Intermittent rain showers fell during the month bringing pleasant relief for the orphans after a very long and hot dry season when natural browse was short in the Southern section of the Park. In all it has been a very happy month for the Voi orphans, Lesanju, as the Junior Matriarch, extremely caring of weakling Dida, as is Kenia. Both females constantly watch over her and ensure that she is not hassled by the Junior boys. Wasessa’s passion and protection of Tassia continues, quick to come to his aid whenever he bellows for help during the mudbath. Siria, Taveta, and Mzima are regular sparring partners, Siria the Senior boy in the Keeper Dependent group usually the victor. This month Dida has been going into the noon mudbath more frequently, which might indicate that she is feeling a little stronger, but she definitely has a chronic condition, probably related to a heart defect, since similar symptoms have been observed in others where an eventual post-mortem after death has verified such a problem.
The Juniors have had a lot of interaction with the Ex Orphan Seniors during the month. Both groups led by Emily and Edie plus a wild friend have joined the Juniors on several occasions; at the mudbath on the 5th when Ndara engaged Siria in a Pushing Match after which he attempted to take on little Eve (Emily’s calf) instantly blocked by Sweet Sally, Eve’s Nannie. Siria joined the Seniors when they separated and spent a night out with them, but was at the Stockades early the next morning to rejoin his Junior peers. The Juniors spent an hour with the Ex Orphans at 10 a.m. on he 9th, when Emsaya played with Kivuko, surprising the Keepers, since up until recently Kivuko has not been either strong, nor happy enough to indulge in play, so this was a very good sign of recovery. Kivuko, who came directly to the Voi Stockades after being rescued (as did Emsaya) was in a pitiful state of malnutrition and milk deprivation upon arrival, despite being aged two years old, her weakened state exacerbated by prolonged grieving for her loved ones. It is good to see her coming back to life again by choosing to play.
The combined Ex Orphan groups of Emily and Edie returned to the Stockades with their wild friend again on sixteenth and again spent time with the Juniors out in the bush the next day, when they joined the Youngsters at l0 a.m. when Icholta tried to hijack both Emsaya and Kivuko, who bellowed for help! The Keepers intervened to bring them both back to the Junior group. Obviously the thought of being “wild” and without milk again did not meet with their approval! The Ex Orphans came again to the Stockades on the 20th, but on this occasion missed fraternizing with the Juniors who had already left for the field. All looked in fine fettle, little Eve and Ella both growing apace.
Numbers at the Voi Stockades were swelled to 17 by the arrival of Dabassa, Rombo and Layoni on the 28th, who, as usual, were greeted very warmly by the Juniors, especially Lesanju, Sinya, Kenia, Lempaute and Wasessa. They will prove worthy sparring partners for the Junior boys and especially Siria, who up until now has not had tough competition from his Junior peers.
Others:- Ex orphan Kudus, Mkuki and Aruba paid a visit to the Stockade compound on the 14th, Aruba very obviously heavily pregnant to the delight of the Keepers.