Keepers' Diaries, February 2015
Voi Reintegration Unit
Certainly the highlight of the month of February for this Unit was being reunited with ex orphan Big Boy Ndume. The Voi keepers were called to positively ID a very tame elephant who was sighted in a temporary filming camp along the Voi River. To discover Ndume again after a long absence was very special and Mishak who actually raised Ndume was there to enjoy this special moment.
Another incident that happened on the 7th of February was when a wild baby elephant fell into a deep watering hole with steep and slippery sides along the Mzima Springs pipeline and our Keepers were alerted by KWS to perform a rescue mission. The baby was extracted and reunited with it’s by now very aggressive and agitated herd. This fraught exercise was worth it seeing the joy for them all when the baby was finally extracted and able to head off into the now fading light with his Mum at his side, it was the perfect ending.
Newcomer to the Voi dependent orphans Ndoria has settled in well, and has the privileged position of being another cosseted baby of Wasessa's along with Panda and Mudanda. Wasessa seems to have enough love for them all, but given half a chance the others led by Lesanju and Lempaute mainly whisk one of them away singling them out for special attention, with Bada seemingly the favourite.
The daily routine, leaving the stockades with some playful games first before heading out for the day have been punctuated by some sensational mud bath wallowing. February is a very hot month in Tsavo so the orphans relish their mud bath sessions, sometimes meeting up with wild herds, and sometimes with Emily's herd of ex orphans and precious sweetheart the tiny baby Emma. Emma is a very spoilt bouncy baby, the picture of health who has an extremely protective set of Nannies who even ward off the keepers from getting too close to their precious calf. Emily on the other hand could not be more laid back, and has no qualms about the keeper’s proximity to her calf.
The ex orphans this month have spent time hanging out with the dependent orphans, but despite this only Mbirikani has been lucky enough to lay a trunk on baby Emma. The others have to resort to looking only, and normally from a safe distance so as not to incur the wrath of Mweya. Lesanju gets fed up with this arrangement as she so wants to spend time with the new baby. Lesanju, Lempaute and Sinya are quick to whisk their herd off and choose not to linger too long in the ex orphans company, this is because they are paranoid of loosing one of their brood to the ex orphan herd.
Big Bull ex orphan Laikipia has spent time in the orbit of the Nursery orphans which is always appreciated by the dependent bulls especially. He is a very handsome boy these days, huge and towers over the young dependent herd.
01 February 2015
The orphans began their day playing happily together as they headed excitedly for the bush and the browsing fields. Mzima and Tassia stopped to scratch their buttocks when they arrived at the foot of Msinga Hill on some of the giant granite rocks which are strewn down the mountainside. Then they joined their friends browsing in a northerly direction and arriving at the red water hole at noon. After having their milk all the juniors in Panda’s herd drank clean water from the barrels and plunged into the thick mud for a a much savoured mud wallow. Ishaq B made a spectacular entry into the water before the arrival of the seniors in Lesanju’s herd, who then dominated the mud bath with their games. Everyone had a fun time but Lesanju pushed Bada away from Wasessa who was lying down to play. Wasessa realized what was happening and got up but Lesanju still blocked her from getting close to Bada so she went and played with Mudanda instead. Rombo, Dabassa and Layoni stayed in the water for a long time playing, reluctant to leave before eventually they joined up with the others browsing.
02 February 2015
The orphans began their day eating their supplements and playing games in the stockade compound, before heading out to the field to browse. Sinya chose the route leading them all to the far north side of Msinga Hill where there is still good browse, despite the dry season now beginning to bite. They continued browsing as they made their way slowly towards the water hole in time for their noon milk feed. The juniors had their milk first and went into the water followed by the seniors in Lesanju’s herd. There was a big bathing party and Lesanju had some great games with Panda, sliding on the walls of the water hole. Surprisingly, Bada and Mudanda were very friendly today and joined together with their beloved Wasessa in some bathing fun. Wasessa was very happy to see her two adopted babies playing so peacefully together. After wallowing the orphans browsed, going in the direction of the airstrip and finally arriving back at the stockades with Kihari and Naipoki leading the way.
03 February 2015
It was a lovely day and in the morning the orphans set out from the stockades in single file and in a westerly direction to browse. At milk time the orphans had their milk in groups of four. Bada, Ndoria, Mudanda and Ishaq B were given their bottles first. All the orphans then went into the mud bath for some fun. They were joined by a small family of wild elephants, who were met and welcomed by Lempaute and Sinya, and they all had a lovely time interacting together in the water. Lesanju engaged one playful wild boy in a wrestling match, backed up by Mzima and Tassia. Bada, who had come close to watch the game, hid behind Mzima peeping through his legs to watch in safety.
The orphans stayed in the company of the wild herd as they headed off towards the Voi River to feed, browse and play while the keepers kept an eye on proceedings from a safe distance. They returned to the security of the stockades in the evening.
04 February 2015
Today Wasessa took all three young orphans, Bada, Mudanda and Ndoria, under her wing as they went to browse. She tried to share her love and attention equally between them, but Bada became jealous of the others and remained a little aloof. Wasessa kept touching them all with her trunk to reassure them of her love and attention. Later in the day the three babies left Wasessa behind as they headed into the water hole to bathe before she was ready. She joined them but not quickly enough to prevent Lempaute stealing Ndoria for mud bathing games. The females simply love the company of the little ones and are so tender and caring with them. Ndoria is very settled, despite being the new baby in the group, she is really happy in her new surroundings and with her new friends. After bathing the orphans went to the eastern side of Msinga Hill to browse for the rest of the day. Mbirikani tried to persuade them to go up the hill, but they were very happy staying where they were.
The keepers received a report of a friendly big elephant bull visiting a small camp which has become the temporary base for Vicki Stone and Mark Deeble who are making the Elephant Movie. They felt sure this very tame elephant had to be an ex orphan and wanted confirmation from the long serving keepers who it might be. On arrival we were so happy and excited to discover it was our ex orphan Ndume, looking splendid with massive tusks, interacting happily with the female herds browsing nearby. He has been absent for quite some time and while we had no reason to think he had come to any harm it is always reassuring to meet up with our special old friends. He was extremely friendly to us, but we gave him the space that a now wild elephant deserves. He recognised us for sure and we were so happy to see him looking so calm, majestic and happy.
05 February 2015
Emily’s herd visited the stockades this morning, just missing the orphans who had already left. This is the first time Emily’s herd has visited this month, although they have been frequent visitors to the middle waterhole, which is closer to their browsing grounds. Emma was seen suckling from Edie for quite some time, getting a good feed. Ella, Edie’s calf, did not appear to be at all jealous, although she watched Emma closely.
The ex-orphans left the stockade and linked up with Lesanju and Panda’s herds at the browsing grounds. Wasessa and Mzima tried to get close and greet little Emma but they were headed off by her bodyguards Mweya, Sweet Sally, Seraa and Thoma. The orphans were affronted and went off towards the water hole leaving Emily’s herd behind. Emma is a very spoilt little girl, with so many attentive Mums in the mix. Emily is the most casual of all the ex orphans when it comes to Emma, with Mweya being the most highly strung about her tiny charge.
06 February 2015
It was a warm day with early clouds clearing to hot sunshine. To begin with the orphans browsed intently, grabbing up as much browse as they could fit in their mouths. They went back to the middle water hole for their noon milk, before moving on to cool off in the main water hole. All the orphans bathed with the exception of Sinya. Kihari had a wonderful game digging chunks of red soil out of the banks of the water hole with her tusks and then throwing her head about in an effort to dislodge the earth chunks from her tusks. This succeeded in finally attracting Sinya into the water to join the game, along with Lesanju and Mzima. Ishaq B was in the deepest part of the water hole having a lovely rolling game completely immersed with just the tip of her trunk showing at times, tossing her trunk skywards and trumpeting happily. Mbirikani, Panda and Ndoria had a competition to see who could put on the best bathing performance; they were all extremely playful enjoying the water and its cooling effect.
07 February 2015
It was a lovely morning and the orphans headed off in a straight line towards the browsing grounds. They browsed for most of the day before going to the water hole to drink. There was a show down between Wasessa and Lesanju on the banks of the water hole as they competed for the affections of the little ones, Mudanda, Bada and Ndoria. However they all went off amicably together for the final browsing session of the day close to the middle water hole.
Today we received a report about another tiny wild elephant calf that fell into a deep man hole near the water pipeline. It was safely rescued by the keepers and returned to its mother in a very dangerous operation that lasted well into the evening. It was made dangerous because of how protective the herd were of the calf. Seeing the baby reunited with the frantic herd was very satisfying for us all, with this story having the happy ending we all wish for.
08 February 2015
Wasessa came straight out of the stockades this morning to greet Bada, Mudanda and Ndoria. She has taken on the role of adoptive mother to Ndoria as well as the other two. For Ndoria this mother figure has been a very healing process and we can see Ndoria is truly happy once more, despite being rescued only a few months ago.
It was a warm morning and even Sinya was tempted to plunge into the water for a mud bath. Bada came to watch Sinya, but was distracted by Ndii who wanted to play with him in the mud. However Ndii could not hold Bada’s attention and he went off to follow his adopted mother Wasessa. Ndii covered her embarrassment at being left high and dry by engaging Dabassa, Taveta and Mzima in her bathing games. Mbirikani decided to bathe alone after all the others had left the water hole, only joining them much later to browse. Her extended mud bath was savoured as she lolled about in the soupy water. Kivuko was having a lovely time soil dusting until Rombo, who was jealous of her fun, jabbed her in the back with his sharp tusks and disrupted her game. This bad behaviour did not go unnoticed by Lesanju who gave Rombo a good shove. He understood. The orphans browsed for the rest of the day with Naipoki leading them back to the stockades in the evening.
09 February 2015
The juniors came out full of energy this morning to enjoy their milk before joining their friends feeding on the supplements in the stockade. Bada went to scratch his buttocks on a boulder close to the water trough and was joined by Lesanju. Lesanju seems to be developing a soft spot for Bada, but this could lead to confrontation with Wasessa as Bada is also her favourite.
Kenia and Ndii led the way to the browsing grounds. They encountered a herd of impala that had been sheltering from predators overnight in the stockades. They treated the impala as if they were part of their extended family and did not charge at them. Taveta and Layoni then led the way to browse on Msinga Hill. Just before noon Bada started thinking about his imminent milk feed and lead the others off towards the water hole where the keepers wait with their bottles. It was fairly cold so the orphans did not go in the mud bath but just drank some water. They browsed in the direction of the airstrip for the rest of the day before returning to the safety of the stockades for the evening.
10 February 2015
The orphans left the stockade early in the morning and went to browse. After having their milk Panda and Ndoria went into the water hole and splashed a few trunks full of water onto their bodies. The others remained on the edge, as the water was too cold for bathing.
After a couple of hours of browsing Emily’s herd passed by heading towards the middle waterhole. They did not stay with the orphans. Laikipia had detached himself from the females in Emily’s herd and stayed in view of the orphans, but remained at a distance. The orphans briefly drank water as they headed towards the Voi River circuit to browse. They enjoyed sheltering under a big tree canopy.
11 February 2015
It was lovely that Emily’s herd visited the stockade once again early in the morning. Although they missed the juniors by a few minutes as the junior had already left. Emma watched her mother, Emily, having a wonderful scratch on a rock close to the stockade water trough. When they left they went the same direction as the juniors, but they did not meet up.
In a joyous noon mud bath Lempaute appropriated little Bada for some bathing fun. She taught him a game of pushing against the mud bath walls and rewarded him by taking some water in her trunk and spraying it over his back.
Lesanju and Kivuko joined forces and appropriated Mudanda for some soil dusting games leaving Wasessa without any babies to mother today. The orphans left the mud hole and browsed their way towards the northern side of the stockades, returning in the evening under the careful leadership of Naipoki. Naipoki is a mummy in the making who loves to give comfort to the babies Bada, Mudanda and Ndoria, whose little bug eyes that bulge from her face fringed with long eyelashes make her instantly recognisable.
12 February 2015
It was a fairly warm day and the orphans left the stockade in bright sunshine heading towards the browsing grounds. They settled at the northern foot of Msinga Hill, browsing for most of the morning. Later they moved to the middle water hole for some bathing games. As the orphans were leaving some wild elephants arrived. Lesanju and Wasessa quickly assembled their charges and led them away, with only Taveta and Tassia holding back to greet the wild herd by touching trunks. The wild elephants remained at the waterhole and Taveta and Tassia rejoined the orphan group.
Soon after the orphans had left the water hole Emily’s herd also arrived. Emma raced into the water joining the wild herd to bathe. Both Emily’s herd and the wild herd enjoyed watching her delightful and fun filled antics in the water. Emily noticed that one wild female was paying rather too much attention to Emma and suspected that she might try to kidnap her. She enlisted the help of Mweya, Sweet Sally, Thoma, Ndara and Seraa to extricate Emma from the water hole and back into her care. After Emily’s herd had left the water hole the wild herd also left heading in the direction of the airstrip.
13 February 2015
Emily’s herd arrived at the stockade before the orphans had been let out in the morning. Lesanju, Wasessa, Sinya and Lempaute did not even greet the ex orphans, but rushed off, taking some of the young ones in Panda’s herd with them, as they avoided the ex-orphans trying to appropriate the babies in their herd. It was very unusual for them to forgo their sweet supplements, which were left for Emily and her herd to enjoy. Emily’s herd later left the stockade and tried to catch up with the juniors. They were unsuccessful as the orphans had already gone half way to Msinga Hill and the ex orphans went past without seeing them. Lolokwe had been left behind picking green branches from some tall trees and he joined up with the dependent orphans later in the day.
After their noon mud bath, Tassia, Mzima and Mbirikani remained behind when the other orphans left to welcome a wild herd that was visiting the water hole. Lesanju moved her herd away from the wild elephants and the three rejoined them 20 minutes later having had a fun interlude to browse for the rest of the day.
14 February 2015
Emily’s herd once again visited the stockade very early in the morning, before the orphans had come out of their stables. The ex orphans drank water at the stockade water trough. Emma took a siesta under the legs of her bodyguards Mweya, Seraa, Thoma and Sweet Sally as the juniors watched from a distance. Lesanju did not want her herd interacting with the ex orphans so she quickly led them out to the field to browse.
At the waterhole Dabassa and Rombo had some wrestling games in the water. Mzima went to scratch his buttocks on the walls of the water hole and Dabassa challenged him there. Mzima backed down in fear of defeat. The orphans browsed for the rest of the day and Kihari led them back to the stockade in the evening.
15 February 2015
It was a fine morning and the juniors in Panda’s herd drank their morning milk then joined their older friends in Lesanju’s herd to eat supplements. They left the stockades and headed towards the northern side of Msinga Hill where they settled down to browse. After about 3 hours Emily’s herd joined them briefly before moving off to rest in the shade under a big tree. Emma took the opportunity to have a sleep, lying down in between the ex orphans with her bodyguard Mweya standing guard to keep her safe. A short while later Angela Sheldrick, her children and a film crew arrived. The last time they had seen Emma was the day she was born. Angela was very touched to see the little Emma and the solid protection she is getting from Mweya, and the females Sweet Sally, Ndara, Thoma and Seraa.
The juniors headed off to the middle waterhole with Emily’s herd in tow. Mweya was not keen to have all the visitors following them and spent some time charging at the film crew in an effort to safeguard and protect little Emma. Emma had a wonderful time rolling in the water before getting out and soil dusting. Both herds went off to browse together after the mud bath, if with Lesanju’s herd separating off and returning to the stockades later in the evening.
16 February 2015
Emily’s herd arrived once again in the morning to drink water and share in the supplements at the stockades. Lesanju and Panda’s herds briefly interacted with them, but left them behind when they headed off to browse. Emily’s herd soon caught up with them out in the field. Sweet Sally hid little Emma under her belly to stop her from being taken by Lesanju who was dying to touch her with her trunk. Mbirikani was the only one lucky enough to get close to little Emma while Sweet Sally was distracted by Lesanju. The two herds browsed together for most of the day, even having a mud bath together in the middle water hole. Mweya had some great rolling games with the little ones but still made sure that no one got close to little Emma. Lesanju was rather fed up that she could only see, but not get close to Emma so she led her herd away from the ex orphans and if they browsed separately for the rest of the day.
17 February 2015
There were some amazing games in the stockade compound before the orphans moved off to the browsing grounds. Today they explored the area to the far north of the stockade, looping back and arriving at the middle water hole later in the day. Sinya joined the others in the cooling mud bath and they were enjoying themselves so much that they did not notice the approach of a wild herd of elephants that were coming to drink. One of the wild females had large tusks that coiled inwards and was rather aggressive as she had a tiny calf. The orphans were scared and fled from the waterhole to watch at a distance. No one was brave enough to approach the wild herd due to the aggressive matriarch. The orphans then moved off and resumed browsing until the evening when Ndii led them back to the stockades.
18 February 2015
As usual the orphans left the stockades in the morning and went to browse. After a couple of hours independent bull Morani was seen accompanied by a wild male friend, not in the company of Emily’s herd. The juniors did not join the two as they were walking quickly towards the Voi River, occasionally stopping for friendly strength testing games.
It seems that the ex-orphan males have started to leave the females in Emily’s herd to join up with other wild male bulls, as is the custom for young male elephants in the wild. Laikipia was seen coming to drink water at the middle water hole later in the day, also alone. He tried to meet up with and greet the orphans but they were too far away.
19 February 2015
Emily’s herd visited the stockade an hour after the orphans had left for the bush. They remained for an hour, feeding on supplements and relaxing before moving off in the same direction that the orphans had taken. They did not manage to link up with the orphans who arrived late at the waterhole as the other weather was cool and cloudy. Layoni was the only one who took a complete bath with the others just splashing briefly. From there they browsed for the remainder of the day returning to the stockades in the evening.
20 February 2015
The keepers enjoyed watching Emma suckling from Emily as they drank their morning tea. The juniors had already left for the field. Then the news arrived that another wild elephant calf had fallen into the man hole near the water pipeline. The keepers dropped their cups of tea and rushed to the rescue vehicle. They quickly arrived at the site where an aggressive mother elephant was standing guard, protecting her little one still trapped in the deep man hole. With a great deal of expertise the keepers succeeded in rescuing and returning the calf to her mother and family. The little calf was very trusting of the keepers and followed them, making the handover back to the wild family quite difficult. This was another good deed done that felt lovely because of the happy ending.
21 February 2015
It was a lovely morning with the little ones in Panda’s herd emptying their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends feeding on supplements and socializing in the stockade compound. Sinya then led the way to the browsing field. The morning clouds cleared giving way to bright sunshine, a perfect warm browsing day. The orphans moved to the southern side of the stockade, browsing close to the big water hole that they use in the rainy season. When they heard a tractor taking water to the middle water hole they stopped browsing and followed it. The orphans playfully enjoyed drinking the water that was spilling from the bowser water pipe. They drank the water from the mud pool instead of drinking from the water barrels, probably thinking that this water was fresher and sweeter than the water already in the clean barrels. Soon after the bowser had left a herd of wild elephants arrived. Ndoria was unsure of their mood and quickly exited the water as they arrived. Panda swiftly grabbed a wild friend for a wrestling match whilst Lesanju, Sinya and Lempaute employed some sneaky tactics to try and lure away a small wild calf. Lesanju finally succeeded and started a pushing game with the calf. It’s mother and sisters later reclaimed their baby and headed off towards the Voi River circuit to browse. The orphans spent the remainder of the day browsing close to the middle water hole before following Ishaq B back to the stockade in the evening.
22 February 2015
The orphans left the stockade and spent the day browsing around the eastern side of the waterhole, arriving there when the sun was strong and high in the sky. A wild herd had already been bathing for a long time, trumpeting happily. This enticed the orphans to arrive a little earlier than the usual 11am time. Unfortunately the wild herd was just leaving the water hole so the orphans missed watching the games that had caused such hilarity and trumpeting. Mzima and Taveta forwent their bathing to follow the wild herd, but later rejoined their friends as the day was very warm and they wanted to wallow.
Emily’s herd, along with all four boys; Laikipia, Moran, Lolokwe and Irima, visited the stockade in the afternoon. The boys were being side-lined by the females as they were not allowed to join them drinking water. Lolokwe, Moran and Irima held back and only Laikipia pushed in to drink with the females at the water trough. The other boys only drank after the females had finished and moved away. They dallied around the stockade compound for half an hour enjoying the supplements before heading off to the field. They did not meet up with the juniors.
23 February 2015
The orphans left the stockade after feeding on the supplements and playing happily, and went off to browse. Today they had an unusual escort in the herd of friendly impala that have taken to seeking safety overnight in the stockades. The impala followed the orphans to the browsing grounds where Kivuko browsed peacefully close by them without charging or chasing them off. The orphans continued browsing slowly, arriving at the middle water hole at noon. Wasessa tried to convince Sinya to go into the water, as the weather was very hot, but Sinya refused so Wasessa joined her other friends in the mudbath. Mbirikani had a wonderful time lying down and rolling in the water. Bada and Ndoria had their bath at the edge of the waterhole away from their playful friends. Kenia and Ndii had been left behind and only arrived at the waterhole as the others were getting out. Kihari and Naipoki had a wrestling match in the water before joining the others browsing. The orphans continued browsing close to the waterhole for the rest of the day. In the evening Layoni and Tassia had a tough strength testing game before joining their friends to continue back to the stockades.
24 February 2015
The juniors came out of their stables in the morning, drank their milk and joined their older friends eating supplements. Soon afterwards Ngulia, the orphan zebra, came in to see what the orphan elephants were gathering to eat, but she was chased off by Ishaq B and Kihari, who charged at her. The orphans then moved away from the stockade, browsing and arriving at the waterhole in the afternoon. Whilst they were there a small wild elephant family, with a wild calf that was only a few weeks old, visited the water hole. The sisters of the wild calf were very protective so the orphans left the wallow. Mzima was the only one brave enough to remain and welcome them, playing rolling games with the little one in the water. Later Mzima rejoined his friends to browse. Naipoki led the way back to the stockades in the evening.
25 February 2015
Emily’s herd visited the stockade early in the morning, in good time to take advantage of the copra cake that was being put out for the orphans after their milk feed. Lesanju and Panda’s herds hesitantly went to join them eating copra cake. Naipoki took advantage of the fact that the ex-orphans were concentrating on feeding to sneak past them play a wrestling game with little Emma. When Mweya noticed their fun there was a big commotion as she stalked towards Naipoki. All the juniors were disturbed by the fuss so they left the stockade and headed off to the browsing grounds.
Mbirikani had a great time mud bathing. She sat on the walls of the water pool, mischievously rubbing her stomach and under parts in the mud. Ishaq B joined in by trying to push over the wall that Mbirikani was sitting on, but it wouldn’t budge. The orphans browsed close to the middle water hole for the remainder of the day.
26 February 2015
The orphans went out to browse in bright sunshine this morning. They browsed their way along the western side of the stockades, going around Msinga Hill and arriving at the middle water hole at noon. They had a brief bathing game and left the water to browse close by. Lolokwe, Thoma and Icholta brought in little Emma in for a bath whilst Emily and the other ex orphans remained behind browsing. Emma ran and jumped into the water to play some rolling games. Kivuko and Ishaq B turned back to join her but were blocked by Icholta, despite this Emma ran out to greet them. Emily and the other members of her herd arrived 5 minutes later and joined the three in the mud bath.
27 February 2015
It was a good browsing day and the orphans scattered far apart grubbing up as much browse as possible. Wasessa teamed up with the little ones, escorting them for milk and later to the water pool to bathe. Wasessa engaged both Mudanda and Bada in soil dusting games with the two little ones putting aside their differences to enjoy her love and attention. After about 5 minutes Tassia arrived alone and joined them. Lesanju, Sinya and the middle age group of orphans then also arrived. Lempaute, who had gone off with Panda, arrived about 15 minutes later as Panda was being called by the keepers to come and drink her milk.
Kihari lay down in the water and had some fantastic rolling games which Naipoki interrupted by lying on her stomach. As the game reached its climax Kihari revenged herself by getting up and punching Naipoki with her sharp little tusks and ending the game. The orphans then browsed together for the rest of the day with Mbirikani leading them back to the stockade in the evening.
28 February 2015
After 4 hours of browsing undisturbed, the juniors were joined by Emily, Emma, Eva, Sweet Sally, Ndara, Thoma and Edie. The other ex orphans just walked straight past the juniors heading for the stockades. It was rather unusual for Edie not to be with her baby Ella, but as she is also suckling Emma perhaps Ella is just practicing her independence. It was also unusual for Mweya, Emma’s body guard, not to be with her so the keepers climbed Msinga Hill to ascertain the whereabouts of the rest of the herd. They saw them sheltering from the scorching Tsavo sunshine under a big acacia tree, seemingly not in a hurry to follow Emily. Emily and the others had a quick drink at the stockade and then left in the direction of the shade tree.
At the middle water hole the orphans spent a long time interacting with two big wild elephant families that had come to drink water. The orphans followed the wild elephants as they were browsing, ending up at the eastern foot of Msinga Hill by the end of the day.