Keepers' Diaries, January 2019

Nairobi Nursery Unit

True to form Nairobi has become increasing hot early in the year, with the dry season creeping in after the short rains in November and December. The orphans have spent so much time enjoying the mud bath at least twice a day, and sometimes seeking refuge out in the forest under the shady canopy cover in the heat of the day. 

01 January 2019

It’s the start of a new year and all the orphan elephants, little rhino Maarifa and Maxwell and Kiko are very well; happy and healthy. They started the new day of the New Year in a jovial mood, and the majority of the baby elephants came out of their rooms in the early morning, playfully bumping into one another and welcoming each other with pushing games as they made their way out to the forest. Jotto, Mapia, Ambo, Emoli and even little Luggard were all spotted chasing each other about. Their game continued out into the forest, where they bumped into a herd of impala’s. The playful bulls turned their attention towards the impalas and chased them into the bushes, before carrying on with their browsing session; all in all it was a fun start to the year.

02 January 2019

Just as the orphan elephants were settling out in the forest this morning, suddenly they became very hyper and started running about to and fro. They were trumpeting, charging and bashing into the bushes, with big girls like Tagwa, Tamiyoi, Sagala, Kuishi, Tamiyoi and Maisha taking control of the busy event. The Keepers were not sure what started them off, but they decided to let them enjoy rushing about in the happy moment they were having. They went on like that for over 20 minutes, performing all kinds of funny stunts. Tagwa, Sagala and Kuishi were seen at one point rolling and posing on the ground for the youngsters like Musiara, Sattao, Maktao, Emoli, and even some of the older ones like Jotto, Mapia and Ambo to come and climb on them. From their experience, the Keepers always say that when the orphans behave in such a restless and excitable mood like this, a rescue is about to occur. Sure enough, we were called to rescue a young orphan from the Masai Mara this very afternoon. We rescued a young little calf who had been alone without her mother for some time as she was very skinny and dehydrated. She is about 10 months old, and we have called her Larro. She was put into a stable next to Enkesha after arriving late at night, and soon settled down to have a bottle of much needed milk.

03 January 2019

Musiara is a quiet boy but he has a hidden side to him and he can be a bit of a bully when he feels like it. Musiara is never in a hurry for his milk bottle as we know, but today when the Keepers let him, Sattao and Maktao down for their milk bottle during the public visit, he decided to turn and block Sattao and Maktao from running down to have their bottle. The Keepers had already gone back to prepare another group, and when the Keepers at the mud bath realized the next three were delayed, some of them ran up to see what the delay was. In the forest along the pathway they found that Musiara had taken Sattao and Maktao hostage and was playing silly games. The Keeper could see that he was trying to drive them backwards into the forest, prompting Maktao to yell out in protest as he dearly loves his milk bottles and wanted to get down to the mud bath area! When the Keeper shouted at Musiara he got a fright and ran off into the bushes, not even bothering to follow Sattao and Maktao as he knew he had been caught and might be in trouble. He stayed put in the bushes until the last group walked down, and then he slowly followed behind them. At the mud bath he didn’t even rush up towards his bottle, but waited for one of the Keepers to bring it to him!

04 January 2019

The day started off quite chilly and it was predominantly raining throughout the morning. This meant that Dololo and Mukkoka stayed indoors until the weather was better, as the other orphans happily made their way out to the forest enjoying the light rainfall. Once out in the forest they decided to roll around on the ground enjoying the damp wet earth. Luggard, even despite his bad leg, wasn’t left out and was seen rolling on the ground with his best friends like Musiara, Sattao and Maktao, and even Jotto too. 

It was still raining during the public visit today and it was funny to watch Musiara, Sattao and Maktao make a dash towards the visitors standing around the rope cordon with their umbrellas to seek shelter with them! Maktao was the funniest because when he failed to get to one of the umbrella’s a visitor was holding due to the rope cordon, he started yelling. He then ran after one of the Keepers who was holding an umbrella too. He happily settled under that umbrella with him until the rain subsided a bit.

05 January 2019

Out during the public visit today it was a fun play time for the first group of orphans after they had finished their milk bottles. They were all playing and showing off, with the likes of Kiasa, Emoli, Maisha, Sattao, Tamiyoi and Enkesha all messing around. Kiasa, Emoli and Sattao were entertaining themselves by climbing up the piles of loose soil in the mud bath area and sliding down in all sorts of funny poses. Emoli then started to climb on Enkesha, Tamiyoi and Maisha, although Maisha soon got bored of him trying to climb on them and chased him off. Emoli was clever enough to pretend like he had run away, but then would pop up again on the other side of the soil pile! His playful nature was making everyone laugh as he is obviously very clever as well!

06 January 2019

Today Maarifa woke up in a very jovial mood. She trotted out of her stable and ran through the baby elephant stockades happy and playful. She ran past her Keeper who was having a hard time keeping up with her! Just like in the wild, a white rhino calf runs in front of the mother, so the mother is able to protect the calf from a predator, or draw attention away from the calf. This is what Maarifa was doing today as she was always running out in front of her Keeper. She is always a happy and playful baby. If she runs too far in front of her Keeper and he is having a hard time keeping up, she always trots back to where he is so she can turn and start running again! She runs round and around the bushes, but is always careful not to leave her ‘human-mother’ too far behind. She is so tiny and so very sweet that the public visitors love to see her during the five minutes she attends the public visit in the morning.

07 January 2019

Little Luggard is so loved by the other members of the herd, who seem to have an understanding that he is compromised in some way. This morning Kiasa and Maisha gave all the orphans a fright when they were browsing, by running and trumpeting out of the bushes, causing a commotion for an unknown reason. Their sudden performance caused the other orphans to run out away from the bushes as well, trumpeting and stamping their feet. Luggard could not run as fast as the others, and tried his best to keep up trumpeting like the others. The orphans reached a point where they gathered around their Keepers with their ears held high, listening to see if there was any danger around. When they heard Luggard trumpeting trying to run up to them too, caring and protective Tagwa as well as Kuishi, Sagala and Tamiyoi all quickly guided the group to run towards him and collect him up too, to escort him to were the Keepers were watching. Obviously there was no danger at all and something had just startled Maisha and Kiasa, but it was so lovely to see how caring they all were of Luggard. Sagala, Kuishi, Jotto and Tamiyoi all continued to stamp their feet and cause a commotion, as elephants are so protective of one another in the herd.

08 January 2019

Maxwell the blind rhino woke up happy and playful this morning. He was spotted running about his stockade enjoying the morning. As the elephants walked past his stockade on their way out to the forest for the day, he heard them passing and playfully knocked on the wooden posts of his stockade with his horn, inviting them to play. Sagala responded to him by pulling on his metal gate, which promoted Maxwell to speed towards it and knock it with his horn, before taking a u-turn and running off and spraying the area with urine to mark his territory; he really was in an excitable mood this morning! The strong smell of urine sent Sagala quickly walking off out to the forest, leaving Maxwell running about his stockade on his own.

Kiko is still doing what he likes to do and what he feels is good for him. Today he happily walked out into the forest quite a distance from the stockades before stopping and surveying the area for a bit, just looking around him. All of a sudden, he made a u-turn and ran back to the stockades to the milk mixing area and around where he kept himself browsing on the trees there. He did this until just after 4pm when he agreed to follow his Keeper back to the stockades. He is feeling much more independent these days! 

09 January 2019

Malima was initially quite a naughty young bully girl who was forced to go up into the older group so that she could be disciplined by the older members. This method seemed to work and the big girls really brought her back down to size, so that she had a better character and nature around the others. This is why socialising with the other elephants is so important for our young orphans! Malima is now a much more gentle and calm loving girl who is much more protective of the younger babies. Today we watched as she went running to Mukkoka who was yelling after being pushed by naughty Emoli. As Mukkoka struggled to get to his feet after being pushed over by Emoli, Malima came running out of the bushes and went to rescue Mukkoka before Tagwa and Tamiyoi arrived. When Mukkoka got to his feet, Malima didn’t want to leave his side and she attached herself to his side all day long. She especially shows interest in caring for Mukkoka and Dololo.

10 January 2019

It was all fun and games during the public visit today when the first group of orphans downed their bottles and got into the mud pool to enjoy a mud bath. When they came out they bumped and scratched against each other as they happily went to enjoy the piles of loose soil. There were all kinds of games taking place. The likes of Sattao, Emoli and Musiara were playing mounting games on whoever was lying on the ground. They bought time to wait until someone came to roll on the loose soil by playing pushing games in between. When they saw Tamiyoi and Enkesha come over to roll on the soil, all three went rushing over to see who could be the first to roll on the older girls. Emoli was the first one to climb on Tamiyoi, and Sattao on Enkesha, leaving Musiara with no one to climb on. He decided to push Sattao off Enkesha and climbed on her big tummy instead. The ousted Sattao then tried to take on Emoli who was still climbing on Tamiyoi, and so it went on and on with all the babies messing around on the piles of soil having fun.

11 January 2019

In the early morning today as the orphans came out of their stockades, they decided to turn the extension of Maxwell’s stockade into their own personal playground. Enkesha, Malima, Emoli and Musiara took advantage of the open side remaining to enter and mess around. The four orphans had lots of fun playing with Maxwell who was also excited about the game. The game would have carried on were it not for the warthogs who decided to enter Maxwell’s main stockade and start sharing his food. As Maxwell was running up and down the side of his stockade chasing the elephants, the warthogs were busy fighting over his lucerne pellets. Their noise kept distracting him and in the end Max abandoned his game and decided to deal with the noisy warthogs. 

Usually Tamiyoi is a very quiet girl during the public visiting time. If she is not standing in one of the corners in the shade, she is quietly browsing on the greens put out for the orphans during the mud bath visit. Today instead however, she had a lengthy pushing game with Emoli. One of the warthogs who usually visits the mud bath went into the crowd and gave them a fright as he lost which way he was going. He made a loud grunt which scared the visitors and the elephant babies too, who ran towards their Keepers for safety! 

12 January 2019

Mapia is sometimes a naughty little boy and today he was misbehaving with Luggard. Luggard is such a soft boy who always carefully selects who to play with if he is in that mood. Today Mapia kept on trying to force Luggard into a game that he wasn’t interested in. Mapia ended up pushing Luggard very hard. Jotto is generally a polite and gentle bull and he doesn’t like it when the others bully one another. He wasn’t pleased with Mapia’s behaviour and he jumped in, charging over to Mapia and pushing him away from the herd. 

Mapia was still in a naughty mood later when the orphans returned to the mud bath at 3pm. For no reason at all he came out of the mud bath where he had been playing, and decided to knock little Larro over who was quietly feeding on an acacia branch. Tagwa, Tamiyoi and Malima got out of the mud and Tamiyoi and Malima helped the little one up while Tagwa drove Mapia away from the group.

13 January 2019

It is quite common for two orphans who arrive within a short time of one another to become quite close friends. The same can be said of Dololo and Mukkoka, even though they have quite different characters. Mukkoka likes to stick with the herd, while Dololo likes to wander off, but they do tend to keep an eye on one another. If they sneak off from the herd they will tend to go together, but today Dololo decided to sneak off on his own and stayed away for almost two hours! 

During the public visit today, Maktao and Kiasa, who are also neighbours, decided to try and resolve their long term differences with a fight. Kiasa started the fight but Maktao seemingly finished it, but after that she became a good girl and decided instead to go and baby sit the little girl Larro until it was time for them to leave the mud bath and go back to the forest.

14 January 2019

We now seem to have two naughty little bully boys in the Nursery who keep bullying the younger ones. Emoli and Mapia have been particularly nasty towards the new arrival Larro recently. This morning just as she was browsing and minding her own business, Emoli went over and pushed her so hard she tripped and fell over. Tagwa came running over to save the little girl and Emoli, knowing full well that he had been very naughty, ran away. He did not get far however before Ambo managed to instill some discipline as he poked him in the back with his tusks and drove him into the thicket away from the group. Mapia also keeps bothering little Larro. While at the mud bath later in the day he turned and pushed Larro so that she fell over again. Malima, Tamiyoi, Kiasa and the Keepers ran over to help the little girl, for while Emoli and Mapia are being very naughty, there are some that are concerned with her wellbeing as well and are always trying to look out for her. Kiasa has been at the forefront trying to keep Larro company as much as she can. In the evening, and today was another example, Enkesha her neighbor is always pulling her greens over to their partition and trying to share them with Larro as well. 

15 January 2019

It wasn’t a very fun morning for Maarifa and Kiko this morning as they had to stay in the compound as a pride of lions had been spotted close by. Maarifa normally leaves for her day out in the forest as soon as the sun comes up, albeit not with the elephant orphans, but today she had to hang back. Kiko had to stay in the compound for most of the morning until he was fighting to go out around 3pm, and this was only allowed once we had confirmed the lions had gone.

Kiasa has been kept back at feeding times for quite some time so she does not cause a scene when the others are trying to have their milk as well, but today she managed to sneak ahead. As the orphans were coming home in the evening she managed to sneak off with Tamiyoi, who loves to be the first one to arrive home, and race her back to the stockades. She ran so fast that she managed to beat Tamiyoi back today!  

16 January 2019

Having not had enough time out in the forest yesterday because of the lions, Kiko was adamant that he would go out today. When the Keepers were walking him between his stable and the stockade where he would be contained whilst the Keepers established there were no lions about, he decided to run off directly into the forest. He wouldn’t listen to the Keepers at all and instead ran towards the elephants. Tagwa, Kuishi, Jotto and Musiara helped the Keepers by charging at Kiko to direct him back towards the stockades and in the end the Keepers probably only succeeded because of their help. 

There are three elephants that always yell really loudly and enough to make you jump when you first hear them. Mapia always shouts as he runs up for his milk bottle and before he starts to drink from it, and we always think he is shouting with appreciation and love of his milk formula. Sagala does the same thing, but Emoli is a naughty little boy who just seems to shout for no reason at all sometimes, which scares the other orphans and makes them run to their Keepers.

17 January 2019

Kiasa is still known as the naughty girl, because when she has set her mind to something and means business, then there is no stopping her. At the 9am milk feed she came in with the second last group to have their milk bottles. She was with Ambo, Maisha, Kuishi and Sagala. Ambo had arrived first and was moved to one side by one of the Keepers with his bottles to make way for the others running in behind him. Kiasa was third to arrive at the milk bottle wheelbarrow and she was taken to the side as well to have her milk, but just half way through her bottle she abandoned it and ran charging over to Ambo who had just finished one of two bottles. She began fighting for Ambo’s share of milk but Ambo and his Keeper kept turning in circles to avoid her. She kept pushing and head butting them but Ambo was very good and didn’t retaliate, that was until she got hold of the Keeper feeding him and then everything changed. Ambo abandoned his bottle to deal with her and Kuishi joined in as well. Together they pushed Kiasa away out towards the forest as they were tired of her antics! The Keepers stood back to allow the orphans to solve their own issues. Out in the forest, Kiasa settled down and concentrated on looking after Larro, who has been spending a lot of time with Luggard.

18 January 2019

Recently it has seemed like Malima is trying to prove to the other older girls that she can also be a leader. Sometimes, like today, she will try and lead her own group off to the side from the others. This morning she had her own group of seven babies who decided to go off and browse for about two hours on their own. The orphans always all wake up in a different mood every day; sometimes they want to play, sometimes they just want to browse, and sometimes they want to walk off and explore. At was at this point in the day that Malima tried to keep Dololo, Larro, Luggard, Sattao, Maisha and Musiara under her watch. She can be very good at protecting the younger ones if she wants to. Musiara is a quiet outgoing little boy though and sometimes he likes to accompany those walking out further into the forest. While he was with Malima today he didn’t see Tagwa or Sagala and he started running all over the place looking for them. Malima grew concerned as he frantically ran around, so she left the rest of the group to help him. Within no time, it was only Luggard and Larro left behind in the spot the group of seven had been browsing, as all the others left after Malima too. By the time they caught up with the older ones, it was almost time for the 9am milk feed.

19 January 2019

Ambo is crazy for the Lucerne pellets; he loves them so much he will try all means and ways to play tricks on the Keepers and to find his way to the Lucerne pellet store and help himself. Today as the orphans made their way out to the forest in the morning, Ambo sneaked back to the store area three separate times. He goes behind Dololo’s stable and manages to stretch his trunk through the bars to the pellets. Whenever he shows up there it is never an easy job to drive him back to the herd either. 

When baby Maarifa came down to the public visiting hour today, she was not interested with quietly walking along the line and saying hello to the visitors as she normally does, but instead today she came running down and straight to the heap of loose soil where she started rolling in the dust. She later then went close to the mud pool and lay down on her tummy next to the edge of the pool. The Keeper started splashing her with mud and after having enough of that she went back to the soil to have a dust bath. She rolled a couple of times before running back out to the forest at high speed.

At the stockades in the evening, Maktao stole all of Kiasa’s greens and pulled them over to his room through the partition. The Keeper kept trying to pull some back for Kiasa to feed on and Maktao kept pulling it back!

20 January 2019

It was a fun time for all the orphans when they went to the public visiting hour today. Baby rhino Maarifa was the first one to arrive as usual and she spent a short time rolling around in the dust in the mud bath area. She got up and then ran towards the visitors who were standing on the other side of the rope, who stood back as the Keepers swiftly guided her back into the feeding area. After her mud bath she didn’t want to leave the area, as it was so hot and she was having so much fun. She was still there as the first group of orphans started to arrive and also went to cool off in the mud bath. 

Larro had her separate mud bath to the side to avoid her getting stuck in the main mud pool. She did not enjoy it all alone and had Maisha and Sattao there looking after her and joining her there for her bath.

21 January 2019

Malima and Ambo woke up this morning in a very excitable mood. They were up before everyone else and started playing with the buckets outside of their rooms which hold their milk bottles. When the two were let out they ran from one gate to another waking up all of their friends who were still sleeping inside. They were even trumpeting as they charged around the compound! Maxwell got caught up in their excitable mood as well, as they went over to his gate to wake him up as well. He came over to his gate and engaged them in a game of head butting and pushing his gate as the duo responded from the other side. He became very playful as well and started running up and down his stockade. Eventually Malima and Ambo decided to leave Maxwell to catch up with the other orphans who had already started to make their way out to the forest. Out in the forest Mapia joined them, but with the intention of engaging Ambo in a wrestling game. Malima went ahead to link up with the rest of the herd and left the boys to their game. 

Jotto was doing what he loves to do when he has time, and as the rest of the orphans walked deeper into the forest he decided to stay back and keep Luggard and Larro company. Musiara, Enkesha and later Emoli and Maisha had a lengthy mud bath. When Emoli and Maisha joined the scene turned very chaotic with mud sprayed in all directions! As all the others were busy browsing or having a mud bath, Mukkoka went behind the soil piles and fell asleep. As the group left to go back out to the forest poor Mukkoka was left behind and the Keepers had to turn back to get him.

22 January 2019

Larro’s health and condition after arriving as a terribly skinny and weak orphan is improving every day, and so is her love of her milk bottle. She has started running in for her milk bottle and she is gaining more confidence too. She tries her level best to be first or second now when the orphans are running in, but her weak legs do not allow her to outpace the fast runners like Maktao and Sattao. Usually the only one she can beat in the milk bottle race is sweet Luggard. This morning as the elephants rushed for their 9am milk bottle from where they were feeding in the bushes, Sattao arrived first followed by Maktao and finally the struggling Larro came third. Luggard with his neighbor and friend Musiara were following them closely behind. After finishing her bottle, Larro was reluctant to leave the feeding area and she made several rounds of the wheelbarrow to an attempt to have some more milk. The Keepers kept an eye on her and kept her back, and when she realized her attempts were futile she complained loudly before wandering off to join the others who had already started to file out to the bushes to continue browsing.

23 January 2019

The sky was clear today and there was no sign of any rain ahead. The sun had just started to rise and displace the morning cold as the orphans began their morning routine of leaving their stockades and walking out towards the dew covered bushes in the forest. They followed under the leadership of the current Nairobi matriarch Tagwa and moved slowly amongst the bushes, browsing as they walked. Musiara and Luggard trailed behind, as Malima and Maisha were at the front alongside Kuishi and Sagala who were apparently more interested in playing than browsing. The Keepers walked on either side of the orphans, making them feel secure and protected. Maktao with his funny antics was putting his trunk into one of the Keepers’ pockets, pulling out his handkerchief. The Keeper pleaded with him to give him his handkerchief back, but Maktao was in a mischievous mood and threw the handkerchief into the top of a nearby bush!

24 January 2019

Although Sattao and Musiara are longtime friends, at one point today their friendship was really put to the test as they had a fight. During the 11am feeding today, the two boys were the last to come down for their milk bottles. Sattao was in the lead and the Keepers were prepared to feed him as he got closer, but then all of a sudden Musiara accelerated, probably because he thought the bottle the Keeper was holding in plain sight was the only one left. Sattao did not realize his best friends hidden motive, and then the two bulls engaged in a pushing fight trying to get to the bottle first. It was very rough and the slightly smaller Musiara ended up on the ground, as the Keepers came to assist him. He was escorted over to his own milk bottle and peace descended on the feeding area once more.

25 January 2019

As the days pass, Kiasa’s size and body strength are also growing, and so is her streak of naughtiness. She has passed her age-mates in size and her playmates are not keen to play with her as she has a rather cheeky character. These days she has found new playmates who are slightly older than her, being primarily Malima and Emoli. Today during the 9am milk feed, Malima had a very hard time trying to defend her milk bottles from Kiasa who was determined to have more than her share. Despite her bigger size and being able to stand her own, Malima was having trouble with the sassy little girl from Tsavo. As the feeding went on, our attentions turned to Dololo who was really enjoying his milk bottle. He was drinking it in style and even raising his front feet. When the bottle was finished he continued to suckle on it to make sure there were no drops left. As the Keeper removed the teat from his mouth he complained and yelled bitterly, as though to say he was not done yet!

26 January 2019

The little baby rhino Maarifa is growing up fast and becoming strong. She is very playful and this was witnessed as soon as she came out of her stable this morning – she came running out so fast and ran towards the staff canteen door, then made a u-turn towards the milk mixing area. She ran over and started disrupting the Keepers there who were busy shining their boots. She tried to step on the floor in the milk mixing area but it was too slippery for her to move across. Her Keeper walked over to her to get her attention and finally she decided to follow him and walk off into the nearby bushes.

27 January 2019

It was a very sunny afternoon today so Maxwell was happily enjoying a mud bath in his lower stockade area. The sweet big rhino was spotted rolling from side to side so as to cover every inch of his body, and make sure he stayed cool in the hot, dry weather. He splashed so much muddy water on either side he was rolling, and the warthogs that were in his stockade to share his lucerne made a hasty retreat, waiting for him to finish so they too could have the opportunity to cool-down.

28 January 2019

Enkesha is well known to dodge her friends and Keepers in the morning as they make their way out to the forest and she goes to her favourite feeding spot, and today was no different. She sneaked behind the stockades and tried to get some lucerne pellets from the wooden store area near Maxwell’s bedroom, which is the area Ambo sometimes likes to sneak to as well! Neither the Keepers nor the other elephants noticed where Enkesha had gone, and the Keepers only realized when she cleared her nose, producing a short little trumpet. The space between the store and the backs of the other stables is very tight, so the only way for Enkesha to come out was to reverse backwards as the Keepers called her out. To prove she was not happy at being discovered or asked to come out, she complained loudly as she was led out to the forest to join the other babies. Luggard and Musiara, who are known to be the slowest walkers, were the first to greet Enkesha and Luggard pulled her tail as though to ask her what she had been up to and why she was so late to join them.

29 January 2019

Just after 11am this morning as the public visitors were lining up the see the elephant feeding, little baby Maarifa emerged from the bushes with her Keepers to enjoy her short visit to the mud bath area. None of the visitors were expecting to see her, and as she walked down with her two Keepers either side of her all eyes were on her. Maarifa walked slowly along the rope cordon and was not bothered by any of the visitors, then she decided to climb up one of the piles of loose soil and lie there, enjoying the warmth of the soil that had been warmed by the hot sun. She rolled around to warm every part of her body, but accidentally ended up rolling down the whole pile of soil so she landed on her bottom beside the soil. When she was done covering herself with dust, she ran out with her Keepers back out to the forest 

30 January 2019

Today it felt as if the temperature was rising as every minute passed. The morning dew quickly dried up and the baby elephants prepared for another hot day of browsing out in the forest. Dololo and Mukkoka chose to browse under the trees while some of the others braved the hot sun to browse elsewhere. Maktao and Maisha decided to join Dololo as they started to find the heat too much. The bigger girls like Kuishi, Sagala and Tamiyoi took cover under one large tree, with Kuishi pulling down big branches to ensure they could all still browse while standing in the shade. Tagwa, Sattao and Larro browsed under nearby shrubs before they got a fright by some impalas running past. Larro took cover next to the Nursery matriarch Tagwa, who trumpeted loudly to protect the baby. This attracted the attention of the other elephants, who also came running over to chase off the impalas who had interrupted their browsing. 

31 January 2019

Maxwell woke up earlier than usual today and he was seen running up and down his large stockade. At times he was seen charging, and knocking his horn against the posts of his stockade. We thought that most likely a wild rhino had come close to his room, which is his territory, and he was acting to defend it from any intruders! A little later Ambo, Jotto, Malima and Mapia were trying to steal some pellets from Maxwell’s room from between the bars of his gate. Maxwell was having none of it today, and upon sensing some uninvited guests enjoying his food he rushed at the gate and tried to keep the elephants away. As the elephants dared to venture closer, Maxwell turned the other way and sprayed the unsuspecting elephants with urine to mark his territory, and the poor babies rushed backwards with fright, before rushing out to the forest to join their friends who had already begun walking out.