It was quite a month for socializing this January with Emily’s ex-orphan herd, consisting of her babies Emma and Eve, as well as Edie with her babies Eden and Ella, Sweet Sally with baby Safi, Lesanju, Lempaute, Rombo, Mweya, and Icholta with her baby Inca arriving at the beginning of the month.
The stockade dependent orphan elephants came out of their stockades for their morning milk bottles. When they were done they stayed around the stockade area to play before leaving for the days browsing.
Lasayen and Ndotto were busy playing their morning games, as Mashariki was busy stripping branches, feasting on green acacia branches along the stockade fence line. Naipoki scratched her buttocks on one of the rocks before Nelion came over to do the same. Kenia, Ndii, Tahri and Araba kept close to the mischievous Ndoria leading the way out.
Soon after they left the stockade, a few members of Emily’s herd arrived. Emily came in with Emma, Eve, Edie, Eden, Sweet Sally, Safi, Lesanju, Lempaute, Rombo, Mweya, Icholta and Inca. The rest of her herd did not visit with her today. They enjoyed drinking clean water from the stockade water trough, relaxing and hanging around the stockade compound for half an hour before leaving for the bush.
It was a wonderful morning with Tahri overlapping Ngilai and running out first to grab her milk bottle before settling down with her older friends to feed on the lucerne pellets.
As they were feeding on the pellets Mudanda became greedy, knocking Arruba and chasing her away from the feeding area. Naipoki was not happy with such behaviour and intervened, punishing Mudanda and pushing her away. Peace resumed with the remaining orphans browsing quietly together. Upon seeing the commotion, Nguvu, who is very shy, left the lucerne feeding area and led his friends out to the bush to browse. Mbegu’s herd followed Nguvu, with Kenia’s herd members bringing up the rear.
As they walked out to the Park, the orphans came across a male giraffe who ran off to make way to the line of elephant orphans. Ndotto and Lasayen felt very proud of this and celebrated by playing a wrestling game.
The orphans visited the baobab tree water hole after milk feeding with Tundani testing the temperature of the water with his front foot and backing away, indicating that he found it too cold today. Embu proved him wrong however as she plunged into the water wallowing and splashing herself all over. Her games attracted Aruba, Suswa and Embu to come into the water as well. The rest of the browsing day went on close to that baobab tree water hole.
At 5.30pm, the little buffalo Ol-tukai, who had gone wild with Kore and Tawi the elands, returned back to the stockades. Ol-tukai looked very shy but at last went into his stable for the night and was given plenty of lucerne grass pellets to feed on.
Early in the morning just after milk bottles and the supplement feeding, Ngilai and Murit engaged one another in a tough wrestling match in the stockade compound. Ndotto went over and tried to interfere in the game, but the two kept on shifting away to avoid Ndotto.
They were spared however when Lasayen took on Ndotto for the same kind of game. Mbegu stayed close to them to make sure that none of them misbehaved and ended up having a real fight.
Tundani and Nelion engaged one another in a play fight too, but Tundani soon left upon noticing that Nelion had the intention of pushing him down one of the stockade terraces.
Lentili and Mashariki had the wonderful opportunity of leading their friends towards the northern side of Msinga Hill for the beginning of their busy browsing day.
The day went on peacefully with Ndotto going for a play fighting game with Murit out in the bush a few minutes before heading to the baobab water hole that afternoon. The orphans drank clean water from the trough but went around and around the water hole not willing to take a bath in the cold water.
Buffalo Ol-tukai spent most of the day in his stable feeding on the pellets and grass and was quite shy to come out.
After the morning milk feed, all the stockade elephant orphans gathered for their routine lucerne grass pellet feeding before engaging in their usual games in the stockade compound.
Ndoria was naughty and attacked both Suswa and Rorogoi when they were busy feeding on the lucerne grass pellets. Kenia, Ndii, and Kihari intervened to maintain a peaceful feeding environment for everyone.
Ishaq-B and Lentili then took the lead of their friends out of the stockade compound towards the bush, with Tundani, Bada, Mbegu and Godoma staying behind to eat up all the remains of the lucerne pellets from the feeding area.
As the orphans walked out Tahri knocked Araba’s hind quotas head on. She was jealous seeing Kenia, her adopted mother, walking side by side with Araba, a place that she considered to be rightfully hers.
The weather was cold and windy, and the orphans had their noon milk bottles on the western foot of Msinga Hill, before resuming browsing in the same area without visiting the water hole today.
The orphans had their milk as usual this morning and were in a very excitable mood coming out of their stockades, running and downing their milk bottles in a matter of seconds!
They all left the stockade at once after a brief playing session, heading to the browsing grounds. They browsed in single file, flapping their ears to cool themselves when the weather became warm later in the morning.
At 10.45am, Ndotto was the pioneer of introducing a game of rolling and soil bathing inside an erosion trench. All the other members of Mbegu’s herd joined in, while Kenia’s herd members deciding to stick to the usual browsing. Murit felt jealous of Ndotto shining in that game and went over to engage him in a wrestling game. Ndotto mischievously engaged him while in a sitting down position, but Ngilai turned the whole story upside down when he came over and lay on Ndotto, forcing him to get up. The orphans then visited the baobab tree water hole for a brief bath, before resuming with their normal browsing close to that water hole.
Today Ol-tukai was much more settled and moving around the stockade compound feeding on the lush green grass.
Today the orphan elephants only briefly played in the stockade compound before Panda and Naipoki led them half way up the eastern side of Msinga Hill for the beginning of the browsing day.
After browsing for half an hour, a few of Emily’s herd members went past the orphans along the base of the hill, heading towards the Voi River. Ndotto noticed them and came down to greet and salute them, with Sweet Sally hanging back to receive and acknowledge his greetings. Icholta, Inca, Seraa, Solar, Lesanju, Lempaute and baby Safi who were with Sweet Sally proceeded on and she later went to catch up with them as Ndotto went back uphill to join his friends.
The orphans later came downhill to head to the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon, where they took their milk bottles. They had their milk but decided not to have a mud bath again due to the cloudy weather at the time. Bada and Ndotto instead had a wonderful wrestling match there, both leaning against the big baobab tree, before joining their friends in browsing. Later, Panda put her trunk into a hole in the tree to investigate its content. The rest of the browsing day was peaceful.
It was a bright morning with Tahri becoming impatient and rumbling and yelling for her milk upon hearing the sound of the milk bottles rolling into the stockade as the Keepers brought them out of the milk mixing room. She indeed placed herself strategically so she could be one of the first to grab the milk bottles that were brought to them. Godoma and Ngilai followed closely, guzzling down their delicious milk bottles as well. The orphan elephant then left for the browsing grounds after pellet feeding.
The first encounter this morning was Emily’s herd on the northern side of Msinga Hill.
The big wild bull that is usually with Emily’s herd was charging and chasing another teenage wild elephant bull away from Emily’s ex-orphan herd. Mzima was occasionally seen running away from the big wild elephant bull. Lempaute was excited to see the dependent orphans again and came running and charging over to join Kenia’s herd, but they ran away from them when they heard the fighting bulls.
Lempaute chased after Godoma, Ndotto, Lasayen and Ngilai intending to join them, but the four ran away as fast as they could to avoid her. Emily’s herd then moved off towards the Voi River.
A pride of ten lions were noticed lazing around the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon, so the orphan elephants avoided that place and had their milk somewhere else far away. The lions later moved away so the orphan elephants went there at 1.35pm to quench their thirst and enjoy their bath under the watchful eye of the Keepers.
The earliest callers to the stockade compound this morning was Emily’s herd arriving as early as 6.30am, soon after the stockade dependent orphans had finished their morning milk bottles. Since Emily’s herd members were so many, the juniors surrendered their lucerne pellet feeding to give way to their seniors. Lempaute soon made way among the juniors to socialize with them, but Kenia engaged her head on to protect her herd from the ex-orphans. Kenia looked very angry, with secretion coming down her chin from the sweat/hormone gland meaning she was very much disturbed by Lempaute’s interaction with her herd. Mbegu meanwhile was pleading with Taveta to give up his scratching rock so that she could have ago, and he eventually conceded. Sinya had a wonderful trunk touching greeting with Panda in the stockade. Kenia then consolidated her herd and took them off towards the bush with Emily’s herd following them briefly behind. Panda had a tough wrestling game with Eve that was stopped by the teenage wild elephant boy in Emily’s herd, before the two herds separated.
The stockade dependent orphans then joined another wild elephant herd at 10.30am, with the wild herd escorting them towards the milk feeding area. The wild herd later walked away having seen the Keepers approach with the orphans’ milk bottles. The wild elephant herd later visited the baobab tree water hole as soon after the orphans had left.
The orphans enjoyed their morning milk feed and gathered around for the lucerne grass pellets before teaming up to play. They enjoyed playing on the red earth piles in the stockade compound before going out for their day of browsing. Soon after they arrived on the eastern side of Msinga Hill, the orphan’s came across Emily’s ex-orphan herd and they spent some time interacting with them. First Wasessa went down on the ground to woo Naipoki into a wrestling match. Panda took on Rombo in the same kind of wrestling match as Murit had the golden opportunity of wrestling with baby Neptune.
Bada went and picked Ndotto for a wrestling match, but Bada is a big tusker and Ndotto was cautious of that. Bada was friendly however and took it easy on his friend Ndotto.
The ex-orphans then left to walk towards the Mzima Spring-Mombasa water pipeline with the stockade dependent orphan elephants heading towards the baobab tree water hole where they resumed with their browsing activities after enjoying a bath.
The orphan elephant had their morning milk feed as usual and hung around the stockade compound playing and interacting amongst themselves. Bada and Rorogoi had a deep conversation, draping their trunks over each other and later entwining them together.
In the process, Arruba interrupted by approaching and separating the two, obviously jealous of their interaction, and stayed in between them so they couldn’t carry on with their conversation. Little Tahri went to enjoy some warmth from her adopted mother Ndii, as Lentili and Mudanda took the lead towards the browsing grounds.
On the western foot of Msinga Hill, Mashariki, Kihari, Nelion and Bada went up the hill to look for fresh vegetation to browse on, leaving their friends at the bottom of the hill.
Ishaq-B was busy trying to separate Mbegu’s herd from the rest of Kenia’s herd, a situation that became impossible when Mbegu protested and stayed back. She then led her herd for a soil bath in one of the trenches on the side of the hill. The orphans didn’t visit the water hole again today as it was cloudy and cold.
It was a wonderful morning as the milk dependant orphans came running out for their milk bottles, after which they went to the Lucerne pellet feeding area. When they were done they teamed up for their usual socializing game where Mbegu engaged Ndotto in a strength testing competition while the other orphans enjoyed rolling around soil dusting.
Lentili was super excited this morning and came charging up to Ol-tukai who was near the stockade waterhole. Ol-tukai charged towards Lentili who quickly retreated, which brought Kenia running to Lentili’s aid as she approached Ol-tukai ready for a fight. Thankfully everything remained peaceful and Kenia led her group to the browsing fields.
The orphans visited the baobab tree water hole for a brief bath following the noon milk feed and then resumed with the days browsing activities which took place close to the waterhole.
After the morning feed, Ngilai, Ndotto and Mbegu went for a dust bathing game. Ndotto and Ngilai lay on the red earth piles while Mbegu scratched against a small rock before joining her two friends. The three were soon joined by Arruba for a dust bath. Ngilai was happy to have Arruba join them and trumpeted his excitement. Mashariki enjoyed a scratching session against a tree, away from her friends.
Soon after the stockade dependant orphan elephants had left for the browsing field, Emily’s herd in the company of two wild bull friends arrived for a drink from the stockade trough. They relaxed around the stockade compound for ten minutes with Eve playing a wrestling match with Rombo, and later with a wild bull friend, before heading back to the Park.
The stockade orphans visited the baobab tree water hole after their noon milk feed. Ndoria, Nelion and Suswa went for a bath in the cold water, with Kenia beginning the mud bathing games by lying at the edge of the water and enjoying a mud bath there. They group later went to play on the red earth piles with Arruba mischievously picking up some red soil with her trunk, carrying it to the main water hole and spraying it there. Rorogoi enjoyed a scratching session against a tree close the mud bath area.
The morning milk feed took place at 6:30am today. Godoma came to the front of the milk feeding group and once done walked straight to the pellet feeding area. Ngilai and Tahri come in a close second, and Ngilai hung around to try his luck and see if he could secure a bonus milk bottle.
Nguvu came in rumbling for his milk and Ngilai ran off to join his friends for some Lucerne grass pellets.
The earliest caller to the stockades this morning was Tawi, the stockade-raised eland, who has gone wild with fellow eland Kore but who came alone today to play with Ol-tukai. The elephants meanwhile gathered around the red earth pile in the compound and enjoyed a dust bathing game while Panda sat on a rock for a scratching session.
Emily’s herd strolled into the stockade compound from the southern side of Msinga Hill. Kenia, Ndii, Panda and Naipoki teamed up to evacuate their herd towards the browsing field, but were not quick enough as Lesanju, Rombo and a teenage wild boy caught the juniors attention by joining them at the dust bath. Kenia finally succeeded in gathering her herd, leaving Panda playing with Lesanju and the wild boy. Panda joined the rest of the group a few minutes later.
At the baobab tree water hole the orphans briefly interacted with two very big wild elephant bulls. Bada went to welcome them and they joined the orphan herd for about 10 minutes before marching off.
It was another wonderful morning with the milk dependant orphan elephants downing their morning milk bottle in a matter of seconds before settling down for the pellet feeding. They played briefly on the red earth piles before following Mbegu and Ndotto towards the browsing grounds. The orphans split into groups to enjoy the soft vegetation at their disposal.
Lasayen settled to browse with Tahri, while Tundani and Ndoria explored further afield for their browsing activities. Tundani quickly noticed that they had wandered quite far from their friends and forced Ndoria to turn around and go back so that they could rejoin them.
After the noon milk feed, the orphans were very thirsty and ran towards the baobab tree water hole for a drink. A big wild elephant bull got scared off when he saw many small elephants running towards him as he drank at the water trough and ran off in fear; it would have been quite a peculiar sight for him! Suswa approached him to calm him down and assure him that all was well but the wild bull chose to head off to continue his browsing activities. The orphans resumed browsing after enjoying a mud bath and dust bath on the red earth piles.
After a successful morning feed, the stockade dependant orphan elephants went ahead with their usual games around the stockade compound, with soil bathing being the priority and favourite game. Panda rolled around at the top of the red earth piles where she was joined by Mbegu and Godoma. Kihari and Tahri joined them on the red earth piles with Mbegu running in a short while later to play with them as well. She was engaged in a wrestling match by Kihari who came out the winner and celebrated her victory by rolling all around the earth piles with Tahri.
Nelion and Bada took the lead towards the browsing field, where they led their friend’s half way up the northern side of Msinga Hill. The orphans visited the baobab tree water hole for a brief bath after the noon milk feeding before resuming their browsing activities for the rest of the day.
It was a perfect beginning to the day with the stockade dependant orphans settling down to play on the red earth piles following their milk feed. Emily’s herd arrived and headed straight to the stockade water trough to quench their thirst with a drink. Ndii charged up to them as soon as she saw them; she picked up some soil and threw it towards the ex-orphans, protesting their arrival while also taking all necessary precautions to keep Tahri close to her so that the ex-orphans wouldn’t try and steal her away.
As the ex-orphans were preparing to join the stockade dependant orphan elephants for greetings and socializing games, Laikipia ran over to Emily’s first-born Eve and mounted her. Eve yelled in protest which made the ex-orphans charge around trumpeting loudly. Kenia and Mbegu’s herd ran away towards the browsing fields.
It rained lightly throughout the day with the dependent orphans having their noon milk feed on the northern foot of Msinga Hill as they did not visit the baobab tree water hole.
It was a busy beginning to the day as all the milk dependant orphan elephants gathered for their early morning milk bottles after which they settled to enjoy the Lucerne pellets that had been put out for them. Mudanda rubbed her bottom against a rock while Nguvu went to a separate rock for his scratching session. Ishaq-B was busy rolling up and down the red earth piles to show case her talents in an effort to entice Mbegu’s herd members to join her. She finally managed to succeed in getting Ngilai’s who came to join Ishaq-B. Kihari and Tahri had fun rolling around on the red earth piles until Kenia came in and spoiled their game by stealing Tahri away. Ndii, who was watching everything that was going on, came charging up to Kenia and Tahri to separate the two and take Tahri for herself. Ndotto and Tundani closed the stockade games with a wrestling match before following their friends to the browsing grounds.
Emily’s herd visited the stockade at 8.30am, two hours after the stockade dependant orphans had left for the fields. After drinking water from the stockade water hole, Edie placed her trunk and head on a rock, closed her eyes and relaxed. The ex-orphan group remained at the stockade for an hour before heading back to the park.
The day began with the orphan elephants emptying their morning milk bottles in a matter of seconds, before enjoying for their supplement feed and then enjoying their usual play-fights and dust baths. The orphans then walked out to browse where they encountered a wild elephant bull who was about one hundred meters away. They joined up with him choosing to browse in single file, from the western side of Msinga Hill to the northern side.
Soon after they had set off towards their noon milk feed, a wild elephant calf, about five years old, separated from her herd and came to interact with the orphan herd. The wild calf soon gave up trying to follow the orphans as they were moving quickly away from her wild family towards her bottles, forcing her to return and join them. The orphan elephants didn’t visit the water hole today as it was a rather cold day.
The stockade dependent orphans exited their stockade in happy mood gathering at the usual milk feeding area where they downed their milk bottles and settled for the supplement feeding. Ngilai, Lasayen and Godoma lead their friends for some games on the red earth piles at the stockade compound. Ngilai was having fun rolling around on the piles until Ndotto came and interfered with the game, pinning Ngilai on the ground with his tusks which had Ngilai calling out for help. Ndotto seemed to be in the mood to play rough today, ousting Godoma from her scratching game to engage her in a strength testing match. Murit took advantage of this to take Godoma’s scratching position.
The orphan elephants had a wonderful time browsing on the northern side of the stockade, visiting the baobab tree water hole where they had their noon milk bottle and a drink of water but did not wallow as it was a chilly day. The afternoons browsing activities took place close to the waterhole.
It was a bright morning as the orphan elephants exited their stockade full of energy. Ngilai, Tahri and Godoma were the first ones to have their milk bottle after which they joined Kenia’s herd who were at the Lucerne grass pellet feeding area. After the feeding session, the orphans gathered around the stockade compound to play with one another. Godoma was waiting for Murit to finish scratching against a rock. She became impatient and gave him a push to try and get him off faster, but Murit stayed where he was. Ishaq-B came in and managed to draw Murit away by engaging him in a pushing game. Murit then rode on Ngilai’s back as he rolled around on the red earth piles while Mbegu enjoyed a scratching session.
Nguvu and Embu took the lead of the group to the browsing fields today with Ngilai and Murit coming in last as they were busy engaged in a strength testing game and had to run to catch up with the rest of the orphans
At 11am, the orphans had their routine midday milk bottles and proceed to the baobab tree water hole. Embu, Arruba, Mashariki, Suswa, Murit and Godoma led their friends in a game of spraying water over their bodies after which they made their way to the dust bathing area where Panda lay down in an effort to entice Mbegu’s herd to come and join her. Lasayen, Rorogoi, Mashariki and Ndotto enjoyed a scratching session against different trees. Godoma led the group away from the mud bath to the northern side of Msinga Hill where they spent the afternoon browsing.
The stockade dependent orphans gathered in the compound after their milk feed and feasted on the supplement pellets ready for the day’s activities. Ndotto found a rock to scratch on but Nguvu had already set his sights on the same rock, he approached Ndotto, ears spread ready for a fight, but Ndotto, respectful of the senior orphans, backed away, allowing Nguvu to enjoy his scratching session. Nguvu did not waste any time and proceeded to scratch his bottom on the rock. Kihari had a playful moment with Godoma, resting her trunk gently on Godoma’s back whilst Godoma drank from the stockade water trough. Ngilai, Panda and Murit, after quenching their thirst, stayed at the water trough for a few minutes, splashing and playing with the water.
Kenia attempted to lead the stockade orphans out to browse, but the younger ones were not done with the fun and games. Eventually Ndoria and Bada succeeded in leading the orphans to the foot of Msinga Hill on the western side and then onto the baobab tree watering hole in the afternoon.
Later in the evening, when the stockade dependant orphan elephant were in their respective stockades, Thoma, Thor and Eve visited without the other members of Emily’s herd. They had a drink of water from the stockade water trough and later left to probably join up with the rest of Emily’s herd.
This morning Ngilai, Tahri and Godoma were the first to arrive for their share of milk. Mbegu then came running up, bypassing her milk bottles and making her way straight to pellet feeding tray, grabbing two trunkfulls of pellets and stuffing them into her mouth before returning for her milk.
It was a cold day and as such the orphans did not wallow when they visited the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon for a drink of milk and some water. They gathered around the baobab tree with Ndii snuggling up with her adopted baby Tahri. Ishaq-B seemed jealous of their interaction but as Ndii is older than her she had to be content with watching Tahri. Kihari tried to sneak up behind them but upon being noticed she rested her head on Mbegu’s back in an effort to appear nonchalant. Mbegu found Kihari’s head to be heavy and quickly moved away.
Mudanda had fun picking up huge chunks of red soil and blowing them out into the air. Her friends had to leave the red earth piles in order to avoid the dust getting into their eyes. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing around and near the waterhole.
As soon as the morning milk feed was over, the stockade dependant orphans played for a while and then left for the browsing grounds. Ndoria, Rorogoi, Nelion and Ishaq-B opted to lead the orphans to the eastern foot of Msinga Hill, leading them half way down the hill in and then later that afternoon, towards the baobab tree waterhole.
After their afternoon milk feed, only Embu and Arruba got into the water. Arruba felt that Embu was outshining her and therefore decided to sit on her back to steal the show. A short while later they both came out of the water with Arruba running towards Nelion and rubbing herself all over him in an effort to get him to have a wallow. Kihari was happy to spend some time with Tahri until Bada came to engage her in a wrestling match. At this point Tahri left the two to enjoy a scratching session against a baobab tree. Once Bada was done playing with Kihari he headed towards Tahri but got sidetracked along the way as he stopped to play with Ndoria, placing his trunk on her back. Ndoria quickly ran away leaving Bada to turn to his next victim, Mashariki. Tundani and Naipoki ended the activities around the water hole with a wrestling match after which they joined their friends who had begun browsing nearby.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the milk dependant orphan elephant assembled at the milk feeding area where they downed their bottles before joining their senior friends from Kenia’s herd at the Lucerne pellet feeding area.
The orphans didn’t play at the stockade compound today, choosing instead to head straight out to browse to begin the days browsing activities. They spent the morning feeding in single file before visiting the baobab tree water hole at noon for their milk and a drink of water. They had a quick wallow before exiting the water to enjoy a dust bath. Kihari had a lovely time dust bathing with little Tahri who hid behind Kihari’s ear when Naipoki and Arruba approached them.
Tundani enjoyed scratching against an acacia tree where he was joined by Panda and then Ndii.
Kihari then went to investigate the contents of a hole in a tree trunk with Nelion and Tundani coming to see what she had found. Ishaq-B came running up to rescue Kihari from the two boys who seemed to be bullying her in order to find out what she had found in the hole.
Mashariki led the way out of the stockade compound today following the milk and Lucerne pellet feeding. Mbegu remained behind with Ndotto and Suswa trying to pick up every last piece of pellet from the feeding tray.
Today the orphans settled to browse on the eastern foot of Msinga Hill where they browsed in single file. They then made their way to the noon milk feed in groups of five, downing the contents of their bottles in a matter of seconds before they went for a drink of clean water from the water trough.
Arruba and Ndii spent a little more time than the rest around the baobab tree water trough. Arruba then showcased her bottom scratching game to Ndii, by sitting on the side of the trough moving her bottom back and forth as Ndii watched. Ndii soon tired of the game and went to try and push a big tree but when she found out she wasn’t able to, she chose to have a scratching session against it instead. The orphans were reluctant to wallow today as it was fairly cold. Ndotto chose to lie at the edge of the water and siphon water with his trunk which he then sprayed over his body. Murit came and spoiled his game by trying to push him into the water which Ndotto managed to prevent. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
It was an early start to the day as the milk dependant orphans came running out of their stockade to grab their milk bottles after which they settled to enjoy the Lucerne pellets. At about 7:15am, after the orphans had left for the fields, Emily’s herd arrived at the stockades. The ex-orphans came in small groups, with Ndara, Neptune, Wassesa, Lempaute, Rombo and Taveta arriving first closely followed by the rest of the ex-orphans in the company of two wild elephant bulls.
Mweya was looking quite tired and we feel that it won’t be long before she gives birth, and her friend Thoma never left her side, constantly touching and rumbling assurances to her. The ex-orphans hung around the stockade compound for half an hour before heading back to the park.
The stockade dependant orphans visited the baobab tree water hole after the noon milk feed, with Rorogoi and Bada plunging into the water showcasing their mud bathing skills to the rest of the group who chose to avoid the water as it was a chilly day. The group had fun blowing clouds of dust into the air as they enjoyed a dust bath, before resuming with their browsing activities.
The morning milk feed took place as usual before the Lucerne grass pellet feeding after which the orphans assembled for games around the stockade compound. Lentili, Mbegu and Mashariki led their friends towards the northern side of Msinga Hill for the mornings browsing session.
The weather was cloudy and we had some light rain throughout the day for a total reading of 10mm. The orphan elephants visited the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon where they had a drink of water after their noon milk feed. As it was cold they didn’t wallow and instead resumed with their browsing activities. Nelion and Arruba got left behind by the rest of the group and quickly lifted their trunks skyward to sniff the air and locate their friends who were about two hundred meters away.
The Keepers had noticed an abscess close to Tawi’s ear and the vet was called in to treat it. He found that the abscess was a cyst that was full of water and he was able to clean and treat it effectively which reduced the swelling.
The orphan elephants began the day as usual with their morning milk bottle followed by Lucerne pellet feeding. Tahri enjoyed a scratching session against a small rock while Mbegu did the same against the big rock in the stockade compound. The two scratched their bottoms against the rocks before joining their friends for a soil bathing game. Tahri then had fun digging up soil which she used to have dust bath with, before rolling around on the red earth piles with Panda and Kihari standing guard to make sure that none of the other orphans bothered her.
Ngilai introduced a game of rubbing his neck on the stockade terrace with Mbegu coming to join him, before the two followed their friends who were leaving the stockade compound for the browsing grounds. They browsed in single file and had their noon milk feed on the northern foot of Msinga Hill.
At about 1pm Bada and Nelion separated from the rest of the group to enjoy a private browsing session. The two browsed together for more than two hours before rejoining their friends. Ndotto enjoyed rubbing his body against a rough dry tree trunk.
It was another wonderful beginning to the day as the milk dependant orphan elephants came running out of their stockade and assembled for their milk bottles after which they proceeded to the supplement feeding area. There were some brief games around the stockade compound with Bada enjoying a rubbing session against one of the rocks before following the rest of the group who were headed towards the southern side of Msinga Hill for the mornings browsing session.
Once in the browsing fields Lentili enjoyed rubbing her belly on some rocks while she browsed. Godoma found a big rock which she was able to rub the whole side of her body against in one go. After three hours spent browsing it had become quite hot and Mbegu sought refuge from the scorching sun by hiding under a small tree until a thick cloud covered the sun, giving the orphans some respite from its rays.
A small wild elephant herd came to drink from the stockade water trough at noon and were greeted by stockade raised baby buffalo Ol-Tukai and Tawi the eland, with Ol-Tukai poking his head between the fence wire so as to get as close to the wild elephant herd as he could. The wild elephants had a brief bath at the stockade water hole before returning to the park.
It was a wonderful morning with the orphan elephants leaving the stockade as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over. Tundani and Bada led them towards the southern side of Msinga Hill, near the stockade HQ office, to begin the days browsing activities. Ndotto, Ngilai, Ndii and Suswa couldn’t be bothered to go all around the stockade terrace following the safe foot path to join their friends, and chose instead to climb up the stockade terrace to get to the rest of the group. Once there Ngilai lay down on the ground and rolled around celebrating what they had achieved.
The orphan elephant spent the morning browsing in small groups with Mbegu and Murit staying close together while Ndotto, Lasayen and Ngilai did the same as they all browsed their way to the baobab tree waterhole. After a wonderful noon mud and dust bath the orphans joined a wild herd that had come for a drink. Mashariki went forward and invited them to join the orphan herd with the intention of trying to steal away a wild elephant calf. At the same time the wild herd managed to absorb Tahri into their group which complicated matters. Ishaq-B came in to get Tahri back and was engaged in a play fight by a teenage female who wanted to prevent her from taking Tahri away. Kihari, Ndii, and Bada came in to support Ishaq-B and together they succeeded in getting Tahri back. The four also managed to steal the wild calf away but three teenage members of the wild herd coming to reclaim their youngster sibling while also engaging Panda, Nelion and Bada in a wrestling match. The two herds browsed together for about an hour before separating and going their separate ways.
This morning the orphan elephants made their way out to browse right after the milk and supplement feeding was done. They had a peaceful browsing session on the flat lands along the northern side of the stockade before visiting the baobab water hole at noon. As the milk dependant orphans were busy milk feeding, Kenia’s herd noticed a big wild elephant herd drinking water, and went running over to join them as they were worried that the wild herd would drink all the clean water from the water trough. Mbegu’s herd joined them as soon as they had finished their milk feed.
Murit had a wonderful time interacting with a small wild elephant calf with whom he enjoyed a play fight. Bada and Suswa approached the two but were prevented from joining them by one of wild calf’s sisters who stuck by them, thwarting every attempt they made to join Murit and his new friend. The wild elephant calf followed Murit for a while, before her sisters called her back. A teenage wild elephant bull interacted with the orphan elephants coming in for a trunk touching greeting with Rorogoi before engaging Tundani in a wrestling game. Bada stood close to them watching the development of the game making sure to be there should Tundani need reinforcements. The wild bull then tried to mate with Kenia but was unsuccessful in doing so. A second wild elephant herd that appeared to be very thirsty came in for a drink and settled with the orphans after they had quenched their thirst. The orphans remained close to the water hole with the two wild herds for an hour with all three groups totaling to over fifty elephants.