The Voi area remains dry as we eagerly await the short rains anticipated beginning of November. These are tough months for wildlife in Tsavo, but our orphans are the lucky ones with supplementary food available and greens cut for them from the slopes of Sagala Mountain outside of the Park for their night time browse once they return to their stockades.
It was a busy start to the day with the milk dependent orphans playing in the stockade compound after the milk and the supplement feeding. Nelion went to take up his early scratching position on the small rock and was followed later by Arruba. Lasayen took the favorite big rock for scratching too. Ndii stepped into the stockade water trough plucking and harvesting some green leaves from a tall tree.
It was then time for some sparring matches where Nelion took on Rorogoi, Ngilai took on Murit, and Mbegu engaged Ndotto while in a sitting down position. The Voi orphans then took off towards the field under the leadership of Mbegu and Tagwa.
The dependent orphans had a peaceful time browsing on the lower plains of the northern side of the stockade, arriving at the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon after having their noon milk bottles.
They joined a small wild elephant herd to drink water from the baobab tree water trough. Another wild elephant herd came and stood close to them, waiting patiently for them to finish drinking water. The orphan elephants were very happy to have been afforded that respect. Ndotto moved forward playfully as if acknowledging their patience to drink water, and tossed some soil in the air. The orphans stayed only briefly and then left to begin their second and final browsing session of the day.
After finishing their milk bottles and having some Lucerne, the stockade dependent orphan elephants hung around the stockade compound playing around. Kihari reached for some high branches in a tree and her efforts attracted Tundani towards her side. Godoma stood on top of one of the stockade terraces stroking Murit’s back softly with her trunk which he enjoyed so much he stood calmly and closed his eyes, enjoying the attention. Godoma then left Murit and went to scratch against the favourite rock, but found another smaller rock close by and started climbing on it as an alternative game. Mudanda went down on the ground to soil bath but no one came to join her so she got up after only a few minutes of play.
Ndoria then took the lead and led everyone out to browse. She enjoyed the leadership role the entire way as her friends were not comfortable attempting to overtake her in fear of having their tails bitten and hence better keeping their tails safe.
Later in the day it started raining lightly as the orphans made their way to the baobab tree water hole after finishing their milk bottles. Embu followed Ishaq-B to monitor her play fighting game with a wild elephant friend. Nelion had a tough head-butting encounter with another wild elephant friend as well.
Ndotto was the star of the day with Ndii and Mashariki taking in turns to test him in a play fighting encounter. Kihari, Ngilai and Emoli lay down away from the wild elephant herd, drawing some warmth from the soil before joining their friends for a final afternoon browsing session close to that water hole.
It was a chilly and cold morning with the milk dependant orphan elephants running and assembling for their milk bottles before marching over to the Lucerne grass pellet feeding area. Nelion engaged his friend Tundani in a head on match that took a very long time for the winner to be established.
Panda had noticed their game was very tough, so when it ended she decided to stand on one of the stockade terraces to engage Nelion in a play fight. She took advantage of the height to send several tusk punches onto her opponent below. Nelion knew there was no way he could win so he gave up and started the journey towards the browsing field.
Soon after the orphan elephants arrived on the western foot of Msinga Hill, Tawi, the orphan eland, left the stockade to join them. Tagwa and Sagala were not comfortable with him being around them, and charged at poor Tawi to chase him away. Tawi didn’t listen however and ran down with the first group to have their milk bottles towards the baobab tree water hole. Tagwa gave up her milk to first send away Tawi from the milk feeding area, before coming and settling for her milk bottles.
When drinking water from the baobab water trough Kenia had to separate Araba who became jealous of Tahri as both wanted to be closest to her. The rest of the browsing day went on peaceful close to that area.
Sagala and Mbegu came running from their stockades in the morning and by-passed their milk bottles and went straight to join Kenia’s herd in the Lucerne pellet feeding area, not even bothering to come back for their milk share. Godoma saw the four milk bottles standing tall in the milk mixing corridor and stretched her trunk towards them to kindly request for a bonus milk bottle. The Keepers had to hide the four milk bottles inside the milk mixing room and close the door until Mbegu and Sagala had finished feeding on the Lucerne and were given their share of milk.
The orphans then left for their usual daily bush walk under the leadership of Lentili and Arruba, browsing peacefully in single file. They visited the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon after drinking their milk under a tree close by. After having some water, the orphans skipped their normal mud bathing due to a cold wind that was blowing. Mashariki sought a play fighting match with Ngilai but Ngilai kept avoiding her. In the afternoon the orphans went far onto the northern side of the water hole to browse for the rest of the day.
It was an early morning start to the day with the stockade dependent orphans concentrating on their milk and supplement feeding. It was raining lightly on and off. Kenia surprised the rest of her friends and the Keepers when she went and stood in the middle of her friends putting up her trunk in her mouth and looking skyward. It was as if she were praying for more rain with her eyes looking up to the pregnant thick clouds and her empty trunk in her mouth signaling for more browse out of the expected rains.
The orphan elephant then left the stockade under the leadership of Lentili and Bada. They browsed their way slowly, joining a wild elephant herd after milk feeding at the baobab tree water hole. Little Emoli, Sagala and Tundani had a quick and free interaction with some of the members in the herd who were drinking clean water from the trough. Their friends then came through for a drink when the wild elephants left the water hole. Lentili stepped into the water trough with her front feet while drinking water. Some water drops touched Rorogoi’s back making her run away to drink from a different area as she felt the weather was very cold.
The stockade dependent orphans then left to browse towards the eastern side of that water hole, returning back to stockades that evening. Ndoria decided not to go into the stockade but spend the night out browsing with her friend Mbirikani.
For the early morning milk feed today Ngilai sprinted in with Godoma into the milk feeding area, and were followed closely by Tahri and Tagwa. Sagala came in last in no apparent hurry and assembled for her delicious milk bottle. Soon they joined their friends for the Lucerne pellet feeding. Ndoria who stayed out last night with Mbirikani came in alone to the stockades a few minutes after her friends had left, just missing them. She walked off slowly to catch up with her friends on the way to the baobab tree water hole.
It was fairly warm today, and Bada led the orphans to the main water hole to take a bath after many days of skipping the water due to the cold weather in the months of June and July. Nelion and Aruba followed Bada after to the red earth piles of soil to play, with Tahri joining them a few minutes later. Godoma sat in a small depression on the red earth piles, rolling and enjoying soil bathing with Tagwa, Araba and Emoli standing close by to watch her playing. Soon a wild elephant herd arrived at the water hole, just as the orphans were leaving. Nelion and Naipoki saluted one wild elephant friend in a wonderful trunk touching encounter before leaving the water hole for the final browsing session of the day.
At 6am the orphans exited their stockades for the usual milk and supplement feeding. The milk depend orphans downed their milk before joining their older friends for the Lucerne grass pellets. Lentili took the lead of the orphan herd towards the field followed closely by Tagwa, Sagala, Emoli, Mbegu and Godoma.
It was a cold day with sporadic showers. The orphans spent the morning browsing on the western side of Msinga hill where they enjoyed feeding on the moist grass. The milk dependent orphans came downhill for their afternoon milk bottle before rejoining their friends. None of the orphans visited the waterhole today choosing instead to concentrate on browsing.
Lasayen was in a very relaxed mood resting one of his hind legs on a small rock as he fed. By late afternoon the sun had come out, which made Godoma and some of the other orphans seeking refuge from the sun under the shade of some big boulders. Ndotto, Ngilai and Murit shared a single big rock while Godoma stood on her own.
There were the usual activities around the stockade this morning. It all began with the orphans running out for their milk bottles followed by the Lucerne pellet feeding. The orphans did not really play this morning and headed out to the Park earlier than usual. They spread out to browse, grabbing as much vegetation as they could to fill their bellies.
The orphans visited the baobab tree water hole at noon with the milk dependent orphans coming in first in groups. The first group to arrive was Emoli, Tagwa, Sagala, Tahri and Araba with the rest running in after them. The whole group then went to join a small wild elephant herd at the water hole. There were not really any teenage wild elephants in the wild herd for the orphans to play with and as a result they played amongst themselves. Lasayen stood head to head with Murit while Emoli moved in a mischievous way towards Ngilai to engage him in a play fight. Mbegu did not seem to be happy with the game the two were playing and came to get Emoli for the afternoon browsing session. Tagwa and Mbegu led the orphan herd back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the stockade dependent orphans downing their morning milk bottle before settling to enjoy the Lucerne pellets and dairy cubes that had been put out for them. Some baboons came down to try and steal the supplements from the orphans, especially the dairy cubes, and the Keepers and orphans had to work had to keep them away while the elephants were eating.
Tagwa, Ndotto and Sagala took the lead towards the field today, choosing to forego the usual morning games around the stockade compound. The orphans browsed their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they were joined by a wild elephant herd that came for a drink of water.
Murit engaged Ngilai head on in a pushing game while Ndotto mimic-mounted Godoma who sought assistance from Mbegu to get the naughty boy off her. The orphans left the wild elephant herd relaxing under some acacia trees, and made their way to the western foot of Msinga Hill for the afternoon browsing session.
It was a bright morning with the usual milk and supplement feeding routine taking place as soon as the stockade doors were opened at 6am. There orphans left for the browsing grounds soon after the supplement feeding was over.
At noon they had their milk bottles and made their way to the water hole for a bath. Nelion was the first to enter the water, making his way right to the middle of the mud bath where the rest of the group slowly joined him.
A wild herd visited the water trough for a drink and the orphans made sure to show them the respect they deserved by moving aside so that they could quench their thirst in peace. Sagala had a lovely time interacting with the wild herd while Lentili and Nelion each secured a wild friend for a pushing game before they all rejoined the orphan herd who were already making their way back to the bush. Sagala had to be coaxed away from her wild friends whom she didn’t want to leave.
The morning was full of games around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. Suswa went straight to the red earth piles where she lay down for a dust bath while Embu sought out Nguvu who had managed to sneak off and hide somewhere. Murit and Sagala joined forces to take on Ngilai in a pushing game.
Tagwa and Emoli took the lead of the orphan herd to the browsing grounds followed closely by Mbegu and Godoma. At the baobab tree waterhole the orphans had a lovely time interacting with a wild herd who had come for a drink. Sagala went right into the middle of group and was extremely relaxed in their midst remaining with the wild group when the rest of the orphan herd returned to the browsing fields. Sagala ignored the Keeper’s calls to rejoin the orphans and followed a wild elephant cow. Nelion could see that the Keepers were having problems with Sagala and came to help by pushing Sagala’s bottom until she became separated from the wild herd and had no choice but to follow him back to the Keepers.
In the evening Ngilai enjoyed a play fighting game with Emoli which Murit wanted to join but instead of interrupting their game he came and encouraged Emoli by stroking Emoli’s back with his trunk.
Early Monday morning the orphans began their routine with the milk and supplement feeding after which Mashariki enjoyed a mud bath at the small stockade waterhole while Nelion scratched his belly against a rock and after Naipoki did the same. Lasayen engaged Ngilai in a pushing game until Ndotto came and interrupted them bringing an end to their fun.
Ndoria left for the browsing fields before the others, not caring if they followed or not. Tagwa, Emoli and Sagala later led the rest of the group out to catch up with Ndoria at the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon. After the noon milk feed the orphans ran to the waterhole for a drink of water from the trough. A wild herd was already there drinking and nearly ran off when they saw the orphans charging towards them. As it was a cold day none of the orphans wanted to bathe and Ndotto was the only one seen entering the water.
The afternoon was spent browsing with Tagwa enjoying the lead when the orphans returned to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a bright and beautiful morning, as Tahri and Emoli ran out of their stockades for their morning milk bottle. Godoma came running in behind them and headed straight to the Keeper who was holding her milk bottle. The milk dependent orphans downed their bottles then joined their older friends at the pellet feeding area.
Kenia took Tahri for a dust bath near one of the stockade terraces while Mashariki climbed the stockade terrace to get to the top of it. Embu and Rorogoi were busy scratching against a tree while Arruba was busy browsing from an acacia tree by the stockade fence line. Nelion engaged Panda in a strength testing game and the two locked tusks for a while after which the orphans headed out, with Mbegu taking the lead under Kenia’s watchful eyes.
It was an early morning for the orphans who came running out of the stockades full of excitement and ready to begin the day. After the milk feed the orphans mingled around the stockade compound enjoying the Lucerne pellets. Lentili was seen with Bada and then Lentili before joining Tahri and Araba for some pellets.
Mbegu took the lead of the group to the browsing grounds where they fed until noon at which time they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they joined a wild herd. Mbegu was brave enough to push through the wild group in an effort to interact with a young calf and remained with the wild herd watching the calf as it slept. She later rejoined the orphan herd who had returned to the browsing fields and the afternoon was spent feeding peacefully, a little north of the waterhole.
Ndoria and Mbirikani who have taken to spending the night out of the stockades browsing nearby were the first to arrive at the stockade compound and join the dependent orphans for the supplement feeding. A big troop of baboons were also present trying to steal dairy cubes that had been put out for the orphans but were prevented from doing so by the Keepers.
Mbegu and Lentili took the lead role to the browsing fields and the group settled to feed on the northern foot of Msinga Hill. As the group made their way to the baobab tree water hole, Ngilai, Mbegu and Godoma lay down on some sand dunes to play before rejoining their friends for a mud bath.
At the waterhole the orphans joined a wild herd and the two elephant herds shared a drink at the water trough. Nelion was quick to engage a wild friend in a strength testing game while Mbegu was busy keeping Emoli to herself and shielding him from the wild herd, not wanting him to interact with them. Ndoria hid behind the baobab tree trying to see how she could manage to steal a small calf away from the wild herd to play with, but she had to abort her attempts when the calf’s sisters charged at her, chasing the entire orphan herd away in the process. The afternoon browsing session took place in the browsing fields to the north of the water hole.
It was a cold start to the day as the orphans came out to have their milk. Ngilai and Murit decided to wrestle to warm themselves up, but later Godoma intervened and spoiled the fun between the two. Sagala then led the way towards the bush, with Emoli and Tagwa following up close behind.
The orphans spread out grabbing as much vegetation as they could as the area is so dry at the moment.
They browsed their way along to arrive at the beautiful baobab tree water hole that afternoon, where they had their noon milk bottles. There was a wonderful interaction between them and a herd of wild elephants who were there to drink water. Nelion had the chance to play fight with a wild elephant friend much older than him, but he was eventually pushed into a kneeling position when the going got too tough and his older play mate overpowered him. Another big wild elephant friend took on Mbirikani in a tough head-on wrestling match. Kenia and Tahri then came in to try and help Mbirikani, but instead the wild elephant gave up her game and decided to rest her trunk softly on Tahri’s back instead, to reassure her all was well, and she was not going to hurt her friend. The rest of the browsing day carried on close to that waterhole.
The milk dependent orphans started their day in a high gear today, running for their milk bottles and gulping them down before joining their older friends for the supplement feeding. After feeding, Mudanda decided to take up an early position on the piles of red earth to have a dust bath. Lentili decided to sort her itchy neck by scratching it up against the big rock close to the stockade water trough. Nelion made some play fighting advances towards Tundani who seem less interested, and proceeded to join in his friends for the beginning of the walk towards the bush.
The stockade dependent orphans settled in single file to browse, with Mbegu attaching herself more to the little Emoli to browse. Her best friend Godoma had to accommodate Emoli as well to respect Mbegu’s wishes. The orphans approached the water hole in groups of five to enjoy their afternoon milk bottle near there. A wild elephant herd came to drink water when the orphans were leaving, but Murit and Sagala went ahead to greet them briefly before joining their friends for the rest of the day to browse.
As soon after the stockade gates were flung open this morning, Sagala, Godoma and Tahri came out in a rush. Sagala, Mbegu and Murit came running over but seemed uninterested in the milk bottles, passing them by and running to join their older friends for the fresh Lucerne grass pellet and the dairy cubes. The rest of the milk dependent friends assembled to grab their milk bottles and gulp them down. Godoma, Ngilai and Tagwa were the lucky beneficiaries of the left over milk and were delighted they got an extra bottle.
There was not much playing in the stockade compound after milk and the supplement feeding, with Ndoria leading the way out towards the bush closely followed by Sagala, Tagwa and Emoli.
The area is indeed terribly dry and some more fresh and green Lucerne grass was supplied to the orphans close to the water hole that afternoon as well. The orphans could not believe the arrangement and apparent afternoon party before them, with Arruba, Ndotto, Lasayen and Embu picking up their bunches of Lucerne grass and running off to feast on them away from their friends all crowded together.
It was early morning and the stockade dependent orphans came out of their stockades to run and feed on the food supplements and gulp down their bottles too. Bada sat comfortably on the big rock close to the stockade water trough, sorting out his itchy bottom while feeding on the pellets at the same time. Bada then took off after feeding to the next favourite rubbing rock, this time sorting out his itchy neck. Ishaq-B sat and rolled on the red earth piles while Panda and Ndotto watched her play in great amazement. Ngilai took on little Emoli in a play fighting game a few minutes before starting off towards the bush. Arruba jealously pushed Embu away from Kenia in the pellet feeding area, but the co-matriarch Ndii rumbled she was not happy about it.
The orphans then left the stockade to walk towards the bush to browse, walking under the leadership of Lentili. At midday, the orphans gathered for their afternoon milk bottle in groups of five. When leaving the water hole to begin the second phase of browsing during their day, a small wild elephant herd visited the water hole to drink. Arruba and Suswa went back to salute them from the opposite side of the water hole as they were still busy drinking water, before leaving to catch up with their friends again.
It was a bright Monday morning and the stockade dependent orphan elephants were all very excited to feed on the Lucerne pellets and dairy cubes after milk feeding. Ngilai seems to have developed a soft spot for Emoli and went straight to take him for some lessons and tips on how to perfect a play fighting game. After a short period of pushing and shoving, Emoli saw Tahri lying and rolling on the red earth piles and ended his game with Ngilai to go and climb on Tahri’s stomach. It seemed he wanted to bring an end to her happy rolling game to enjoy climbing on her. Lasayen played a wonderful play fighting game with Murit and later went to the favourite rock to rub his body. Godoma became impatient while noticing Lasayen was taking a very long time and went to forcefully evict him from the scratching rock by engaging him head on. While they were fighting, Ishaq-B came over and took up position on the rock herself, meaning the two babies missed out in the end because of their quarreling.
The orphan elephants then left for the bush under the careful leadership of Mbegu and Lentili.
They arrived later at the baobab tree water hole to gulp down their milk bottles and later moved to drink water. A wild elephant herd that was approaching to drink water as well stood one hundred meters away from the water hole for more than twenty minutes, waiting for the orphan elephant to finish their drinking. When all the other orphans left to return browsing, Ndoria remained right beside the water trough until the wild elephant herd arrived to drink water, and after interacting with them for a short while, she left them to rejoin the Voi orphan herd again.
The morning was wonderful with the stockade dependent orphans leaving the stockades to catch up with the first light of day out in the bush. The excitement in their faces could not be hidden as many of them decided to play a game of hide and seek soon after arriving out in the bush. Mashariki then took up the lead to take the orphans up the eastern side of Msinga Hill to browse, but Kenia prefers browsing on the foot of the hill. Embu, Arruba, Nelion, Rorogoi and Bada joined Mashariki, as Suswa was left in between the two groups swinging her leg to and fro in that typical style of indecision in an elephant. She later resorted to following Mashariki as her best friend Arruba had decided to go that way. The two groups linked up together on the way to the water hole that afternoon.
After the afternoon milk feeding the orphans headed to the baobab tree water hole to briefly drink water before settling down for their share of the afternoon fresh Lucerne grass brought in from the stockade. Ngilai went straight to take his now best friend Emoli for a play fighting game.
Soon a wild elephant herd arrived to drink water as the orphan elephants were leaving for their usual browsing session. Sagala turned to follow the wild elephant herd and enjoyed a brief greeting with a small wild elephant calf. The Keepers called her back to join the rest of the Voi herd to browse and after a short time she listened to them and turned to follow her friends.
Soon after the milk and the supplement feeding, it was play time in the stockade compound. Ngilai was sitting on his hind legs in a provocative manner aimed at impressing his new best friend Emoli while engaging him in a play fight. Rorogoi was enjoying a wonderful game going up and down one of the stockade terraces, while Kihari was busy rubbing her big bottom on the same stockade terrace. Nelion was scratching on the small rock in the compound and later went for a soil bath near the piles of earth. He had no spectators to watch out his game but got a boost when two big male baboons came over, sitting in front of him enjoying watching his dust bathing games until the end, when he left to catch up with the other orphans who were heading out to browse.
The orphans had a peaceful morning browsing with Mbegu getting very much attached to Emoli and sticking close to him while he browsed.
After milk feeding and drinking water in the afternoon, the orphans decided against having a swim as it was fairly cold, and they went straight to feed on the Lucerne grass. A baby giraffe approached the orphan elephants and stood close watching them feast on the very green grass. They later left to continue browsing before returning to the stockades for the night.
It was a wonderful beginning of the day with the stockade dependent elephants teaming up in groups of friends to play after the milk and supplement feeding. Most of the stockade dependent orphans went to play on the piles of red earth, tossing huge chunks of the red soil into the air.
Mbegu noticed that the playing was taking too long and blew off a huge trumpet blast, signaling that it was officially time to head out towards the bush for the beginning of a long day of browsing.
The orphans had a calm morning and visited the baobab tree water hole in groups of five to have their milk bottles close to noon. Tagwa, Sagala, Lasayen, Ndotto and Murit lined up around the beautiful baobab tree water trough quenching their thirst. All the stockade dependent orphans gathered close to the baobab tree water hole to drink and later spread out in that area to feed on the fresh Lucerne grass brought together with their afternoon milk bottles from the stockade.
Ndoria, who had spent the night in the wild with Mbirikani, came alone from the north. She must have known what time it was, as first she drank water and later joined her friends to eat Lucerne.
There was not much interaction with the wild elephant herds today as many have changed their drinking routine, coming mostly to drink water at night, as they seem to be walking very far in search of enough food.
After having their bottles this morning the milk-dependent babies went to join Kenia’s herd to feed on the Lucerne grass pellets. One big male baboon came over to look at Panda who was busy feeding, but the baboon had to swallow his hunger as there was no way Panda was going to let him close to her pellets, and he would have to wait until she was done. Murit played it smart this morning and went in a hurry to take his best friend Ngilai for a play fighting game. He didn’t want to waste any time, as Ngilai has been playing with Emoli so much these days, and they have been interacting nearly every morning recently meaning Murit has been missing out. Rorogoi went to lie down and have a brief nap on the red earth piles, not noticing her friends were walking out to the bush and leaving her behind. Embu went over to wake her up by tapping her with her trunk, signaling her that it was time to head off on today’s browsing journey. The orphan’s all had a wonderful time browsing and visited the baobab tree water hole after their noon milk bottles. They decided to have some water and settle for some fresh Lucerne grass without swimming again, before moving on to browse close to the water hole that afternoon.
Plans to move back Tagwa back to the Nairobi nursery after her condition started deteriorating while her right tusk comes out through the wrong place began this morning as the translocation lorry arrived at the Voi Unit at 8am. Tagwa knew there was a journey ahead for her and at first she resisted going into the lorry but after a while of convincing her on board she went on the lorry and departed for the Nairobi Nursery, where we hope that she will feel better as we know she will be well looked after and not have to endure this dry season environment in Tsavo.
The milk dependent orphans gulped down their morning milk bottles as usual and joined their older friends to have the dairy cubes and Lucerne pellets. There was only brief playing where Ngilai went to take his best friend Emoli for a wrestling match before leaving for the bush. Tundani was very busy harvesting some green acacia leaves from a tree along the stockade fence line boundary.
The Voi orphans browsed in single file arriving at the baobab tree water hole after milk feeding close by. After having some water and taking a brief swim, the orphans gathered around to have some Lucerne grass that had already been laid out for them. Kenia put a bunch of Lucerne on her head as a table, walking away with it all the way to the water trough to feast on it there after drinking some water. Murit, Nelion and Araba went to sort out their itching bottoms on the big baobab tree by scratching up there. A wild eland herd approached to drink water and the elephants decided to leave them in peace to enjoy their drink. Kihari rubbed herself against the tree close to the main water hole before joining her friends for the final browsing session of the day.
This morning the orphans had a wonderful and brief playing moment around the stockade compound before proceeding out to browse. The Tsavo area is becoming very dry and the orphan elephants scattered out across the field to try their level best to eat as much browse as possible.
Soon the afternoon hour arrived, with the first five milk feeding babies taking up their positions to run towards the awaiting Keepers for their milk bottles. Emoli, Sagala, Araba, Tahri and Murit were the first. After milk feeding and drinking some water, the orphans went to enjoy their share of the very green and fresh Lucerne grass brought in from the stockade store. Mbirikani, who spent the previous night outside of the stockades, came in to join them as she knew there would be Lucerne there. Mbrikani was very matter of fact and very un-ceremonial in her approach as she came in to join her stockade-dependent friends. Instead of greeting them, she picked up a big bunch of the Lucerne grass and walked off far away under an acacia tree to feast on it herself.
The rest of the browsing day took place close to that water hole.
It was a perfect beginning to the day with the orphan elephants coming out of their stockade with great energy to have their delicious milk bottles and supplement food. Today, Ndotto moved very fast to catch up with Emoli in a play fighting encounter, perhaps to see why Ngilai has been choosing to spend so much time with him! Lasayen enjoyed scratching his bottom on one of the stockade terraces, while Tahri was satisfied having with the famous and favourite rock in the compound. Soon the orphans left the stockade for the browsing grounds under the leadership of Lentili and Mbegu.
Later on, at the water hole after milk feeding, the orphan elephants settled down for their fresh green Lucerne grass feeding. Tundani went ahead and gathered up his big bale of Lucerne grass and carried it over to the water hole where he enjoyed feasting on it after having some water.
The rest of the browsing day took place peacefully on the northern side of the water hole.
Ngilai has become very much in demand between Murit and Emoli both wanting to secure him in play fights in the early morning. Today Murit, Ngilai’s longtime friend, intercepted him as he walked to find Emoli and engaged him in a head on wrestling match. Ngilai looked around for his new little friend, but Murit cornered him and did not give him the chance to escape.
Arruba, Embu and Mashariki were busy lining up along the fence boundary harvesting and feasting on the very green acacia tree branches. Mbegu lay down calmly and closed her eyes enjoying the red earth piles like a tourist on a sunny holiday. In the end it was Lentili who took the lead to encourage the others out to browse for the day.
After milk feeding in the afternoon, the stockade dependent orphans went to drink water from the baobab tree water trough, and later went to feed on the Lucerne grass. Rorogoi reached the grass feeding area first and was followed closely by Bada and Ndotto. There weren’t many activities after the Lucerne feeding and instead the orphans went to seek shelter from the sun under the acacia trees in the area, resuming with their usual browsing an hour later.
This morning Kihari took advantage of her superiority in age among her elephant friends by lying on the top in the middle of the red earth piles, taking up nearly the whole soil bathing area.
Lentili, Mudanda, Godoma, Suswa and Bada were forced to be spectators watching Kihari rolling around enjoying her dusting game. Araba took up an early position on the famous rock to sort out her itchy bottom. Nelion on the other side scratched between two trees, denying Tundani a scratching place. Tundani grew impatient and charged at Nelion, engaging him head on, but later had no time to scratch as when they were done wrestling it was already time to walk out to the bush to browse.
The orphans browsed their way slowly along to arrive at the baobab tree water hole that afternoon after milk feeding. After having some water, the orphans went ahead with their new routine Lucerne grass feeding brought in from the stockade. A wild elephant herd approached to drink water with only Godoma and Murit moving to join them. Mbegu was uncomfortable with members of her herd interacting with the wild herd and bit her trunk in jealousy at seeing her best friend Godoma leaving her behind to join the wild elephant herd. The wild elephant herd later left after drinking water with the orphans.
It was an early start to the day with the stockade dependent orphans gathering around for the Lucerne grass pellet feeding after their milk feeding. One hungry baboon decided to take risk sitting in the centre of the orphan elephants picking up a few pellets and sampling them to see if they were indeed edible in his opinion. The orphans just ignored him and allowed him to try some of the pellets if he wanted, and the baboon soon left voluntarily after finishing his experiment and deciding that he didn’t like the pellets very much after all.
Murit ran fast to catch up with Ngilai for a play fighting game, but Ngilai turned the game on its head and embarrassed Murit by climbing on him while Emoli watched on.
Mudanda went to scratch on the favourite scratching rock to avoid the long queues that were sure to develop. The orphans then left the stockade with Sagala taking the lead but with slightly less confidence that usual, as she was used to having Tagwa by her side.
The rest of the browsing day was peaceful, with a wild elephant herd coming and waiting close to the baobab tree water hole for the orphans to finish drinking and feeding, they later came to drink when the orphans had left the water hole area. Ndoria went off with Mbirikani and did not return to the stockades tonight.
The earliest caller to the stockades this morning was Ndoria, who came alone to the stockades seeking to join the others as they finished feeding. The rest of the Voi dependent orphans were already set off heading towards the browsing grounds, so Ndoria passed by them to walk straight to the stockade water trough to quench her thirst. She was later given her share of Lucerne grass pellets as well as fresh Lucerne grass to feast on.
Mbegu today took charge, leading the orphans out towards the browsing grounds. After milk feeding close to the baobab tree water hole, Mbegu’s herd went to drink water and later settled to have some Lucerne grass that had been brought for them. Soon, two wild elephant herds totaling to over thirsty members arrived to drink water. Kenia, Ishaq-B, Kihari, Naipoki, Panda and Ndii saw them and decided to forego having some water so that they could first enjoy their fresh Lucerne grass before the wild herds joined them. Two wild elephant cows came straight to join the orphans feeding on some Lucerne. Sagala and Ndotto attempted to join in with the wild herds but were driven off by a huge commotion between teo females from each herd.
For the rest of the day the orphans browsed on the eastern side of Msinga Hill with Mbirikani not turning up for this browsing day.