself. She amazingly event took to shaking the milk bottle to make sure that all that delicious milk content went down her throat and not a drop was left behind! The keepers feel that Rorogoi did this to keep her milk away from Araba who was already eying it after finishing hers. Suswa felt very happy after finishing her bottle and enjoyed a wonderful game of lying down and rolling around in an eroded trench. It turned into a very hot day today and as such Ndii took Mudanda under an acacia tree to browse there where they would be sheltered from the scorching sun. Panda admired what Ndii had done and followed to join them. Kenia saw the three of them and joined them for a short while before going to get her adopted baby Araba and begin the movement of the group to the waterhole. Although it was a hot day the water was quite cold and as such none of the orphans went in for a wallow.

17 August 2016

The orphans marched out of the stockade compound after their milk and supplement feeding was over. They enjoyed browsing between the big rock boulders at the foot of Msinga Hill. They later visited the water hole where Embu plunged into the water but was quick to get out as the water was very cold. The keepers think that Embu’s memories of her lion attack are slighting haunting her, as she does not seem to be as happy in her mud bathing games as before, and despite getting supplemental feeding she has not put on any significant weight. The keepers will keep a close eye on her so as to do all they can to make sure that things change for her soon. Taveta who was at the water hole today, fell in love with Panda and wanted to play with her but was prevented from doing so by Ndii who lay down right in front of Taveta to show off her mudbathing skills. Taveta was wooed into the game by Ndii, going down to join her for the same. It was not long before Panda joined in on the fun too so that she could be in close contact with Taveta. Nelion was amused by Taveta’s interaction with the females and began playing sliding games on the walls of the water hole.

18 August 2016

The morning was perfect with the orphan elephants concentrating on their usual milk and supplement feeding and enjoying a brief playing session at the stockade compound before heading off to the browsing grounds. Kihari took the leadership today, favouring the lower flat areas of Msinga Hill. Panda and Kenia were at the back of the group, making sure that all the orphan elephants were happy and safe. It was evident that Ndii indeed had a soft spot for Mudanda as she moved close to her so that the two could have a browsing session in close contact with one another. Kenia was with Araba and as such Mudanda sought love and affection from Ndii. The orphans later visited the middle waterhole at noon, drinking water but forgoing a bath as the weather was too cloudy and cold. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.

19 August 2016

It was a wonderful morning with the orphan elephants concentrating on their usual milk and supplement feeding routine before leaving for a long days browsing activities. They had a peaceful browsing morning session half way onto the eastern side of Msinga Hill, before leaving for the water hole at noon. The orphans had a wonderful bathing moment, charging and running in and out of the water in a happy mood catching the attention of a wild herd of elephants that had just drunk water from the same water hole, and who came close to watch the games that the orphan elephants were playing. Arruba and Mashariki had some wonderful games of sitting on their buttocks on the walls of the waterhole and scratching from side to side. In a show of solidarity, Kihari and Mudanda also began playing the same game with the four of them showing off for the wild herd who were watching them intently. Naipoki and Lentili soon joined the four which made the scratching game the most popular game of the day. After the bathing session, the orphan elephants went to browse between the big rock boulders at the foot of Msinga hill while Suswa and Aruba separated from the group to browse away together. In the evening, Tassia and Taveta arrived at the stockade almost at the same time as the stockade dependant orphan elephants. They all end to settle at their usual Lucerne grass feeding site.

20 August 2016

The morning was good with the orphan elephants enjoying their delicious milk and supplement foods before heading out to the browsing grounds. Ndii took the lead today and upon arriving at the northern foot of Msinga Hill, noticed Taveta who was browsing half way up Msinga hill without his friend Tassia. The orphan herd joined Taveta and they all browsed together for the rest of the day. Taveta remained behind when the stockade dependant orphans came downhill at noon, heading to the middle water hole to drink milk and water. None of the orphans wallowed as it was fairly cold. They instead browsed towards the big water hole before turning around and slowly made their way to the stockade under the leadership of Embu and Rorogoi.

21 August 2016

The orphans came out this morning to drink their milk and eat lucerne. They then browsed in single file and later Ndii started to lead the others uphill, a decision that was rejected by Mashariki and Lentili, who instead went to take refuge from the hot sun under a small tree.The orphans decided they needed a time out and started out towards the water hole, rather than going uphill, a decision that was unanimously embraced by all the orphans. Soon after milk feeding, Bada took Tundani on in a test of strength pushing game. Tundani applied a little more pressure than usual today with Bada, who had to eventually accept that Tundani was indeed stronger and superior to him, hence Bada resigned from the game. Ishaq-b slowly took Araba away from Kenia and moved into a separate browsing space. Araba quickly noticed that she was lost and went over to rejoin Kenia in browsing. Arruba was enjoying an amazing scratching game on a tree trunk, when she was technically pushed slowly away by the buttocks of her friend Suswa. Then Tassia came in to take over the scratching tree and after the three had finished their perfect scratching session they walked away. It was a big day today, when Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Kivuko, Mzima, Dabassa and Layoni came into the stockade after going wild and missing for two months. They had a wonderful drinking moment in the stockade trough and went enjoying a pile of the special Lucerne grass pellets that they tested and loved for the first time.

22 August 2016

The stockade dependent orphans finished their milk this morning and headed out to the browsing grounds. Lesanju’s herd that had left the stockade the previous night after feeding on the special Lucerne grass, did not turn up to the stockade this morning, and only Tassia sneaked into the compound alone to feed with the stockade dependant orphans. On arriving at the browsing ground, the orphans spread out to browse, with the main action taking place later in some mud bathing games in the water hole at noon. Suswa and Arruba took each other head on in some wonderful lying down water games. Ndii went to challenge them by playing some wall games. Ndoria finished her swim and went for some dusting games after her bath. Ndii and Kenia stood on either side of a big tree, both scratching on the tree trunk at the same time. The big bathing party was a very noisy affair and all the happy trumpeting brought a wild elephant herd closer, to see what all the fuss was about and to watch the orphans’ games in the water. One teenage wild elephant bull fell in love with their games and tried to join them, but he was unlucky as the orphans were tired of their games by this time and were already leaving the water hole to browse. The stockade dependant orphans then met up with Lesanju’s herd for the first time in around two months, and they all went to the stockade compound together, together with Tassia and Taveta as well. Ishaq-b warmly greeted Lesanju when they met. Mashariki and Ndii took the lead of them towards the stockade, carefully calculating their steps over a very smooth and slippery rock. Kenia assisted her lovely baby Araba to cross the same slippery rock, by anchoring her buttocks with her fore head to see her through.

23 August 2016

It was a good morning with nine ex orphans Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Layoni, Dabassa, Mzima, Kivuko, Taveta and Tasia visiting the stockade early in the morning where they joined the stockade dependant orphans for some supplement feeding. All of these ex orphans have come to depend on the stockade for supplements during the dry season and we are always happy to provide what we can for them and their wild born babies. After a wonderful supplement feeding session, Lempaute took little Araba to browse with her while Kivuko settled to feed with Mudanda. This turn of events made Kenia sad as she thought Lesanju’s herd had reintegrated into the wild for good and were not returning as they had been absent for a period of two months. She had gotten used to not having to compete with the ex orphan group for the attention of the babies and leadership as Lesanju and Lempaute led the entire group out to the browsing fields. The other orphans were happy to have interacted with Lesanjus herd. Panda enjoy playing wresting games with Dabassa while Ishaq-B chose to rest her head against some huge rocks. After spending a few hours with the babies Lesanju’s herd made their way towards the Voi river. This made Kenia very happy as she was able to take back leadership of her herd. There was an accident at the stockades today when Ngulia and the baby Oryx Salla were playing their chasing games Ngulia accidentally pushed Salla down the Malaika house terrace causing a complete fractured Salla’s left hind leg. The vet was called and he plastered the leg and administered pain killers and a long acting antibiotic.

24 August 2016

Kenia breathed a sigh of relief when she exited her stockade and saw that Lesanju’s herd and not come to the stockade this morning a relieve air when Lesanju herd dint turn up for the stockade this morning. The stockade dependant orphans had their milk and supplement feeding before proceeding to the browsing fields. Embu was undecided about where she wanted settle to browse and spent a long time traversing several different routs during the course of the day never quite happy where she was. Bada engaged Tundani in a strength testing match which came to a premature end when the rest of the orphans stared to make their way to the noon waterhole. The two orphans together with Ndoria who was acting as referee had no choice but to follow the rest of the group. Once at the water hole the orphans had their milk and some water. Rorogoi and Kihari were the only ones to attempt to wallow but did not get far as the cold weather made them change their mind.

25 August 2016

It was a windy and cloudy morning with sporadic rain showers as the orphans left their stockades to welcome a new day. Kenia was in a rush to get her herd out into the field and away from the stockades in an effort to avoid seeing Lesanju as she did not want to risk her finding the group at the stockades if she decided to visit them. The browsing went well with Kenia browsing right beside her adopted baby Araba. Ndoria felt very jealous of Araba’s closeness with Kenia and tried to find a way to get close to the two so that she could bite Araba’s tail and relive some of the anger and jealousy she was feeling. She was unable to do what she wanted to do, eventually giving up and rejoining the orphans who were busy feeding nearby. Salla the orphan Oryx who had his leg fractured was struggling to come to terms with his injury and these strange feeling of having his leg in plaster. He unfortunately put weight on his injured leg before the plaster had completely dried which meant that the fracture had not healed in the correct position leaving Salla with a permanent disability.

26 August 2016

The day started well with the orphan elephants emptying a morning milk bottle and enjoying the Lucerne grass pellets that had been blended with copra cake. In a very organized manner they then proceeded towards the browsing grounds under the leadership of Lentili and Mashariki. The browsing pace was slow today with the orphans settling to feed on the slopes of Msinga hill for the morning. At noon the orphans made their way to the middle water hole where they had their milk before they slowly browsed their way to the big water hole. In the late afternoon, Kihari went down for games on the ground but quickly regretted her actions when Naipoki sat on her stomach taking away Kihari’s comfort and enjoyment. Kihari decided to bring and end to her game by getting up and rejoining the rest of the orphans. Mudanda began to play the same game that Kihari was been playing. Her activities were closely watched by Nelion who then took the opportunity to climb onto Mudandas back.

27 August 2016

Lesanju was the earliest caller to the stockade this morning, arriving on her own, joining the small ones for supplement feeding. Mashariki was quick to respond to Lesanju’s arrival by taking little Araba away from her so as to assist Kenia in keeping their herd together and away from the ex orphans who they feel are trying to steal the babies of the group. Kenya purposely left Lucerne grass pellets for Lesanju to tempt her to stay at the stockades and not follow the orphan herd out to the browsing fields. Lesanju tried to catch up with them when she was done enjoying the treats but was unable to do so as they had made their way quite high up not the hill and did not come down until noon. They visited the waterhole where they had their milk feed. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.

28 August 2016

The morning was good with the clouds completely covering the sunlight making it the perfect conditions for the orphans daily browsing activities as it was neither too hot nor too cold. Embu and Ishaq-B led the orphan herd to the browsing grounds where they settled in single file enjoying the vegetation around them. Milk and water was taken on the northern side of the Msinga hill, as the orphans did not come down to the water hole. In the afternoon they munched their way towards the Mzima-Mombasa water pipe line, before returning to the same area in which they had started their browsing activities in the morning. At around 3pm Lesanju came to join them on the sides of Msinga Hill. Mudanda as the first to welcome Lesanju into the group followed by Kihari who bellowed loudly. A few minutes later Taveta and Rorogoi arrived with Taveta being immediately engaged in a pushing game by Panda. Their pushing game was very sweet and it was not long before Nelion and Tundani started to play their own game of hide and seek with Tundani running away from Nelion and hiding in the bushes.

29 August 2016

It was a wonderful morning with the orphan elephants coming out of the stockade in with a lot of energy. Soon after the orphans had drank their morning bottle, Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta joined them for some Lucern grass pellets. The three ex orphans then joined Kenia’s herd of stockade dependent orphans in the browsing fields. Kenia was not happy to have Lesanju around and made sure not to leave her adopted baby Araba alone, spending as much time as she could browsing next to the youngster. Later in the day, Kenia regained her usual happiness when Lesanju left the stockade dependant orphans to join a wild herd of elephants that walked past the group. Lesanju fell in love with a small wild elephant calf and following her and the herd towards the Voi river circuit. Taveta and Tassia also followed them slowly from behind keeping a considerable distance between them as they were busy browsing as they walked.

30 August 2016

It was a nice morning with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia being the first callers to the stockade. The three have become very well behaved and are frequent visitors to the stockade in the morning, joining the juniors in for supplement feeds. Kenia and Ndii do not seem to be at peace with the presence of Lesanju and her frequent visits to their herd orphan herd. They seem to have mounted some sort of strategy and are quick to lead the orphan herd away from the stockade leaving the three ex orphans to enjoy all the supplemental food. A report came in to the stockades regarding an orphan elephant calf that had been seen heading towards the Rombo area. The keepers had a long drive from the Voi stockade to Robmo to try and find the calf which had been orphaned the day before after its mother had died. Despite intensive air and foot patrols, with two of the Trust’s aircraft searching the area, the orphaned calf was not seen and the keepers had no choice but to return to the stockades.

31 August 2016

It was a cloudy and cold morning with light rain showers throughout the day. Ishaq-B and Lentili took leadership of the orphans today taking them to the far flat areas of the park where they spent some time. When it was nearly mid morning the orphans made their way to the middle water hole where they had their midday milk feed and some water before reusing their browsing activities. Back at the stockade compound Ngulia, the orphan zebra, has felt Sallas absence and has turned her attention to Jamhuri to try and strike up a friendship. Ngulia has also been seen to take charge of her small band of misfits and made sure Kore was happy and settled.