Keepers' Diaries, December 2016
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
The big news this month occurred towards the end when six of the Nursery Orphans joined the herd at the Relocation Stockades at Ithumba. Rain over the past month was sufficient to replenish the vegetation of the dry season so with adequate browse available, it was a good time for the babies to move to Ithumba. Although they will remain milk and Keeper dependent for a long time still – (probably another five years) before gaining the confidence to venture further afield with their Ex Orphan friends. However, interaction with the older elephants and their wild friends, coupled with the fact that Tsavo provides ideal elephant habitat, made this the right transition for the babies from the Nursery. On the 28th Kamok, Roi and Oltaiyoni arrived at the Ithumba Stockades at 10.30 in the morning after a successful trip down in the Relocation truck. By that time the ambient temperature was rising, promising a hot day ahead, presenting quite a shock for the newcomers from the cooler climes of the Nairobi Nursery! They were soon joined by old friends from the Nursery, namely Olsekki, Enkikwe, Siangiki, Boromoko, Sokotei, and Sirimon along with Kithaka, Barsilinga and Lemoiyan. Slowly, in batches of three, all the Ithumba dependent orphans were called in to join them. With ears flapping incessantly it was evident that the warmer temperature at Ithumba was being felt, as the newcomers splashed water between their legs and over their heads to cool their ears. However, it was not long before they began to feast on all the shrubs, bushes, and fresh grass, all of which was abundant at this time of year.
01 December 2016
It was wet in the morning following a heavy downpour we received overnight. As usual the orphans briefly settled for lucerne before Laragai led the way to the browsing field. Sokotei settled to browse with Bongo while Bomani settled to feed with Laragai. The rest of the morning was quiet as the orphans browsed calmly without any major disturbances.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Yatta and Mulika’s groups. Lualeni tried to snatch a bottle of milk but was stopped by the keepers. Yatta extended her trunk and greeted Garzi, Bomani, Boromoko and Orwa. Soon after drinking their milk, Narok and Laragai went to babysit Gawa but gave up when Meibai and Yetu came over and tried to push them away. Half an hour later, the Ex Orphans parted ways with the juniors. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to feed in the Kanziku area where from time to time the group participated in mud wallowing in small water holes.
02 December 2016
Narok was the first one to leave the stockades followed by Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon. Narok then walked straight to the lucerne area where she was joined by the rest of the group. Sokotei started his day’s activities by scratching on a nearby rock and awhile later was pushed away by Bomani. Soon after the orphans were through with the lucerne, Siangiki led the way to the water trough where the orphans had some water before leaving for browsing.
Out in the Park, Orwa joined Barsilinga to browse and shortly later both of them walked to a nearby rock that they used to scratch themselves on. Kithaka and Lemoyian spent some time in a strength testing exercise as Bomani attempted to climb on Olsekki. Orwa quit the scratching exercise so as to play with Bongo, a game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time the weather changed abruptly and it started raining, but only for a few minutes, then the rain stopped and the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. Orwa played Kithaka and after a short while, Kithaka surrendered and went to play Lemoyian. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kalovoto area where Vuria, Bongo and Orwa decided to wallow in a small mud puddle. Enkikwe browsed close to Teleki as Bomani browsed with Makireti, who had joined the group with Kasigau and Kilabasi.
03 December 2016
Siangiki was the first one to leave the stockades followed by Enkikwe as the rest of the group streamed in behind them. Once the orphans were out, Garzi settled close to a nearby tree so as to scratch his neck. Kithaka and Lemoyian started their day by engaging each other in a strength testing exercise. Sokotei settled to scratch on some nearby rocks. Soon after the orphans had lucerne, Narok led the way to the browsing field. Out in the Park, Bomani, Narok and Lemoyian settled to feed together while Enkikwe, Olsekki and Siangiki, who are great friends since their time at the nursery, teamed up together to browse. Shortly before eleven o'clock in the morning, Kithaka led the way to the mud bath.
The weather wasn't appealing for the orphans to participate in wallowing at the main waterhole but they opted to use a small water hole a short distance away. Bongo, Orwa, Garzi, Kithaka and Shukuru had a prolonged mud bathing session and when they felt that they had enough, then they quit and went to join their friends who by now had moved deeper into the bush.
In the evening the sky opened up and gave way to rain. The orphans stopped their browsing activity to roll on the ground as the rain poured. At the end of the show, they all looked like anthills after smearing themselves with red mud. Late in the evening, a small group of the Ex Orphans led by a wild female made a brief visit to the stockade. The group consisted of Galana and her baby Gawa, Wendi and Wiva, Loijuk, Lenana, Lualeni, Kenze, Makena, Sidai, Chyulu, Ololoo, Taita and Tomboi. Ololoo walked over to the gate of the stockades and had a brief chat with Orwa, Teleki, Vuria, Bongo and Bomani.
04 December 2016
Vuria and Bongo while still in the stockade this morning, kept themselves busy by engaging each other in a pushing game as they waited for their morning milk. When the orphans were let out, Lemoyian played with Boromoko while Orwa played with Narok and Olsekki with Bomani.
When they went out to browse Sokotei settled to feed with Kithaka while Boromoko fed with Barsilinga. Later Laragai led the way to the Kanziku area where the group settled to browse calmly up to eleven o'clock in the morning, when Boromoko led the first group to the mud bath. Soon after the babies had their milk, Siangiki led the way back to the browsing field. The orphans briefly browsed as they headed towards the Ithumba Hill, but changed direction and headed towards the Kanziku area. Kithaka and Lemoyian spent some time pushing one another until Lemoyian surrendered, thus bringing the game to an end. Olsekki and Sokotei had a game of wet soil bathing that went on for quite some time before they resumed browsing.
05 December 2016
The sky was clear and it appeared that the rain had stopped for a while. Sokotei was the first one to leave the stockades. Once all the orphans were out, Boromoko and Garzi briefly engaged each other in a strength testing exercise that saw Boromoko lose to Garzi. Lemoyian walked to the nearby rocks and spent some time scratching his buttocks. Kithaka walked over to Boromoko and used him as a scratching post. Laragai led the way to the browsing field.
Soon after arriving out in the Park, Boromoko knelt down and dug soil using his tusks that he used to dust himself with. Orwa and Barsilinga locked their trunks in a mission to find out who is stronger than the other. When the going got tough though, Barsilinga surrendered. At around nine o'clock in the morning the Ex Orphans passed by the stockade as they headed to Kalovoto.
At mud bath time, the orphans only drank milk then returned back to the browsing field. Vuria and Barsilinga had a game of rolling on the ground and later Barsilinga stood up and started scratching on Vuria. In the evening the orphans came across a small pool of water that they had a mud bath in and later Orwa and Bongo enjoyed a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw.
06 December 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade Olsekki and Sokotei greeted each other in the form of a pushing game. Lemoyian was not left out either but walked towards Bomani where they staged their own strength testing game. It didn't last for long but ended soon when Lemoyian surrendered. Bomani then walked to play with Kithaka as Shukuru pushed Orwa from behind so he would move off a piece of lucerne she was interested in eating. Bongo came close to Shukuru and they shared the lucerne without any bad blood between them.
Laragai led the way to the browsing field where the orphans concentrated on browsing with Shukuru and Siangiki occasionally taking a break from feeding to enjoy scratching against the trees. Vuria and Garzi settled to browse together and later Bongo came across a small pool of water that he used to splash himself with. Shortly after mud bath time, Orwa took advantage of climbing on Narok who had lay down to play. In the afternoon, Lemoyian came across another pool of water that he used to cool himself in by playing in it and splashing water behind his ears. Orwa and Vuria took a break from feeding and both of them spent some time rolling on the ground. When they felt they had done enough rolling, Orwa and Vuria resumed browsing.
07 December 2016
The Ex Orphans briefly joined the orphans in the morning at the stockade compound for lucerne. Narok was attracted by little Gawa’s antics and she went to stand close to her. Gawa extended her trunk towards Narok's mouth so as to get some lucerne and Narok allowed her to do so. Rapsu attempted to climb on Lualeni as Yetu, the five year old daughter of Yatta, enjoyed nursing from her mum. Orwa engaged Ololoo into a pushing game that saw Ololoo obviously emerge as the winner. Half an hour later, the groups parted ways.
Out in the field, Teleki felt that he was very strong when by luck he pulled down a big branch which snapped and fell, producing that crashing sound that always is heard when big elephants break big branches! This made Teleki very proud as he solely feasted on the leaves. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in Kanziku area where Vuria spent time rolling on the ground just for fun. Later in the day the orphans came across a small pool of water that they enjoyed playing in it. Shortly later, Bongo went for a soil dusting exercise and he was joined by Shukuru too.
08 December 2016
Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi arrived at the stockade compound early before dawn. Narok was the first one to leave the stockade and once she was out she exchanged morning greetings with Makireti by entwining her trunk with hers. Lemoyian stood close to Kasigau and extended his trunk to him in what appeared to be a questions and answers session. Olsekki briefly engaged Sokotei in a pushing game and later turned to Bomani. Soon after arriving at the browsing area Orwa engaged Kasigau in a strength testing exercise that went on for quite some time until Orwa surrendered. Garzi engaged Kilabasi into a pushing game but ended up losing to him. Later, Garzi tried his hand with Kasigau but lost miserably. Narok took a break from feeding and engaged Kilabasi in a pushing game as Laragai spent some time soil dusting. Garzi vented his anger of losing on Barsilinga, but Barsilinga put a spirited effort until their pushing ended in a draw. Enkikwe tried to play with Makireti but Makireti obviously proved to be too strong for him. Barsilinga shifted gear and went to attack Vuria as Garzi went for Sokotei. Barsilinga lost to Vuria too, making Vuria feel very proud. Vuria went to challenge Kilabasi while Shukuru soil bathed. At mud bath time, Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi escorted their juniors to have their mid day bottle feeds.
At mud bath, Kithaka made the mistake of standing on the edge of the water hole where soil underneath was loose. The soil underneath collapsed making Kithaka to fall into the mud where he had a sudden and unexpected mud bath. Narok and Kasigau went to console him for what had happened and told him to be careful next time; poor Kithaka as he does not like mud baths very much! Back out browsing, the orphans came across a small pool of stagnant water that they used to have a mud bath. The rest of day was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.
09 December 2016
Mutara, Suguta, Turkwel, Kainuk, Sities and Kanjoro reported to the stockade compound early in the morning. The group of six had been missing in action since the beginning of this month. Mutara entwined her trunk with Sokotei in morning greetings while Kanjoro did the same with Narok. Shortly later Boromoko, Sirimon, Sokotei and Olsekki stood facing Kanjoro in what appeared like an interesting conversation. After their conversation was over, Kanjoro turned to Leave as Boromoko and Sirimon tried to reach Kanjoro's tail probably to find out whether it had grown any longer since he been away. Kanjoro considered this disrespectful and hurried before the boys could catch up with him. As the orphans settled for lucerne, Yatta and Mulika’s groups arrived and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Laragai and Mwende had a misunderstanding that they solved through pushing one another. Narok took over the baby sitting of Gawa and Wiva. Garzi engaged Meibai in a pushing game that was aimed at acquiring knowledge of how to handle his rivals. At the browsing field, Kithaka, Narok and Lemoyian took a break from feeding to participate in a game of rolling on the ground. Barsilinga took advantage of Kithaka lying down and came to scratch his belly on him as Orwa on the other side tried to push Kithaka. Later Barsilinga played with Laragai as Kithaka played with Lemoyian. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kalovoto area up to five o'clock in the evening, when Boromoko led the first group back to the stockade.
10 December 2016
Lemoyian and Bomani started their day by engaging each other in a pushing game. The Ex Orphans reported soon after the orphans settled for their lucerne. Due to the competition from their seniors, the orphans decided to leave for browsing instead. Vuria decided to begin his day activities by rolling on the ground where Barsilinga took advantage of him and came to climb on him. Shukuru was digging soil using her tusks, then using it to dust herself while Orwa was busy in a strength testing exercise with Ishanga. The Ex Orphans followed the orphans to the bush where Narok and Laragai had the opportunity to spend time with Gawa and Wiva. Half an hour later the Ex Orphans parted ways with the juniors only to meet them again at mud bath. Yatta exchanged afternoon greetings with Narok as Teleki tried to challenge Chyulu. Barsilinga engaged Bongo in pushing game that ended in a draw, while Orwa dueled with Ololoo. In the afternoon, the orphans were briefly joined by Mutara and her group. Kanjoro settled to feed with Barsilinga as Lemoyian continuously flapped his ears to cool off. Luckily the weather changed and clouds drew in, eventually giving way to rain; thus bringing the temperature down in the afternoon. In the evening, Kithaka engaged Lemoyian to a pushing game as Vuria and Garzi spent some time rolling around in the wet soil and having a lot of fun.
11 December 2016
It was wet in the morning following heavy rain that was received early before dawn. The orphans walked slowly and carefully to avoid falling on the slippery ground. Olsekki and Sirimon had a warm up exercise that was done through pushing one another. Soon after arriving at the browsing field, Sokotei came across a fallen log that he used to scratch his belly on, as Bomani and Lemoyian settled to feed together and later had a light pushing game; this didn't last for long since Bomani didn't show much interest in the game. Bomani decided to have his own game of rolling on the ground but Lemoyian came over and started rolling on him. Bomani then decided that the game wasn't worth playing either because of the disturbance from Lemoyian, so he quit that too and resumed browsing. Barsilinga tried to attack Vuria simply because he is growing very fast but he didn't succeed since Vuria was well prepared and gave him a knockout push just in just round one. At mud bath time, Shukuru went into the mud wallow with Kithaka, surprisingly as he does not like the water. In the afternoon, Boromoko bathed in the wet soil as the rest of the group concentrated on browsing.
12 December 2016
It was wet in the morning following showers that were received over night again. Soon after leaving the stockade, Kithaka engaged Lemoyian in a warm up pushing exercise. Bomani briefly played with Olsekki as Laragai decided to lead the way to the browsing field. At the browsing field, Vuria, Garzi, Barsilinga and Teleki had fun rolling on the ground. Orwa settled to browse with Bomani and around ten o'clock in the morning, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi. Orwa stopped feeding and walked over to Kasigau where the two had a strength testing exercise for quite sometime. Kilabasi settled to browse with Bongo as Shukuru walked up to a rocky area where she helped herself to soft green leaves. At mud bath time, the orphans just had their milk then returned back to the browsing field. Olsekki was feeding close to Boromoko and attempted to climb on him. The rest of afternoon was quite as the orphans browsed calmly without any major observation.
13 December 2016
The orphans left the stockade in a jovial mood with Garzi, Sokotei, Barsilinga and Siangiki carrying leftover branches in their mouths. The orphans headed straight to the browsing field where Kithaka and Barsilinga spent some time in a strength testing exercise. Later Barsilinga quit the game and went to feed next to Garzi. Orwa settled to feed with Bongo briefly. Bongo then moved some distance away where he decided to roll around in the wet soil, and where he was joined by Garzi some minutes later. Lemoyian went down on his knees to dig soil on an anthill using his tusks. Kithaka came to where Lemoyian was digging soil and watched him toil to churn up the loose soil. Upon seeing Kithaka though, Lemoyian stopped digging the soil and went into a pushing game with him. Their game attracted Barsilinga who decided to engage Vuria into a pushing game. Lemoyian was defeated by Kithaka and opted to go and play with Bomani. On the other side Vuria emerged as the winner. On the way to the browsing field, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi. Barsilinga enjoyed wallowing with Bomani as Shukuru bathed with Sokotei. In the afternoon, the weather changed with clouds gathering very fast and in less than half an hour it started raining. Mutara, Suguta, Sities, Kanjoro, Turkwel and Kainuk joined the juniors and together enjoyed playing in the running waters. When the rain stopped, the herd resumed browsing. In the evening, Vuria engaged Kasigau in a pushing game which he lost to Kasigau. Moments later, Makireti and Mutara’s groups escorted the juniors back to the stockades.
14 December 2016
Mutara and her group joined the orphans early in the morning. Orwa was happy to have a company that he could challenge. Orwa started off by challenging Kainuk to a pushing game. Their game didn't go on for long as Mutara came to Kainuk's rescue and together they ganged up on Orwa until Orwa surrendered. At the browsing field Bongo, Orwa, Barsilinga, Shukuru and Laragai had a fun rolling on the ground. After the fun was over, Shukuru settled to feed with Barsilinga as Boromoko settled to feed with Sirimon. Later Shukuru led the way to the mud bath but was overtaken by Boromoko. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to feed in the Kanziku area where Bongo, Bomani, Vuria and Boromoko spent some time in a wet soil dusting session. In the evening, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi who escorted them back to the stockade.
15 December 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade in the morning, Kithaka and Lemoyian engaged each other in a pushing game that didn't last for long as Orwa intervened and pushed the two boys away. Shukuru who didn't finish her two bottles of milk, was looking a bit tired and once she was out she was avoiding the morning dew by not stepping on the grass, but followed the clear but paths. Once the dew evaporated, she then started walking on the grass. Since its green everywhere now we have had some rain, the orphans just browsed a stone’s throw away from the stockade. Sokotei had a strength testing exercise with Sirimon as Barsilinga came across a suitable rock that he used to scratch his buttocks on.
At around ten o'clock in the morning, the orphans came across a small pool of water that they used to have an early mud bath. At eleven o'clock the morning, Shukuru managed to finish her two bottles of milk, which made the keepers happier.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse behind an ant hill which is close to the stockade compound. Vuria had fun rolling on Teleki who had lain down to play in a pool of water. Shukuru had a moment of soil dusting and shortly later was joined by Lemoyian before resuming browsing. The rest of the day was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing without any major observation.
16 December 2016
Mutara’s group combined with Chaimu’s group were at the stockade compound early in the morning. Soon when the juniors were let out, Suguta entwined her trunk with Olsekki in morning greetings and later Olsekki moved to challenge Mutara, but he was overpowered by her as she is much older. Kilaguni invited Orwa to a pushing game. Orwa accepted and the two enjoyed the game for quite some time. Finally Orwa surrendered when Kilaguni attempted to climb on him. Orwa moved to play with Chaimu and later with Kanjoro but ended up losing all the contests to the others.
Out in the bush, Kithaka, Kanjoro and Barsilinga scratched against the nearby trees while Lemoyian settled to browse with Sirimon. Narok paired with Bongo as Boromoko soil bathed. Thereafter Boromoko led the first group to the mud bath while Olsekki led the second group. On the way back to the browsing field, the orphans were briefly joined by Yatta, Mulika, Zurura, Ishanga, Mwende and Yetu. Boromoko was very pleased when Yatta stretched her trunk to say hello to him. Twenty minutes later, Yatta and her small group left while the orphans headed up to slopes of the Ithumba Hill, where they settled to browse. Orwa came across a small pool of water that he enjoyed playing in it as his group concentrated on feeding. In the evening Mutara, Chaimu and Makireti’s groups visited the stockade and left soon after drinking water.
17 December 2016
Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau and Chaimu joined the juniors in the morning. Shukuru was in a jovial mood despite her apparently poor health condition of not gaining weight and being slow. Orwa challenged Chaimu to a pushing game but ended up losing to the more experienced Chaimu. Kilibasi took Enkikwe with her and fed a distance away from the rest. Siangiki spend some time scratching herself on the nearby rocks as Narok browsed close to Garzi. Makireti teamed up with Olsekki and Teleki to feed as Kilabasi moved to play with Orwa. This time round Orwa was lucky as he defeated Kilabasi in round two of their pushing game. Shukuru, after soil dusting, joined Orwa to stretch their trunks in the air to reach succulent leaves high up in a tree. Later, Kithaka played with Barsilinga, but their game was cut short by Chaimu who intervened and pushed the two boys away.
Shortly before mud bath time, Vuria engaged Orwa to a pushing game and later moved to play with Barsilinga. At mud bath time the orphans were joined by the senior Ex Orphans. Narok and Laragai tried to get close to the babies Gawa and Wiva but they were denied the access by the nannies Loijuk, Sidai, Naserian, Ithumbah, Lenana and Chyulu. This upset Narok and she protested by making a lot of noise and going down on her knees with her trunk coiled and touching the ground. Tired after her demonstration, Narok left to join her friends again. Ololoo played with Teleki and later moved to play with Barsilinga. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at in the Kanziku area.
18 December 2016
Soon after arriving out in the bush, Vuria and Garzi opened up the day’s activities by engaging each other in a pushing game that saw Garzi lose the contest to Vuria. Shortly later Sokotei engaged Kithaka in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw while Enkikwe tried to outdo Garzi in a pushing game. Their game ended when Shukuru intervened and separated them. The two parted ways due to the respect they have for Shukuru, but when Shukuru was out of sight the two boys resumed their pushing game. Barsilinga invited Vuria to a wrestling match which Vuria readily accepted since he knew very well that he could beat him. Barsilinga lost to Vuria and decided to try his hand with the no-nonsense Laragai. Laragai didn't waste time but gave Barsilinga a knockout push in the first round!
At mud bath time, the orphans drank their milk and had some water before returning back to the browsing field. The sun was hot and the orphans relaxed under some trees for a while until the temperature dropped slightly so they could browse. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Zurura who later walked off deeper into the National Park.
19 December 2016
Olsekki and Bomani locked their trunks in a pushing game soon when they left the stockade as Laragai led the way to the browsing field. Boromoko settled to feed with Olsekki as they uprooted grass and shook the soil off before putting it in their mouths. A distance away a wild elephant approached. Laragai got wind of the wild elephant and moved closer to find out whether she knew the fellow. Laragai found out it was someone she knew and fed closer to him. Shortly later, the wild elephant walked away again. The orphans continued to feed as they headed towards Ithumba Hill. Sokotei lay down to play but he couldn't enjoy his game since Olsekki came to disturb him by trying to push him up. Vuria and Bomani participated in a soil dusting exercise while Barsilinga and Garzi settled to feed close to each other. A while later the juniors were briefly joined by the senior Ex Orphans in Wendi’s herd. Laragai and Narok ran to secure a place in babysitting Gawa and Wiva. The gathering didn't take long as the Ex Orphans appeared to be in hurry as they headed towards Kalovoto.
At around ten o'clock in the morning, the orphans were joined by Mutara’s group. On the way to the mud bath, Mutara and her group dodged the keepers and funny enough managed to snatch Shukuru from the group without the keepers even seeing. When the keepers split the orphans into groups of three, that’s when they realized that Shukuru was missing. They tracked her until they found her with Mutara, and brought her back to her group. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined again by Mutara’s group and this time round the keepers were alert to make sure that her group didn’t make any funny moves. In the evening, Kanjoro played with Boromoko and later Mutara’s group escorted the juniors back to the stockades.
20 December 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans headed straight to the browsing field apart from Bongo and Lemoyian who passed by the water trough to have water. The two boys ended their drinking session in style; by briefly engaging each other in a pushing game that saw Lemoyian surrender to Bongo. Whilst out browsing, Orwa engaged Barsilinga in a strength testing exercise while Olsekki came across a suitable rock that he used to scratch his buttocks on. Lemoyian, who loves challenging the fellow boys, engaged Bomani in a pushing game as Bongo took a break from feeding to participate in a lone game of rolling on the ground. Sokotei played Enkikwe as Barsilinga and Orwa ended their pushing game and participated in a soil dusting exercise. Soon after their soil dusting, Barsilinga moved to play with Bongo but ended up losing the game to him. Shortly before mud bath time, the orphans came across a small pool of water that they used to cool off in, before heading for their midday bottle feeds. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area up to evening, when they returned back to the stockade for another night.
21 December 2016
The Ex Orphans arrived early before the orphans were let out. When the orphans came out, Teleki engaged Makena in a pushing game that ended when Kilaguni intervened by pushing Teleki away, and proceeded to enjoy a pushing game with Makena himself. Chyulu went down to roll on the ground and her game attracted Wiva who came to climb on her. Narok and Laragai tried to snatch Gawa when she was a short distance away from her mother. They pushed her slowly ahead of them but they weren't lucky since Galana was very alert and she came over to pick up her baby, leaving Narok and Laragai stumped. Shortly later, the orphans parted ways with the Ex Orphans.
Out in the bush, Bongo engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game as Shukuru and Kithaka participated in a soil dusting exercise. Bomani and Sokotei had a misunderstanding that they ended up solving by pushing one another. Sokotei lost to Bomani though and went to comfort himself by tackling Olsekki. At mud bath time, the orphans participated in wallowing soon after drinking their milk. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The rest of the day was quiet as the orphans browsed calmly without any major observation.
22 December 2016
It was a quiet morning as the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from their stockades and headed straight to the browsing field. The weather was cloudy and it seemed that rain was imminent, but it never came. Boromoko and Sokotei settled to browse together and at one time the two boys took a break from feeding to concentrate on scratching their trunks on nearby rocks. Kithaka and Bomani had a brief strength testing exercise that didn't have any obvious winner. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans only drank their milk and then some water, before returning back to the browsing field. On the way back to the browsing field three warthogs stood in the way. Sokotei spotted them and charged at them to chase them away. The warthogs ran a few metres away then stopped and turned to face Sokotei. Sokotei stood with his ears raised but didn’t move forward. Only when Vuria, the warthog chaser, swung into action and helped Sokotei did the warthogs disappear as fast as lightning. In the afternoon, Sirimon Boromoko and Sokotei settled to feed together.
23 December 2016
Madiba reported at the stockade compound early before the orphans were let out. When the orphans were let out, Siangiki, Enkikwe, Olsekki and Sokotei surrounded Madiba with their trunks up in morning greetings. Shortly later Madiba escorted the juniors to the water trough where he shared water with them. On the way to the browsing field, Orwa engaged Madiba in a pushing game that was meant to learn and enhance his pushing skills. At the browsing field Bomani and Enkikwe spent some time in a warm up pushing exercise with Bomani while Barsilinga played with Laragai. Narok tested her strength against Bongo but their game ended in a draw. Garzi came across an anthill that he played on by lying on his stomach. Lemoyian played with Boromoko but their game ended when Lemoyian tried to climb on Boromoko. Madiba parted ways with the juniors two hours later. In the afternoon, the juniors settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area where they were joined by Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau. In the evening, the three junior Ex Orphans escorted the juniors back to the stockade.
24 December 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, Orwa headed straight to the water trough as Siangiki led the rest of the group to the browsing field. At the browsing field Shukuru started her day activities by participating in a soil dusting exercise while Olsekki engaged Sirimon in a strength testing game. Enkikwe settled to feed with Siangiki and a while later the group was joined by the Ex Orphans. As usual, Laragai and Narok attached themselves to baby Wiva and Gawa for the short period of time that the Ex Orphans stayed with them. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to touch the mud bath water. Olsekki had a pushing game with Sirimon but was later interrupted by Bomani who wanted to play with Olsekki. Sirimon stepped aside and allowed Bomani to play with him.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Kithaka and Barsilinga teamed up together to feed. Later, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine and this prompted Bomani to take a break from feeding and relax under a tree. In the evening, Vuria opted for a lone game of rolling on the ground. Barsilinga, who was feeding close by, took advantage of Vuria lying on the ground and came over to scratch his belly on him. Vuria wasn't pleased with Barsilinga's action and so he tried to disengage himself from him and finally managed to stand up and resume browsing.
25 December 2016
It was drizzling in the morning and Ithumba Hill was completely covered in mist when the orphans came out of their stockades. Boromoko headed straight to the water trough for a drink where he was joined by Bomani as Laragai led the rest of the group to the browsing field. Bongo, Orwa, Garzi and Kithaka came across a rock that they used to scratch on in turns. First it was Bongo, followed by Orwa after which Kithaka and Garzi opted to share the rock to scratch. Orwa lay down to play. His game attracted Kithaka and Garzi who also joined him to roll on the ground. Shukuru spent some time soil dusting while Barsilinga engaged Bongo in a strength testing exercise. Barsilinga lost the game to Bongo and opted to lower his level by going to attack Lemoyian. Lemoyian, who is small but a tough boy, could not allow Barsilinga to take him for granted. Lemoyian defended himself fiercely and this helped as Barsilinga changed his mind and withdrew the pushing game. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans wanted to go into the water. Kithaka kept himself busy by charging at swallows that were flying around the mud bath area while Olsekki engaged Sokotei in a pushing game. Bongo played with Kithaka while Enkikwe played with Bomani. In the afternoon Vuria engaged Bongo in a strength testing exercise while Lemoyian played with Kithaka. Narok soil bathed while Siangiki, Olsekki and Enkikwe relaxed under a tree and later resumed browsing.
26 December 2016
It was a quiet morning as the orphans left the stockade and headed straight to the browsing field. At the browsing field Laragai and Barsilinga had a misunderstanding that resulted in a physical confrontation. The no-nonsense Laragai ended up overpowering Barsilinga. Siangiki teamed up with Enkikwe to feed while Orwa and Bomani browsed together. Shortly before mud bath time, Orwa engaged Kithaka in a pushing game that ended soon when Kithaka surrendered.
At mud bath time, Sokotei led the first group for milk while Olsekki led the second group as Bomani led the third one. After taking their milk, Enkikwe engaged Olsekki in a pushing game that didn't last for long since Bomani spoiled their fun by getting in between the two boys. Later Olsekki played with Sokotei before returning back to the browsing field. On the way back to the bush, the orphans were briefly joined by Ex Orphan bulls Rapsu, Tomboi, Buchuma and Taita as well as Orok, Ololoo, Kilaguni, Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau. Ololoo engaged Orwa in a strength testing exercise that saw Orwa surrender shortly later. In the evening, Bongo spent some time in a pushing game with Barsilinga. Late in the evening four wild bulls reported at the stockade compound, drank water, then disappeared as soon as they had taken enough water.
27 December 2016
Boromoko walked straight to the water trough soon after leaving the stockade. Shortly later, he was joined by Sokotei and Lemoyian. Soon after arriving in the bush, Lemoyian and Sokotei engaged each other in a pushing game that lasted for quite some time. Their game ended when Vuria passed by and pushed the two boys away. Sokotei then went to have a lone game of rolling on the ground. Olsekki spotted Sokotei and was happy to come over and attempt to climb on him. Sirimon played with Enkikwe, a game that ended soon when Sirimon attempted to mount on him. Boromoko settled to feed with Barsilinga and later Sokotei engaged Bomani in a pushing game. At around nine o'clock in the morning, the orphans were joined by Kasigau and Kilaguni who appeared to have left their groups just to explore in preparation of an adult life when they come of age. Orwa was happy to see the two boys. Orwa took a break from feeding to engage Kilaguni in a strength testing exercise while Teleki decided to challenge Kasigau. Shortly before mud bath time Shukuru and Orwa came across some water that they used to splash behind their ears to cool off. Bongo and Vuria had a brief strength testing exercise before Kilaguni and Kasigau escorted the group to the mud bath. After mud bath, the group settled for soil dusting before heading back to the browsing field. In evening the orphans passed by the mud bath on their way back to the stockades, where they participated in an evening wallowing and soil bathing session.
28 December 2016
Mutara, Suguta, Sities, Kanjoro, Kainuk and Turkwel were at the stockade compound early before dawn. At six o'clock in the morning, the juniors were let out after drinking their milk. Boromoko was the first one in line and met with Sities where they exchanged morning greetings by entwining their trunks. Later Garzi had a brief conversation with Sities before lying down to play on the ground. Suguta also lay on the ground where Mutara came over and scratched her belly against Suguta. Out in the bush Lemoyian engaged Kithaka in a pushing game while Sirimon played with Sokotei. An hour later, Mutara and her group parted ways with the juniors.
At around ten o'clock in the morning, the three new babies arrived from Nairobi. Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon were the first ones to meet with Kamok, Roi and Oltaiyoni. Oltaiyoni stretched her trunk to sniff at Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon. Later the other juniors followed. Barsilinga showed a lot of interest in Oltaiyoni and they even engaged each other in a pushing game. Narok and Laragai displayed their motherly skills by nurturing the three new babies. At the browsing field, Oltaiyoni and Roi were always feeding together as Boromoko attempted to climb on Kamok; the keepers told him off. The day ended well for the babies though they certainly felt the heat of Ithumba compared to Nairobi. Back in the stockades Oltaiyoni and Kamok kept playing with the water at the trough to cool off.
29 December 2016
It was the first morning in Ithumba for Oltaiyoni, Kamok and Roi. They didn't know where to exit but they followed their new friends who showed them the way. Roi and Oltaiyoni were completely at ease but Kamok wanted to stay close to her keepers. In the bush Lemoyian engaged Boromoko in a pushing game that ended when Lemoyian attempted to mount on Boromoko. Garzi came across a suitable tree that he used to scratch his belly on. Roi could not stretch her trunk as high as Oltaiyoni and resulted to picking the leaves from Oltaiyoni’s mouth, which Oltaiyoni was picking from high up on a tree. Boromoko settled close to Kamok and had a brief conversation that was done inform of touching one another. Enkikwe came across a tree stump that was low enough to scratch his lower belly. Later Oltaiyoni settled to feed close to Shukuru and attempted to engage Shukuru into a strength testing exercise. Shukuru didn't take this act of disrespect lightly and disciplined Oltaiyoni for daring to want to push her just because she is thin at the moment. Shukuru pushed Oltaiyoni so hard she screamed and this warned her not to repeat such a childish act of behavior again.
At mud bath time, Oltaiyoni, Roi and Kamok were the first to be taken for their eleven o'clock milk feed. On their way, they came across one of the small pools of waters which they first used to cool themselves down in by splashing water behind their ears. Soon after having their milk, the new babies were shown the official mud bath area where they would be coming on a daily basis. Oltaiyoni was the first one to get in the water for a cool off. Kamok and Roi joined later when the rest of the group was in attendance. Shortly later, the Ex Orphans arrived! Narok and Laragai rushed to attend to Wiva and later Gawa. Nasalot walked over to Kamok and tried to sniff at her but Kamok was freighted and so she moved away. In the afternoon, the sun was hot and the orphans relaxed under a tree for sometime before resuming browsing. The Ex Orphans browsed briefly with the orphans before parting ways. Chyulu and Lenana browsed close to Roi and Oltaiyoni for sometime before following their friends. Orwa played with Ololoo and once they were done with their game, Orwa left with Ex Orphans. He was later tracked down and returned to join his friends to return to the stockades.
30 December 2016
Sirimon and Olsekki headed to the water trough soon after leaving their stockade. Shortly later, the two boys turned against each other and had strength testing exercise that ended when they saw Bomani approaching. At the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Orwa to a pushing game that ended when Barsilinga surrendered. Narok settled to feed with Siangiki while Teleki attempted to push a tree to get some leaves that he couldn't reach with his trunk. The tree proved hard to bring down and Teleki comforted himself by imagining that the leaves were no good to eat. Later, Narok came across a fallen tree that she used to scratch her belly. Lemoyian engaged Kithaka in a pushing game that saw Lemoyian emerge as the winner. Bongo briefly played with Barsilinga but Barsilinga couldn't withstand Bongo's strength and so he surrendered. Garzi took a break from feeding and lay down to play as Shukuru stood close by watching and wondering if Garzi needed any help in getting up. Shukuru stretched her trunk towards Garzi's mouth and seemed to check on him since he had decided to lie down on his stomach. Garzi showed her he was just having fun. Shukuru moved away and resumed browsing as Garzi carried on with his fun. Enkikwe tried to play with Oltaiyoni but Vuria intervened by pushing Enkikwe away.
Shortly before mud bath time Boromoko engaged Enkikwe in a pushing game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time the orphans stood at the edge of mud bath as they splashed water behind their ears. Roi Oltaiyoni, Barsilinga, Sirimon, Enkikwe and Siangiki lay down in the mud to play but all of sudden one or some of the elephants raised an alarm that saw all the orphans stop mud bathing and run towards the keepers. The keepers calmed them down as there was nothing really to be alarmed about and it was a false warning. Vuria lay down to play and Barsilinga came over and started scratching his belly on Vuria. Olsekki stood close to Roi and took away a root that Roi had pulled from the ground and was enjoying feeding on. Roi just accepted it since she didn't have equal strength to fight Olsekki for the tasty root. Barsilinga dared to attack Narok but Narok landed on him like a stinging bee. When Narok was through with Barsilinga, her orphan-sister Laragai took over and drove Barsilinga away. In the afternoon the orphans relaxed under a tree and waited until the temperature dropped to a favourable level when they went back to browsing.
31 December 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans headed straight to the browsing field. Barsilinga and Garzi started their day activities by engaging each other in a pushing game, as Bongo settled to feed with Sirimon while Orwa teamed up with Kamok. Later, Barsilinga quit playing with Garzi and moved to play with Laragai as Kithaka tried to win against Lemoyian in a pushing game. Tusuja, Kauro and Naseku arrived shortly before ten o'clock in the morning from the nursery to join their three other friends. Soon after being offloaded, the three new babies were joined outside by Kamok, Oltaiyoni and Roi. Oltaiyoni exchanged greetings with Kauro as Kamok appeared totally unconcerned with her friends! Boromoko had a light pushing game with Naseku as Barsilinga tried to familiarize himself with Kauro. Olsekki moved to Naseku and tried to take grass from her mouth, something that didn't make Naseku very happy and so she moved away from Olsekki. Tusuja met with Boromoko and defended himself fiercely when Boromoko tried to push him. At the browsing field, Vuria engaged Bongo in a pushing game while Garzi played with Enkikwe. Later in the day, Bongo and Boromoko settled for a soil dusting exercise while Garzi quit playing with Enkikwe to play with Barsilinga. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where Naseku, Kauro and Tusuja really enjoyed a cooling mud bath since the heat had become too much for them. Narok kept herself so close to Naseku and kept on following her wherever she was feeding.