Keepers' Diaries, February 1999

Voi Reintegration Unit

Daphne Sheldrick reports "We were waiting at the mudbath for Malaika and the babies to arrive when we heard a lot of trumpeting in the distance. Suddenly NDUME arrived in a state, looked around hastily, and rushed off again, going through bushes in his haste. We could hear him trumpeting way in the distance, and suddenly the trumpetting stopped. Obviously he had been separated from DIKA because later all three BOYS arrived with two wild friends in tow. DIKA stood in front of us giving the usual "friendly" signal to his wild friends, as though to say "These humans are O.K." When the tractor arrived with water, THE BOYS went over to drink from the bins as they were being filled and the two wild elephants stood at a distance giving the "friendly signal" to the tractor! When an elephant gives the "friendly signal" the trunk is laid over a tusk.

01 February 1999

Malaika and the calves left at the usual time and met up with the BOYS at the Eastern side of the Hill. They fed together until it was time for the mudbath and spent the rest of the afternoon together, returning to the Stockades in the evening.

02 February 1999

Malaika and the babies met up with DIKA, NDUME and EDO at the mudbath. They were with a wild bull the size of Olmeg. They all left the mudbath together and spent the rest of the afternoon feeding, until it was time for the babies to return to the Stockades.

03 February 1999

Again Malaika and the babies met up with THE BOYS at the mudbath who were with two wild friends. Again all spent the afternoon together until the babies returned to the Stockades, leaving the big elephants behind.