Our Reintegration Units within the protected Tsavo Conservation Area bridge the gap between infancy and independence for our orphaned elephants; a journey that does not happen overnight, but takes many years, and one that is dictated by the needs of each individual.
It was wet in the morning following 5 mm of rain received last night. The orphans left the stockade early as usual, led by Maramoja, and went straight out to browse. Barsilinga came back in the morning to join up with the dependent orphans, but left shortly later to link up with his group. Following the November rains the light vegetation has now started turning green. The orphans concentrated on feeding on the new shoots which are so tasty.
Later on, Kamok, Lemoyian and Siangiki decided to have fun by rolling on the ground. The three orphans resumed browsing when they felt that they had done enough playing. At mud bath time, the orphans only had their milk then returned back to the bush. The orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area and had a quiet afternoon as they concentrated on browsing without any major observation.
In the evening only Kithaka from the ‘rebel group’ decided to join the dependent orphans on the way back to the stockades. Kithaka joined Lemoyian, Olsekki and Siangiki in the stockade for the night.
Rapa left the stockade and stood at the exit point pretending to be ushering everyone out, but in actual fact he was only enjoying scratching his trunk on the gate post. Kauro left with a branch in his mouth which he continued to enjoy until he reached the edge of the bush where he dropped it and began browsing.
The vegetation is now getting better and better and the orphans embraced the spirit of sharing. Siangiki and Namalok settled to feed on one shrub while Kithaka settled to feed with Rapa. Shortly later, Kithaka teamed up with Barsilinga and they competed to reach the nicest soft and fresh leaves high in the trees. The two boys realized that they had same size trunks and none could reach further than the other, so their competition ended in a draw.
On the way to the mud bath, the orphans came across a small pool of water that they used to have a mud bath in before heading for their noon milk feed. Esampu led the first group while Maramoja led the second one. After taking their milk, the orphans went back to browsing, with the exception of Sapalan and Enkikwe who decided to splash water behind their ears before following their friends.
The afternoon was sunny and the orphans took a break from feeding to relax under some trees. In the evening, Laragai came and stood at the stockade entrance and the moment she saw the Keepers coming to close the gate, she ran away as she didn't want to be closed in for the night.
The sky was clear in the morning as the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockades. Led by Esampu, who has now mastered the area well, the orphans settled to browse in the Kone area. Esampu teamed up with Siangiki to browse and they seemed to have a lengthy chat. Sapalan is very active these days and is able to keep pace with his friends much better. He settled to browse with Tusuja. Naseku took a break from feeding to perform her acrobatics of sitting, rolling and lying down. She was apparently having great fun but no one in the group joined her and as soon as she had enough of her playing around, Naseku went back to browsing.
In the afternoon, the sun was hot, prompting Sapalan and Enkikwe to seek shelter from the scorching sun under a baobab tree, while Kauro, Kamok, Pare and Dupotto dusted themselves with wet soil to try and cool down. Tusuja and Lemoyian came across a small pool of water and spent awhile cooling down there.
Karisa the street wise boy was the first one to leave the stockade. Rapa left with a branch in his mouth that he continued to enjoy on the way to the browsing field. It was a day that new Nursery babies were expected to come and start a new life in Ithumba and the orphans browsed close by as they readied themselves to greet the new arrivals.
At quarter to nine o'clock in the morning, the truck carrying Sana Sana, Ndiwa and Malkia arrived at the stockade. The three new babies were first met by Mundusi, Esampu and Mteto, who they knew from Nairobi. Esampu bellowed loudly in excitement and joy at meeting her friends that she last saw in May. Mteto greeted Malkia while Ndiwa tried to find out if Esampu still remembered her. Pare demanded respect from Ndiwa after Ndiwa inadvertently brushed against him. Ndiwa stood her ground and informed Pare that respect is a two way thing and besides, they are of equal size. The Keepers saw the standoff and warned Pare to behave.
On the way to the mud bath, the new arrivals utilized every opportunity to cool off by splashing water behind their ears at all the small water pools they came across. They found their new environment very hot. After taking their noon milk, the orphans walked a distance from the main mud bath to enjoy wallowing in the other smaller mud baths.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Mundusi had a game of riding on Mteto. Mteto wasn't happy about what Mundusi was doing so she shook him off and ran away. In the evening, the new arrivals were officially welcomed by the rains, which was a good indication of even better vegetation to come. At the end of the day, the orphans returned back safely to the stockade where the three new babies were to spend their first night in the open design stockades.
It was the first morning at Ithumba for Malkia, Sana Sana and Ndiwa. The three new arrivals had no difficulties in getting out with their new found friends as they enjoyed the company of Esampu, Mteto and Mundusi. It was still wet and later in the day Sana Sana and Ndiwa took a break from feeding to play with wet soil by rolling on the ground. They were joined by Esampu, Kauro and Naseku. On the way to the mud bath, Naseku and Mundusi found a small puddle that they used to cool themselves down in by rolling around in the mud.
At mud bath time, all the orphans had a spectacular wallowing a distance away from the main venue. Sapalan, who developed an itchy elbow, picked a stick from the ground using his trunk and used it to scratch the itchy part.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Sana Sana spent some time soil dusting while Ndiwa and Esampu teamed up together to dig a hole to get soil for a dusting exercise. In the evening, the orphans returned back safely to the stockade for another night.
The sky was clear in the morning as Malkia, Sana Sana and Ndiwa walked out followed by their friends in anticipation of a new day ahead. Indeed it turned out to be a friendly day to them when Esampu and Mteto decided to join them in showing them around and feeding together. Mundusi tried from time to time to push Sana Sana but the Keepers were alert and cautioned him of his bad behaviour for bullying the new arrivals. Mundusi then moved away to tackle Pare in a strength testing exercise.
At mud bath time, Malkia, Ndiwa and Sana Sana got into the main mud bath for the first time by following their friends. The water was cold and they didn't like it, so they left the mud bath half way through and got out to look for warmer water. In the afternoon Roi and Naseku settled to browse together while the three new babies continued to enjoy the company of Esampu and Mteto.
Laragai, Garzi, and Kithaka reported early before dawn but Laragai totally refused to go in the stockades. She stood a distance away watching her friends go in and then disappeared, only to show up again when the gates were opened for the orphans to come out. Laragai was welcomed by Esampu, Mteto, Tusuja and Wanjala but was questioned by Esampu and Mteto as to why she was not interested in spending the night in the stockade. They inquisitively raised their trunks to study her. Laragai didn’t communicate with them but went straight into the stockades to find out if there were any leftovers.
Barsilinga, Kithaka and Garzi, having spent three quarters of the night out feeding, felt stronger and decided to have a game of pushing one another. Ndiwa spent some time in a damp soil dusting exercise, and later found a small pool of water that she used to splash behind her ears to cool off.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans just took their milk then returned back to the browsing field. Wanjala came across an anthill and decided to play on it. Karisa settled to browse with Sapalan while Roi settled to feed with Naseku. Laragai’s rebel group parted ways with the orphans and walked off.
Laragai, Barsilinga, Kithaka and Garzi reported very early in the morning and stood outside the gate waiting for their friends to come out. Sana Sana was the first one to come out. Malkia then overtook Sana Sana, who had no confidence in leading, and led the way to the browsing field. Oltaiyoni had a moment to herself of doing some acrobatics outside the stockade before following her friends.
Malkia teamed up with Oltaiyoni to feed and they had a brief chat before parting ways. Ndiwa developed an itch on the side of her belly and found a suitable tree that she used to get rid of the itch. On the way to the mud bath, Naseku decided to have fun by rolling on the ground. Her game attracted Rapa, Namalok and Karisa. The game came to an abrupt end when the street wise boy Karisa started misbehaving by climbing on Namalok's head. Namalok stood up and challenged Karisa by pushing him to make him understand that he wasn't happy about his riding game.
At milk time, Ukame left with her bottle and dropped it mid-way to the mud bathing water. The orphans had a spectacular wallowing before going back out to browse. Malkia and Kauro had a game of soil dusting. Malkia's game was interrupted by Rapa who came to her and sought to have a word with her. Malkia didn't trust Rapa and so started walking towards her Keepers. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.
Naisula, Murka and Kitirua accompanied by Kithaka, Laragai, Garzi and Barsilinga, arrived at the stockade early in the morning. The ex-orphans joined the dependent orphans and they all walked together to the browsing field. Sana Sana teamed up with Malkia to browse as they seemed to discuss their new life in Ithumba. The other orphans scattered all over as they tried to get the best of what the rains had brought about. Namalok and Galla had some conflict or other that turned into a pushing game, while Roi took a break from feeding to have a lone game of rolling on the ground.
After mud bath time, the orphans headed east of Ithumba Hill where they settled to browse. Sana Sana and Ndiwa took a break from feeding to participate in a damp soil dusting exercise and later relaxed under a tree to hide from the scorching sun. In the evening, Rapa and Karisa gave the Keepers a hard time when they decide to dodge them. The Keepers tracked them down and finally located them. The two boys then slowly walked back to the stockade where they joined their friends.
Wanjala and Tusuja led the way out followed by Sana Sana, Malkia and Ndiwa. The orphans started feeding on grass just a few meters from the stockade compound. Namalok decided to have fun by himself, stretching and leaning against a tree. The ever playful Naseku decided to enjoy herself by rolling on the ground. Her game drew the attention of Mundusi who came running and started scratching on her, and even climbed on top of her. The game went on for quite some time until Naseku decided that she had enough, and so indicated to Mundusi to get off her. Mundusi listened and climbed down. Sana Sana and Ndiwa came across some water that they used to cool themselves down with by splashing water behind their ears.
At mud bath time, the sun was hot and soon when the orphans had their milk, Karisa led the way into the mud bath. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse east of the Ithumba Hill. The temperature was moderate and the orphans concentrated on browsing throughout the rest of the day.
The orphans settled for lucerne pellets immediately after leaving the stockade. Naseku had a small fight with Malkia when Malkia tried to pick up some pellets that Naseku wanted. This prompted Naseku to push Malkia.
Sana Sana started her day activities by participating in a soil dusting exercise. Her game attracted Ndiwa who also came to join her. Dupotto settled to feed with Galla as Mundusi tackled Tusuja in an effort to learn new pushing tactics that he could apply when playing with Pare. Karisa attempted to ride on Mteto but Mteto disengaged from him quickly and ran to seek help from Kamok. Karisa didn't follow her since he knew the consequences if the girls decided to gang up on him. After mud bath time, the orphans returned back to browsing.
Sapalan spent some time scratching his belly on the shrubs while Kauro and Tusuja dug soil using their tusks then dusted themselves with it. In the afternoon, the sun became unbearable prompting Malkia, Sana Sana, Ndiwa and Enkikwe to seek shelter under a tree. In the evening, the rebels Laragai, Kithaka, Garzi and Barsilinga reported early and joined their friends in the stockade.
Early before dawn, Tumaren, Melia, Kandecha, Kalama and two wild elephants showed up at the stockades and decided to wait until daybreak so as to meet the orphans, and more so, the new arrivals. After the orphans had their early morning milk, Sana Sana led the way out but upon seeing the ex-orphans, she, stopped and let Maramoja lead the way. Tumaren and Melia interacted with the orphans briefly and after introducing themselves to Malkia, Sana Sana and Ndiwa, bid everyone goodbye and left again.
Malkia was in playful mood and started her day by playing on an anthill. Shortly later, she decided to have a game of rolling on the ground which was brought to an abrupt end by Karisa when he came forward and attempted to ride on her. Olsekki and Tusuja had a brief strength testing exercise that ended when Tusuja opted out after Olsekki failed to follow the rules of the game.
On the way to the mud bath, the orphans came across a small pool of water that they used to have a mini mud bath in, before proceeding to the main event. At mud bath time, the orphans had a spectacular wallowing session and for the first time since they came to Ithumba, Malkia, Ndiwa and Sana Sana swam across from one end of the mud bath to the other, just like their friends.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Kithaka, Barsilinga, Garzi returned late, at around 9:30pm. The gate was opened but Laragai refused totally to come in and when she was persuaded, she ran away into the darkness heading in the direction taken by Murka, Naisula and Kitirua in the morning. Barsilinga, Kithaka and Garzi joined their friends in the stockade for the night.
Ndiwa left the stockades with a branch in her mouth which she continued to enjoy outside. The enjoyment was short-lived as she met with Barsilinga who took the branch away from her. Laragai didn't show up in the morning and this left Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi confused as they can't lead themselves, they are too used to Laragai leading them. The three older boys opted to stick with the Keepers until Laragai decided to come for them.
Ndiwa, Malkia and Sana Sana, who have settled in well now, walked to the water trough and had some water before leaving for browsing. Sapalan and Mteto took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. Malkia teamed up with Esampu to feed, while Sana Sana and Ndiwa teamed up with Maramoja.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans only washed their feet and then went back to the bush. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area where Dupotto and Tusuja were scratching against the trees. Later on, the clouds cleared giving way to sunshine. This prompted the orphans to seek shelter under some trees until the temperature became cooler so they could go back to browsing.
It was wet and slippery in the morning, following 50 mm of rain received over night. The orphans left the stockade cautiously to avoid slipping. Sana Sana wasn't lucky as she slipped and fell as she tried to maneuver her way out. She stood up in a hurry and looked around to see if anyone had seen what she did.
Out in the bush, the orphans had fun as they enjoyed feeding and wallowing each time they came across a small puddle. At mud bath time, Sana Sana, Malkia and Ndiwa, who are now used to the routine of day, were the first ones to jump in the mud bath and they waded through the water up to the other end.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the eastern side of Ithumba Hill. Barsilinga, Kithaka and Garzi have decided to stick with the dependent orphans ever since Laragai abandoned them the night she refused to get into the stockade and ran away. Mundusi teamed up with Pare to browse later they had a strength testing exercise that saw Pare emerge as the winner. In the evening all the orphans returned back safely to the stockade for yet another night.
It was wet in the morning following 6mm of rain received early at dawn. Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi, who used to dodge the Keepers, are now spending all their days with the orphans and returning together in the evening. Laragai, who was their group leader, has not shown up since she ran off on the 12th. She often refuses to come into the stockades, ad she ran off in the direction taken by Melia, Tumaren, Kandecha, Kalama and other two wild elephants that morning. It's not clear whether Laragai managed to team up with the ex-orphans or not, but we hope she has.
Sana Sana has almost mastered the routine for the orphans, and led the way to the browsing field. Once there, Malkia found a suitable rock that she used to scratch her neck on. Ukame, Namalok and the playful Naseku took a break from feeding to roll and play on the wet soft soil. Their game attracted Esampu, Mteto and Kauro. Tusuja and Olsekki came over and disrupted their fun by attempting to climb on the girls. In the afternoon, Tusuja had a strength testing exercise with Galla while Karisa played with Mteto.
At dawn the lions roared around Lesilau dam and in the morning the foot prints were seen following a herd of buffaloes south west of the dam. The orphans left the stockade immediately after having their morning milk and settled to browse in Kone area. The orphans had a quiet morning with an exception of the playful Naseku who opted to have a game of rolling on an anthill. After she was done with her game, Naseku then teamed up with Mteto, Malkia and Barsilinga in browsing. Mundusi is now trying to know his position in the herd by challenging the older boys, and decided to tackle the street wise boy Karisa. Karisa took Mundusi through a vigorous strength testing exercise that saw Mundusi surrender and move away. Karisa was left in a charging mood and to calm down, knocked a few shrubs down before finally walking off to browse again.
On the way to the mud bath, the orphans played in a small water pool again. They decided to only have their noon milk bottle and now wallow in the main mud pool, as they had done enough of that earlier. Only Enkikwe briefly got into the water and did a bit of mud bathing, but quit when he saw his friends leaving. The orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill. Esampu, Tusuja and Pare settled to feed on a swampy area and when they had enough, moved to join their friends who were feeding a distance away.
In the morning, ex-orphan Challa, who had been away for the whole year, gave us a surprise when he and another wild bull showed up at the stockade compound. Challa looked physically fit and waited patiently for the orphans to come out and see if there was anything that he could share with them. As soon as the wild elephant saw the Keepers with the orphans walking down, he decided to stand a distance away checking out what was going on between the humans and elephants. Challa was comfortable and briefly shared lucerne pellets with the orphans. Namalok and Wanjala stood close to Challa with their trunks stretched out as if asking him a few questions. Shortly later, Challa left with his wild friend.
At mud bath time, it was a little cloudy so none of the orphans dared to touch the mud bathing water. Malkia led the way back to the browsing field where Naseku had her usual game of rolling on the ground. The rest of the orphan herd had a quiet afternoon as they concentrated on browsing.
The orphans settled for some lucerne pellets as soon as they left the stockades. The sky was clear which meant it was going to be a hot day. The orphans were not in a hurry to rush out to browse, as they knew there was no need; following the November/December rains there is plenty of vegetation around. Barsilinga teamed up with Enkikwe and patted him on the head. Enkikwe’s lion attack was nearly 10 months ago, and he is still limping. He will probably have this limp for the rest of his life. Barsilinga left after comforting Enkikwe. Dupotto came across a rock that she used to scratch her buttocks on as the rest of the herd concentrated on browsing.
At mud bath time, the sun was really hot and all the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. In the afternoon, they settled to browse close to the Imenti area up to five o'clock in the evening, when Sana Sana led the first group back to the stockades.
It was a quiet night and the lions were not heard roaring anywhere. In the morning, the orphans settled for the lucerne pellets after their milk bottles. The orphans shared the pellets peacefully, until Barsilinga and Garzi started causing chaos by pushing the young ones whenever they tried to share their piles. After the orphans were through with the pellets, Sana Sana, happily swinging her trunk from side to side, led the group out to browse.
The orphans settled to browse in the Kone area, and scattered in different directions enjoying the lush vegetation.
Later at eleven o'clock in the morning, Esampu led the first group to the mud bath. It was quite warm, and the orphans had fun in some mud close to the main mud bath. In the afternoon, Namalok challenged Galla but ended up losing the game. Karisa tried to play with Galla too, but also lost. Barsilinga saw some leaves high in a tree that he yearned to get. Amazingly enough, Barsilinga attempted to climb up the tree but of course he was unable. He was only able to step up on the tree trunk with his forelegs, and the back legs wouldn’t follow; elephants are not built for climbing trees! At last, Barsilinga gave up and left in search of other leaves that were more accessible and that he could reach with his trunk.
Mutara’s group consisting of Mutara, Sities, Kanjoro, Kainuk, Turkwel, Suguta and Kibo visited the stockade at night and also left during the night as well. It was the first time Turkwel has visited since she returned to her friends in the wild, after being at the stockades and with the dependent orphans for about four months, after receiving treatment following her encounter with lions.
In the morning, the orphans settled as usual for lucerne pellets before Sana Sana led the way out to browse. Rapa and Galla had a prolonged strength testing exercise that was temporarily interfered with by Kamok when she went in between them.
Shortly before mud bath time, Murka, Naisula, Kitirua, Bomani, Narok, and Orwa joined the orphans and they headed for the mud bath together. On the way, Naseku came across a muddy water hole that she had fun in by rolling in the mud. Kauro, who rarely takes a bath, joined Naseku but opted to roll on Naseku instead of fully in the mud. When they went to the large mud bath after their milk bottles, Esampu led the way into the water and continued to lead up to the other side of the mud bath. In the afternoon, Naseku briefly held discussion with Pare and later moved to join Roi and Kamok in feeding. In the evening, the ex-orphans parted ways with the juniors.
Ndiwa led the way out this morning, although she wasn't confident in herself. The moment she reached outside the gate, she stopped and allowed Sana Sana to go forward. The sky was clear and the orphans settled for lucerne pellets as usual. It's now ten days since Laragai ran away at night. Ever since Laragai left, Kithaka, Garzi and Barsilinga have never wandered far away from the dependent orphans and never return to the stockades late either. It seems it was Laragai who was their ring leader and who they felt safe out in the wild with. Perhaps Laragai realized they were too young to join her out after all, and she ran off so that they would stay with the dependent orphans and Keepers where they are safe.
The orphans settled to browse in Kone area and had a quiet morning. Olsekki teamed up with Naseku to feed and they had a brief chat before parting ways. It was quite cool in the afternoon and after having their milk, the orphans went back to browsing without having a mud bath. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area.
Maramoja led the way out followed by Rapa and Sapalan. Karisa developed an itch on his neck and instead of going to the rocks to scratch it, he picked up a stick from the ground to scratch his neck. The orphans then passed by the water troughs to have a drink before going out to the bush. Naseku took over the lead from Maramoja at this stage. Naseku was followed by her close friend Roi, while Enkikwe followed them at the back.
Malkia, Sana Sana and Ndiwa shared food from the same shrub while Roi teamed up with Sapalan. Later on, Naseku took a break from feeding to have fun rolling on the ground. Her game attracted Karisa, Sana Sana, Kauro and Kamok. Garzi and Barsilinga had a brief strength testing exercise while Pare held a brief chat with Sapalan before parting ways.
At mud bath time, for the first time this month, a wild bull showed up. We thought the bull looked as if he was coming to confirm whether or not the water hole was still there. After confirming that all was okay and ready for the dry season next year, the wild bull walked way as the orphans arrived for their mud bath. Karisa was the first one to jump into the mud, and shortly later was followed by Esampu, who led the way through up to the other side. Tusuja enjoyed climbing on Namalok and Karisa. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. The remaining part of the day was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.
The sky was clear as the orphans left the stockade and settled for lucerne. Maramoja decided not to feed on lucerne but moved a distance away and settled on grass. Tusuja and Wanjala shared one bale of lucerne while Barsilinga kept on pushing away whoever came close to share his bale. Shortly later, Maramoja led the way out to browse. Malkia, Ndiwa and Sana Sana have now got used to the routine and are doing just fine at the Ithumba stockades. Esampu, who appears to be a clever girl, we are sure will one day become a matriarch. She is an independent girl and she took some time to feed on her own and tried to steer the group far east of the stockade. The Keepers intervened and informed Esampu that was not the right way and she can do that when she is older and more independent. Esampu turned and started heading west as the rest of the group followed her.
At mud bath time as usual, Karisa was the first one to jump into the mud, but Esampu overtook him and led the way to the end. Pare saw two Egyptian geese in the distance and decided to charge at them. For nearly ten minutes the Egyptian geese played a hide and seek game with Pare until he got tired and gave up.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled west of Ithumba Hill. It became quite hot, making Sana Sana, Malkia and Ndiwa take a break from feeding to relax under a tree. The other orphans joined them moments later. It was still hot later in the afternoon so the orphans passed by the mud bath to cool off.
Rapa woke up in a playful mood today. As soon as he came out of his stockade he walked down swinging his trunk. He then stopped to check who was behind him and found that Malkia, Sana Sana and Ndiwa were following him closely. Rapa decided to find out if the girls respected him by turning with his ears raised. The three girls stopped and retreated back after taking Rapa's threats seriously. If you compared the size of Malkia, Ndiwa and Sana Sana with Rapa however, one would think it should be Rapa who should respect the girls since they are quite a bit bigger than him in size! Rapa felt great when he saw the girls retreating because he actually knew that if the girls chose to gang up on him he would have no chance.
Out in the bush, Sana Sana came across a nice rock that she used to scratch her neck on. Malkia came and stood close to Sana Sana and relaxed, waiting for her to finish so that she could also scratch herself. Namalok teamed up with Kauro in feeding as Olsekki had fun in a nearby water hole, splashing water behind his ears. Malkia led the first group to the mud bath while Maramoja led the second one. The orphans chose to participate fully in the wallowing exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area and browsed peacefully.
At milk feeding time in the morning, Namalok accidentally kicked his bucket of milk as he tried to defend it when Esampu and Mundusi tried to come close and share the milk with him. Though it was Christmas, Namalok didn't embrace the spirit of sharing with these youngsters and was confident everyone had their own share of milk to enjoy. Mundusi and Esampu thought that Namalok was getting more milk since it was being put into a big bucket, but actually it was the same amount. Namalok regretted his actions and looked remorseful. The Keepers prepared more for him though and Namalok looked very happy.
The sky was clear today and looks as if the rainy season has come to an end. It looks very green now but in a couple of months or less the vegetation will start to change colour. The orphans settled to feed in Kone area until mud bath time, when Esampu led the first group of Rapa and Dupotto for the milk feed. Sana Sana led the way to the mud bath and together with Malkia and Ndiwa, they made sure that they were ahead of everyone in the water until the finish line. In the afternoon, the sun was shining so the orphans decided to take a break and converge under a tree until the temperature dropped to a favourable level. In the evening on the way back to the stockades, the orphans were joined by Orwa, Narok and Bomani.
A lone wild bull visited the stockade early in the morning on an inspection tour. After getting satisfaction that all was well with the water troughs, then the wild bull walked away as the orphans had their morning breakfast before being let out. Mteto led the way to the browsing field where Naseku encountered two dik diks. There was some excitement when Naseku charged and trumpeted as she tried to scare the two dik diks away. Mundusi, Siangiki, Ukame and Oltaiyoni joined with Naseku to chase the dik diks away. The dik diks didn’t hang around to be trampled on by the elephants and so ran as fast as their legs could carry them.
As the morning progressed, the orphans were joined by Narok, Bomani and Orwa. Galla engaged Bomani in a strength testing exercise, a game that attracted Namalok and Karisa who play fought for some time before quitting their game. Sapalan, who has become a bit livelier these days, decided to have a lone game of scratching against some trees.
At mud bath time, the orphans had their milk before getting into the water to wallow. Galla tried to bully Malkia but he was cautioned by the Keepers. The afternoon was hot and the orphans took a break from feeding to relax under a tree as they continuously flapped their ears. Later in the evening, Orwa, Bomani and Narok escorted the juniors back to the stockades.
As soon as the orphans left the stockade in the morning, Orwa, Narok and Bomani emerged from south east side at a run. Their speed scared the orphans and this prompted them to run towards the Keepers. The Keepers calmed them down and after, Narok led the way to the browsing field with Orwa carrying a bale of lucerne in his trunk.
Shortly later, after the orphans had left for browsing, Challa passed by the stockade compound and left shortly after sipping some water. Out in the bush, Esampu settled to browse with Sana Sana while Lemoyian teamed up with Kauro. Olsekki briefly engaged Galla in a strength testing exercise that ended when Galla surrendered. Narok, Bomani, Orwa, Kithaka, Garzi and Barsilinga parted ways with their friends, only to join them again later at mud bath. The weather was chilly and none of the orphans stepped into the water.
In the afternoon, Namalok and Siangiki shared the same tree to scratch on, while Oltaiyoni challenged Olsekki in a pushing game. Galla played with Rapa as Roi settled on soil dusting. In the evening, Narok, Orwa and Bomani escorted the juniors back to the stockades again.
Orwa, Narok and Bomani spent the night outside the stockade and joined the orphans when they came out in the morning. Mundusi started his day's activities by scratching on nearby rocks as the rest of the group settled for lucerne. Shortly later, Narok led the way out. Kithaka and Sapalan stayed back a little bit as they tried to get enough lucerne to fill up their stomachs. Later, they followed their friends out.
At around half past ten in the morning, the orphans came across a small water pool that they used to cool themselves down in since it was quite hot already. After the mini mud bath, Dupotto settled for soil dusting while Malkia scratched her neck against some nearby trees.
Despite having a small mud bath earlier, the orphans had a prolonged mud bath in the main water hole since it was still so hot. Sana Sana made sure that she was ahead of everyone as Tusuja kept trying to climb on whoever was close to him.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill where Olsekki and Oltaiyoni had a light strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. On the way back to the stockades, Sapalan, who used to always be last in his group, made sure that he was one of the first to arrive by overtaking Dupotto, and he arrived at the milk third in line, a number that he was very happy with. Orwa, Narok and Bomani left shortly later, after seeing everyone safely back in the stockade for the night.
It was an easy going day for the orphans. Narok, Orwa and Bomani came again in the morning and joined the orphans. It's not clear what their mission is, as they do not usually stay around this long, or spend this long with the dependent orphans. The Keepers could not help but wonder if they are prospecting to see if any of the orphans might be ready to join them in the wild, sort of like a recruitment drive! If that is the case then we are not sure, since Kithaka, Garzi and Barsilinga, who they would be targeting, have not made up their minds yet whether they are ready. The three junior ex-orphans accompanied the dependent babies up to mud bath time, and thereafter parted ways. Esampu and Sana Sana competed who between them would finish the mud bath race first. Since Esampu is lighter and smaller, she emerged as the winner of the day. Narok’s group left with Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi. In the evening at around six, Kithaka Barsilinga and Garzi returned back to the stockade for the night.
The sky was clear in the morning and this was an indication of hot day a head. Maramoja led the way out followed by Dupotto. The orphans briefly settled for lucerne before Karisa led the way out. At around nine o'clock in the morning, the temperature soared, prompting the playful Naseku to look for the closest water hole to cool off. Naseku was joined by Malkia, Sana Sana, Rapa, Siangiki and Enkikwe. After having enough of cooling off, the orphans resumed browsing.
At mud bath time, Dupotto led Tusuja and Kamok in the first group. It was still hot and the orphans led by Esampu had a spectacular wallowing. Barsilinga and Garzi had brief strength testing exercise that saw Garzi emerge as the winner. In the afternoon, the orphans decided to take a break by converging under some trees with good shade. When it cooled down a bit the orphans carried on walking and browsing. In the evening, Kithaka and Garzi lagged behind as they were not interested in going back early. The two boys returned back later shortly before seven o'clock late in the evening.
The year is coming to a close, and Maramoja led the way out followed by Mteto and Esampu. The orphans briefly passed by the water trough for water before Naseku led the way out to the bush. Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi followed their friends at a distance simply because they didn't want to be controlled by the Keepers. Sapalan, who we are happy to see is very active these days, teamed up with Galla to feed while Malkia settled to browse with Sana Sana. Enkikwe, who is still limping, had a lengthy chat with Lemoyian. These two boys are very lucky to have survived their lion attacks.
On the way to the mud bath, Mundusi threatened Ndiwa not to overtake him. Ndiwa decided not to overtake and waited for the right time when Mundusi was distracted by a dik dik, then she made her move. At mud bath time, Wanjala and Tusuja had fun rolling on each other as Sapalan led the way in wallowing. After mud bathing, Esampu had fun of crawling along the edge of the mud bath on his front legs while Roi, Tusuja, Naseku and Olsekki settled for soil dusting. Later, Tusuja engaged Olsekki in a strength testing exercise but when the going got tough, Tusuja decided to quit. In the evening Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi refused to go back to the stockade with the others but returned an hour later after the orphans had settled at the stockade for the night.