Keepers' Diaries, December 2009

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Ithumba Reintegration Unit

Last months excitement over the young new arrivals, Meibai, Naimina, and Enasoit is still at a high. The ex-orphans have been regularly visiting the youngsters to see the new babies. Enasoit is every female’s favourite baby; he is constantly guarded and looked after. Loijuk, Yatta, and Nasalot have particularly fallen in love with him. They often spend time browsing together and enjoying the mudbath as one large herd. On many occasions the ex orphans not only were there to greet the youngsters as they exited the stockades but also to accompany them back in the evenings.

Last months excitement over the young new arrivals, Meibai, Naimina, and Enasoit is still at a high. The ex-orphans have been regularly visiting the youngsters to see the new babies. Enasoit is every female’s favourite baby; he is constantly guarded and looked after. Loijuk, Yatta, and Nasalot have particularly fallen in love with him. They often spend time browsing together and enjoying the mudbath as one large herd. On many occasions the ex orphans not only were there to greet the youngsters as they exited the stockades but also to accompany them back in the evenings.

Ol Malo is showing improvement, she has taken to sleeping in the stockades with the 3 new babies. On several occasions she left for the night with Yatta who has been looking after her with great care, returning her to the Junior Group whenever she wanted.

The Rainstorms have carried on this month which has transformed Ithumba from a drought stricken scrubland to a beautiful green flourishing land. The vegetation has started to recover and the orphans are relishing this. There is so much greenery around that they do not need to go far in search of browse, they often start feeding right near the stockade compounds as they make their way further a field and towards the mudbath. The orphans have been having a glorious time slipping and sliding in the mud and enjoying mudbaths found along the way. Due to the availability of food and water wildlife has spread out and as such the stockade water troughs have not had many wild elephant visitors. Towards the end of the month Rafiki, accompanied by the ex orphans paid a visit to the stockades which was a welcome surprise as he had been gone for a long time. Both Keepers and orphans were happy to see he was ok and the youngsters were in awe of him while Yatta and Nasalot were delighted to have him back amongst their group for a couple of days.

This month has seen a few changes in the ex orphan groups. Wendi spent a lot of the month with Yatta’s group leaving Galana in charge while Napasha and Rapsu have moved to Wendi’s. Kamboyo left with Wendi’s group on the 5th and it seems he has found a place among them. He is very happy to now be counted amongst the wild orphans and has not shown any signs of wanting to rejoin the junior group. On one occasion he came to the stockades with Wendi’s group and showed off his strength testing skills by playing with Taita & Rapsu outside the stockades before leaving with the rest of the group. Kenze has also taken to spending the odd night with the older orphans but chooses to return to his younger friends to whom he still has strong ties.

On the 30th on the way back to the stockades, Sidai, Naserian, Meibai, and Zurura mischievously evaded the Keepers. Loijuk was left to take the rest of the group to the stockades whilst the Keepers went in search of the escapees, returning with them about ten minutes later. Lately due to the abundance of vegetation the older orphans in Naserian’s group are showing less interest in returning to the stockades wanting to remain out. However as Meibai and Naimina who are attached to Naserian are still too young to remain outside the safety of the stockade the Keepers have to do their best to persuade them to stick to the routine.

December 2009 day to day

01 Dec

Wendi’s group came early in the morning to await the young orphans. As the stockade gates opened the orphans headed straight for the water trough to quench their thirst before leaving with the older ones. As the whole group shifted off into the bush Ndomot & Tomboi got left behind playing a strength testing game, they soon realized they were on their own and ditched the game to catch up with the others. Enasoit is everyone’s favourite baby; Loijuk, Chyulu, Lenana, Sidai, & Naserian kept a constant watchful eye on him. After the noon mudbath the Orphans spent the afternoon on the slope of Ithumba Hill. In the evening Yatta’s group showed up at the stockades and left shortly after arrival.

Ndomot

Tomboi

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