Keepers' Diaries, January 2016
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
Cold and miserable weather heralded the onset of the New Year with the Ithumba Mountain shrouded in mist most mornings, only lifting around midday. This inhibited the elephants’ mud bathing, because despite the fact that their normal sparse wallow had been transformed into a veritable lake, just like us humans, elephants are often not fond of plunging into cold water! At Ithumba there is one exception however, and that is our “water-baby” Bongo, used to the frosty wallows of his Mt. Kenya homeland, he always heads straight into the waterhole, irrespective of the weather!
01 January 2016
Early before six o’clock in the morning the ex-orphans reported to the stockade to wish the juniors a happy New Year. Once the orphans were out, Narok physically exchanged happy New Year greetings with Kinna by entwining their trunks and later turned to Chyulu where they embraced one another’s trunks as well. The ex-orphans were in the company of four wild bulls, one of them being Nasalot's lover and Nasalot was enjoying the attention. The ex-orphans didn't stay at the stockade compound for long but left immediately after wishing everyone a happy new year. In the browsing field, Garzi who was feeding close to Sities came across a fallen tree and for some time they both tried to strip its bark to chew on. At mud bath time the orphans were joined by Madiba and Zurura. The two independent orphans headed straight to wallow where they were joined by Bongo as Narok preferred to play with the mud at the edge of the mud bath. The rest of the juniors boycotted wallowing and walked back to the browsing field. As soon as Bongo had enough of wallowing, he left Madiba and Zurura still wallowing to follow his friends. Later in the afternoon, Bongo and Kanjoro had a brief strength testing exercise while Barsilinga and Narok felt the heat of the day and decided to relax under a tree. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath again where they jumped into the water to cool off.
02 January 2016
Mist covered everywhere today including the Hill as the orphans left the stockade in the morning. It was quite chilly and Laragai and Barsilinga warmed up by briefly pushing one another. Barsilinga couldn't allow it to go on for a long time since he knew Laragai was a no-nonsense girl and the game could easily turn to a fight, with he being the obvious loser. Half an hour later, the ex-orphans, reported in the company of four wild bulls, one of them being new to the group and he was a very big bull! It was interesting to see the massive bull not being aggressive but behaving as if he was a frequent visitor at the stockade. The massive bull might have been coming to take Nasalot out since Nasalot is in season. Unfortunately Nasalot was not present.
Teleki engaged ex orphan Makena in a pushing game but Orwa who was close by wasn't happy as he thought that he should be the one playing with Makena. Orwa stepped forward and pushed Teleki away so as to get chance to play with Makena. Makena decided to teach Orwa a lesson by hitting him hard until he screamed. Orwa quit the game and left to feed instead. Meanwhile Teleki had found another friend to test his strength, Kenze, who allowed Teleki to play with him for some time as Vuria played with Ololoo. A short while later, the groups parted ways. The orphans had a quiet morning until at mud bath time when Laragai and Lemoyian had a disagreement that ended in a fight. Vuria also had a misunderstanding with Bongo that forced Vuria to push Bongo from behind. Bongo ran straight to the water knowing very well that Vuria would not attempt to follow him into the water because the weather was chilly. Bongo enjoyed swimming on his own as the rest of his friends boycotted the wallowing due to the low temperature. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sunshine and this prompted the orphans to browse while flapped their ears due to the humid conditions.
03 January 2016
Narok was the first one to leave the stockade followed by Lemoyian. Once the two were out, Lemoyian rumbled which made Narok to rush to him and find out what was the matter. Narok touched Lemoyian’s mouth with her trunk so as to calm him down. Lemoyian settled and did some soil dusting with Narok before moving over to feed on lucerne. Barsilinga engaged Kithaka in a strength testing exercise as Laragai threw lucerne in her back which Bongo happily went to eat. Soon after finishing lucerne, Bomani engaged Lemoyian in a play fight while Orwa played with Barsilinga as Bongo and Vuria tried to settle their old scores by pushing one another. In the browsing field Vuria engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game and soon after Barsilinga was defeated, he walked to Orwa and sought some advice on which techniques he could use to defeat Vuria.
An hour after the orphans had left for browsing; the ex-orphans in the company of four wild bulls came to the stockade. The ex-orphans stayed at the stockade compound for an hour before heading to the Kalovoto lugga.
The weather was chilly at mud bath time and none of the orphans dared to get into the water. A few of them opted for soil dusting before heading back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, Kainuk paired up with Sities to browse while Bomani and Vuria came across mud that they used to smear themselves. In the evening, Teleki spent some time in a lone game of rolling on the ground.
04 January 2016
Kithaka and Barsilinga exchanged morning greetings by pushing each other around soon after leaving the stockade. They both had branches in their mouths which they guarded carefully so as not to drop them. As the rest of the orphans settled on lucerne Shukuru, who is very selective on what she feeds on, headed straight to the browsing field and started to feed on grass. Bomani and Lemoyian had a brief tussle with Bomani having the intention of climbing on Lemoyian. Bongo came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch himself and Kainuk came to engage him in a pushing game.
The weather was chilly and the orphans settled to browse on the eastern side of the stockade. Orwa and Kanjoro spent some time in a strength testing exercise as Teleki scratched his belly against a bent tree. At mud bath time, Narok led the first group while Vuria led the second one. The weather was still chilly and only Bongo, Mutara and Kanjoro participated in wallowing. As Kanjoro was coming out of the water, Narok was rolling at the edge of the mud bath and Kanjoro walked passed her to wish her a nice game as he was leaving the mud bath. Later in the evening, the ex-orphans passed through the stockade compound on their way to another location.
05 January 2016
Ololoo was the guest of honour in the morning. He was on his own and standing outside the stockades waiting for the juniors to come out. As soon as the gates opened, Ololoo walked into Kithaka's stockade and stood at the gate blocking everyone from coming out. It took the keepers intervening and calling Ololoo for him to move and unblock the gate. The orphans settled to feed on lucerne as the sky opened up and gave way to light rains. Bongo challenged Orwa as Narok played with Ololoo. Orwa cut his game short with Bongo though so as to go and combine efforts with Narok in fighting Ololoo. Ololoo stood his ground and was not intimidated by the duo. Narok gave up the fight leaving the two boys Ololoo and Orwa dueling. Orwa finally accepted defeat and quit to play with Barsilinga who is junior to him.
Kainuk and Lemoyian spent some time soil dusting in the wet soil. An hour later, Ololoo left the group walked away into the bush. At mud bath time, the orphans were hesitant about getting in the water. Barsilinga and Narok opted for a soil dusting game but later all the orphans participated in wallowing after Bongo, as usual, led them in. Suguta played with Mutara while Bomani rode on Garzi’s back. As soon as the orphans finished wallowing, Garzi had some scores to settle with Bomani; the two boys tussled for some time until Barsilinga intervened by picking on Bomani for a strength testing exercise.
In the afternoon, Orwa and Kanjoro had a pushing game that lasted for some time. Later Teleki, Orwa, Kanjoro, Garzi, Shukuru, Bomani and Bongo came across a small water pool that they used to have an afternoon mud bath. After, Bomani and Bongo leaned on nearby trees to scratch while Orwa and Kanjoro pushed each other.
06 January 2016
Soon after leaving his stockade in the morning, Bomani walked and stood outside Barsalinga’s stockade. As soon as Barsilinga walked out, he found Bomani waiting for him as if he had a debt to pay. Without wasting any time, Bomani attacked Barsilinga. Barsilinga put up a spirited effort of defending himself.
Sities started her day with a snack in the form of nests that had fallen from the acacia tree in the compound. She collected a few nests that had been stripped off from the tree by the female weaver birds who had decided they were not good enough to lay their eggs in, and enjoyed feeding on them as she walked to get some lucerne. Mutara led the way to the browsing field and the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where they were joined by ex orphans Nasalot, Lualeni, Madiba, Zurura, Ololoo, Rapsu and Orok. Kanjoro and Teleki spent some time in a pushing game. Later, the boys Kanjoro, Vuria and Bomani enjoyed feeding close to Rapsu as Laragai and Bongo browsed close to Madiba. Ololoo was at loggerheads with Orwa because Ololoo tried to climb on him. Orwa wasn't happy about this and as soon as Ololoo dismounted Orwa turned to defend himself.
At mud bath time, the ex-orphans escorted the juniors for their mid day milk bottles and thereafter joined them in wallowing. Barsilinga played with Laragai as they dusted themselves with soil and later took their game into the water. When the juniors had enough of wallowing, Mutara led the way back to the browsing field. The ex-orphans were left in the water still wallowing apart from Nasalot who accompanied the juniors to the browsing field. In the evening Shukuru took her last dose of doxymycin, and now we have to see whether this has helped her condition to improve or not.
07 January 2016
Nasalot, who appears to have spent the night just near the stockade, joined the juniors for lucerne early in the morning. Shukuru and Bomani went to scratch on nearby rocks as they awaited for their friends to finish lucerne so they could all leave for browsing. Shukuru was feeding on soft leaves as she continued with her scratching exercise. Orwa and Mutara had a brief strength testing game that saw Orwa surrender to Mutara. Later Vuria engaged Barsilinga in a play fight that ended in a draw. Nasalot left a while later after feeding with the juniors for almost two hours.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly but the orphans participated in wallowing with the exception of Kainuk, Shukuru and Garzi. Bomani was riding on Barsilinga as Barsilinga enjoyed rolling in the water while Lemoyian played with Laragai. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. The temperatures then soared making the orphans seek refuge under the trees so as to hide from the scorching sun. Later the temperatures dropped to a favourable level and the orphans came out in the open and resumed browsing.
08 January 2016
The orphans left the stockade early as usual and settled for lucerne. The boys spent a considerable amount of time in a strength testing exercises. Barsilinga played with Bomani, while Orwa tackled Kanjoro. At the browsing field, Bomani played Garzi while Vuria challenged Bongo as Suguta found a suitable tree that she used to scratch her buttocks. The rest of morning was calm as the orphans concentrated only on browsing. At the mud bath time the orphans only wallowed briefly with Kithaka and Kainuk boycotting the exercise. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans browsed calmly without any major observations.
09 January 2016
It was a bright morning as the orphans came out of their respective stables and met up with Wendi's group of ex-orphans with Wiva her wild born baby. Wiva was very active today and in good health. Wendi was scratching on a rock while Wiva was playing with Makina. Sities and Mutara liked the baby and wanted to walk with her into the bush. There was also a wild bull in the group.The orphans later isolated themselves and started browsing on their own with Barsilinga browsing next to Lemoyian in the bush. The whole group later walked to the mudbath.
Bongo led the group with Mutara to play in the mud bath and have fun. Everyone played in the mud except Kithaka, Teleki, Garzi, Kainuk, Turkwel and Orwa who instead had a dust bath on the other side. The group later left back to the bush. There they all enjoyed green and fresh pasture and they all looked full and happy as they walked back to the stockade in the evening. There was no rain today or any visits from wild elephants or other wild animals to the stockade.
10 January 2016
It was a bright morning today with the elephants eating in the lucerne field before quickly moving on the browse in the same spot. Orwa started play fighting with Turkwel while Bongo on the other side played with Vuria. Mutara was standing on the top rock staring down at her fellow friends while browsing in the bush. Shukuru looked happily and browsed actively which showed that she may be overcoming her long illness. Orwa and Vuria also started play fighting in preparation for milk. Barsilinga later led the group to the mudbath.
Here they all played vigorously in the mudwallow with Bongo, Mutara, Sities and Vuria seriously enjoying the wallowing. Vuria was mounting on Laragai inside the mudwallow and later Kithaka led the whole group out of the mudwallow to the bush. They all enjoyed the green pasture and the fresh grass before Laragai led the group back home for their evening milk. In the stockade, we had only 5 ex-orphans who visited but Wendi's group didn’t appear today. The area was very cold and no rain today.
11 January 2016
Today the orphans came out of their stables and ran towards the fresh pasture after their morning breakfast. A number of them started scratching on the rocks in different styles, beginning with Kithaka, Teleki, Orwa, Barsilinga, Kainuk, Turkwel and Kanjoro while Bongo and Vuria had a play fight nearby. Barsilinga and Orwa also joined them in the play fight. Later the group headed to the bush for browsing. Vuria and Bongo were very close friends after a tight play fight and they both browsed together. They all enjoyed the fresh pasture and later Kithaka led the group to the mudbath.
The whole group entered the mudwallow and started playing. Vuria started mounting on Barsilinga and after that on Kithaka. They all then came out and Kithaka led the group to the bush for browsing.
After all the rain it is thick bush everywhere and this makes the elephants all browse and stay together for security. Back at the stockade, we had Wendi's group with Mulika and Yatta with their babies. They drank water and left shortly after. Shukuru did not ignore her milk today and finished all her share. We had no rain but we still had cold weather today.
12 January 2016
It was a cold morning this morning when the orphans came out looking jovial and playful. The orphans walked straight to the bush for browsing accompanied by the keepers. Vuria started playing and mounting on Barsilinga while Bongo pushed and played with Narok. Orwa was scratching on Laragai in a fun game but Laragai ignored him so Kanjoro came over and started playing with him. Barsilinga then led the group to the mudbath.
At the mud bath it was very cold and only some of the babies decided to mud wallow. Ex orphans Mulika and Yatta with their babies Mwende and Yetu also arrived. Yetu came near the tray of milk for the orphans which angered Laragai as she did not want her near her milk and she started pushing her away from the tray. Garzi came in to help Laragai but it turned out it was just a short, fun game. Teleki walked over to Yatta and started greeting her. Lualeni, Mulika, Kinna and Mwende were enjoying a dust bath by this time. Mwende later started playing with Kithaka. Bongo, Mutara, Sities and Vuria came across a small dam and started playing in it vigorously, splashing water everywhere .Later the orphans left to the bush for browsing.
In the bush they were all busy browsing for fresh pasture and walking in a tight herd once more for fear of predators in the thick bush and shrubs. In the late afternoon Barsilinga led the orphans back home for their evening bottle and snack.
Back in the stockade, we had Wendi's group who came and drank water and then left back to the bush.
13 January 2016
A cold morning but the orphans came out of their respective stables quietly and started having fun and games outside their stables. Vuria as usual started play fighting with Orwa and Barsilinga came to intervene and separate them. Kilabasi, Kasigau and Makireti came in and Orwa joined them and started play fighting with Kilabasi. The three were very friendly with Orwa even in the bush. They enjoyed the company of the orphans and stayed with them the whole day. With very green food available everywhere, they enjoyed their day of browsing in safety with the keepers. In the bush they met up with the ex-orphans Madiba, Yatta and Yetu, Lualeni, Orok and Ololoo. Madiba was browsing with Kainuk while Ololoo mounted on Orwa. Later the whole group walked to the mudbath.
At the mudbath, the milk dependants came in first so they could have their milk, before the ex-orphans arrived. Orwa left the ex- orphans some minutes after the others had finished their milk, and he had his share and then joined the group in the mudwallow. Madiba, Yatta and Lualeni played lovely long games with the orphans in the mud bath and later they all came out and walked back to the bush to browse.
Kasigau, Kilabasi and Makireti took Orwa and walked with him away from the group. Yattas's group also walked away leaving the milk dependant orphans on their own. In the evening on their way back home, Mutara’s group came across a small water pool which they started playing in. Sities later led the group back home in the evening. An hour later Orwa came with his group of Kilabasi, Kasigau and Makireti. We had Wendi's group with Wiva in the stockade this morning as well - Wiva looked active and healthy and very playful. We had no rain today.
14 January 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Kasigau. Orwa, who likes to have anyone around that he can challenge and play with, was happy to see Kasigau; immediately the two boys went into a strength testing game. Bongo spent some time scratching his buttocks against the nearby rocks as the tuskless Bomani went down on his knees and tried to pull up grass using his mouth. At the browsing field, Kanjoro and Teleki briefly engaged one another in a play fight. Barsilinga tried to intervene but Kanjoro pushed him away. Kainuk browsed close to her long time friend Turkwel and they only parted ways when it was time to head to the mud bath. All the orphans had fun wallowing with Vuria getting free rides from Garzi and Bomani. In the afternoon the temperatures skyrocketed which made the orphans converge under a tree to hide from the scorching sun. Later, the temperatures dropped to a more favourable level and they all resumed browsing on the nice greens.
15 January 2016
When the orphans left their stockade Kanjoro led the way straight to the browsing field. Here Kithaka came across a rock that he used to scratch his neck. He was joined by Lemoyian and Barsilinga. Orwa joined Turkwel in feeding while Barsilinga browsed with Mutara. Later, the orphans settled to browse at Kone area where there is a small dam. Garzi, Shukuru, Vuria, Turkwel and Kithaka helped themselves to drinking water before going back to browse again. Towards mud bath time Mutara and Turkwel relaxed under a tree and shared a stick that Mutara was holding. Shukuru, Kainuk, Kithaka and Laragai boycotted the mud wallow exercise and instead participated in a soil dusting themselves instead. Bongo and Barsilinga had a strength testing game while still in water, whilst Vuria rode on the backs of those submerged in the water.
After mud bath, Orwa and Kanjoro had a disagreement which the two boys opted to settle through fighting. Later in the afternoon Teleki, Kithaka, Barsilinga, Vuria and Bomani came across a small drying water hole with thick mud that they rolled in. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where they participated in an evening wallow session. Only Kithaka didn't wallow and instead waded through the shallow water up to the other end.
16 January 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, Barsilinga started his day by scratching on the nearby rocks. Later he engaged Bomani in a pushing game when Bomani refused to part with grass he was holding in his mouth. As their game was in progress Makireti, Kasigau and Kilabasi whose group has remained intact for a very long time showed up at the stockade. Barsilinga and Bomani halted their game so as to welcome these three visitors. They sniffed at them for some time before Bomani opted to briefly play with Kilabasi. Later Kilabasi shifted to play with Orwa as Kasigau played with Kanjoro. Vuria didn't have anyone to play with and so decided to play his own game of rolling on the ground.
In the browsing field, Orwa engaged Kasigau in a strength testing exercise while Narok found a suitable rock that she used to scratch her buttocks on. Lemoyian, who was feeding close to Bomani, decided to try and test his strength on him while Barsilinga settled scores with Kithaka through pushing one another.
Two hours later, Makireti and her small group parted ways with the juniors. Mutara teamed up with Sities to feed and later joined Vuria to all feed together until it was time to head for a mud bath. At mud bath time the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the water. Barsilinga played with Orwa briefly before Sities led the way back to the browsing field. Orwa and Bongo spent some time soil dusting. In the evening, Bongo, Vuria, Garzi and Turkwel came across a small pool of water that they used to cool themselves down in.
17 January 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Madiba. Teleki, Vuria, Laragai, Garzi and Suguta stretched out their trunks towards him in greeting. The naughty Madiba then instead threatened to push them. The orphans quickly moved away leaving Teleki attempting to challenge Madiba. Teleki couldn't withstand Madiba’s strength and so he had no option other than to withdraw and use his legs to escape!
In the bush Lemoyian teamed up with Kithaka to browse as Laragai browsed with Kanjoro. Later Orwa and Turkwel engaged each other in a pushing game. At mud bath time Orwa, Vuria, Mutara and Teleki enjoyed riding on their friends whilst wallowing. Kainuk, Garzi, Kithaka, Shukuru and Lemoyian boycotted the wallowing exercise altogether and watched their friends from a distance. The orphans had a quiet afternoon and in the evening they passed by the mud bath where all of them had an evening cool-off before proceeding back to the stockade.
18 January 2016
Ololoo was relaxing outside the stockade early in the morning all alone. We’re not sure why he decided to pay us a visit alone this morning. Most of the time he is seen with Lualeni and a few other ex-orphans. Perhaps since he is a boy he is learning how to become a mature bull. Once the gates opened for the orphans to come out, Ololoo tried to block their way. Narok was the first one to leave the stockade and, never shying away from challenging his seniors, tackled Ololoo so as to unblock the way. As Narok was tackling Ololoo, the others found a way to pass. Ololoo stopped wrestling with Narok and walked down where he met up with Suguta. The two had a brief strength testing exercise that didn't last for long. The game ended when Ololoo spotted Orwa, his favourite playmate. Ololoo engaged him in a fight that ended when Ololoo attempted to mount on Orwa.
It the browsing field, the boys lined up to challenge Ololoo. First was Bongo then Vuria and Kanjoro finished the games. Later Garzi challenged Barsilinga, Ololoo mounted on Teleki while Laragai had a lone game of rolling on the ground. Shortly before mud bath time, Ololoo parted ways with the juniors. At mud bath time the weather was chilly and only Mutara, Vuria, Bongo, Orwa and Narok participated in wallowing. Vuria for some time enjoyed free rides from Bongo. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sunshine. The orphans settled to browse on the western slopes of the Ithumba Hill. In the evening the temperatures hadn't dropped and this prompted the orphans to pass by the mud bath for a cool-off dip.
19 January 2016
It was a chilly morning following 7mm of rain we received last night. Soon after leaving the stockade the orphans, led by Kanjoro, headed straight to the browsing field. Vuria and Bongo started the day's activities by engaging each other in a strength testing exercise. Suguta teamed up with Lemoyian to browse while Kainuk browsed with her long time friend Turkwel.
The orphans settled to browse in Kone area where they were joined by Ishanga. Ishanga, who has a history of moving from one group to another, appears to have left her latest group which was Yatta’s group. Before jumping into Yatta’s group, Ishanga used to be in Chaimu’s group and there was a time when she was camped in Makireti's group too. The alternative for Ishanga to end her nomadic way of life is to perhaps form her own herd; only time would tell if she was able to maintain it though. Ishanga was welcomed nicely by all members of the orphan herd. She was surrounded by all the orphans as they tried to get close to her and say hello. At mud bath time, Ishanga escorted the group to the mud bath but only Kanjoro and Bongo participated in wallowing.
In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse east of Imenti dam area. Kanjoro, Bongo, Shukuru and Turkwel came across a small pool of water that they happily enjoyed splashing about it, splashing water behind their ears to cool off. In the evening Ishanga, Mutara and Suguta dodged the keepers and didn't return back to the stockade with the rest of the group. It appears that Ishanga came to join the orphans with a mission to accomplish, and by spending the entire day with the orphans she knew that the keeper's would not suspect her of having any plans of taking some orphans away. It appears that Mutara and Suguta had accepted to spend the night out with Ishanga because by eight o’clock at night, the three hadn't yet showed up at the stockade compound.
20 January 2016
Soon after leaving the stockade Vuria and Bongo engaged one another in a strength testing exercise. On the way to the browsing field, the orphans were joined by Ishanga and her new group with only three members, herself, Suguta and Mutara. Ishanga joined Orwa in browsing while Turkwel browsed close to Kainuk. Garzi and Vuria spent some time scratching their ears against the nearby trees. Later Laragai had a brief conversation with Barsilinga through playing with each other’s trunks and putting them in each other’s mouths too. After the conversation, the duo settled for a soil dusting exercise. Kanjoro who was feeding a few metres away was attracted by the soil dusting game and stopped feeding to join in as well. After Laragai had enough of soil dusting, she walked away to her left and joined Lemoyian in browsing. On the way to the mud bath, Barsilinga led the way as the rest ambled behind him. It was quite chilly so only Ishanga, Mutara, Kanjoro, Suguta, Barsilinga, Bongo and Vuria wallowed in the mud bath. Kithaka, Narok, Shukuru, Kainuk, Turkwel and Lemoyian opted for soil dusting instead. On the way back to the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Garzi in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw.
In the afternoon, Orwa, Turkwel and Kainuk relaxed under a tree for some time before returning to browse and in the evening Bongo and Vuria wound up the day’s activities with a strength testing game that was cut short by Orwa pushing both of them away.
21 January 2016
Kithaka started the day’s activities with a scratching exercise. The weather was extremely chilly as mist completely covered Ithumba Hill. Mutara, Ishanga and Suguta joined the juniors to browse. Kanjoro and Bongo engaged one another in a pushing game that saw Bongo lose. Vuria and Shukuru climbed up to a nearby hill and enjoyed the free competition in browsing as their friends remained at the bottom of the hill. Barsilinga and Lemoyian spent some time scratching on rocks around the hill. A short while later Kanjoro played with Orwa as Bomani went down on his knees and started a lone game of rolling on the ground. Kanjoro quit playing with Orwa and walked over to ride on Bomani rolling on the ground. Orwa turned to Sities and had light pushing game before both of them resumed browsing.
Shortly after ten o’clock in the morning, the orphans were joined by Lualeni, Taita and Ololoo. The orphans surrounded Lualeni with their trunks stretched out to greet her. Orwa got the opportunity to play with Taita as Ololoo played with Kanjoro.
At mud bath time the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the water. Lemoyian had a brief pushing game with Laragai as Bongo walked over to a fallen tree that he used to scratch his belly. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area and it was quiet throughout the remaining part of the day.
22 January 2016
In the morning before coming out of the stockade, Shukuru was given some medicine in her milk. Soon after they had all come out, Garzi and Barsilinga exchanged morning greetings in the form of pushing one another. Afterwards, Barsilinga leaned his buttocks against the only remaining acacia tree in the stockade compound to scratch himself. Bomani spotted him and passed by to say hi. He greeted him by pushing him then proceeded to the browsing field. There Turkwel played with Orwa as Vuria made himself comfortable in a thick bush so dense that only his head could be seen, while he happily enjoyed its green leaves. Later Kithaka came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch his belly. At mud bath time, Shukuru refused to take her milk and only Bongo, Vuria, Teleki, Narok, Barsilinga, Bomani, Orwa, Ishanga, Kanjoro and Suguta participated in wallowing. Kainuk took Lemoyian and went to relax under a tree as the rest walked slowly back to the browsing field. The afternoon was sunny and the orphans browsed under trees as they tried to avoid the hot sun on their backs. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath again where all of them participated in an evening wallow.
23 January 2016
Bomani and Vuria lagged behind on the way to the browsing field. When the two boys realized that their friends had disappeared into the bush, the duo decided to run so as to catch up with them. Vuria, who can easily be awarded a gold medal if taken to the Olympics, overtook Bomani as if he was just running on the spot. In the browsing field, Orwa and Barsilinga had a light strength testing exercise. Later Barsilinga walked over to Kanjoro and engaged him in a pushing game. Kithaka kept himself busy for a while by scratching on rocks while Narok had her own game of rolling on the ground. At mud bath time the sun was hot but amazingly enough the orphans were not in a wallowing mood and they only took water before returning to browse. It was a quiet afternoon as the orphans concentrated on feeding. In the evening Kanjoro and Bongo spent some time scratching against trees before returning to the stockade.
24 January 2016
Vuria and Bongo went to war as soon as they came out of the stockade this morning. It was as if the two boys had woken with the idea of a fight first thing in the morning. The battle went on for quite a long time until the two boys became exhausted; only then did they settle down to browse. Kithaka kept himself busy by scratching on a fallen tree. Narok engaged Orwa in a strength testing game and as soon as it ended Narok decided to roll on the ground. Barsilinga invited Laragai to a pushing game not knowing the trouble he had invited for himself. Laragai, the no-nonsense girl, didn't take the invitation lightly and saw it as an act of being demeaned because she was a girl or because of her small body size. Laragai, who can sting like a bee when annoyed, went into the pushing game fully prepared to teach Barsilinga a lesson he wouldn’t forget! It took Laragai only one minute to make Barsilinga turn and run for his dear life; she walked away with her head held high after teaching Barsilinga a lesson to tell the other boys. At mud bath time, Orwa and Kanjoro had a light strength testing game that didn't last for long. Only Kanjoro, Bongo, Narok, Barsilinga and Teleki participated in wallowing in the mud bath. In the afternoon Vuria spent some time scratching against a tree before Kithaka picked on him for a strength testing exercise. In the evening, the orphans came across a small pool that Lemoyian, Orwa and Turkwel used to splash behind their ears.
25 January 2016
Vuria and Bongo started the day’s activities with a warm up pushing game as Orwa partook in a lone game of rolling on the ground. Shukuru spend some time scratching her buttocks against an anthill. Shortly later, the juniors were joined by Makireti, Kasigau, Kilabasi, Chaimu and Kilaguni. Chaimu and Kilaguni had been missing for some time. Turkwel and Barsilinga escorted Chaimu and Kasigau to the water trough to drink some water. After drinking water, Chaimu played Kasigau and later played with Teleki. Teleki quit the game and went to engage Kilabasi in a pushing game and later with Kilaguni too.
In the browsing field Orwa engaged Kasigau in strength testing exercise as Garzi did with Barsilinga. At mud bath time Kithaka and Barsilinga has a disagreement and we were not sure over what. They decided to sort out their differences by play-fighting. Only Kilaguni, Kanjoro, Kasigau, Bongo and Chaimu decided to wallow in the mud bath. Soon after wallowing, Kasigau engaged Orwa in a strength testing exercise that lasted for quite some time. In the afternoon the herd settled to browse on the western side of the Ithumba Hill. In the evening the temperatures were still high and the herd passed by the mud bath again where they decided to have an evening wallow to cool off, only Kilaguni boycotted that final activity of the day.
26 January 2016
Barsilinga started his day’s activities by scratching on the nearby rocks soon after leaving the stockade. Out in the bush Garzi and Barsilinga engaged each other in a strength testing exercise as Lemoyian settled to browse with Kainuk. Later in the day Kanjoro had differences with Teleki which they resolved by pushing one another. Their game attracted Kithaka and Barsilinga who were feeding close by and they started a play fight of their own. Their imitation game angered Kanjoro who stopped playing with Teleki and walked over to the two boys and pushed them away.
At mud bath time the sun was hot and only Kanjoro, Bongo and Vuria wallowed in the mud bath. Laragai had a light pushing game with Kithaka on the edge of the mud bath. Soon after exiting the mud bath Vuria went to scratch his buttocks against the nearby trees. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot and this made Garzi relax under a tree with good shade. Garzi disagreed with Kithaka over how to share the shade that he had occupied first and their disagreement ended in a fight. Orwa, who as relaxing in some shade not far away from the two boys, volunteered to mediate and bring peace between them. Orwa’s intervention however wasn't impartial as he appeared to be favouring Garzi who happens to be one of the four boys he shares a stockade with. After Kithaka realized that Garzi and Orwa were on the same side (birds of the same feather flock together) he was left with no option but to withdraw and make peace because he would definitely end up the loser.
In the evening, the orphans came across a small pool of water that Bongo, Shukuru, Kanjoro, Barsilinga and Lemoyian used to cool themselves down in. After their small bath, Shukuru and Bongo used a nearby tree to scratch themselves.
27 January 2016
This morning was all about sharing. Kithaka shared his food with Kanjoro, Barsilinga with Vuria, Laragai with Teleki, Bomani with Narok and Kainuk with Turkwel. Kithaka and Garzi then participated in a strength testing warm-up exercise, Teleki and Shukuru did some soil dusting. Barsilinga happened to pass by close to Shukuru and she threatened to push him away by raising her head high with ears spread out. Barsilinga changed direction and met with Turkwel where the two locked trunks before Barsilinga pulled himself away and went to resume browsing. Lemoyian engaged Bomani in a pushing game; when the game was apparently over, Lemoyian followed Bomani slowly behind and when the opportunity presented itself he attempted to mount climb on Bomani’s back. Mutara and Suguta joined the orphans at Kanziku area. It appears that Ishanga has abandoned the two and jumped into another group again. It seems that Ishanga will never have a permanent group or even form her own; if she does perhaps it will only be with her own children.
Shortly before mud bath time Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Chaimu and Kilaguni joined the juniors and escorted them to the mud bath. At mud bath only Shukuru, Narok, Laragai, Kanjoro, Mutara, Kilaguni, Kilabasi, Suguta, Kasigau, Chaimu and Vuria participated in wallowing. Kasigau had a game of mounting on Kanjoro while still in water; Chaimu was splashing water with her trunk as Laragai waded through the water in a playful style. Bomani and Lemoyian opted for a soil dusting exercise. Kasigau and Kilaguni were the last ones to leave the mud bath. Chaimu came out in a very excited mood and started charging around in the thick bushes. She ended up kicking a stone which hurt her foot and brought a swift end to her happy, excitable mood.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in Kanziku area and in the evening Rapsu and Taita joined the orphans. When it came time to return back to the stockade Kanjoro, Suguta and Mutara stayed behind with Taita, Rapsu and the semi ex-orphan group. This group later passed by the stockade on their way to Kalovoto.
28 January 2016
It was a quiet and cold morning following 7mm of rain received overnight. Kanjoro, Suguta and Mutara were outside the stockades in the morning and Orwa walked over to Kanjoro and they entwined their trunks in greeting. A long conversation followed between Orwa and Kanjoro as it seemed Orwa was asking what it felt like to spend the night out. Kanjoro appeared to be telling Orwa that all was well. Bongo, Narok and Bomani spent some time scratching on the nearby rocks.
Later in the browsing field Orwa engaged Narok in a pushing game while Kanjoro tackled Teleki. After Narok surrendered to Orwa, Orwa walked around in search of someone to play with and he ended up receiving an invitation to play from Mutara. Their pushing game was brief since it was morning and they needed to get more serious about browsing. Towards mud bath time, Shukuru took a break from feeding to soil dust herself as Kithaka and Barsilinga participated in a light strength testing game. At mud bath time the temperatures were moderate and only Mutara, Bongo and Kanjoro decided to wallow.
In the afternoon the orphans settled down to browse on the eastern side of the Ithumba Hill. Kainuk was feeding away from the rest and suddenly bellowed loudly which brought all the browsing to a standstill. Turkwel, who happens to be Kainuk’s closest friend, was the first one to arrive where Kainuk was browsing. Turkwel examined Kainuk to find out what was wrong and finally put her trunk in Kainuk's mouth to calm her down. This made Kainuk feel better and so she resumed browsing. Turkwel spent the rest of the day feeding close to Kainuk.
29 January 2016
The boys were in a playful mood this morning. Kithaka and Barsilinga started it all with a short strength testing game. Barsilinga quit playing with Kithaka but since he wanted to improve his pushing skills, he asked Bomani if they could play together. Bomani, whose tusks haven't protruded, quickly accepted and the two play-fought for some time before Orwa came to intervene and pushed Barsilinga away to pick on Bomani himself for a warm up exercise. The other boys Bongo and Vuria were seriously trying to outdo each other as well, in a pushing match that ended in a draw. Orwa then quit playing with Bomani decided to tussle with Kanjoro for some time, until their game ended in a draw.
In the browsing field Barsilinga played with Garzi until Laragai came to relieve Garzi. Laragai, who always puts in a spirited effort into whatever she does, emerged as the winner. Narok engaged Orwa in a light pushing game as the smallest, Lemoyian, played with Bomani. At mud bath time the sun was shining brightly but only Bongo and Kanjoro participated in wallowing. Kithaka and Bomani went to relax under a tree but later turned against each other and started to fight over the shade. They fought until they came to realize that their fight was futile as they had left the shade and now were dueling in the sun! The afternoon was quiet and in the evening the orphans passed by the mud bath for an evening wallow.
30 January 2016
Laragai woke up in a playful mood today. Outside the stockade she ran up and down charging in excitement until she slipped and fell. She stood up, then walked off and started browsing. Narok, Bongo Barsilinga and Turkwel spent some time scratching on the nearby rocks. Orwa entwined trunks with Sities and Kainuk in morning greeting but when he got to Kanjoro, the greetings changed to a strength testing exercise. The sky was cloudy and the orphans settled down to browse in Kanziku area. It was a quiet morning as the orphans browsed without really playing many games.
At mud bath none of the orphans dared to enter the water because of the chilly weather at that time. Barsilinga and Garzi spent some time in a strength testing exercise. Vuria, who was standing close by, came to his friend Garzi’s aid. When Garzi saw Vuria approach he stepped aside and wished him good luck in the pushing game. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in Imenti area.
31 January 2016
Vuria and Orwa entwined their trunks soon after leaving the stockade as a morning greeting. Shortly later Kainuk engaged Bongo in a game of pushing one another. Later Kainuk lay down as Bongo enjoyed pushing her. After playing with Kainuk, Bongo went in search for Vuria who has become his regular playmate these days. When Bongo found Vuria there was no time wasted and they immediately locked trunks and started a strength testing exercise. Kithaka came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch his belly. Kanjoro, Mutara and Suguta joined the juniors at around seven o'clock in the morning. Teleki straight away started a strength testing exercise with Kanjoro but unfortunately lost the game.
At mud bath time the orphans were joined by the ex-orphans. The ex-orphans had been missing in action for almost a week and they reported early at mud bath in anticipation of Dame Daphne and Angela Sheldrick. They waited for almost an hour as they wallowed and soil dusted and left only after having enough wallowing. Wendi’s baby Wiva also joined the grownups in wallowing and only orphan Bongo from the dependant group took part in the wallowing exercise with the ex-orphans. His friends returned back to the browsing field soon after having their milk. Chyulu decided to join the juniors simply because of her love for Lemoyian. Later in evening, Chyulu escorted the juniors back to the stockade where she met her group that had been waiting for her for almost an hour.