Keepers' Diaries, August 2020

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Nairobi Nursery Unit

Olorien and Ziwadi make for a very sweet pair. Olorien seems to thoroughly enjoy spending time with Ziwadi and she can often be seen looking for her friend when they are leaving the stockade compound, or out and about in the forest. Ziwadi has a very calm temperament and Olorien enjoys that, as she can be quite shy around the more energetic orphans. Larro enjoys looking after both Olorien and Ziwadi too; perhaps because she sleeps in between the two youngsters she has developed a special attachment to them both, and she often accompanies them to browse nowadays. Nabulu has a special soft spot for Olorien too, and is especially protective of the little girl when she napping; this is when Nabulu is sure to stay close to her, keeping her safe from roughhousing bulls.

Maisha still has her hands full with Roho and Naleku, who act like quarrelsome siblings, and she constantly has to come and stand between them and their little quarrels, quite literally most of the time! Naleku is very independent and will stand up for herself if need be, despite being a little younger than Roho. Roho on the other hand, takes full advantage of all the attention he can get from the older females and he seems to know exactly what to do to get it, even if it means disturbing little Naleku and Olorien. He knows that he just needs to rumble his complaints and the older girls like Maisha, Nabulu and Kiasa will come running to his side. They won’t discipline Naleku but they will come between the two youngsters to put an end to the squabble. 

Naboishu still remains the noisiest out of the orphans when it is milk feeding time. Throughout the day, he is exceptionally loud for each of his milk feeds. As soon as he hears the Keepers radios going, he starts to rumble and trumpet, as if to let his Keepers know he is ready to run down for his milk. As soon as Naboishu is given the okay, he is off in a flat sprint and the other orphans, including Mukkoka who used to be the fastest, don’t always manage to keep up with him. His Keepers always brace themselves as it always seems like Naboishu won’t be able to stop in time! You can often see them backing up to give Naboishu that space to stop. 

Maktao is like a gentle uncle to the younger orphans and he never pushes them around. Roho, Naleku, Ziwadi and Olorien all enjoy spending time with him, whereas they can be cautious around Kiombo and Naboishu. Kiombo and Maktao are close friends, being bulls around a similar age who are also neighbours at night. They are both calm bulls and they are often seen browsing together throughout the day, if they are not wrestling one another! Kiombo has a close relationship with Nabulu too, one he established when he first arrived in the Nursery, and he can sometimes be seen browsing near her too. 

As we have mentioned before, Kiasa is our little mischief-maker around milk feeding times, but she isn’t always naughty and she does enjoy having some innocent fun with her Nursery friends. She is in fact, a very caring young girl, and will wait for any of the younger babies if they are lagging behind. Olorien has developed a similar affection for her delicious milk bottles, but she hasn’t yet developed Kiasa’s wickedness. Sometimes she might ask the Keepers for more milk, but she isn’t pushy or demanding. One morning when she came out of her stable having finished her first morning milk bottle, as the others were already on their way out to the forest for the day, Olorien had other ideas; she headed straight down to the milk mixing area where she appeared to be greedily asking her Keepers for more milk! As it was not yet time for her next bottle, the Keepers quickly ushered her back to the rest of the Nursery orphans. Ziwadi on the other hand loves her greens so much, that she sometimes doesn’t even notice that it’s time for the next milk feed! Although she enjoys her milk bottles, she doesn’t have the same ‘milk clock’ that the others seem to have. Sometimes the Keepers can see her off in the distance happily browsing and flicking her tail about, completely unaware that all the others have gathered together for their next milk bottles. One of the Keepers will always walk over and call her to come and get her fair share.

Maxwell has loved his mud baths recently, covering his entire body in mud before continuing to browse. Like the elephants, the mud is important for his skin to protect him from the sun and from any biting insects – plus he just loves to roll! Maxwell is looking so good at the moment and has been the picture of contentment – lying sprawled in the sun soaking up the morning rays next to his dusting pile. On colder mornings he can be found nicely tucked up on his bed of hay in his covered and cosy bedroom, waiting for the sun to come out. He enjoyed quite a few interactions with the elephant orphans this month too, walking over to his gate to greet them in the early morning as they come out of their night stockades. The elephant babies enjoy patting him with their trunks, before walking off into the forest to enjoy their day of browsing, as Maxwell trots up to enjoy his freshly laid lucerne pellets. At night there is much going on in the forest around Maxwell, lots of noises that we can’t see but of course Maxwell with his acute sense of smell will know exactly what is going on. Wild rhinos frequent the area in the cover of darkness, as do loitering hippos from nearby dams, venturing further afield for fresh grass to graze by night.  

August 2020 day to day

01 Aug

Kiasa is not always mischievous and she often does enjoy having some innocent fun with her Nursery friends. This morning, as Maktao and Larro were finishing their 9am bottles of milk, Kiasa decided to start a wrestling game with Mukkoka. They could be seen chasing each other around the milk feeding area and pushing one another, emitting low rumbles. As all the orphans finished their milk the Keepers began calling them back to the forest, and this meant that Kiasa’s game with Mukkoka didn’t carry on for much longer as they both began to follow the Keepers. 

Despite their game ending, Kiasa was still full of energy and was charging all about the forest in excitement. Eventually she settled and the orphans had a lovely calm day browsing in the forest. 

Kiasa having a small dust bath

Maktao and Mukkoka wrestling

Larro enjoying her milk