Ziwa gave us a good scare this month when he went missing after a dramatic thunderous rainstorm. He took off deep into the Park and despite a desperate search was not found and he spent the night out. No one slept a wink with lions and hyaena calling throughout the night we feared terribly for his life. Thankfully that drama ended well and he was located early the next day.
This month we have watched in awe and wonder as our little tiny babies like Ndotto and Lasayen have turned the corner and really begun to thrive. We have been able to enjoy our recently rescued Roi’s progress as she has found true happiness once again. Little Mbegu despite her desperate beginning, coming to us with multiple spear wounds, is now turning into a nurturing mini Mum despite being a baby herself, giving generously of her time and love to those even younger than herself. This has all been the balm for the hard times we have encountered this month, and there have been sadly too many.
Little Nkii died on the 6th of December which left us all heartbroken. Coming to us in such a weakened state left us with little reserves to handle the teething decline and we lost the battle. Then to our horror and total surprise we lost our beloved giraffe who had become such an attraction and joy for our visiting foster parents. Kili on the 10th of December died. This blindsided us all and we are left with the constant reminder, Kili’s beautiful sky rise stable that we had custom built for him. Thankfully his ostrich friends Pea and Pod who are growing apace are occupying that now having outgrown their ‘night time box’.
On the 23rd of December we received another tiny calf from Mount Kenya who had been rescued by the Kenya Wildlife Service the day before. Chehe came to us in a very stressed state, with a terrible stomach. We cannot be sure what she was fed before coming into our care, but we began on the back foot with her stomach in a terrible state. She also came with a raging bacterial infection the blood diagnostics revealed. Something we never managed to get topsides of. Chehe was with us a few short days as we struggled to do our best and died on the 28th.
Despite our sense of failure loosing these precious little lives we are forced to focus on our many successes. Our Nursery group now consists of Jasiri, Faraja, two albino boys, poaching victims rescued from Amboseli. Ziwa rescued from Amboseli and naughty boy Kithaka who came to us as a tiny infant just days old, who is now a larger than life personality. Barsilinga, his best friend, who was rescued as a tiny calf from the side of his poached dying mother by the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Northern Kenya. Barsilinga has left behind his infant days and is now a boisterous young bull, but thankfully better behaved than his dear friend Kithaka. Nelion and Sirimon who came in having been rescued from the forests of Mount Kenya, and Embu who came from there as well, totally emaciated, how long she had struggled without her mother no one knows. Little Sokotei's story captivated so many around the world, and he was rescued when his famous mother died from natural causes in Samburu. Dupotto, a tiny calf who came into our care from the Masai Mara, extremely disturbed in the beginning exhibiting disruptive behavior. It took the love of Embu to turn her around. Now she is a totally delightful, normal, loving and happy little calf. Murit, a well victim from Northern Kenya struggled, teetering on the brink of life and death for so many weeks, but he is now gaining strength and really beginning to play which is always an excellent sign. Kamok and her best friend Ashaka, both coming to the Nursery as tiny infants, Kamok just hours after she was born, are now nurturing little mini Mums themselves, always happy to impart love and comfort to the younger babies in our care. Oltaiyoni rescued from Tsavo has turned the page and is always quick to adopt the babies, with Mbegu being her special favorite calf. Rorogoi, Arruba, Mashariki, Suswa and Lentili, our older girls have each had a dramatic beginning, but now that is hard to remember as one celebrates with them their joy for life. Enkikwe, Olsekki and Roi like Dupotto are rescued from the Mara and are happily settled, despite witnessing the loss of their mothers. Kauro came to us as a new born calf, a well victim from Northern Kenya, and Lemoyian rescued as a tiny calf, a well victim as well but this time from Amboseli, both are thriving having got through the vulnerable infant phase. And finally polite boys Tundani and Balguda from Tsavo whose gentle ways we hope will rub off on the new crop of little bulls, baby Ndotto and Lemoyian who both came to us as newborns.
All the stories from the month of December and details about individual orphans are told accompanied by photographs from the month in the Keepers Diaries daily entries.