Encounters with the wild elephants was almost a daily occurrence for our dependent orphans this month up at Ithumba, largely due to the presence of water around the stockade area, given that the natural water holes pretty much dried up elsewhere due to the warm weather.
After leaving the stockade, Dupotto was not interested in feeding on lucerne and walked a distance away and settled to browse on the nearby bushes. She soon felt lonely however, and called out to her friends to come and join her. Only Sana Sana and Malkia responded and walked over to join her. The rest of the group followed later, but on the way, a troop of chattering baboons scared them. The orphans all ran south and the Keepers called them in an effort to calm them down and assure them of their safety. The orphans heard the Keepers calls and stopped. Kithaka, Roi, Wanjala and Karisa had their piles of lucerne with them that they had carried from the stockade compound. When the dust settled, the four orphans relaxed to have their lucerne before settling for some grass.
At around nine o'clock in the morning, Yatta and her group reported at the stockade compound and left shortly after drinking water. At mud bath time, the sun was really hot and the orphans had a spectacular wallowing session. After mud bath, Kamok engaged Tusuja in a light pushing game that was brought to an abrupt end by Olsekki, who pushed them both away. Three wild bulls reported at mud bath minutes after the orphans had left for browsing.
In the afternoon, Galla picked up a stick from the ground and used it to scratch in between his front legs. Namalok, who was standing close by, picked up a much bigger stick to scratch himself but it proved to be too heavy and he ended up dropping it. Later, Galla played with Rapa while Tusuja played with Olsekki as Enkikwe stood by pretending to be the referee. Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi left the group, only to reappear at the stockade compound later in the evening accompanied by Yatta’s group.
A wild bull was drinking water from the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. It has become common nowadays for the orphans to bump into wild elephants nearly every day due to the fact it's drying up and elephants are now coming close. Mundusi, Pare and Tusuja joined the wild bull to drink water and shortly afterwards invited him for some lucerne. The bull joined the orphans briefly, but the presence of the Keepers worried him slightly and he didn’t stay long. The orphans settled to browse in the Kone area and had a quiet morning without any fun.
On the way to mud bath, Ndiwa and Sana Sana led the way and at one point picked up a branch that they shared as they walked. At mud bath time, ex-orphan Rapsu with his two wild friends joined the orphans for bathing and later parted ways. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area where Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi planned their own route and left, only to reappear again at the stockade later in the evening. Yatta and her group showed up shortly before seven o'clock in the evening and left after they had enough water.
Lualeni, baby Lulu, Naserian, Chyulu, Olare, Kitirua and Naisula joined the orphans in the morning. On the way to the browsing field, Esampu came across an anthill that she played on top of while Tusuja engaged Olsekki in a strength testing exercise. Naseku, Malkia and Sana Sana kept following Lulu to see if they found the opportunity to play with her. Unfortunately Naserian, who is the main nanny, kept on blocking them from getting close to Lulu. Malkia didn't lose hope but remained patient waiting for the right time to present itself. At long last, her patience bore fruit when Lulu walked backwards without Naserian’s knowledge. Malkia had a quick interaction with Lulu before giving way to Sana Sana and Mundusi who were dying just to say hallo to Lulu. After saying hi to Lulu, Mundusi and Sana Sana left feeling happy and hoping to get another opportunity to bond nicely with Lulu. An hour later, Lualeni left with her group. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Taita and four wild bulls and had a mud bath together before parting ways. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kone area. In the evening, Yatta and her group showed up at stockade and left later shortly before dark.
Mutara, Suguta, Sities, Kainuk and Kilaguni were at the stockade compound early before dawn. Kanjoro and Turkwel, who are part of Mutara’s group, were missing and hopefully they with another herd. After having their milk, the orphans were let out and joined Mutara’s group. Olsekki engaged Tusuja in a pushing game and when the going got tough for Tusuja, he disengaged himself and ran towards Suguta for help. Olsekki couldn't go close to Suguta because he knew that Suguta wouldn’t entertain his nonsense. Shortly later, Mutara’s group escorted the juniors into the browsing field. Mutara and her group were not in a hurry and so spent the whole day with the orphans.
At eleven o'clock in the morning, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans or the ex-orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. The herd had water then slowly walked back to the browsing field. Wanjala and Namalok briefly engaged each other in a strength test which was an exercise to warm them up as well because it was a cold morning. Mutara took the herd along the eastern side of Ithumba Hill where the orphans settled to browse the entire afternoon. In the evening, Mutara escorted the juniors back to the stockade where they were joined by Yatta’s group, although Yatta herself and her babies, Kinna and her baby Kama and Mulika and her baby were not present. The group appeared confused in decision making after drinking water since Sunyei wanted them to go west while Wendi wanted them to go east. At long last the group headed east.
Mutara, Sities, Kainuk, Suguta, Chaimu and Kilaguni spent the night outside the stockade. The junior ex-orphans then joined the orphans as soon as they were let out. Twenty minutes later, Yatta and her group joined in and they enjoyed the lucerne together. Wendi created a scene when she tried to deny her baby Wiva a bale of lucerne she was holding with her trunk. Wiva tried to have some, begging her mum, but Wendi could hear none of it. Wendi even went to the extent of nudging her own daughter to stop the disturbance. Wiva gave up and went to play with Siku, Lulu and Yoyo instead. After finishing the lucerne, Yatta and her group headed south while Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to the west. It was a cold morning and the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.
On the way to the mud bath Enkikwe and Lemoyian dodged the Keepers and disappeared with Barsilinga, Garzi and Kithaka. It took the Keepers nearly two hours to locate them and walk them back to join their friends. Due to the chilly weather, the orphans didn't have bath but just had their milk bottles and some water. Two wild bulls joined the orphans to drink and shortly later parted ways. Chaimu and Kilaguni had a brief mud bath in a smaller water hole close to the big mud bath. Mutara and her group then escorted the orphans back to the browsing field and they spent the rest of the day browsing together.
It was a quiet morning with no ex-orphans or wild elephants visiting the stockade. This was probably due to the lions that were roaring in between the stockades and Kalovoto. The roaring went on for nearly two and half hours before day break. When the orphans were let out, the atmosphere was tense as Kithaka went to the water trough then all of sudden started running back to the stockade. This prompted the other orphans to start running. The Keepers intervened by calling them and comforting them. The orphans then settled for lucerne but impatient Sana Sana found a way of convincing the orphans leave for browsing without necessarily leading them out. She started trumpeting as if scaring something away, before running off south at high speed. This confused the other orphans and prompted them to start following her. A short distance away Sana Sana just stopped and started feeding, and seemed happy that her trick worked!
The temperature was moderate and the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing. Olsekki and Namalok had a brief strength testing exercise that ended when Garzi intervened by pushing them out of his way. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Rapsu and a wild elephant. After mud bath, the orphans had a brief soil dusting exercise before heading back to the browsing field. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing without any major observation.
Tomboi was at the stockade early in the morning. He joined the orphans for lucerne as soon as they came out of their night stockades. Shortly later, Tomboi left while Sana Sana led the way out. Siangiki settled to browse with Lemoyian while Naseku settled to browse with Oltaiyoni. Mundusi and Karisa took a break from feeding to enjoy a strength testing exercise but Tusuja disrupted their game when he came and attempted to ride on Mundusi.
At mud bath time, the orphans managed to take a bath with the exception of Enkikwe who decided to run after an Egyptian goose that was hanging around the mud bath. Olsekki and Tusuja had fun in the water as they engaged each other in a strength testing exercise. The orphans participated in a red soil dusting exercise shortly after having enough of mud bathing. Olsekki escorted his friend Enkikwe to drink water before following their friends back out to browse. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Taita, Tomboi, Narok, Murka, Kanjoro, Kasigau and Bomani. The ex-orphans browsed with the orphans until evening when they escorted the juniors back to the stockades.
When the orphans left the stockades, Naseku had a game of rolling on the lucerne she had been provided to feed on. The playful Naseku kept the game up for quite some time before giving up when she realized no one was willing to join her. Sana Sana is trying to be a leader and is acting like a bit of a drama queen at the moment. She wanted her friends to go in one direction, but the group was moving in a different direction. Sana Sana headed south then started trumpeting and knocking down small bushes in an effort to draw the others’ attention. To her disappointment, no one tried to follow her, and as the saying goes, if you can't beat them then join them. Sana Sana had no other option than to swallow her pride and follow her friends out to the bush. Mundusi briefly engaged Galla in a pushing game that he lost. Tumaren, Melia, Kandecha, Kalama, Kibo, Chemi Chemi and Murka joined the orphans in the Kalovoto area where they browsed together until mud bath time. Wanjala enjoyed a brief interaction with Murka before mud bath time. Tusuja, Pare and Mteto lined up to be considered the first group for the milk feed. In the afternoon, the ex-orphans parted ways with the juniors. The evening was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.
Mutara, Sities, Kainuk, Suguta, Chaimu, Turkwel and Kilaguni arrived at the stockade compound early before dawn. At day break, we saw that Turkwel showed signs of limping and upon getting a closer look, we realized Turkwel had yet another incident with the lions, who had apparently tried her bring her down again. Turkwel first had an encounter with the merciless lions in August last year that left her with no tail, and now six months down the line they have got her again. Thanks to her herd, who would most certainly have intervened since the injuries she has are not life threatening, she is okay. Turkwel allowed us to treat her and after she re- joined the other dependent orphans. Turkwel stay with us for a bit until she has completely recovered. The orphans sympathized with Turkwel and touched her with their trunks.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. They only had their milk and did some soil bathing before returning to the bush browse. Galla engaged Tusuja in a strength testing exercise as Roi stood aside cheering her friend Galla to emerge as the winner, but the game ended in a draw. Meanwhile Maramoja, who was feeding close to Namalok, decided to use him as scratching post to scratch her itchy ear. In the evening, the weather changed and it was really hot. This prompted the orphans to pass by the mud bath for an evening cool-off.
Turkwel spend the night at the stockade and in morning received some treatment on her scratched legs with Enkikwe. Ex-orphans Tumaren, Melia, Kasigau, Kandecha, Kalama, Kibo, Chemi Chemi, Kenze, Orwa, Bomani, Narok, Kanjoro and Murka checked in at the stockade compound to visit Turkwel. The group spent the entire day with the orphans and stayed close to Turkwel who they were obviously sympathizing with. Mundusi briefly admired Kenze as he tried to measure his size by standing close to Kenze. Mundusi wondered how long it would take for him to reach the size of Kenze and be able to tackle Maramoja who keeps bullying him from time to time.
At mud bath time the weather was cloudy, only Murka, Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Kasigau and Kibo decided to go into the water to wallow. Kamok spotted an Egyptian goose that she decided to harass. She was joined by Karisa and Oltaiyoni in chasing the goose, but were unable to get it since it flew into the water. Since they felt the water was too cold, they didn't dare follow it! In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area and had a peaceful time browsing up to five o'clock in the evening, when Sapalan led the first group back to the stockade.
The orphans left the stockade early as usual. A bull was drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans settled for Lucerne. The bull seemed in two minds and couldn’t decide whether to join the orphans to feed or leave to find his own friends. He walked up to where the orphans were enjoying their morning lucerne breakfast, but when he got close, he turned and slowly disappeared into the nearby thicket. Galla and Rapa had a misunderstanding over a bale of lucerne they had both settled to feed on. The two boys decided to sort out their differences physically by engaging in a pushing game. As the pushing was in progress, Mundusi passed by and made away with the bale of lucerne. When Galla and Rapa came back after reaching an agreement, the two boys found out that Mundusi had nearly finished the bale. The two boys couldn't do anything since Mundusi had also carried the bale and was feeding on it close to Barsilinga, as the clever boy knew that the two boys would be chased away by Barsilinga if they tried to retrieve it. The temperature was moderate today and the orphans had a fun free day mostly concentrating on feeding throughout the day.
Three wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. The orphans joined the bulls briefly to have some water before heading to have some Lucerne grass for breakfast. As soon as the orphans were through with their Lucerne, Sana Sana led the way out.
A short while later, the orphans were joined by Murka, Kalama, Kibo, Chemi Chemi and Tumaren. The ex-orphans browsed with the orphans until mud bath time when Mteto led the first group to the mud bath. The sun was very hot, and this prompted the orphans to go into the mud without being directed by the Keepers. Two wild bulls visited the mud bath and left shortly after having enough water. In the afternoon, the orphans settled on the western side of Ithumba Hill. The sun was still hot and the orphans decided to take a break from feeding to relax under some trees with good shade. The orphans resumed browsing later when it was a bit cooler.
The orphans left the stockade early as usual and settled for lucerne. Rapa and Kauro settled in the same place to feed as Rapsu joined the orphans for the morning feeding. Namalok joined the gentle Turkwel to share a bale of Lucerne while Barsilinga tried to remove grass from Mteto's mouth. Shortly later, Rapsu parted ways with the juniors and met them again later at the main mud bath where there were another three wild bulls in attendance. The sun was really hot and all the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. The playful Naseku displayed all her prowess in wallowing and ended it by trumpeting to announce that it was over and it was time to go back to browsing. Esampu had a lone game of rolling on the ground as Rapa engaged Galla in a strength testing exercise. Rapa finally conceded defeat and surrendered. In the evening, Ukame led the way back to the stockades.
The sky was partly covered by clouds when the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockades. They settled for Lucerne as usual. Ukame, the hot-tempered one, appeared to have woken up on the wrong foot. As Mteto was sharing Lucerne with her, Ukame pushed Mteto hard, making her bellow loudly. Mteto was unhappy since she expected Ukame to act and behave like an older sister but this was not the case today. Mteto left disappointed with Ukame's behaviour.
Half an hour after the orphans had left for browsing, ex-orphans Murka, Tumaren, Melia, Kandecha, Kalama, Kibo and Chemi Chemi showed up at stockade compound. This is the group that used to be led by Olare but Olare has moved to join Lualeni and she is one of the nannies taking care of Lualeni’s baby Lulu. Naisula and Kitirua, who used to be part of this group also, appear to have joined a different herd. After having some much-needed water, the group left to link up with the dependent orphans.
At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate, and the orphans enjoyed a cooling off exercise before heading back out to browse. Namalok settled to browse with Olsekki. In the evening, it became a lot hotter, which prompted the orphans to pass by the mud bath for an evening cool-off. The orphans met with two wild bulls that they shared drinking water with, before jumping into the mud wallow, followed by a brief red soil dusting exercise.
It's really getting dry now and we are getting a lot of wild visitors during the night to drink water from the troughs. The water troughs are filled late in the evening and come morning, they are always empty. This means that at least twenty or thirty elephants help themselves to the water during the night. The sky was crystal clear this morning which meant it was going to be a hot day ahead. The orphans settled along the Kalovoto seasonal river where they browsed calmly throughout the morning.
At mud bath time today, we had the most wild elephants visit that we have seen so far this year. A total of nineteen wild bulls converged around the mud bath and since they couldn't drink at the same time, the bulls divided themselves into two groups. One group drinking water and the other one wallowing. When the orphans arrived, the Keepers moved the bulls away to pave the way for their babies. The orphans had some water then had a swim before vacating the area to make way for the bulls.
In the afternoon, the temperature was still high which prompted the orphans to converge under a tree that had good shade. The orphans resumed browsing later when the temperature dropped. Mundusi engaged Galla in a pushing game that he lost and left to concentrate on browsing. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where they were joined by a wild bull for an evening cooling off session.
The sky was cloudy in the morning and we had light showers as the orphans settled for lucerne. Namalok had an itchy buttock and used the nearby rocks to scratch on. Shortly later, the orphans headed to the water trough and armed themselves with enough water that would take them through the entire morning. Barsilinga was limping and upon checking his foot, he had been pierced by a stick. The stick was removed and there was small hole left that was treated immediately. Olsekki and Wanjala enjoyed a soil dusting exercise before commencing their journey to the mud bath. The temperature was moderate and only two wild bulls were present at mud bath. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill. Kamok found a suitable tree that she used to scratch her belly on. The evening was quiet with no wild elephant or ex-orphans visiting the stockade.
Ex-orphans Tumaren, Melia, Kibo, Kandecha, Kalama and Murka visited the stockades early before dawn and in the morning, joined the juniors to feed on some lucerne. Kauro picked a piece of lucerne and moved away to enjoy it without being disturbed by anyone else. Rapa thought he could win over Galla by engaging him in a pushing game, but in the end Rapa surrendered. Shortly later, Sana Sana, who yearns to be the matriarch and leader most of the time, led the way to the browsing field. The rest of group streamed behind her happily swinging their trunks from side to side. Tumaren and her group joined the juniors later as they browsed. Olsekki took some time off from feeding to enjoy a soil dusting exercise. Olsekki was later joined by Karisa. At mud bath time, eight bulls were present. The orphans used one side of the mud bath while the wild elephants used the other side. After mud bath, Mundusi briefly engaged Galla in a light strength testing exercise and in the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area still in the company of Tumaren’s group.
Three wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. Ishanga, Naisula, Kitirua and Makireti, who spent the night just outside the stockades, joined the orphans for their morning walk and feeding. The orphans headed to the lower Kalovoto area, where they settled to browse. It's interesting to note that the ex-orphans groups are now taking another shape. Ishanga, who normally remains group-less, has now teamed up with these three girls. Makireti used to head her own group consisting of her, Kilabasi and Kasigau but now she is in another group whose leader is Naisula. Only time will tell how long this new formed alliance will last. The orphans browsed calmly up to mud bath time.
At mud bath, twelve wild dogs were relaxing under a tree. At first, the ex-orphans and the orphans were scared by the presence of the wild dogs and started running towards the Keepers. The Keepers assured them all was well. Taita, Zurura and three wild friends emerged from north of the mud bath and drove the wild dogs away. In the afternoon, the orphans settled on the western side of Ithumba Hill and later were escorted back to stockade by Naisula, Kitirua, Makireti and Ishanga.
Turkwel is well on the path to recovery. She came with a stiff and swollen leg but the swelling has disappeared and she can now bend her leg without much pain. Barsilinga is now walking better after being pierced by the stick a few days ago as well. The orphans settled briefly for some lucerne. Maramoja took a piece of lucerne and started tossing it in the air as Karisa pushed Mundusi from behind to tell him it was time to start moving out to browse. Minutes after the orphans left, Rapsu and his two wild friends showed up at the stockade and left immediately after having enough water. The day was very hot and this didn't deter the orphans from carrying on with their feeding exercise.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by three wild bulls and they enjoyed drinking water and wallowing together. Due to the high temperature, Ukame didn’t even wait to finish her milk bottle and hand it back to the Keepers, but carried it with her and dropped it at the edge of the mud bath before jumping into the water. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot and orphans converged under a tree with a good shade waiting for the temperature to drop. Esampu and Mteto stood under a different tree and it wasn't clear what they were discussing. The two girls later joined the rest of their friends after ending their private conversation.
Mutara, Sities and Kanjoro arrived at the stockade compound early before dawn. The three had come to check on the progress of their friend Turkwel, who has been staying with the dependent orphans for the past eleven days while her leg healed. Suguta and Kainuk didn't show up with Mutara. Their whereabouts remains unknown since they were with Mutara eleven days ago when presenting Turkwel to the care of the Keepers. Soon when the orphans were let out, Mutara and her small group joined them to eat some lucerne. Tusuja had a disagreement with Olsekki when Olsekki tried to take lucerne from his mouth. Four bulls reported for water and shortly later, Mutara led the group out to browse.
Mundusi settled to browse with Mteto while Sana Sana settled to feed with Malkia. The orphans had a peaceful morning and at mud bath time, they were joined by six wild junior bulls. Tusuja, who has become a water baby these days, jumped into the water immediately after having his share of milk. As the rest tried to test the temperature of the water at the edge of the mud bath, Tusuja was deep inside rolling around and cooling off. In the afternoon, the orphans took a break from feeding to relax under a tree and resumed browsing when it was cooler. In the evening, twelve wild bulls reported for water at the stockade and left shortly before dark.
Tumaren and Narok’s groups were at the stockade compound in the morning. The ex-orphans joined the orphans to feed on lucerne as soon as they were let out. Suguta and Kainuk, who belongs to Mutara’s group were also present. Noticeable was also Kasigau who at one time used to be in Makireti’s group which at the moment doesn't exist anymore. Olsekki had fun with his share of lucerne. Instead of feeding like the others, Olsekki tossed it up then kicked it whenever it landed on the ground. Karisa walked to the water trough to join a junior wild bull there that was drinking water. The two had a brief conversation before the wild bull bid Karisa goodbye. Karisa was torn between following the wild bull and coming back to join his friends. After thinking and weighing out the options, Karisa went for the latter. He couldn't imagine going without his milk for that long like he did last time. The ex-orphans escorted the juniors to the browsing field. Enkikwe and his friend Sapalan decided to pass by the water trough to arm themselves with enough water for the morning session. At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate and both ex-orphans and the orphans participated fully in wallowing. In the afternoon, the ex-orphans parted ways with the dependent orphans. The babies settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area up to five o'clock in evening when they returned back to the stockade once again for the night.
In the early morning we were visited by Wendi and Yatta’s herd with their babies Wiva and Yoyo. They interacted with the dependent orphans whilst having lucerne. Yoyo started play fighting with Malkia and the whole herd walk to the bush to browse. Wiva later started breastfeeding and tried to playfully charge at the Keepers. The rest were busy browsing. Later Mteto led the orphans to the mud bath while Wendi and Yatta’s herd went in a different direction.
At the mud bath the orphans enjoyed playing in the water, and after they came out they went straight to the dust bath and started playing there too. Galla stayed to play fight in the water with Mundusi, while Olsekki was interacting with a wild bull at the water trough. Other wild bulls walked into the mud bath area and started playing in the water too. After they were done playing in the water and on the piles of loose soil, the orphans went back out to the bush to browse.
It was very hot in the afternoon and the orphans stood in the shade for some time to keep cool. Enkikwe was busy browsing too despite his leg injury; he is very happy to browse with the others. Later all the elephants walked back to the stockades for the evening.
It was a busy morning as the orphans had their milk bottle breakfast before walking down to feed on lucerne. Ex-orphans Wendi and Yatta arrived with Kinna and their babies Wiva, Yetu, Yoyo and Kama. They all interacted around the lucerne feeding area with the orphans. Kama was suckling from her mum Kinna. Later the ex-orphans and the dependent orphans parted ways as they walked out to the bush to browse.
Tusuja and Namalok started playing while Roi scratched her leg and head on a tree. Olsekki walked over and started play fighting with Roi. Sana Sana started scratching on Turkwel and the group later walked to the mud bath.
At the mud bath, the orphans had their noon milk bottles as usual and, led by Kauro, went to wallow in the water hole. They all enjoyed their swim and later walked to the dust bath and played there too. Namalok was scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air and some on his back, while Naseku was digging into the soil using her tusks, kneeling down on her front legs. Enkikwe was kneeling down to drink water because of his injured leg. Tusuja started play fighting with Roi and later the herd walked back out to browse. Again they had to spend some time in the shade because it was so hot. When they came out to browse a bit later on, Wanjala started greeting Kamok, Turkwel, Enkikwe and Dupotto.
The orphans had their milk as usual and walked to feed on lucerne as usual. Ex-orphans Kilaguni and Chaimu came in thirsty and walked straight to the water trough to drink water. Wendi and Yatta’s herd as well as Olare’s herd walked in too and drunk water. The dependent orphans gave them space and walked out to browse.
Enkikwe concentrated on browsing, Naseku was scratching her neck with her trunk as the others browsed. At the mud bath, all the orphans went to swim as it was very hot, including Enkikwe who does not always get in the water. They all swam in a straight line enjoying the mud bath. While still in the water Wendi and Yatta’s herd as well as Olare’s group arrived and joined them to swim. Later, the dependent orphans walked out to go and dust bath. Babies Yoyo and Kama were playing in the mud bath while Kinna watched over them. The orphans walked back out to the bush, leaving the ex-orphan herds at the mud bath.
Malkia and Ndiwa browsed together as friends with Oltaiyoni, Kamok and Dupotto browsing separately from the others. Later they walked back home in the evening. At the stockades today we had a herd of wild elephants who came to drink water and walk away in the evening. There have been some signs of rain and we are waiting for it eagerly to come.
All of the orphans looked happy and active this morning. Kithaka sneaked away with a bunch of lucerne to feast on it on his own. Karisa and Galla started play-fighting and later the group walked out to browse. Namalok was very active and messing around, running here and there with his ears open. Malkia, Galla and Roi concentrated on browsing together. Later towards 11am the orphans walked to the mud bath for their noon milk bottles.
At mud bath we had a group of wild bulls who came to drink water. They were very patient as they were waiting for the water bowser lorry to come and refill the water trough. After the lorry offloaded the water, they had their fill and walked away politely, leaving the dependent orphans behind to drink water too. Some of the orphans went to the mud wallow and started wallowing. Enkikwe and Sapalan were on the edge of the mud hole, spraying themselves with mud as they did not want to enter completely for a swim.
When it became very hot later on, some went to hide in the shade. They later continued browsing and walked to the water pool along the Tiva River and played there for a while, cooling themselves down. They then dried themselves in the dust and walked back home in the evening for their milk again. We had also some wild bulls in the stockade compound this evening who came to drink water.
The orphans rushed to the Lucerne field after their morning milk bottles today. It has started becoming dry in the bush with less food around, so they wanted to fill up their stomachs. Mundusi started scratching while feeding on lucerne. The herd then went to drink water and start their journey to the bush. Turkwel and Enkikwe had their special piles of Lucerne in the stockades whilst having their wounds treated first; after they were done their friends Sapalan and Dupotto accompanied them to the bush.
Wanjala was scratching on a tree while browsing. All the others were busy looking for food, until Malkia led the group to the mud bath for their milk bottles. It was very hot and some orphans wallowed and interacted with the wild bulls there after having their milk bottles. Wendi’s herd came in with Yatta and Kinna with their babies, Wiva, Yetu, Yoyo and Kama. They drunk water and walked back to the bush. Some orphans went to the dust bath and started playing there to dry themselves off. Kinna and Kama were hiding under the trees from the hot sun. The orphans later walked back to the bush to browse.
It was very hot in the afternoon, and the orphans walked to a nearby water pool along the road and started cooling off by splashing water behind their ears. They then went to dry of by dusting themselves, with Enkikwe, Oltaiyoni and Dupotto splashing soil on their bodies and some in the air. They later made their way back home in the evening.
In the stockade today, we had a group of wild bulls who visited to drink water. Barsilinga, Kithaka and Garzi came to the compound later in the evening and were locked in with the others.
The sky was partly covered by clouds in the morning when the orphans walked out and joined the ex-orphans that were relaxing in the stockade compound. Lucerne was provided and the entire herd shared it though at one point, the seniors started pushing the juniors around a bit. The juniors were annoyed by that and decided to leave the feeding area and head to the browsing field. Suguta decided to keep them company the entire day.
At mud bath time, though the sun was hot, only three wild bulls showed up. Tusuja, who is a little water baby these days, jumped into the water as soon as he finished his share of his milk. As the rest were standing around wondering whether to get into the water, Tusuja was diving and rolling in the water enjoying every minute. Finally, the rest of his friends joined him. Tusuja was the last one to quit the mud bath, though he was also the first one to get in. A wild bull watched them from a distance as he waited for his turn. After mud bath, Ukame, Mteto, Mundusi, Suguta and Tusuja headed for a soil dusting exercise. In the afternoon, the sun was really hot making the orphans relax under some trees for some time before resuming browsing. Mteto had a disagreement with Mundusi when he attempted to climb on her. Shortly afterwards, the two appeared to have sorted out their differences as they settled to feed together. In the evening, Suguta escorted the juniors back to the stockade.
The senior ex-orphans led by Yatta were at the stockade compound early before dawn. The orphans joined them briefly when they came out of their stockades. Lualeni wanted to show her baby where she used to be before she became wild but upon reaching the gate, she changed her mind. She just stood at the entrance for some few minutes then turned back as her baby Lulu followed her. Ukame and Siangiki said hi to Lulu but Lulu didn't show any interest in them. The orphans didn't stay long since their seniors were a nuisance as they kept on pushing them away from the lucerne.
Suguta and a young wild female elephant decided to accompany the orphans to the browsing field. It was fairly hot day and the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing. At one point, Mundusi felt that he needed a strength testing exercise and went to Wanjala to request for a game. Wanjala accepted and they enjoyed a strength testing exercise for a few minutes before it was ended abruptly by Garzi, when he passed by and pushed the two boys away.
At mud bath time, eighteen wild bulls were present. Pare, who is always first to go for drinking water, found two bulls at the water trough and decided to wait for their permission before going ahead. The Keepers moved the bulls away and Pare was happy to get a chance to drink before his friends joined him. Tusuja, the water boy, was busy enjoying a cooling off exercise close to wild bulls who were also doing the same. Later Tusuja had a light pushing game with Olsekki, moments before heading back to the browsing field. The orphans were joined by Olare and Mutara’s groups but parted ways minutes later. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill and in evening passed by the mud bath again for an evening cool-off.