Keepers' Diaries, January 2014
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
10 Juniors remained milk and Keepers Dependent at the Ithumba Stockades at the beginning of 2014 - Kanjoro, Kilabasi, Mutara, Shukuru, Turkwel, Kainuk, Sities, Bongo, Laragai and Narok. According to the Keepers, Kanjoro is the boy with an “attitude”, who approaches huge wild Bulls without hesitation whereas the others are more diffident and respectful. On the 2nd Kanjoro marched straight up to a Big Wild Bull who was waiting near the mudbath for the Juniors and their Keepers to depart before coming in. While the other Juniors hurried past, Kanjoro embarked on an intimate inspection! He and Kandecha, along with girls Laragai, Narok, Mutara and Shukuru often lead the Junior column out in the mornings, to and from the noon mudbath and back in the evenings while Sities now shares the Junior Matriarchal mantle, with Kilabasi. On cool days most of the Juniors opt out of wallowing at noon, but not so Bongo, who, having originated from the cold climes of Mt. Kenya, finds even Tsavo cooler days warm enough for him!
01 January 2014
As soon as the orphans exited their Night Stockades, and having taken water at the stockade trough, Shukuru, Suguta and Sities scratched their bodies against the nearby rocks. Soon after the noon mudbath Suguta and her group separated from the other Juniors, and headed out on their own. They returned in the evening escorted back by Ex Orphan Bulls Madiba, Kenze and a wild bull friend. At l0 am the Ex Orphans passed by the Stockades for a drink, before heading in the Kalovoto direction. Missing from the herd were Kora, Lualeni, Ololoo and Kilaguni.
02 January 2014
On a cool morning, with mist over Ithumba mountain, Kandecha led the Juniors out to browse. At l0 a.m. Suguta and her group again separated from the others and headed off alone. At the mudbath a huge bull emerged from the bush, and the orphans approached him with their trunks raised, Kanjoro going right up to the Bull, while the others headed eastwards. Kanjoro is the boy with an attitude, and having sniffed the Big Bull, he eventually followed the others. Suguta and her group returned to the Stockades an hour after the Juniors.
03 January 2014
The orphans woke up in a jovial mood, and having enjoyed their Lucerne, Kalama, Chemi Chemi and Shukuru did some scratching against the rocks before Laragai led the herd out to browse. At 8 a.m., once in the field, Suguta and her group parted from the Juniors as usual. At the mudbath only Bongo wallowed while the rest returned to browsing having taken their milk.
04 January 2014
It was a quiet day for the Juniors, who concentrated on browsing. Mutara enjoyed scratching her body against a tree after taking her noon milk feed.
05 January 2014
Laragai again led the Juniors out in the morning after which Suguta and her group parted as usual, heading towards the Kalovoto area while the rest went to the Kanziku area. At the mudbath the orphans enjoyed rolling around in a small pool away from the normal mudbath. In the evening Suguta and her group returned at about 7.30 p.m.
06 January 2014
Today after the Juniors had enjoyed their Lucerne, and the usual rock scratching, it was Narok who led them out to browse. At 9 a.m. Suguta and her group parted and Narok and Laragai led the way to the milk and mudbath venue. Suguta and her group returned to the Stockades after dark at 8 p.m.
07 January 2014
Once the Juniors had reached their browsing patch out in the field, Suguta and her group separated as usual. Laragai led the Juniors to their noon milk and mudbath venue, and Mutara led them back to browse the slopes of Ithumba hill afterwards. Suguta and her group came back as usual in the evening.
08 January 2014
Kanjoro led the Juniors out today after their Lucerne handout, and Suguta and her group separated once they were at their browsing destination. At 9 a.m. the Ex Orphans came to the Stockades, and with them were Lualeni, Ololoo, Kora and Kilaguni who had been missing for almost 2 weeks. Also in the herd were the 4 Big Boyfriends of Wendi. Later that evening the Ex Orphans returned to the Stockade where they welcomed the Juniors at 5 p.m., Wendi paying particular attention to the Juniors as they passed by her. Suguta’s group checked in at 7 p.m.
09 January 2014
As the Juniors were enjoying their Lucerne, Ex Orphan Sunyei turned up, with a wild Boyfriend in tow, who kept a safe distance. Sunyei left with Suguta’s group, the wild Bull trailing them while the milk dependent Juniors headed to Kanziku with their Keepers. At 9 a.m. Sunyei again passed by the Stockades, this time with Wendi’s Boyfriend in tow and in the evening 20 Ex Orphans accompanied by 2 adult females and 4 wild Bulls showed up at the Stockades, Wendi’s Ex Boyfriend now paying a great deal of attention to Sunyei. Missing in the Ex Orphan group were Ex Orphan bulls Kora, Tomboi and Madiba, as well as Lualeni and her 2 favourites, Ololoo and Kilaguni, but also Naserian and Lenana. Suguta’s group returned to the Stockades at around 7 p.m.
10 January 2014
Suguta and her group left the Juniors soon after feeding on the Lucerne handout, heading for the Kalovoto area, while the Keeper Dependent group went to Kone. At around 9 a.m. Sunyei and 2 Big Boyfriends passed by the Stockades, also heading for the Kalovoto area. At the mudbath only Bongo, Narok and Laragai participated in wallowing. In the evening Suguta and her group reported back to the Stockades escorted by Rapsu, who left as soon as Suguta and her group were settled in the Stockade for the night.
11 January 2014
Suguta and her group parted from the Juniors having taken their Lucerne. At the noon mudbath only Bongo wallowed, the rest returning to browse again. Late in the evening Yatta and her baby, Yetu, came with Kinna, Nasalot, Loijuk, Ithumbah, Sidai, Wendi, Chyulu, Lenana, Lualeni (plus Ololoo and Kilaguni), Galana and Naserian and with Ex Orphan Bulls Kora, Rapsu, Meibai, Taita, Challa, Kenze, Madiba, Zurura and a Junior wild boy to drink at the Stockade trough, leaving once all had quenched their thirst. Suguta and her group returned late today, not until 9 p.m..
12 January 2014
After the Lucerne, Sities prompted Shukuru, Ishanga, Turkwel and Kainuk to also scratch against the rocks. Half an hour later Suguta took her group off towards the Kalovoto area while the Juniors headed towards Kone. At 9 a.m. Ololoo and Buchuma passed by the Stockade, without Lualeni and Kilaguni. It was a hot midday, so all the Juniors enjoyed a wallow, initiated as usual by Bongo, who loves the water, and who tempted Mutara, Kanjoro, Laragai and Narok to follow, Shukuru and Turkwel opting out. In the evening, the Suguta group on their way home joined Mulika and the other Ex Orphans, and later bumped into the Juniors also on their way back to the Stockades. Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Olare and Chaimu opted to join Suguta and the Ex Orphan group, but the Junior six eventually reported back to the Stockades late that night.
13 January 2014
Zurura spent the night just outside the Juniors’ Stockades, and was there to join them in the morning and having enjoyed the Lucerne, left with Suguta and her group. At the noon mudbath the Juniors were joined by Yatta and her calf, Yetu, plus Wendi, Makena, Kinna and Nasalot and Ex Orphan bulls Taita and Madiba. Kanjoro enjoyed a pushing game with Yatta, and later the entire herd left together to browse the slopes of Ithumba hill. Yatta and the Ex Orphans then peeled off, heading towards the Stockades. Today Suguta and her entourage returned early at 6 p.m.
14 January 2014
The Juniors were joined by the Ex Orphans this morning, who shared the Lucerne handout but then left with Suguta and her group. It was a cool day so the Juniors concentrated on browsing, and declined to wallow at noon.
15 January 2014
For the Juniors, the morning was as usual. At 9 a.m. a wild herd of elephants came to drink at the Stockade trough, and in the evening the Ex Orphans also turned up.
16 January 2014
As the Juniors were enjoying their Lucerne handout, the Ex Orphans came to join them, amongst whom was Yatta’s wild recruit named “Kijana” and 2 other wild bulls. Laragai had a wonderful time interacting with Mulika’s baby, “Mwende” and later the Ex Orphans left with Suguta’s group while the Juniors and their Keepers headed to Kanziku for browsing. It was another cool day, so none of the Juniors wallowed, but returned to browse the slopes of Ithumba hill. There Mutara kept lying down, indicative of stomach pain, so once back at the Stockades she was de-wormed. It was Shukuru who led the herd back in the evening.
17 January 2014
Soon after the Juniors left this morning Mulika and a splinter group of Ex Orphans turned up to finish off the Lucerne leftovers. Later Yatta arrived with the rest of the Ex Orphan herd, and having taken water, joined Mulika at the Lucerne. Meanwhile the Juniors were browsing the Kone area, and because the day was cool, none of them opted to wallow.
18 January 2014
Ex Orphan bull Kamboyo was with Kilaguni and Ololoo outside the Juniors Stockades before 6 a.m. in the morning, and as soon as the Gates were opened, there was a joyful reunion and rumblings of happiness as Suguta and her group, plus all the Juniors, welcomed Kilaguni and Ololoo. At the mudbath all the Ex Orphans came with some wild elephant friends to share the Juniors’ mudbath hour, but left again afterwards, taking Kilaguni and Ololoo with them. The Juniors heading browsed the slopes of Ithumba hill for the remainder of the day.
19 January 2014
It was a quiet day today, the Juniors just concentrating on browsing, and declining the wallow, since it was cool. In the evening the Ex Orphans turned up at the Stockades to drink and Suguta’s group did not report back until midnight.
20 January 2014
Bongo and Laragai were first out of the Night Stockades this morning, and it was Shukuru who led the Juniors out to browse once they had enjoyed their Lucerne handout. Having left the Stockades at dawn, Suguta and her group returned at 10 a.m. to drink from the Stockade trough, before heading out in the direction of the Kalovoto watercourse. At midday the Ex Orphans with Kijana and 4 wild Bulls also came to drink at the Stockades. Meanwhile, at the Junior mudbath venue, only Bongo wallowed. Having originated from Mt. Kenya, what the others felt was too cool to wallow, never bothered him!
21 January 2014
Today Suguta and her group remained with the Juniors to partake of the Lucerne handout before heading out. It was another cool day, so only Bongo wallowed while Kainuk, Turkwel and Narok scratched their bodies against the trees. At 6 p.m. Suguta and her group plus the Ex Orphans passed by the Stockades, and having taken a drink, headed off together towards the mudbath, but Suguta and her group returned during the night.
22 January 2014
As soon as they left their Stockade, Suguta and her group set off in a southerly direction, leaving the l0 milk dependent orphans enjoying their Lucerne until Kanjoro led them out to browse. At the mudbath a Junior Wild Boy joined the milk dependent group and later Suguta and her group turned up to join the Juniors. Later the wild boy left with Suguta’s group while the milk dependent orphans waited until their Keepers had finished their lunch, and then headed for the slopes of Ithumba hill to browse before returning in the evening.
23 January 2014
The Ex Orphans came early to collect Suguta and her group, all then heading off together. The Juniors settled down to browse the Kanziku area, until Bongo led them to the mudbath where he enjoyed his usual noon wallow. In the evening Laragai led the first batch of Juniors back, whilst Sities led the second group. At 6.30 p.m. Suguta’s group returned, but missing Chaimu, who appears to have joined her longtime friend Kilaguni (now with Lualeni and the Ex Orphans).
24 January 2014
This morning Lualeni along with Bulls Rapsu, Kamboyo and Madiba came to join the Juniors, bringing with them Kilaguni, Chaimu, Ololoo and a Junior wild bull. It seems that Lualeni has aspirations to form her own small Splinter Group. Soon after finishing the Lucerne, Lualeni’s group left with that of Suguta while the milk dependent orphans and their Keepers headed to the Kanziku area to browse. It was a hot day, so all the Juniors enjoyed wallowing today and after, a dustbath. In the evening another Splinter Group of Ex Orphans showed up at the Stockades with Kijana. Missing was Napasha. Suguta’s group returned to the Stockades at 10 p.m. With them were Lualeni plus Ololoo, Kilaguni, and Chaimu, escorted by Ex Orphan Bulls Rapsu Kamboyo, Madiba and the junior wild boy.
25 January 2014
Lualeni and her group spent the night just outside the Juniors’ Stockade and joined Suguta’s group and the Juniors as soon as they emerged in the morning. When Suguta’s group headed off, Ex Orphans Lualeni, Kamboyo, Madiba, Rapsu and Ololoo decided to accompany the Juniors out to browse, splitting from them about an hour later, but Rapsu turned up at the mudbath to join them wallowing, and later Kitirua, Kasigau and Kilabasi from Suguta’s group joined them also. In the evening the Ex Orphans accompanied by a group of wild elephants came to the Stockades. Amongst the wild elephants was a small calf of about 3 months. Missing amongst the Ex Orphans were Ex Orphan Bulls Napasha, Tomboi and Buchuma.
26 January 2014
This morning the Juniors had the Stockades all to themselves, after which the day passed as usual for them. In the evening the Ex Orphans came to the Stockades, but minus Napasha, Tomboi and Buchuma.
27 January 2014
Early this morning the Stockade compound was filled with Ex Orphans plus Kijana and 2 wild elephants, all of whom had reported back during the night with Suguta’s group, who entered their Night Stockade as usual, while the other Ex Orphans and their wild friends remained in the compound.. Missing amongst the Ex Orphans was Lualeni and her satellites, Ololoo, Kilaguni and Chaimu as well as Bulls Napasha, Tomboi and Buchuma. The milk dependent Juniors mingled amongst all the others, until they left along with Suguta’s group, reappearing again in the evening. The Juniors had a peaceful day, and returned as usual in the evening.
28 January 2014
Having enjoyed the Lucerne handout, Laragai led the milk dependent Juniors to the Kanziku area to browse while Suguta and her group headed towards the Kalovoto area. At 8 a.m. the Ex Orphans with Kijana and 3 wild Bulls came to drink at the Stockades. Still missing amongst the Ex Orphans were Napasha, Tomboi and Buchuma. At 4 p.m. the orphans’ first wild friend, the Big Bull named “Rafiki” and two wild attendants came to the Stockades, joined later by the Ex Orphans. After Rafiki and the Ex Orphans had left, Lualeni and Kamboyo brought Suguta’s group back to the Stockades.
29 January 2014
Mutara led the Juniors out, Shukuru having first enjoyed a scratch against the trees. At the mudbath, the sun was hot, so all enjoyed a wallow. The Ex Orphans showed up at the stockades in the evening.
30 January 2014
Today, it was Kanjoro who led the way out to the field for browsing. At 7 a.m. the Ex Orphans came to the Stockades to drink, and then left again. Still missing from the group were Ex Orphan Bulls Napasha, Buchuma and Tomboi.
31 January 2014
Suguta and her group left early just before dawn, and returned to take water at 8 a.m. by which time the milk dependent group had already left for the field. At the mudbath, all save Bongo, opted out of wallowing since it was a cool day. At 2 p.m. the Ex Orphans came to drink at the Stockades, and still missing were Napasha, Tomboi and Buchuma.