The short rains fell generously across greater Tsavo, including the southern area surrounding Voi, and actually it continued to rain well into December. This saw the happy return of many of our ex-orphans after a long absence throughout the dry season.
It was a nice beginning to the day with the orphan elephants coming out in a joyful mood. They first downed their milk bottles before proceeding to the supplement feeding area, after which they engaged in a game of hide and seek around the stockade compound. When they were done with the morning activities they made their way to the browsing grounds where they settled to browse in single file.
Today we had some very sad news as Kore’s baby Karibu died unexpectedly. Ngulia was playing with Oltukai when the two went running past Kore’s stable complex. Karibu got a fright and ran into a stockade post which resulted in her death. The Keepers were saddened by the death of sweet little Karibu who will be missed by all.
The morning was good with the sun rising early as the stockade dependent orphans concentrated on their usual morning feeding activity before engaging in games on the soil piles in the stockade compound. Murit loves lying on the soft soil piles, but had to cut short his game today as Ngilai was intent on riding onto his back.
The orphan elephants then left the stockade and made their way to the browsing grounds where Tundani charged around playing a game of running around trumpeting and kicking at small bushes. Lesanju, Lempaute, Wasessa, Rombo, Taveta, Thoma, Thor, Seraa and Solar were seen browsing on the far western side of Msinga Hill. The ex-orphans and the stockade dependent orphan elephants interacted with Ndii, Panda and Naipoki getting the chance to play with Thor who is normally under close supervision from Lesanju and Wasessa. The two groups browsed together for about half an hour before going their separate ways.
The day started great with the stockade dependent orphans coming out of their stockade full of energy. They downed their morning milk bottle before settling to enjoy the highly nutritious Lucerne grass pellets. Soon after feeding, Emily and Lesanju’s herds arrived at the stockade which surprised Mbegu’s herd, all of whom sought refuge close to the stockades until they felt comfortable enough to interact with them, while Icholta and Lempaute enjoyed a scratching session against some rocks.
Kenia, Panda and Kihari took the lead of the stockade dependent orphan elephants towards the browsing grounds, leaving the ex-orphan herd at the stockade compound where Emma was a little naughty as she tried to ride on Eden, Neptune and Thor’s backs. Emily’s herd had two wild elephant bulls among one of which has a severed trunk and today the keepers noticed that one of Emily’s tusks had broken and she now only has one tusk.
The morning was calm and cold as the stockade dependent orphan elephants enjoyed their morning milk bottle and supplement feeding. They later briefly engaged in some soil dusting games before following behind Embu and Naipoki to the browsing fields. They browsed on the eastern side of Msinga Hill where they were joined by Emily’s herd. Ndii led Panda and Godoma to try and get away from the ex-orphans, but as the rest of the orphan herd wanted to interact with them they rejoined the group. Lesanju, Wasessa and Lempaute gave most of their attention to Emma, Eden, Inca, Thor and Solar while ignoring the younger ones in Mbegu’s herd. The stockade dependent orphan elephants followed the ex-orphans all the way towards the Voi River circuit, before stopping for a bath in the middle waterhole at 6p. Later they made their way to the stockades in the evening.
The day was cloudy as the stockade dependent orphan elephants began with their usual milk and supplement feeding at the stockade compound before heading to the browsing grounds for the beginning of the days browsing activities.
Murit and Lasayen engaged in a wonderful play fighting game, with Rorogoi and Mbegu approaching them to investigate and ensure that they were playing and not actually fighting. At noon they visited the big water hole for a drink of water before resuming with their browsing activities at the foot of Msinga Hill.
Nelion and Embu secured a scratching position against some rock boulders and had a lovely time enjoying a scratch there. There was some light rain in the in the afternoon. Tundani, Bada, Mashariki and Mudanda lay down on the ground to enjoy the damp wet earth. Kihari and Suswa did the same with Mudanda stopping her game to watch them as they played.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the orphan elephants coming out of their stockades and downing a morning milk bottle before settling for their supplement feeding, after which they headed to the browsing grounds. The orphans browsed in single file with Kihari, Panda and Ndii keeping company with Tahri while Kenia browsed with Araba. There were many water holes around Msinga Hill, and the orphans enjoyed drinking and bathing in them.
While browsing, a small wild elephant family joined the orphans, and a big wild elephant cow joined Ishaq-B and Nguvu for a browsing session while the rest of the orphan herd followed a wild bull that was among the wild herd. Later in the day, the wild herd browsed towards the far northern side of Msinga Hill as the orphans made their way back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The orphans ran out of their stockades this morning for their morning milk bottle. They emptied their milk bottles as fast as possible then settled to enjoy the supplement foods. Ndotto plucked up some lush green grass and placed it on his back. Before he could enjoy the grass however, Ngilai stretched up his trunk and grabbed the grass to feast on it. Lasayen tried to grab some of the vegetation from Ngilai’s mouth but was unsuccessful in doing so.
On the way to the browsing fields the orphans met up with Emily’s herd again, who were making their way towards the stockades. Kenia’s herd continued towards the northern side of the stockade where they settled to browse. Rombo separated himself from the ex-orphan herd and engaged Panda in a wrestling match.
The orphans visited the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon, where Bada was the only one to enter the water. He enjoyed rolling around in the mud bath, while the rest of the orphan herd stood on the sides and splashed themselves with some mud. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close to the waterhole.
There were heavy clouds overhead this morning forecasting heavy rain as the orphans exited their stockades. They downed their morning milk bottle in a hurry then played some games around the stockade compound after which they headed to the browsing grounds.
Under the stewardship of Embu and Ishaq-B they made their way to the western side of Msinga Hill. The orphans browsed in single file before slowly making their way to the baobab tree water hole. Before they got there they came across a wild elephant herd and they spent some time browsing with them. Nguvu and Nelion spent some time with a big wild elephant bull and wanted to stay with him even when the rest of the orphan herd started to leave, but knew that they had to join the orphan herd and followed them to the waterhole.
Later in the day Suwa was mistakenly left behind as the rest of the group moved on from their browsing activities, and she had to rush to catch up with them. Ndoria attempted to take the browsing leadership but was prevented from doing so by Rorogoi. The rest of afternoon was spent browsing peacefully until it was time to return to the stockades.
The stockade dependent orphans came out of their night quarters to begin another day. They
carried out their morning routine of milk and supplement feeding before leaving for the browsing field under Lentili’s leadership, with Mudanda behind her.
In the afternoon we had some light rainfall with Ndotto sitting on some wet rocks for a scratching session. Lasayen came up to Ndotto and spoilt his scratching session by sitting next to him and shuffling across, pushing Ndotto off the rock and taking his spot.
The orphans enjoyed browsing on wet grass before making their way to the middle water hole where they had their noon milk bottle. Later in the afternoon, Mbegu split her herd from Kenia’s for the afternoon browsing session. Ishaq-B followed them and Mbegu tried to prevent her from joining the juniors but despite her efforts, Ishaq-B managed to do so and spent some time browsing with them.
It was a perfect beginning to the day with the stockade milk dependent orphan elephants quickly downing their morning milk bottle and proceeding for their routine playing session. Emily’s herd was punctual today arriving at 6.30am to enjoy Lucerne grass pellets mixed with copra cake.
After a wonderful supplement feeding session, Ndotto greeted Lesanju who acknowledged his greeting with a trunk touching encounter. Lempaute approached Mbegu for greetings but Mbegu was unsure of her intention and ran away to avoid her. Lentili enjoyed a neck scratching session while Embu played a soil dusting game in an effort to showcase her expertise to the seniors. Rombo went for a play fighting game with his friend Dabassa while a teenage wild elephant bull with a chopped trunk embraced Neptune by placing his trunk softly on his back.
Arruba and Suswa took the lead and led the others towards the browsing grounds leaving Emily’s herd at the stockades where they remained for a short while before leaving heading in the opposite direction.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the orphan elephants coming out of the stockade in a happy mood to empty their milk bottles before enjoying some Lucerne grass pellets. Ndotto was busy chasing Ngilai when he tried to grab Ndotto’s milk bottle. Ngilai ran off but quickly returned to join the others for the supplement feeding.
Lentili and Arruba took the lead of the orphan elephant herd to the browsing grounds but before they could begin the journey there Ndara, Neptune and Sinya arrived at the stockade and were given some Lucerne grass pellets, after which they had a drink of clean water from the stockade water trough. Lentili and Kihari teamed up to try and steal Neptune away from Ndara. Sinya came to observe their interaction with Neptune and thwarted their attempts to take Neptune away from them. Ndara, Neptune and Sinya followed the stockade dependent orphans to the bush, but left an hour later for the Mzima Springs-Mombasa pipeline area.
The morning was the same as the babies came out from their rooms for their milk and supplement feeding before heading to the browsing grounds. Nelion and Bada teamed up in an effort to engage Tundani in a strength testing pushing game in the middle of the Lucerne grass pellet feeding area. Tundani is generally a nice, calm elephant and kept on avoiding the two by keeping himself busy with his normal feeding and drinking routine to avoid any sort of confrontation with the two.
Soon after the orphan herd left for the browsing grounds Icholta, Inca and Dabassa arrived and had a drink from the stockade water trough. Icholta went back to the park in the direction from which they had come while Dabassa joined the juniors for a while. Tundani was full of admiration for Dabassa and his tusks and went up to him to touch them before Dabassa walked off into the bush again.
Emily’s herd arrived this morning and joined the orphans for Lucerne grass pellets. While the seniors enjoyed the supplements the juniors were busy interacting with the babies from the ex-orphan herd. Mbegu approached Inca and Neptune to greet them but was prevented from doing so by Sinya. Eventually Mbegu got tired of not being allowed to interact with the babies and made the decision to leave walk away.
Once out in the bush, Tundani and Nelion put their heads together and looked to be in deep discussion over one thing or another. Ndoria approached them but didn’t join them, as did Lentili who also seemed to be blocked from joining whatever conversation they were having.
The orphan herd visited the baobab water hole in the afternoon, and had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games before resuming with their browsing activities close to the waterhole.
The morning was good with the stockade dependent orphan elephants browsing in single file before visiting the baobab water hole in the afternoon. In a wonderful mud bathing encounter, Embu had a great time rolling around in the middle of the wallow with Bada coming to try and copy Embu’s game, which was being watched by Mashariki and Ishaq-B who showed their appreciation of the game by trumpeting loudly. Bada showcased his skills of diving and rolling around until Tundani came and ousted him from the water to take his bathing position for himself.
Other contenders of today’s mud bathing games were Kihari, who was lifting and striking the surface of water with her trunk while lying down, Naipoki who stirred the water with her front leg, and Ndoria who was bathing in a knelling down position.
The morning was wonderful with the stockade dependent orphan elephants enjoying playing around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. After the fun and games ended they made their way to the browsing grounds.
On arriving at the western side of Msinga Hill, the orphans met up with a few ex-orphans, Ndara, Neptune, Lempaute, Lesanju, Sinya and Dabassa. Lempaute became extra exited upon seeing the juniors and came running and charging up to join them. Mbegu’s herd got confused with Lempaute’s approach and took refuge behind Kenia, Ndii and Kihari. Dabassa went straight up to Panda for a strength testing pushing game while Sinya approached Nguvu for some browsing company. The two herds remained together for two hours before separating.
There were some rain showers at 11am while the juniors had their milk bottle on the northern side of Msinga hill. They spent the rest of the day browsing here before returning to the stockades for the night.
The morning began with the stockade dependent orphan elephants coming out amid light rain showers. They had a wonderful hide and seek game after the milk and supplement feeding. The rain carried on, on and off, throughout the day. The orphans had their noon milk bottle on the eastern side of Msinga hill where they were busy feeding on wet green grass.
The orphans took a break from browsing to enjoy a soil dusting game with Lasayen, Godoma, Murit and Mbegu sliding from the top of a wall to the bottom in an erosion trench. Murit proved to be the best at the game until Lasayen and Godoma teamed up to lie on his stomach and spoil his game. Murit was in a difficult position and called for Mbegu to intervene and rescue him.
Later in the afternoon, Bada led the orphan herd half way up Msinga hill to browse. Naipoki tried to get Bada to browse further uphill by pushing his bottom to get him to move. Bada was happy to oblige and the two moved uphill to feed.
The morning was cold as the orphans came out of their stockades for the milk and supplement feeding before heading to the browsing grounds. They enjoyed a browsing session in single file on the southern side of Msinga Hill. The orphans all enjoyed pulling up and feeding on green and lush grass blended in with creepers which had shot up from the ongoing rain showers.
The orphan herd visited the baobab tree water hole where they had their milk before having a drink of water. Later in the day, Murit and Ngilai enjoyed a dust bath in a trench but came out when they saw Nelion coming to join them, and continued their game in some soft soil at the side of the road. The rest of the day was spent browsing with Ngilai enjoying the lead of the group back to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
It was a nice beginning to the day with the orphan elephants coming out of their night quarters in a happy mood, looking forward to the beginning of a new day. Ndii, Kihari, Kenia & Naipoki gathered the orphan herd and led them to the far eastern side of the stockade towards the Mzima-Mombasa water pipe line.
They arrived at the baobab tree water hole for their afternoon milk bottle where they had a drink of water but didn’t wallow as it was a chilly morning. After browsing for more than three hours, Lasayen lay down and began rolling around on the soft grass, enjoying his rolling game. When none of the others joined him, he got to his feet and joined them for the browsing activities. Later in the afternoon, the weather improved, and the orphans enjoyed wallowing in the big waterhole. Nelion went to the middle of the waterhole and rolled around in the water while Rorogoi and Araba watched him.
The morning began with the stockade dependent orphan elephants peacefully downing their milk bottles before playing a game of hide and seek around the stockade compound, after which they headed out to browse. After browsing for four hours, Mbegu lay in an erosion trench where she pretended to be asleep. Her actions left some of her herd feeling uncomfortable, with Ngilai, Godoma, Ndotto and Lasayen sliding down into the trench to make sure Mbegu was okay. When she soon got to her feet she assured them that everything was fine.
The orphans browsed their way to the big waterhole where they had a lovely mud bath. Mashariki rolled around in the water with Tundani coming to ride on her back. This resulted in the orphans exiting the waterhole with Lentili and Mudanda being the first to come out of the water. The orphans then browsed their way to the northern side of Msinga Hill before turning around and making their way to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The milk dependent orphans came running out of their stockades and grabbed their milk bottles, downing the contents in a matter of minutes.
The orphan herd spent the morning browsing close to the baobab tree water hole with Emily's herd walking right by them. Icholta and Inca came to greet the youngsters who followed them to join up with Emily’s herd. It was not long before the two groups parted ways as both Kenia and Mbegu’s herd were frustrated with the fact that they were denied the opportunity to interact with the babies. Lesanju, Sinya and Lempaute led the stockade dependent orphans to the baobab tree waterhole where they had a drink of water and a quick wallow before resuming with their browsing activities.
Tawi came back today from taking Oltukai and Kore back to the Park with him and the three enjoyed spending some time together. They came looking for the elephant orphans at the baobab tree area and browsed there for a while before returning to the stockades.
It was a perfect beginning to the day as Emily's herd arrived at the stockades bright and early in the company of a teenage wild elephant bull that was believed to be Taveta's friend, as they kept on following one another. Nelion and Panda approached Emma for a wonderful trunk touching greeting encounter. Emily's herd hung around the stockade for an hour drinking water and feeding on Lucerne grass pellets before heading back out to the Park.
Kenia, Ndii and Kihari took the lead of the stockade dependent orphan elephants away from the stockade towards the northern side of the stockade. They visited the baobab tree water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games. The afternoon was spent browsing close the water hole.
The day began like any other with the stockade dependent orphan elephants emptying their morning milk bottle before enjoying some Lucerne grass. They then had a wonderful and brief playing session around the stockade compound before making their way to the browsing grounds.
Ishaq-B engaged in a campaign of trying to woo Mbegu's herd away from Kenia’s. Ndii was not happy about this and made it her mission to stop Isahq-B from separating the two groups and causing unnecessary upset among the orphan herd.
The orphan’s proceeded to the big water pool in groups of five for their noon milk bottle after which they had a drink of water and made their way to the main waterhole for a bath. Rorogoi plunged into the cold water and had a bath at the edge of water, although none of the other orphans joined her as it was a cold day.
Later in the day, Mbegu, Godoma and Ngilai enjoyed playing a game of rolling and lying on one another, bringing an end to the days browsing activities. When they were done, the orphans made the trek back to the stockades for the night.
The morning was good with the stockade dependent orphans concentrating on their usual feeding routine before enjoying a game of chasing one another around the stockade terraces. Laikipia came and joined the dependent orphans for a drink from the stockade water trough. The juniors were all in awe of their older friend and kept touching him with their trunks. Laikipia followed the orphans out of the stockade compound before separating from them and heading in a different direction.
Emily and all the rest of the other ex-orphan herd members arrived at the stockade at 10am. Inca, Emma, Eden, Solar and Safi played a wonderful game of riding on the backs of one another.
At the afternoon mud bath, Kihari came to watch Rorogoi who was having a lovely time rolling around in the water. Rorogoi kept tossing her trunk skyward, throwing mud and water around. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close to the big water hole, with Ndotto taking on Lasayen in a tough wrestling match before it was time to return to the stockades for the night.
The morning was good with Kenia, Kihari and Ndii happy to be the matriarchs of the orphan herd as they had their milk bottle and supplement foods before heading to the browsing fields. Mudanda and Embu took the lead today, traversing several browsing routes while out in the bush.
Bada, who seems not to have realized he is junior to Nelion, decided to engage his older friend in a strength testing pushing game that came to a premature end when the rest of the orphans made their way to the baobab tree water hole, where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games after having their milk and a drink of water.
In the afternoon, Ishaq-B and Mashariki wanted to have a second mud bath, but were prevented from doing so by the rest of the orphan herd who were intent on continuing with their browsing activities.
The orphans were in a jovial mood as they came out of their stockades on Christmas morning for their milk bottle and supplement foods after which they engaged in some fun and games around the stockade compound. Arruba and her longtime friend Suswa tried to sort out the baboon problem by charging around and preventing them from entering the stockade compound as they chased them away.
Mbegu and Ndotto enjoyed the lead of the orphan herd out to browse, where they settled on the peak of Msinga Hill with Nelion and Mashariki enjoying browsing in one another’s company. The two later became engaged in a friendly play-fight, before joining their friends who were making their way to the stockades for their afternoon milk bottle and a drink of water from the stockade trough. Tundani lay at the edge of water, fetching a trunk full of water and spraying it onto his body before rejoining his friends.
This morning Ngilai came running out of the stockades followed closely by Godoma, and the two were the first to gulp down their morning milk bottle. The orphans played briefly around the stockade compound before following Lentili and Embu out. Once there, the orphans had a fun time playing and hiding with one another as they happily ran and charged around, kicking up small bushes with their forefeet.
A teenage wild elephant bull joined the orphan elephants on the northern side of Msinga hill browsing with them for 10 minutes before going on his merry way. Before heading to the waterhole in the afternoon, Lasayen lay down to play, inviting Ngilai to come and play with him. Ngilai, who wanted his milk bottle, ignored Lasayen and led his friends to the milk feeding area.
Once the morning milk and Lucerne pellet feeding was over, Bada and Nguvu led their friends away from the stockade compound and to the browsing grounds. Kenia, Ndii, Araba and Tahri enjoyed browsing in one another’s company the entire day.
The orphans had their noon milk bottle at the northern foot of Msinga Hill, after which Mbegu led the stockade dependent orphans into a deep water hole where they enjoyed their afternoon mud bath. Mbegu then showcased her agility by climbing a steep wall to exit the waterhole. Arruba attempted to copy Mbegu but was unable to do so and ended up sliding back into the water.
The dependent orphans came walking out of the stockade, seemingly in a rush this morning to begin their day. They enjoyed their milk bottles before heading to the browsing fields. Emily's herd visited the stockade this morning for a drink of clean water too.
The orphans browsed in single file before visiting the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon. They arrived in groups of six and quickly downed their delicious milk bottles. Ndotto, who came with the first milk feeding group, hung around and tried to steal his friend’s milk bottles from the back of the stockade pickup. He tried his level best to grab the milk bottles, attempting to lift them to his mouth, but was unsuccessful.
While Bada was enjoying a drink of water, Mbegu stretched her trunk towards him trying to get water from his mouth. Arruba, Rorogoi, Murit, Tahri and Bada had had a wonderful time playing in the main water hole. Arruba exited the waterhole and headed to the water trough, stirring the clean water with her forefoot, before rejoining the rest of the herd who were heading back to the browsing fields.
Tawi, the ex-orphan eland, came today to take Kore, the female stockade dependent eland, and Oltukai the orphan buffalo, to take them out into the Park with him. The three friends did not return to the stockades this evening, choosing to spend the night out with wild friends.
The morning began with a little fight between Ngilai and Tahri when Ngilai attempted to steal Tahri's milk after he had finished his. Tahri was upset with Ngilai behavior’s and reacted quickly in an attempt to bring it to an end. Mbegu came in to separate the two and lead them to the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Nguvu, who had not finished his milk yet, saw Ndoria approaching him and walked away, afraid that Ndoria was trying to steal his share. The Keepers followed Nguvu and fed him the last of his milk.
The weather became warm during the course of the day and Nelion went to a shallow water hole where he smeared himself with mud. Ngilai joined him and the two had some fun together before joining their friends who were making their way to the baobab tree water hole. The rest of the day was spent browsing close to the water hole.
Mbegu’s herd came out of their stockade this morning trumpeting happily. Ngilai came dashing out as usual to ensure that he was the first to get to the milk feeding area, and quickly downed his milk bottle. Godoma and Tahri came in a close second with Tahri constantly looking for Ngilai to ensure that he was nowhere near her or her milk bottle.
The orphan elephants made their way to the browsing fields where they browsed until it was time to head to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed. When they were done, they walked back out to browse, and came across a wild elephant herd who they briefly interacted with. Mudanda and Rorogoi followed the wild herd for a short distance before returning to rejoin their friends.
It was a beautiful warm and sunny morning as the orphan elephants exited their stockades in happy mood, gulping down their morning milk bottle eager to begin the day. Today Tahri was the first to get to the milk feeding area, beating Ngilai to the milk bottles, which surprised Ngilai who seemed to be thrown off by this turn of events. The orphans then played happily around the stockade compound before heading to the fields.
The orphan elephants browsed half way up the eastern side of Msinga Hill. Naipoki and Nelion had a wrestling match on the Hill with Naipoki quitting the game upon noticing that Nelion's long tusk could injure her. The orphans came down at noon and made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where Arruba showcased her bathing skills by rolling around in the water. Kenia did not seem too keen to join the bathing orphans and stayed away from the waterhole browsing nearby, and was joined by the rest of the orphan herd when they had finished wallowing.