Keepers' Diaries, December 1999
Voi Reintegration Unit
Stories of Uaso, Lewa, Edo, Malaika, Aitong, Mweiga, and more..
01 December 1999
It rained heavily at the beginning of the month, an event that was greeted with immense excitement by all the orphans. Malaika’s group met up with a wild group after the mudbath on the lst and again on the 2nd, spending about l hour with them.
02 December 1999
On the 2nd, EDO turned up at the Stockades at 3 a.m. and spent all day with Malaika and her group. We began the weaning off milk of UASO and LEWA . All the orphans are enjoying the new greens very much indeed, especially little Mweiga.
03 December 1999
Edo again spent all day with Malaika on the 3rd, and at mudbath they were joined by Emily’s group.
06 December 1999
On the 6th Malaika was joined by a wild bull the size of Dika at 7 a.m. He spent the morning with them, and was also with them at the mudbath. In the afternoon Malaika’s group and the Bull joined a wild herd, and did not return to the Stockades.. The next day we found Malaika near the Airfield.
07 December 1999
On the 7th Emily and her group grazed within the perimeter fence . Aitong was very friendly towards Mweiga but did not want her to lie down and sleep. Every time Mweiga tried to sleep, Aitong woke her up!
08 December 1999
On the 8th Malaika and Emily and their respective orphans spent the day together and met up with a wild group, spending 30 minutes with them.
10 December 1999
On the 9th, and l0th Malaiaka and Emily again spent all day together. Mweiga was very excited to be with Lewa, especially during the mudbath. Edo arrived to join them just before 4 p.m. on the l0th, and received a huge welcome from Malaika who was overjoyed to see him. The two groups were together again on the 11th ,12th and 13th, but had no contact with any wild elephants. Mweiga is very excited to be with Uaso and Lewa.
14 December 1999
On the 14th, both groups were grazing behind the hill when they were joined by a wild bull, who came to the mudbath with them.
15 December 1999
On the 15th, although both groups left the Stockade together, Emily wanted to stay apart from Malaika, although within sight. That day they all went to a new mudbath, which they enjoyed very much, and which they were eager to go to again the next day (16th
19 December 1999
On the 17th and 18th both the orphan groups spent the day together, but on the 19th, again Emily wanted to be slightly separated.
20 December 1999
On 20th, all the orphans left the Stockades together, but at 10 a.m. Emily escorted Mweiga back for a bottle of milk.
21 December 1999
On 21st December, Malaika left her orphans with Emily and went off with a wild herd. She did not return in the evening, and Lewa was very upset, continually trying to break out of the Stockade.
23 December 1999
Malaika was away on the 22nd and 23rd as well, and we had to leave Lewa and Uaso outside the stockade because Lewa kept wanting to break out.
24 December 1999
Christmas Eve. Mweiga had an upset tummy today, so we gave her rehydration. After mudbath 5 Buffaloes turned up, and Emily and Imenti yelled at them and chased them away. In the evening Emily and Imenti had fun playing together, and Uaso and Lewa played together. Mweiga stayed very close to Aitong. By the evening her diarrheoa was better.
25 December 1999
On Christmas Day Malaika returned at 3 a.m. in the morning with Edo. Lewa was overjoyed. Both groups left the Stockades together at 6 a.m., but at l0 a.m. Emily escorted Mweiga back for her bottle of milk. Today’s mudbath was a particularly happy time, with Lewa playing with Mweiga and then Uaso. Edo played with Malaika and then had a chasing game with Uaso whilst Mweiga rushed round and round a tree with her ears out! All day Lewa was glued to Malaika and would not let her out of his sight.
26 December 1999
On 26th, both groups left the Stockades together again, and again Emily brought Mweiga back at 10 a.m. for her bottle. Today they spent 45 minutes in the mudbath and Imenti chased away 2 buffaloes who also turned up. Uaso was disciplined by Malaika for shouting at her whilst she was urinating.
27 December 1999
On the 27th Edo joined the orphans. Both groups headed for the mudbath at 11.30 a.m. Malaika and Edo lay down under the water, whilst Imenti and Uaso played together and Lewa turned upside down in the pool. Back at the Stockades in the evening, Malaika tusked Aitong for being in the wrong section, piercing her ear.
28 December 1999
On 28th Edo was at the Stockade to escort the orphans out, but Emily, Aitong and Mweiga did not want to join Malaika, Edo, Uaso and Lewa and Imenti was some distance away on his own away from the others. We dressed the wound in Aitong’s ear.
29 December 1999
On the 29th both groups left together with Edo in tow. Malaika and her group went ahead, but Emily’s group took their time, going to the mudwallow before Malaika who came later with her group. Malaika greeted Emily warmly, but Aitong was aloof. Imenti and Uaso had a good time playing together.
30 December 1999
Again on the 30th both groups left together, but Malaika headed towards the Airstrip where she found Edo. Only Emily’s group were at the mudwallow. On the way back they met the others and Imentii and Uaso spent a long time chasing each other around playfully. Malaika and Edo did not return to the Stockades, and Lewa insisted on spending the night outside, and was very restless all night.
31 December 1999
On the morning of the 31st Emily took her group plus Uaso and Lewa out, in the absence of Malaika. That night Lewa was very disturbed, bellowing loudly, because Malaika was absent.