Keepers' Diaries, February 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
The dry hot weather prevailed in the Northern Area of Tsavo throughout February which meant we were treated to lots of visits from the Ex Orphan herds as well as many wild elephants who came to quench their thirst at all hours of the day, but predominantly in the early morning and late evening. One morning began with only Ex Orphan bull Tomboi drinking water outside the stockades but soon snowballed into over 100 wild elephants all vying for water from the stockade’s vital water troughs. Needless to say quenching so many gigantic thirsts keeps our water bowser extremely busy ferrying from the boreholes and Tiva River.
01 February 2017
Shukuru, Narok and Enkikwe started their day by scratching on the nearby rocks. Shortly later the juniors were joined by Mutara’s group and few senior Ex Orphans. Boromoko had a brief chat with Sities while Narok and Laragai opted to attend to Wiva. An hour later, the orphans left for browsing leaving Ex Orphans in the stockade compound. Only Chyulu decided to escort the juniors up to Kanziku area where she had a brief chat with Teleki and Garzi before returning back to join her friends. Shukuru teamed up with Bongo to browse as Vuria took some time off from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. At mud bath time the orphans decided to only drink some milk and then water before returning back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse close to Imenti area.
02 February 2017
Chaimu, Kilaguni, Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Turkwel and Kainuk joined the juniors for lucerne in the morning. Kainuk and Turkwel who usually belong in Mutara’s group appear to have separated somewhere or they didn't want to wonder as far and so decided to stick close to the stockade area in Chaimu’s group. Orwa had a brief chat with Kilabasi as Boromoko shared food with Barsilinga.
The orphans passed at the water trough to arm themselves with enough water that would take them through the entire morning. Makireti and her group parted ways with juniors leaving Turkwel and Kainuk with the orphans.
Out in the bush Siangiki came across a suitable tree that she used to scratch her belly on while Boromoko and Olsekki spent some time in a strength testing exercise that saw Olsekki emerge as the winner. The temperature was moderate and the orphans took advantage of the cool weather to concentrate on browsing. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by a lone bull that shared water with them. Only Shukuru, Bongo, Narok and Teleki participated fully in the mud bathing exercise. Shortly later, the orphans participated in a red soil dusting exercise before returning back to the browsing field. Kainuk and Turkwel, who have maintained their friendship even into the wild, participated in a game of rolling on the ground, with Turkwel opting to scratch on Kainuk.
In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse at western side of the Ithumba Hill. The clouds cleared giving way to sun shine and this prompted the orphans to pass by the mud bath for an evening wallow. The Ex Orphans reported at the stockade in the evening. Noticeable were Yatta, Mulika, Wendi, Galana and babies Gawa and Wiva and five wild elephants. Olare and her group were last seen at the beginning of November last year; this group is known to disappear for long periods of time though. Since the dry season is now upon us, hopefully the group might show up for water.
03 February 2017
Finally Turkwel and Kainuk have found their group and came to spend the night just outside the stockade. In the morning the group, led by Mutara, joined the juniors for lucerne. After feeding on lucerne, Mutara and her group escorted the juniors to the browsing field and parted ways an hour later. The orphans had a peaceful morning and at mud bath time, they were joined by Half Trunk and his two friends. One of the bulls was hostile to the orphans and at one point tried to chase the juniors from the water trough, but the keepers shouted at him. Half Trunk walked down to have a mud bath as Sokotei stood close by, admiring his mud bathing skills. Shukuru, Kamok and Enkikwe had a brief wallowing exercise before joining their friends who had gone to drink the clean water at the water trough. In the afternoon, the orphans relaxed under some trees to hide from the scorching sun.
At four o'clock in the evening, the orphans were back at mud bath for a cool off. Later in the evening Makireti’s group which consists of Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau showed up at the stockade compound followed by Rapsu, Zurura and a wild elephant.
04 February 2017
Mutara’s group joined the orphans in the morning soon when they were let out. The two groups shared lucerne peacefully. Kamok, Oltaiyoni and Bomani spent time scratching on the rocks nearby. Shortly later Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to the browsing field and thereafter parted ways. Mutara, Kainuk and Sities enjoyed a soil dusting exercise before finally disappearing to undisclosed location. On the way to the browsing field, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau. After mud bath, Lemoyian challenged Kithaka while Barsilinga tried his hand on Kasigau. Later Barsilinga engaged Kilabasi in a pushing game but ended up losing the game.
In the afternoon the naughty disappearing group, under the command of Olare, reported at the stockade compound, all in good health. The group had been missing in action for three months and we were so happy to see them! They looked very well and very fat. The group drank water and mud bathed before joining the senior Ex Orphans that were relaxing in the stockade compound. Two hours later, the entire Ex Orphan group left to an undisclosed location. It was a hot day and the juniors passed by mud bath on their way back to the stockade for an evening cool off.
05 February 2017
Half an hour after the orphans left the stockade, Olare and her group checked in. The group had been away for long and where happy to be back. They shared lucerne with the juniors. Orwa was happy to have friends that he could play with and teamed up with Murka, Chemi Chemi, Naisula, Kitirua and Kibo as they walked to the water trough for water. Shortly later, the orphans left for browsing, leaving Olare and her group still at the stockade compound. At the browsing field, Sirimon came across a suitable tree stump that was of the right size to scratch his neck. He was later pushed away by Barsilinga who wanted to use the tree stump to scratch his chin. After mud bath, the orphans settled to browse at Kone area. Naseku settled to browse with Siangiki while Kithaka teamed up with Barsilinga.
06 February 2017
The orphans were joined by Rapsu at the stockade compound soon after coming out of their stockades. Rapsu shared the lucerne with the juniors and thereafter parted ways. It was a cloudy morning and the orphans browsed calmly throughout the morning without any major observation. At mud bath time no elephant dared to step into the mud bathing water due to the windy weather. The orphans only drank their milk then some water and then returned to the bush.
In the afternoon, Olsekki spent some time soil dusting while Lemoyian engaged Garzi in a pushing game. Later Kithaka invited himself into the game and picked on Lemoyian for a strength testing exercise. Naseku and Roi saw green leaves on a high tree and tried to stretch their trunks up to get them. The two tried as much as they could but they were unable to reach them. They then left in search other green leaves. Later in the day, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. Lemoyian, Teleki and Naseku took a break from feeding and relaxed under a tree. They later resumed browsing when the temperature dropped to a more favourable level.
07 February 2017
It was a windy morning when the orphans left the stockade and settled for lucerne. Olsekki and Siangiki scratched on their favourable rock while Orwa tried to confiscate a piece of lucerne from Boromoko but Boromoko would not allow it. Boromoko took the piece and ran away from Orwa.
Out in the bush Kauro and Olsekki joined Bomani in soil dusting exercise while Orwa tried to invite Kithaka into a similar soil dusting exercise. Kithaka turned down Orwa’s invitation by walking away. Garzi, who was just feeding a few metres away, decided to step forward and briefly engaged Orwa in a strength testing exercise. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Tomboi and wild bull. Tomboi walked to the water trough with some of the orphans while Siangiki joined the wild bull in splashing water down at the water pan. Shortly later, Tomboi and the wild bull left while the orphans settled to browse on the western side of the Ithumba Hill. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine and this prompted the orphans to pass by the mud bath in the evening on their way back to the stockade. The orphans fully participated in the wallowing exercise and later did some soil dusting. Later in the evening, Mutara and her team of six reported for water at the stockade water trough. Shortly later, the team was joined by Rapsu as well.
08 February 2017
Mutara and her group spent the night just outside the stockade and joined the orphans in the morning. Later, Tomboi and Rapsu arrived. After feeding on lucerne, Mutara led the group to the water trough where they drank some water before heading to browse. Out in the bush, Barsilinga tried to engage Bongo into a pushing game but unfortunately slipped and fell giving Bongo an easy win. Shortly before mud bath time, Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, the weather was windy and none of the orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the west of the Ithumba Hill. Lemoyian played with Garzi while Kithaka played with Barsilinga. Orwa engaged Bongo in a strength testing exercise while Sirimon engaged Boromoko in a pushing game. Later in the day, the sky cleared giving way to sun shine. This prompted the orphans to seek refuge under the trees to hide from the scorching sun. Later, they passed by mud bath for a cool off and soil dusting.
09 February 2017
It was a quiet morning with the orphans coming out of their respective staples to the lucerne field. They were accompanied by Makireti’s group and a wild bull. Roi was scratching on the rock while Tusuja watched her. The group later walked to the bush to browse.
Lemoyian and Sokotei were very busy browsing while Naseku was playing around, opening her ears and stamping around. Sirimon was messing around with a tree while all the rest were busy browsing. Barsilinga and Vuria started play fighting while Kithaka and Shukuru were scooping and tossing soil chunks of soil in the air and some on their backs. Shukuru's back was red full of soil, as she led the group to mudbath for their milk.
At mudbath we had a group of wild bulls who were play fighting inside the mudhole. Tomboi, Rapsu and Buchuma were there too and they played for some time and then left. Bongo obviously went in to play for a little bit and then he walked out as it was not very hot for them to play vigorously. The group later headed back to the bush. They were all busy browsing for the rest of the day and later walked back to mudbath to cool down after being in the hot sunshine. The dependent orphans later walked back home in the evening for their milk.
When the orphans were in their stockades we had a group of wild bulls who came in to drink water and later left back to the bush.
10 February 2017
It was a lovely and quiet morning with elephants making their way to the lucerne area and meeting Wendi’s group; they interacted as they shared lucerne. Galana and her baby Gawa were busy feasting on lucerne while Wiva was with Kinna. Gawa was very active and playing with the keepers when they were trying to take her photo. Yatta and the rest of the Ex Orphans were busy eating lucerne as well. They all interacted before the orphans left to the bush.
Despite the windy weather in the morning all the orphans were very active. Shukuru was very active too and busy browsing. Kauro was browsing next to Olsekki and communicating with him too. The group later walked on heading to the mudbath for their lunch time milk bottles.
The weather was still cold at mud bath time and no one played in the mud hole, only a few of them drank water and left back to the bush. Orwa was trying to climb on the young ones as they played but they resisted. The group walked back to the bush for browsing. Orwa tried to steal some of the young ones and walk with them back in the stockade. They thought that they might be given more milk in the stockade with Orwa escorting them. It was Naseku, Roi, Tusuja, Oltayoni, Boromoko and Bomani who followed Orwa. They were taken back to their junior friends by the keepers though and they continued with their browsing.
It became very hot in the afternoon with every one flapping his or her ears repeatedly as they browsed. They later walked back to the mudbath in the evening to cool their body temperature. They all played vigorously and walked out later after a wild bull walked in to play in the mud hole too. They all came out leaving the wild bull behind. They walked straight home in the evening to get their evening share of milk bottles in the stockade.
11 February 2017
This morning when the juniors came out they met the Ex Orphans already in the field waiting for the lucerne. They were Mutara and Makireti’s group. They joined them to eat lucerne with Kanjoro scratching on the rocks with Lemoyian separately, while the others ate lucerne. Shukuru was also busy scratching on the rocks just before they all set off to the bush for browsing.
In the bush everyone was much busy hurrying to get as much food before mudbath time. Kamok’s group of six, the most recent arrivals from the nursery, were browsing together. They met with a group of wild bulls and started interacting with them for a short time, and later Laragai led the group towards mudbath.
At mudbath, Kithaka was scratching on a tree while Garzi was busy chasing away some warthogs from the mudbath. It was a bit hot with the majority of them playing in the mud hole. Kithaka was fetching water straight from the pipe of the water browser to his mouth. Shukuru played in the mud bath and went straight to the dust bath. Bomani, Garzi and the rest were much busy rolling around in the dust. Lemoyian started kissing Kithaka and then play fighting with him! The orphans later walked back to the bush to browse.
Despite the hot and dry weather everyone was busy browsing in the afternoon. The group later came back to the mudbath to cool down their body temperature. After their afternoon mudbath they started walking slowly, heading back to the stockade. This evening we had over 60 elephants who came to drink water. Wendi, Galana, Yatta and Mulika with their babies were among them.
12 February 2017
This morning we had the Ex Orphans from Mutara's group who came in early to share lucerne with the junior orphans. Laragai was scratching on the rocks, Naseku scratched her neck and Vuria his belly. We also had Makireti’s group who came to share lucerne as well. Later the orphans walked to the bush for browsing.
Later Barsilinga and Bomani were play fighting while the other orphans were busy browsing. Kamok later led the other orphans to the mudbath. It was very hot and the majority of them played vigorously in the mud bath to cool their body temperatures. Shukuru looks really well today and was scratching on a tree after she had played for a long time. Garzi was scratching his bottom while Barsilinga chatted and played with Laragai. They went ahead to the dust pile and started dusting themselves. They all looked happy and active and later walked back to the bush to browse.
In the bush it was very hot but they all handled the heat as they were very seriously browsing. They later walked back in the stockade this evening.
In the stockade we had a big group of Ex Orphans including Wendi's group and Galana with Gawa and Makireti’s group too. Kilaguni and Chaimu were also amongst them. The two babies looked very active as they played happily. Gawa was trying to play with the keepers as well. It seemed they were also learning how to use their trunks – playing with sticks and hitting the rocks with sticks too. A wild group of elephants also came in and joined them all.
13 February 2017
It was a quiet and peaceful morning today as the orphans came out of their stockades to the lucerne field and started interacting with the Ex Orphans and wild elephants that were there. Wendi, Galana and Yatta and their babies were in the group, Gawa was playing peacefully with the keepers nearby. She was much very active and joyful, running around here and there. She started playing with Boromoko as well.
Garzi was play fighting with Kilabasi while Orwa was with Ishanga. Gawa was the most playful baby elephant of the day as she was trying to climb on Chyulu while Chyulu was playing and rolling on the ground. The junior orphans later walked to the bush for browsing.
Most of the orphans were busy browsing but Olsekki took a break to scratch his bottom. It was very hot and dry and the orphans were struggling to get enough food to eat before mudbath time.
At mud bath they did not play as vigorously in the mud as expected. They drank water and started walking back to the bush to browse. They all concentrated on filling their tummies and there were not many games that afternoon. Shukuru however was much more active and concentrated on browsing as well. They later walked back home in the evening for their milk.
In the stockade we had also the same group as in the morning Wendi, Galana and Yatta with their babies and more wild bulls as well; they came for water and left back to the bush.
14 February 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Olare and her group. Ten wild elephants were busy taking water at the water trough as the orphans settled for lucerne. Soon after the orphans fed on lucerne, Olare and her group escorted the juniors to the bush. The weather was chilly and the orphans browsed calmly throughout the morning without any major observation. Olare’s group reappeared again at mud bath this time with seven members only. Kitirua, Murka and Naisula, the three missing in the group, appeared to have taken a break to be with another group somewhere else. Boromoko and Sokotei joined Chemi Chemi in drinking water before their friends joined them later. Garzi tried to challenge Kalama but he was overpowered and this prompted him to surrender. Lemoyian had a brief chat with Tumaren as they settled to share food from the same shrub. Later in the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. Bomani and Teleki snuck away from the keepers and only shortly before five o'clock in the evening were they located as they headed towards Imenti area. In the evening, close to thirty wild elephants reported for water at the stockade water trough and left soon after drinking their fill.
15 February 2017
Soon after leaving the stockades, the junior orphans were joined by Mutara and Olare’s groups. Shukuru had a brief strength testing exercise with Turkwel before settling for lucerne. At the browsing field, Shukuru took some time off from feeding to engage in a soil dusting exercise. Enkikwe settled to feed with Siangiki while Roi paired with Naseku to browse. At around eleven o'clock in the morning, Shukuru led the way to the mud bath where the orphans were joined by Half Trunk and his friend. Olsekki was bold enough to walk up the water trough to join the two wild elephants in drinking water. The rest of the orphaned herd opted to wallow instead before joining Olsekki later in drinking water. Later Oltaiyoni and Kamok spent some time in a red soil dusting game. In the afternoon, the sun was hot and this prompted the orphans to take a break from feeding to hide in the shade from the scorching sun. When the temperature dropped a bit the orphans resumed browsing.
16 February 2017
It was a quiet morning today with no other elephants joining the juniors for lucerne. Soon after the orphans had eaten, Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. Orwa and Barsilinga had a strength testing exercise that went on for some time which saw Barsilinga bow out in the end as Orwa was too strong for him. Their game attracted Lemoyian who dueled with Sokotei but their game ended in a draw. After losing the game to Orwa, Barsilinga tried his hand on Bongo but again ended up losing to Bongo. Oltaiyoni settled to feed with Kauro and at mud bath time all the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. Enkikwe made the mistake of going into the mud the wrong way and nearly got stuck. He tried as much as he could and at last managed to pull himself out. Boromoko attempted to climb on Roi while she was still in water but was brought down by Narok. After mud bath, Narok lay down to play but she couldn't enjoy her game in peace when Lemoyian came over and tried to climb on her. Narok decided to quit the game and walked to have a soil dusting exercise instead, where she was joined by Garzi and Lemoyian. In the afternoon, the sun was hot and the orphans spent much of their time relaxing under trees. Browsing resumed only when they felt comfortable out in the open again.
17 February 2017
The orphans were joined by Olare’s group and the wild orphans soon after leaving the stockades. Kibo had a strength testing exercise with Orwa as Boromoko settled for scratching. Olare and her group parted ways with the juniors as soon as they finished feeding on lucerne. Later Olare’s group joined the orphans in Kanziku area where Orwa challenged Kalama, Kibo and Chemi Chemi. The sun was so hot and this prompted Oltaiyoni to take a break from feeding and relax under a tree. At mud bath time, the orphans and Olare’s group were joined by three wild elephants. Bongo bathed close to one of wild elephants and imitated what the wild elephant was doing.
After mud bath, the orphans had a brief soil dusting exercise before heading back for browsing. Later in the day the senior Ex Orphans showed up at the stockade for water. The two babies Wiva and Gawa were in playful mood and enjoyed every moment as they criss-crossed the stockade compound. Shortly before dark a wild herd consisting of seven members reported for water at the stockade. Noticeable was a young calf aged one year that was in the company of the wild herd. Soon after having enough water, the wild herd left back into the bush.
18 February 2017
Olare and her group appear to be compensating for the long time that they had been away, as they were yet again at the stockade compound early before the orphans were let out. Soon when the orphans were let out, Olare and her group joined them for lucerne, something they had missed all that time they had been away. Soon after the herd finished feeding, Olare and her group left while the orphans headed to Kanziku area where they settled to browse. Kithaka and Lemoyian had a strength testing exercise that went on for quite some time before they resumed browsing. At mud bath, the orphans were joined by a lone wild bull that shared water and mud bathed peacefully with them. Vuria engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game that didn't last for very long. Orwa, who rarely bathes, participated fully in the wallowing exercise. Naseku rolled on the ground soon after mud bath while Barsilinga turned on Garzi and engaged him in a play fight. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot making the orphans want to relax under the trees and resume browsing only when the temperature dropped.
19 February 2017
The senior Ex Orphans in the company of several wild elephants under the command of Yatta reported at the stockade compound early before dawn. The orphans were let out and intermingled with their seniors and the wild elephants as they settled for lucerne. It wasn't so peaceful as the Ex Orphans wanted to have all the lucerne for themselves. The orphans didn't stay for long at the stockade compound but left for browsing after briefly feeding on the lucerne.
At the browsing field, it was all quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing. Olsekki had brief game of rolling on the ground as Kithaka relaxed under a tree as the temperature rose. Shortly before mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Olare’s group and at mud bath the senior Ex Orphans joined in. There was drama when four warthogs tried to access the mud bath. Bomani spotted them first and charged at them. The warthogs were adamant but it was only when Lemoyian, Narok and Sokotei joined Bomani in charging that the warthogs decided to run for their dear lives. Shortly later, ten wild bulls showed up at mud bath with one of them carrying a branch in his mouth. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area and in the evening fifteen wild elephants reported for water at the stockade water trough.
20 February 2017
Chaimu and Kilaguni joined the orphans for lucerne early in the morning. Soon after feeding on lucerne, Chaimu and Kilaguni left while the orphans headed to Kanziku area where they settled to browse. The weather was chilly and the orphans were happy since they didn't need to walk under trees while feeding. Olsekki took some time off from feeding to have a lone game of rolling on the ground and later joined Sirimon and Naseku in a soil dusting exercise. At mud bath time, the weather was still chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. Boromoko and Olsekki put their trunks in their mouths soon after taking their milk. Lemoyian engaged Barsilinga in a light strength testing exercise. Later Boromoko played with Olsekki, a game that he lost. In the afternoon, Sirimon settled to feed with Sokotei while Kauro settled to feed with Oltaiyoni. Later Sokotei joined Shukuru in a soil dusting exercise. In the evening, the Ex Orphans Yatta, Mulika, Nasalot, Galana, Lenana, Kenze, Lualeni, Meibai, Orok, Makena, Ololoo, Ishanga, babies Gawa and Wiva, Yetu Mwende and four wild bulls reported for water at the stockade water trough. The herd left to undisclosed location shortly before dark.
21 February 2017
Mutara’s group that consists of six members namely Suguta, Sities, Turkwel, Kainuk and Kanjoro in the company of Ex Orphan bull Rapsu, a wild orphan and two other wild elephants joined the orphans for lucerne in the morning. Soon after feeding on lucerne Mutara and her group left into the bush while Rapsu and the wild orphan followed the orphans. The wild orphan kept on feeding a distance away from the keepers as Rapsu intermingled with the juniors.
At mud bath time the wild orphan was nervous and kept on charging whenever she saw someone move. After mud bath, the orphans headed for soil bathing with the exception of Kithaka and Barsilinga who opted for a strength testing exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kalovoto area. The senior Ex Orphans spent a considerable amount of time at the stockade compound today as they returned back to the stockade compound later in the evening, this time without Galana, her baby Gawa and other few Ex Orphans.
22 February 2017
Fifteen wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. Shortly later, the Ex Orphans arrived and immediately joined the juniors in feeding on Lucerne. Gawa briefly played with Sities as Wiva tried to push Bomani. Kibo engaged Ololoo in a strength testing exercise while Kandecha played with Meibai. At the browsing field, Vuria engaged Kibo in a pushing game that he lost to shortly after. Orwa played with Kalama, a game that ended in a draw. Later, Orwa engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game that ended in a draw too. At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate and only Shukuru, Bongo and Siangiki performed a spectacular wallowing session.
On the way back to the browsing field, the orphans participated in a soil dusting exercise as Garzi and Kithaka engaged in a pushing game that ended when Kithaka opted to surrender. In the afternoon, Boromoko settled to feed with Lemoyian while Naseku settled to feed with Sokotei. Kamok found a suitable rock that she used to scratch her belly on. Olsekki spent some time reminding himself of the good old days of playing around in the Nairobi nursery when he pulled a shrub and started kicking it in all directions. Kauro took a break from feeding to engage in a soil dusting exercise.
23 February 2017
Early in the morning, the stockade compound was flooded with Ex Orphans and wild elephants totaling up to seventy in number! The orphans were let out and joined their seniors in feeding on lucerne. Shukuru was in happy mood as she took some time off from feeding on lucerne and engaged in a lone game of rolling on the ground.
Out in the bush Lemoyian and Bomani settled to feed from the same shrub, as Boromoko and Sokotei were involved in a light strength testing exercise. At mud bathing time, seven wild bulls were in attendance but left shortly after the arrival of the orphans. The temperature was moderate with the sky partly covered by clouds. The orphans participated in wallowing but only Shukuru, Boromoko, Bongo, Narok and Siangiki that emerged as the stars of the day by having a complete and prolonged wallowing game. The orphans had a soil dusting exercise before returning back to the browsing field. Kamok was the last one to have fun in rolling in the red soil when everyone had left. In the afternoon, Bongo engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game that ended when Barsilinga surrendered. At one point the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine and this prompted Shukuru and Garzi to relax under a tree waiting for temperature to drop down to a more favourable level. The rest of the group also did the same and resumed browsing when the temperature dropped a little.
24 February 2017
The turnout for elephants coming for water in the morning started slowly with only Tomboi to begin with. Shortly after the orphans settled for lucerne, the number of elephants coming for water started growing. First it was the Ex Orphans followed by somr wild elephants. By 7:30 in the morning, the number had risen up to one hundred! Wiva had a brief chat with Bongo but the chat appeared to have annoyed Bongo since he all of sudden pushed Wiva away. Boromoko had a light strength testing exercise with Tusuja that ended when Tusuja surrendered. At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by Ex Orphan bull Taita and ten wild bulls. The weather was chilly and soon after sharing water with the wild bulls, the orphans returned to the browsing field. Boromoko engaged Garzi in a pushing game but ended up losing the game to him. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. The orphans browsed calmly throughout without any major observation.
25 February 2017
The Ex Orphans arrived early in time just as the orphans were being let out from the stockade. The herd settled for lucerne. Gawa was in a jovial mood and kept on teasing the orphans as she ran about the stockade compound. Gawa teased Shukuru, Tusuja, Narok and Olsekki. Gawa's playful mood ended when she encountered Barsilinga. Barsilinga didn't treat her as a baby but pushed her hard until she ran to her mum for safety. Orwa had a great moment with Ololoo as they settled for a friendly pushing game. Later, Wiva passed behind Orwa which seemed to annoy him and he threw a back kick which lucky enough didn't land on Wiva. Later, Orwa engaged Barsilinga in strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. Naseku settled to browse with Sirimon while Laragai settled to feed with Olsekki. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by a lone wild bull that shared water with them peacefully, and later a mud bath before leaving.
After mud bath, Shukuru went to a nearby tree that she used to scratch her buttocks on as the rest of her friends participated in a soil dusting exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Shukuru and Sirimon took a break from feeding and relaxed under a tree for sometime before resuming browsing, and the same went to Olsekki and Siangiki.
26 February 2017
Seven wild bulls were at the stockade water trough drinking water when the orphans were let out. The orphans settled for lucerne without any disturbance from any outsiders today. Out in the bush Boromoko engaged Sirimon in a pushing game, a game that didn't last for long since Olsekki intervened by pushing the two boys away. Later, Olsekki settled to feed with Oltaiyoni while Shukuru settled to feed with Naseku. Shortly before the arrival of the orphans at mud bath, a lone buffalo was enjoying mud bath but as soon as it saw the orphans approaching, it fled. The temperature was high and this prompted the orphans to fully participate in mud bathing as soon as they finished their milk. Madiba joined the orphans but parted ways with them soon after the mud bath was over. In the afternoon, Garzi, Shukuru, Lemoyian and Laragai took a break from feeding and relaxed under a tree for awhile before they resumed browsing. Kauro settled to browse with Kamok while Olsekki settled to feed with Bomani.
27 February 2017
Twenty five wild elephants were patiently waiting for water after arriving at the stockade early before dawn, as they found that the water in the water troughs had already been taken by other wild elephants during the night. The water was turned on and the elephants were happy to quench their thirst. The orphans were let out at six o'clock in the morning and were joined by all groups of the junior Ex Orphans: Olare’s group, Makireti’s group, Mutara’s group and Chaimu’s group. The herd shared the lucerne peacefully and shortly later, they were joined by Madiba and Buchuma.
Out in the bush, Lemoyian took a break from feeding to scratch against a tree while Narok enjoyed feeding while leaning on a rock. On the way to the mud bath, Oltaiyoni came across a green shrub that she broke a branch from and feasted on it as she walked to the mud bath. The temperature was moderate and only Shukuru, Siangiki, Boromoko, Kamok, Tusuja, Garzi, Teleki and Naseku that had a spectacular wallowing.
Madiba and Buchuma checked in at mud bath and left later after having enough of water and mud bath. In the evening, the senior Ex Orphans led by Yatta reported for water at the stockade water trough and left later in the afternoon after drinking their fill.
28 February 2017
It was a peaceful morning when the orphans left the stockade and settled for lucerne without any other elephants coming to disturb them. Half an hour later all this changed when the Ex Orphans checked in and tried to take over everything from the juniors. Due to the respect the juniors have for their seniors, the orphans withdrew slowly. Bongo walked to the water trough to join a wild bull that was enjoying quenching its thirst. The weather was chilly and the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Kauro came across a suitable rock that he used to scratch his buttocks as his friends concentrated on browsing. At mud bath time only four wild bulls were in attendance. The bulls shared water peacefully with the orphans and later had mud bath together. Sokotei stretched his trunk towards one of the bulls and wondered how long it will take for him to reach the size of that bull. After he was done with his thoughts, Sokotei moved and joined Naseku in scratching against the same tree. Olsekki had a brief pushing game with Oltaiyoni that came to abrupt end when they saw a big bull approaching. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. The orphans browsed calmly throughout the remaining part of the day without any major observation.