Just like our Ithumba Unit this month, our Voi location was abuzz with our ex-orphans and their wild born young. On the morning of the 12th we were heralded by Mweya and Edie’s ex-orphan herd who we had not seen since they left at the beginning of the year with our orphans Panda, Naipoki, Nguvu, Mbirikani, Bada and Lentili in tow. Nelion nearly left with them but instead chose to stay in the area with Mudanda, Mashariki and Tundani; unfortunately after an attack by a pride of lions Nelion met his fate and in August succumbed to his injuries. Our orphans continue to astound us, for later that morning the Keepers watched in astonishment as the ex-orphans walked off to where Nelion was buried and despite not being around at the time he died they went to the exact place, and pondered there awhile, paying their respects to a lost friend. There is so much we don’t understand about elephants but we do know they mourn their deceased loved ones, and on this day the Keepers watched this unfold.
Today the Voi orphans concentrated on their milk and supplement feeding before following Tagwa and Tamiyoi out to the Park for the day. Today Ndii seemed to be in charge of all the youngsters with Mbegu sticking close to her side wanting to learn as much as possible from her. Ndotto as usual was walking side by side with his good friend Mbegu; the two having grown up in the Nairobi Nursery together.
The Voi area has become beautifully green thanks to the recent rains, and this has meant the orphans really enjoying their browsing activities as they feed on green grass, leaves and creepers. The day was spent browsing along the southern foot of Msinga Hill and they didn’t browse too far from the stockades today.
It was another happy beginning to the day as the milk-dependent orphan elephants came running out of their stockades to the milk feeding area where they grabbed their milk bottles and downed the contents in a matter of seconds, after which they joined their older friends at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Once all the feeding was over the orphans enjoyed scratching their bottoms against their favourite rock in the stockade compound. Embu started the trend with the rest of her friends lining up behind her, waiting their turn. On seeing the length of the queue Kenia utilized her seniority to move to the front and enjoying a scratch before Rorogoi, Lasayen, Murit and Mashariki, all of whom were patiently waiting to have a go.
Later in the afternoon it drizzled making the ground wet and slippery. The orphans tried their best to keep their balance but some of them slipped while walking including little Emoli and Tamiyoi too.
The morning began peacefully with the orphans settling to feed on the Lucerne grass pellets after the milk feed. They then enjoyed interacting with one another around the stockade compound with Rorogoi, Pika Pika and Arruba enjoying scratching sessions against some rocks while Tahri was busy rolling around on the ground playing, as Ndii kept a close eye on her.
The Voi orphans browsed their way to the baobab tree waterhole arriving there in time for their noon milk bottles, after which they assembled at the water trough for a drink. Rorogoi then went to play in the small hole adjacent to the mud wallow. To her joy and excitement she found the hole full of water and enjoyed a private mud bath before joining her friends, none of whom had wanted to wallow, for the afternoon browsing activities.
This morning the orphans gulped down their morning milk bottles after which they settled to enjoy the Lucerne grass pellet supplements that get put out for them each day. The orphan elephants, zebra and buffalo then left the stockade compound for the Park, settling to browse on the western side of Msinga Hill where they also had their fill of rain water from the many full water pans. The noon milk feed was brought to the orphans where they were browsing as they did not seem interested in heading to the baobab tree waterhole today.
In the afternoon Emoli and Mashariki enjoyed mud bathing in small waterholes they found. Arruba dug at the earth with her feet loosening the soil which she then dust bathed with, tossing it over her body. Kenia and Araba were seen relaxing against the same rock, enjoying a leisurely scratching session with Ishaq-B doing the same against a different rock.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the orphan elephants walking out of their stockades amidst a light drizzle ready for their morning milk bottles and supplement food. Arruba, her best friend Suswa, as well as Rorogoi, Mudanda and Embu lay down onto the ground to play, rolling around with absolute delight. The five of them were forced to get back to their feet and follow their friends who were heading out to the Park for the day.
The morning was spent browsing halfway up the eastern side of Msinga Hill with the orphans being selective as to where they would go to browse due to the rocks being slippery and wet. At noon the orphans visited the baobab tree waterhole for some water but did not wallow as it was a chilly afternoon.
Mbegu and Godoma came sauntering out of their stockades this morning while Emoli, Pika Pika and Tahri were eager to have their milk bottle and came running out of the stockade. After the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding the orphans headed out for the day, leaving Suswa behind as she was enjoying playing and scratching against their favourite rock. Ndotto saw that Suswa was not among the group and went back to get her, enjoying a sparring session and climbing on her back before they rushed off to catch up with the rest of the orphan herd.
The orphan elephants browsed their way to the waterhole where they had their noon milk bottle and a drink of water before resuming with their browsing activities. About an later the clouds moved off and the sun shone through which had the orphans enjoying a mud bath in one of their usual water holes where they all had fun playing mud bathing games. Ndoria was seen lying down in the water allowing Suswa and Godoma to sit on her back and play with her, something that doesn’t often happen.
The orphan elephants exited their stockades this morning with the milk-dependent orphans heading to the milk feeding area for their morning milk bottles, after which they joined their older friends for the Lucerne pellet feeding. It was then time for fun and games and they all enjoyed playing around the stockade compound before heading out for the day. Ngilai invited Emoli for a game of lying on one another, while Embu stood watching them biting the end of her trunk.
Once out in the bush the orphan elephants spread out enjoying feeding on the lush green grass and creepers. They visited the baobab tree waterhole at noon where they downed their milk bottles and had a drink of clean water from the water trough. Rorogoi and Ndotto enjoyed scratching against the baobab tree after which Rorogoi had fun playing mud bathing games with Pika Pika. When their game was over the two joined their friends who had settled to browse near the waterhole for the afternoon.
The orphans left the stockade as soon as the morning milk and supplement feeding was over together with the zebras and buffaloes Cheza, Ivia, Diria and Nzuki. Mashariki and Suswa led the group as they maneuvered the herd along Msinga Hill in search of fresh vegetation to feed on. Kenia, Godoma, Sagala, Pika Pika and Ndii settled at the foot of Msinga Hill browsing along the fence line.
The morning was spent browsing and interacting with the orphan buffaloes and zebras. Pika Pika was seen tossing her trunk towards the buffalo Ivia who had come rather close to her, but Ivia managed to avoid Pika Pika who did not seem to want Ivia near her. Mashariki and Suswa then tried to engage Ivia in a sparring session but he was not interested and walked away from them; it seems that the only elephant he likes to spar with is Ngilai.
After the noon milk feed the orphans went for a mud wallowing session in one of the other mud holes in the bush and not the usual one beside the baobab tree. Tagwa, Embu, Suswa and Emoli took centre stage showcasing their wallowing skills until a wild elephant bull came to the waterhole and interrupted their fun.
Murit and Tamiyoi walked straight up to the wild bull to welcome him but he was not interested and walked away, leaving the orphans to finish their mud bath, after which they resumed their browsing activities.
After the morning milk and Lucerne pellet feeding, Mudanda wanted to have a mud bath at the stockade waterhole but the cold weather prevented her from doing so. Ngilai and Murit wanted to play but had to end their game prematurely as the rest of the orphan herd had started heading out for the day and they did not want to get left behind.
The orphan elephants, zebra and buffalo made up a unique herd and they all spent the morning browsing as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they had their noon milk bottles and a drink of water from the water trough.
As they neared the mud bath Ndoria plunged into the water, which saw her friends Mudanda and Mashariki, who were already in the water, come out to stand at the edge and throw water over their bodies instead. They were perhaps worried that she might get carried away and bite their tails.
Pika Pika enjoyed a private bathing session in a small hole, after which she had a dust bath while Kenia stood by patiently waiting for her to finish so that they could join their friends who were preparing to begin the afternoons browsing activities.
The orphan elephants, buffalo and zebra hung around the stockade compound playing this morning after the milk and supplement feeding. They then headed out to the bush where the spent their time browsing until it was time for the noon milk feed.
Arruba and Ndotto enjoyed one another’s company with Arruba stealing browse from Ndotto’s mouth which didn’t seem to bother him at all.
At noon the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk and then enjoyed a mud bath. Ivia and Cheza the buffaloes wanted to join the elephants in the mud wallow but were chased away by Pika Pika who charged them as soon as she saw them trying to enter the water. Kenia and Ndii stayed close to Pika Pika letting her know they were there should she need their assistance.
Rorogoi exited the water and shook her body before joining her friends at the soil pile. Godoma was enjoying rolling around in the soil and was seen digging at the ground with her feet. Arruba came and joined her and knelt down to dig the ground with her tusks as the red earth has become compacted and wet due to the recent rains.
The afternoon was spent browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill where Suswa kept herself busy feeding on the leafy shrubs in the area while Godoma enjoyed a scratching session against a rock close to Suswa.
The morning was bright and cool as the orphan elephants exited their stockades ready for their morning milk bottle and supplement Lucerne pellets, after which they headed out to the Park for the day. On the way to the browsing grounds at the eastern foot of Msinga Hill, Godoma, who was leading, stood on a rock blocking Lasayen from getting past her. The buffaloes Ivia and Cheza veered around the two and took over the lead of the entire group, something that surprised the elephants, especially Rorogoi who charged forward taking over the leading role.
The orphans browsed their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they downed their noon milk bottle before making their way to the wallow for a mud bath. Arruba sat on her bottom in the water to play; her game attracted Pika Pika who left Kenia and Ishaq-B’s company to join Arruba instead. Godoma saw the two playing and made her way over to join them too, not wanting to be left out.
Ishaq-B enjoyed a scratching session against the baobab tree after which she joined the rest of the orphan herd who were leaving the mud bath area to begin the afternoon browsing session.
It was a wonderful morning with the earliest callers to the stockade being Mweya and Edie’s ex-orphan herd. They were last seen at the beginning of the year, and it was an exciting and joyous for the Keepers and dependent-orphans too, to see Mweya with baby Mwitu, Edie with her babies Eco and Ella, as well as Mbirikani, Naipoki, Panda, Kihari, Nguvu and Lentili. Bada, who had also left with them back in January, was not among the group, but we believe he has joined up with the rest of Emily’s ex-orphan herd who we have not seen yet.
Tamiyoi was the first to approach the ex-orphans while Kenia seemed to be a little shy of them, despite Kihari doing her best to encourage her friend to interact with the older group. Sagala was able to interact with baby Mwitu and the two enjoyed a sparring session.
The groups left the stockade compound together and headed out to the Park but upon arriving at the northern side of Msinga Hill they separated, with Mweya and Edie making their way towards where Nelion is buried. This surprised the Keepers and junior orphans as they were not around when Nelion died and was buried several months ago, but elephants are so emotionally intelligent and we know they mourn the death of friends and family. The ex-orphans left the youngsters and headed further into the Park to browse and did not return to the stockades again in the evening.
Tamiyoi and Sagala exited their stockade this morning and immediately looked around to see if Mweya and Edie had visited again as they have a soft spot for their wild born calves Mwitu and Eco. Sadly it was not their lucky day as the ex-orphans did not visit today and had not been seen by the Keepers on their morning patrol.
Tundani and Ndotto enjoyed playing a sparring game while their friends headed out for the day leaving the two behind, but they later caught up with their friends.
After the noon milk feed near the baobab tree waterhole the orphans a lot of fun mud bathing. Arruba and Pika Pika enjoyed playing along the sides of the waterhole, but eventually Ishaq-B came and interrupted the two of them, coming in-between them and enticing Arruba away for a scratching session against an acacia tree.
In the evening Mweya and Edie’s herds were seen approaching from the northern side of the Park as they headed to a big waterhole for a mud bath, but they did not come to the stockades and as such did not meet up with the stockade-dependent orphans today.
The morning was good with the ex-orphan herd visiting the stockade at 5am and settling down to have a drink of clean water from the stockade water trough before feeding on Lucerne grass pellets that the Keepers put out for them.
At 6am the stockade-dependent orphan elephants exited their stockades with the milk dependent orphans having their milk bottles before they all joined the ex-orphans at the pellet feeding area.
Baby Mwitu was in a mischievous mood and tried to ride on the back of her best friend Eco, but Eco was having none of it and turned to engage Mwitu in a fight. Naipoki however quickly intervened to ensure that the two played nicely, rather than engage in a heated sparring game. Clearly she has learnt to be a very good nanny to these babies while being away with the ex-orphans all these past months. Tamiyoi and Emoli stood close to Mwitu and her mother Mweya, as Mwitu suckled and had some milk.
The two herds later left the stockade compound together and headed out to the bush. The youngsters settled to browse on the northern side of Msinga Hill while the ex-orphans headed to a waterhole before making their way to the Voi River circuit to browse. The entire time the two groups were together Kenia, Ndii, Mashariki, Ishaq-B and Mudanda kept their distance away from the ex-orphans, with Ishaq-B making sure to keep Pika Pika away from the older group for fear of having the youngster spirited away by them.
After a wonderful noon mud bath, Godoma had fun playing and rolling around on the ground before getting to her feet when Ndoria approached her as the group were ready to begin the afternoon browsing session.
The ex-orphans arrived at the stockade compound at 6am and headed straight to the water trough for a drink before settling down to enjoy some Lucerne pellets. The stockade-dependent orphans soon joined them once the milk-dependent orphans had finished their morning milk bottles. The two groups had a lovely morning relaxing and interacting with one another in the stockade compound before Mwitu started heading out for the day, which signaled to the rest that it was time to head out to the Park too. Godoma tried to join Mwitu but Lentili, Mbirikani and Nguvu had sandwiched her between them preventing Godoma from accessing her.
On the way out Emoli got the opportunity to interact with baby Eco, under the supervision of his older sister Ella, as the two enjoyed a sparring session. Once the group reached the northern side of Msinga Hill the ex-orphans separated from the stockade-dependent orphans, which seemed to please Kenia and Ndii who took control of their group and their browsing activities.
The day began with the ex-orphans of Mweya and Edie’s herd visiting the stockade compound. They first stopped at the water trough for a drink of water before settling to enjoy the Lucerne pellets. As soon as the stockade-dependent orphans left their night quarters the milk-dependent babies downed their milk bottles before they all joined their older friends and the ex-orphans at the supplement feeding area. Mwitu and Eco watched the milk-dependent orphans drinking their milk bottles, perhaps with some astonishment, before going to their mothers for some milk themselves.
The two groups then left together to go out to the bush, with Kenia, Ishaq-B and Ndii staying close to Pika Pika, while Tahri joined the ex-orphan group as they started to wander off. The Keepers tried to call her back but Mweya, Eco, Ella and Nguvu stood in front of her to prevent her from leaving and Tahri ended up spending the whole day out with the ex-orphans and through the night as well! The rest of the orphan herd spent their day browsing with Kenia and Ndii looking a little sad that Tahri was not with them.
It was a wonderful morning with Edie and Mweya’s herd visiting the stockade early in the morning, bringing Tahri safely back with them! On arrival they, as usual, drank water from the stockade water trough before enjoying the Lucerne pellet supplements and Mwitu enjoyed scratching against the orphans’ favourite rock.
As soon as the milk-dependent orphans exited their stockades they downed their milk bottles after which they joined the rest of the Voi orphan group for the supplement feeding. Panda, who like Naipoki is acting as a nanny to the wild born babies, gathered Ella, Eco and Mwitu together and moved them towards the path that leads out to the Park, thus preventing the juniors from interacting with them.
Tahri, who spent last night with Edie and Mweya’s herds, was enjoying interacting with Lentili and this saw Kenia and Ndii start to pull the stockade-dependent orphans away from the ex-orphan herd. Tahri seems to have missed Kenia and Ndii and soon joined up with them and the rest of her friends while Edie, Mweya and their group separated from the juniors, who settled to browse on the northern side of the stockade.
The ex-orphans didn’t visit the stockades this morning and as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over Kenia, Ndii and Ishaq-B gathered their group to lead them out for the day. The three were seen browsing with their beloved babies Pika Pika, Tahri and Araba while Emoli spent time with Mbegu, Godoma and Sagala.
The orphan elephants spent the morning browsing as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon where they had their milk bottle and then headed to the mud bath. The orphans all had a lovely time lying and rolling around and playing in the water.
Tundani was in a naughty mood and seemed to want to disrupt the fun that Mashariki and Ishaq-B were having, and the two soon became engaged in sparring game with him. Godoma and Araba also enjoyed a sparring session which took place both inside and out of the water. Ndotto and Arruba ended the mud bath fun with a sparring session, after which the orphans headed back out to browse.
It was a wonderful morning with the earliest callers to the stockade being the ex-orphans who made a beeline for the water trough where they settled to quench their thirst, sucking up trunkfuls of water to drink. When they were done they assembled for the Lucerne pellet feeding. Mweya stood by waiting to greet the stockade-dependent Voi babies when they exited their night quarters, so that she could lead the milk-dependent group to the milk feeding area. As soon as the Keepers opened the gates she came charging up quite fast, which made the Keepers change their minds and decide to feed the orphans in the stockade before letting them out to enjoy the supplement foods and interact with the ex-orphan group.
Mwitu wanted to lead the group out for the day and while walking down the path she came across a Keeper taking photos and decided to charge at him, and kneel on the ground as if playing with him. Mweya was busy chasing the other orphan buffaloes and zebras Ivia, Cheza, Diria and Nzuki when they came to join the orphan herd. The Keepers kept the orphan buffalos and zebras back, letting them head out to the Park once the ex-orphans had separated from the stockade-dependent herd, who settled to browse on the northern side of Msinga Hill. The rest of the browsing day went well with the dependent group having a lovely time playing at the noon mud bath.
It was a cold morning as the orphans exited the stockades to begin the day with the usual milk and supplement feeding. They enjoyed playing dust bating games until Kenia and Ndii took charge and led the group out for the day. Pika Pika was kept close to the matriarchs of the Voi herd for fear that the ex-orphans would come and try to steal her away.
Emoli, Sagala, Murit and Pika Pika were the first to arrive at the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk bottle followed a few minutes later by the rest of the milk-dependent orphans. Diria, the orphan zebra, also came for milk and kept blocking Nzuki from getting his share by kicking at him.
After a brief mud bath Mudanda, Godoma, Arruba and Tahri had fun playing in a small hole near the baobab tree where they enjoyed a dust bath. After the mud bath Ngilai and Emoli engaged in their usual sparring games before joining their friends for the afternoon browsing activities.
It was a bright morning with the sun rising over the horizon as the milk-dependent orphan elephants came running out of their stockades to assemble for their morning milk bottles, after which they joined their non-milk dependent friends at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Kenia was in a hurry to lead the group out to the Park today and rushed everyone to leave as soon as the supplement feeding was over. About 10 minutes after they left the ex-orphans arrived at the stockade compound, where they had a drink of water and enjoyed some Lucerne pellets before taking the same path to the Park taken by their young friends, but didn’t meet up with them.
The milk-dependent orphan elephants arrived at the baobab tree waterhole in groups of four around 11am to have their midday feed. When the milk feed was over they were joined by their milk-weaned friends and together they headed to the mud bath. Mashariki was busy trying to block Ivia from entering the water but Ivia was determined to have a mud bath and came pushing through which forced Mashariki to run off.
There was a big wild elephant bull at the water hole that had already had his fill of water and was busy browsing. Mbegu and Mashariki lifted their trunks in the air in an effort to catch his scent and welcome him, with Ndotto and Lasayen doing the same, but the wild bull did not come to join them.
Ishaq-B enjoyed lying atop the soil pile for a dust bath with Mashariki later doing the same after pushing Ishaq-B out of her position. Ndotto and Tamiyoi were the last to come to the soil pile and ended the day’s mud bath activities in their own unique dust-bathing style.
The morning milk bottles were being prepared for the milk-dependent orphans when the ex-orphans arrived in the early morning and assembled for a drink of water from stockade water trough, after which they enjoyed feeding on some Lucerne pellets. Babies Mwitu and Eco began playing a sparring match, with Nguvu occasionally getting between them to try and interrupt their game.
The milk-dependent orphan elephants came running out of their night quarters and downed their milk bottles before joining their older friends and the ex-orphans at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Lentili took Eco down to the lower side of the stockades, thus preventing the juniors from getting to play with him. Eco enjoyed spending time with Lentili and was seen scratching his head against Lentili’s front leg.
The walk out to the bush took place with Edie in the lead followed by Nguvu, Lentili, Ella, Eco and Mwitu. The ex-orphans parted ways with the stockade-dependent group when they reached the northern side of Msinga Hill.
After the noon milk feed the stockade-dependent orphan elephants had a lot of fun playing in the mud bath. Mashariki and Rorogoi lay against the walls of the waterhole where the ground was warm. Ndotto came and disturbed Rorogoi by lying on her. Diria the zebra led the entire group away from the waterhole and back out across the grasslands to browse for the rest of the afternoon.
Today the ex-orphans visited the stockade compound at 7.30am, after the stockade-dependent orphan elephants had left for the Park already. They had a drink from the water trough and fed on some Lucerne pellets before heading back out to the bush themselves. They walked along the northern foot of Msinga hill with Mbirikani and Nguvu guarding Mwitu who was busy suckling from Mweya. Edie left Eco under Ella, Kihari and Naipoki’s close watch while she browsed.
The stockade-dependent orphans had their noon milk feed at the baobab tree waterhole after which they had a drink of water at the water trough before entering the mud bath. Emoli was being prevented from entering the water by Ivia and Cheza the buffaloes, who stood in his path. Once he managed to get past them, with the Keepers assistance, he plunged into the water and enjoyed a mud bath. Ndotto led his friends for a dust bath at the soil pile after which they all resumed their browsing activities.
On this Christmas Eve the ex-orphans came to the stockade compound early this morning to greet the Keepers and the stockade-dependent orphans as they joined them for the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding. Tamiyoi went round and round the ex-orphans to try and get to Mwitu and Eco but was unable to do so as they were being well guarded by the ex-orphan herd. Godoma managed to break through the tight knit group to get to Eco who was playing against the rock but was quickly chased away by Nguvu. Godoma looked quite sad but perked up when Panda invited her to come and play with Mwitu who was having fun on one of the stockade terraces.
The two groups left the stockade compound together, separating from one another on the northern side of the stockade as they went in different directions for the day’s browsing activities. After the noon milk feed, Ndotto and Embu enjoyed a sparring session in the waterhole following their mud bath. Ndotto then joined Suswa for a dust bathing session on the soil piles after which the two joined the rest of their friends who had begun browsing nearby.
It was a lovely Christmas Day for the orphans who exited their night quarters full of energy and ready to begin the morning with their milk and supplement feeding, after which they headed out to the Park. The orphans enjoyed spending the morning browsing on lush green grass and creepers.
At noon they made their way in groups of four to the milk feeding area, with Ngilai sneaking to the front of the group followed by Emoli, Pika Pika and Murit as they all ran for their milk bottles.
It was a rather cloudy and cold day and as such the orphans did not enter the waterhole, choosing instead to just spend some time around the water trough having a drink. Godoma enjoyed rolling around on the soft grass where she was joined by Suswa who came and lay on top of her, preventing her from getting up. Once Godoma was back on her feet Suswa took her spot in the grass, inviting Godoma to come and play with her, but Godoma was not interested in doing so.
The rest of the day was spent browsing peacefully in the Park with Sagala taking the lead of the orphan herd back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a wonderful morning with the ex-orphans waiting outside the stockade, rumbling at the dependent orphans and Keepers to get them to wake up so that they could be let in to have a drink and feed on Lucerne grass pellets. As soon as the gate was opened they headed to the water trough to have a drink, with Naipoki enjoyed playing with Mwitu which made Panda jealous and she came to get Mwitu and take her to the supplement feeding area where they were joined by the milk-dependent group once they had their morning milk bottles.
Godoma lay on the ground inviting Eco and Mwitu to play and climb over her but Mbirikani came in to break up their game, placing her leg on Godoma’s back to get her to get back to her feet.
Once the two groups headed out to the bush and reached the northern side of Msinga hill they went their separate ways as they each headed to their favourite browsing areas for the day.
The morning began with the ex-orphans once again visiting the stockades. They arrived at 5am and patiently hung around waiting to be given some Lucerne grass to feed on. The Keepers were surprised to see that there was another calf with the group, older than Eco and Mwitu who had not been with them before, and were excited to see that it was little Neptune who had come with his mother Ndara during the night and had joined up with Edie and Mweya’s herd! Neptune seemed to be quite shy and was avoiding the younger ex-orphans such as Lentili and Naipoki, but was happy to play with Mweya who was very accommodating with the youngster.
When the stockade-dependent orphan elephants exited their stockade for their morning milk bottle Mweya snuck away with Neptune which signaled the rest of the ex-orphan herd to follow, with only Ndara staying at the stockade compound with the youngsters. As soon as Ndara noticed that Neptune was no longer around she quickly headed off to find the rest of the ex-orphan herd and soon caught up with them on the far northern side of the compound.
An hour after midnight Edie, Mweya and Ndara’s herd all came to the stockade compound for a drink of water from the water trough. Once they had quenched their thirst they hung around the compound for about an hour before heading back to the Park.
In the morning the stockade-dependent orphans began their day with the milk and Lucerne pellet supplement feeding. The orphans did not seem in any hurry to leave the stockade compound today, so Godoma took charge and began leading the group out to the Park. They spent the morning browsing until noon when they had their milk bottles and headed to the waterhole where they enjoyed a mud bath.
Buffaloes Ivia and Cheza headed into the water to cool off but were chased away by Godoma. A big wild elephant bull that had been browsing nearby came to join the orphans at the waterhole. The youngsters were intimidated by his size and massive tusks and kept their distance. Cheza and Ivia surprised everyone by charging at him in an effort to chase him away.
In the evening an orphan baby zebra was found alone on Rukinga Ranch and was rescued by the Rukinga Rangers who brought it to the Voi stockade.
It was a sad beginning to the day as the orphan baby zebra that had been rescued yesterday sadly died during the night as it was too far gone and despite the Keepers best efforts they were not able to save it.
The orphan elephants left the stockade-compound as soon as the morning milk and Lucerne pellet feeding was over. They spent the morning browsing in single file as they slowly made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk bottles before proceeding to the waterhole for a mud bath. Ndii, Tahri and Rorogoi took the lead of the others as they played against the walls of the waterhole and rolled around on the soil piles at its edge. Embu and Mudanda chose to play on the red earth piles while Murit and Sagala enjoyed scratching against an acacia tree.
Ndotto caused chaos in the mud bath when he decided to engage the ladies in sparring games beginning with Mbegu and then taking on Ishaq-B before ending with Arruba. Once all the fun and games were over they all left the waterhole area for the afternoon browsing session which took place to the south of the waterhole.
The morning once again began with the ex-orphan herds visiting the stockade at 6am. They drank from the water trough and settled to feed on Lucerne grass pellets. Ndara and Neptune were still with the ex-orphan group but Ndara seemed to be keeping her distance from Mweya and Edie. Lentili seems to favour Neptune and was seen holding him with her trunk. The ex-orphans walked off into the Park before the stockade-dependent orphan elephants exited their night quarters and the two groups did not meet up today.
The orphans visited the baobab waterhole at noon where they downed their milk bottles and drank water but did not have a mud bath as it was an overcast and cold day.
In the evening, at about 5:30 the sun came out briefly and Kenia, Embu and Mudanda lead their friends to a natural waterhole for a mud bath. Kenia, who normally does not like to get in the water, enjoyed playing and mud bathing today with her friends. When the fun and games were over, the orphans headed back to the safety of stockade compound for the night.
The orphans exited their night quarters early this morning with the milk-dependent orphans enjoying their morning milk bottle with Mashariki and Tundani, who have both been weaned off milk, linking up and lifting their trunks up, cheekily asking to be given a bottle as well but the Keepers did not oblige. Mbegu, Emoli and Tahri were the first to finish their share and then walked off to make room for the next group to be fed. Ngilai was busy swinging his trunk and playing at the terrace wall where he was joined by Emoli and the two enjoyed a sparring session. Ndotto and Arruba also started playing a strength testing game while Mudanda was busy digging the ground with her tusks to loosen up the soil which had become compacted by the recent rains.
Sagala, Tagwa and Tamiyoi lead the orphan herd out to the Park today and they settled to browse at the foot of Msinga Hill. As noon and the milk feeding time approached, the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole area where they had their milk bottles and headed to the mud bath which they ended up forgoing today as it had been drizzling on and off all morning, so they decided to just resume with their browsing activities after having a drink of water.