Keepers' Diaries, July 2001

Voi Reintegration Unit

Maungu, who was rescued from a trench dug on the Mombasa Pipeline near Maungu last month, has settled in very well. Being only 8 months old, she has 3 milk feeds a day, whereas the other orphans in their second year, which is a weaning year, only have two.

01 July 2001

All the orphans left together as usual, separating briefly at 9.30 a.m. when Emily's group spent half an hour with a wild herd. Later she left them to return to the younger orphans and remained with them most of the day. In the early morning Nyiro and Mukwaju were very exuberant, pushing each other, but Maungu remained aloof. In the evening Imenti enjoyed a game with Uaso whom he encountered back at the Stockades with Edo and Lewa.

02 July 2001

Yatta, Kinna, Nyiro, Mukwaju and little Maungu were taken inside the Headquarter perimeter fence to feed. Maungu (who is only 8 months old) had her milk at 10 a.m. as usual when Nyiro did his best to hijack the bottle. Later, amongst the other group, Salama had an altercation with Icholta over the milk, after which he challenged Laikipia. Emily's group was with the younger set all day. Because it was too cold, there was no wallow - just a dustbath. Edo, Lewa, and Uaso turned up at the Stockades in the evening, joined a little later by Lissa and her calf, Lara. Imenti went off with them when they left for the night.

03 July 2001

The smaller elephants were taken inside the fence as usual, taking a half-hearted mudbath at 11.30 a.m. Emily remained with Natumi's group and was joined by Imenti, who had been out with The Boys for the night. He was warmly welcomed by Emily, and they immediately began to play, rushing around knocking the bushes.

04 July 2001

The baby group went inside the fence as usual. Nyiro tried to mount Yatta. Maungu and Kinna are becoming good friends, relating very well together. Emily's and Natumi's group were joined by a wild herd with whom they spent one hour. Because it was chilly, noone was enthusiastic over a mudbath but Imenti enjoyed rolling all the drums around.

05 July 2001

All the orphans were together today, including the little ones, and upon leaving the Stockades they were accompanied by Edo and Lewa. Maungu integrated well with all the others. In the afternoon Natumi and Edie enjoyed a bush-bashing game.

06 July 2001

Yatta tried to play rough with Maungu, but the Keepers intervened. Lewa and Uaso were with the bigger orphans today, but left after the sand bath (it being too cold for the mud). Back at the Stockades in the evening Ilingwezi lagged behind, until she had the full attention of a Keeper.

07 July 2001

The weather was better today, so all the orphans, including Maungu enjoyed the mudbath, and later Edie chased the butterflies around. Everyone enjoyed a sand bath after the mudwallow.

08 July 2001

All the orphans were together in the morning when Nyiro and Mukwaju enjoyed a game, shoving each other around, until Yatta intervened, ending the game prematurely. The Keepers splashed the orphans with water to encourage them to wallow, which they did. Emily then led her group off, but joined the youngsters later, when Imenti went off to feed on his own separately. Tsavo had a lesson in fighting from Salama who kept shoving him to prompt an encounter. Lewa and Uaso came to the Stockades alone at 3.30 p.m.

09 July 2001

Kinna and Nyiro were very envious when Maungu took her l0 a.m. feed, raising their trunks and begging. Imenti and Lewa joined the orphans out in the bush and spent some time with them before Lewa left on his own and Imenti chose to remain with Emily. Salama played with Icholta in the mudbath and earlier Mukwaju and Yatta interacted. In the evening Nyiro and Kinna had a "tiff" over the Copra supplement.

10 July 2001

Today the smaller orphans were taken inside the perimeter fence again. Maungu had milk at 10 a.m. and again at noon. Ndume turned up at the Stockade early today and accompanied the others when they left, but left after a while. Aitong kept Tsavo close whilst Emily enjoyed a game with Imenti. All took water at noon, and were splashed by the Keepers, but were not eager to wallow.

11 July 2001

Today the smaller babies (Yatta's group) were frightened by some waterbuck, but Nyiro, Kinna and Mukwaju plucked up courage to give chase, joined later (when the waterbuck were on the run) by Maungu and Yatta. At 11.30 a.m. at mudbath a group of wild elephants joined the older orphans and interacted with our charges until the milk tractor arrived. Laikipia and Salama enjoyed playing with a calf of their size. At 5.30 p.m. Edo and Lewa arrived at the Stockades.

12 July 2001

The small set enjoyed a mudbath in the perimeter fence at 11.30 a.m. when Maungu rolled on Yatta. Earlier Nyiro and Mukwaju played, intertwining trunks and later in the afternoon Nyiro won a tussle with Mukwaju. Imenti, having spent the night with Lewa, joined Emily's group out in the bush at 9.45 a.m. and was greeted very warmly by Emily, who then played with him for 20 minutes. On the way to the mudbath, they were joined by a wild herd. Emily, Aitong, Loisaba and Mweiga lagged behind with Tsavo. Later Emily played briefly with a wild elephant of her size, before leaving the wild herd to join Natumi's group.

13 July 2001

Nyiro and Yatta were very envious of Maungu when she took her milk in the morning. Dika joined Emily and the others out in the bush. They all met up with a wild herd, and Dika left with this wild group.

14 July 2001

All the orphans left together, separating at the Spring Gate, with the baby group being taken inside the perimeter fence. Nyiro and Mukwaju had a shoving match, after which they fed far from each other. After their mudbath Mukwaju took on Yatta, but was defeated.

15 July 2001

Yatta's group left the Stockades a little after the other orphans. They wallowed at 11.30 a.m. when Mukwaju challenged Yatta but lost the contest. As usual Nyiro tried to grab Maungu's milk at noon. Emily's group and Natumi's group spent the day together. After feeding time Salama and Laikipia had a tussle, pushing each other, which Salama won.

16 July 2001

The smaller orphans, Yatta, Kinna, Mukwaju and Maungu enjoyed a wonderful mudbath today, and then went to feed in the thickets within the fenced compound independent of the Keepers. At the Stockades in the morning, Imenti, Uaso and Lewa were waiting outside to join Emily and the others. After the mudbath Uaso and Lewa left the others but turned up at the Stockades with Dika and Edo in the evening. Mweiga enjoyed a game with Tsavo.

17 July 2001

All the orphans left together, but the small calves branched off at the Spring Gate to go into the fence. A tussle between Nyiro and Mukwaju was broken up by Yatta. Back at the Stockades in the evening Mukwaju scattered Nyiro's Copra cake with his foot, and this started an altercation. During the course of the morning Natumi was scared by a flock of weavers and ran to the Keepers, followed by all the others, who stood with their ears out and trunks up. Imenti enjoyed the usual game rolling the drums about at the mudbath, and in the evening Edo and Lewa came back to the Stockades.

18 July 2001

The smaller calves enjoyed their mudbath today, rolling around in the mud, and later, the sand. Nyiro tried to mount Kinna and then Mukwaju. Meanwhile Imenti, Loisaba and Emily chased after a warthog who was at the mudbath, whilst Natumi, who is not very brave, ran to the Keepers for protection. Lolokwe was first at the milk tractor, downed his bottle of milk, and then went begging for the others' share. When he got to Salama, he met his match and got shoved hard, forcing him to run away screaming. Edo and Lewa came to the Stockades in the evening.

19 July 2001

The small orphans spent a peaceful day inside the fenced perimeter. All the others hungrily watched Maungu taking her milk, pleading with their trunks outstretched. Edo and Lewa turned up at the Stockades in the early afternoon at 2.30 p.m.

20 July 2001

Ndume and Uaso joined Emily and the others at l0.30 a.m. out in the bush where they all met up with a group of wild elephants. Ndume and Uaso left with this wild group later after the mudbath. Natumi, Edie, Salama and Ilingwezi had a wonderful time in the mud, playing happily. The babies also enjoyed their mudwallow today. Back at the Stockades Ilingwezi lingered behind the others, attracting the attention of a Keeper who went to fetch her.

21 July 2001

Kinna and Yatta were very attentive to Maungu today, laying their trunks on her back as they went out to pasture. At 7 a.m. Aitong left Emily's group to join a wild group which was feeding close by. After 2 hours she returned, trumpeting excitedly and breaking bushes. On the way to the mudbath Natumi led her group to chase some zebra, who were approaching for a drink.

22 July 2001

When the l0 a.m. tractor came with water for the little one's mudbath, Yatta and the others blocked its path, searching for milk, but there was none and when Maungu's bottle arrived, they all scrambled for it. Shortly before mudbath Imenti tried to mount Emily, and Emily took exception to this, chasing him here and there, whilst Loisaba kept Tsavo close.

23 July 2001

Yatta's group had a wonderful mudwallow today, because it was hot. Natumi's group got frightened by some fighting baboons, and ran to the Keepers, thereafter very nervous of any rustling in the bush. Emily introduced her group to an interesting game - throwing around an old car tube which she found in the bushes, which the others also threw and kicked with their feet. When they were bored with the game, Salama took possession of the tube. Edo and Lewa turned up at the Stockades at 1.30 p.m.

24 July 2001

It was a cool morning. Kinna and Mukwaju had a disagreement when Mukwaju tried to hijack Kinna's milk. At 11 a.m. Emily's group "welcomed" a buffalo, but when they reached the mudbath, they chased him off and would not let him drink. In the evening Salama tried to entice Maungu into a game. Dika, Lewa, Uaso, Edo, Lissa and her baby all came to the Stockades at 4 p.m.

25 July 2001

The small babies had a wonderful mudbath, playing vigorously together. Natumi's group played a lot during the morning, breaking down bushes and small trees. Emily left her group with Aitong to join a wild herd during the morning, but returned after an hour in a high state of excitement, breaking down bushes and trumpeting, watched by Imenti and Aitong. Lewa, Uaso and Edo turned up at the Stockades at 4 p.m.

26 July 2001

All the orphans were together today, with the exception of Imenti who was not around but who turned up to join Emily's group at 8 a.m.. Maungu was frightened by a dikdik, and ran to the others for protection. On the way to the mudbath Emily's group were met by a wild herd, with whom they interacted before joining the other orphans at the mudbath, leaving Imenti with the wild elephants. He arrived later in a high state of excitement, kicking the bushes. Edo and Lewa came to the Stockades at 3.30 p.m.

27 July 2001

The day was spent as usual for the babies. Nyiro enjoyed a game with a stick, picking it up and tossing it around. Emily's group and that of Natumi left together, but without Imenti who had gone with the boys the previous night. At the mudbath a buffalo appeared, which was chased off by Emily and Aitong. They were then joined by a wild group, when Mweiga was pushed down by a wild calf. Her scream brought Emily and Aitong at the double to intervene. They lifted Mweiga up and comforted her. Back at the Stockades only Nyiro from the small group ate the Copra cake, whilst the others just played with it, tossing it over their backs. Natumi's group returned to the Stockades first with Ilingwezi, Natumi and Edie coming behind with Emily's group.

28 July 2001

During the smaller calves mudbath Maungu got stuck in the mud, and Kinna came to the rescue, intertwining her trunk with that of Maungu whilst Yatta helped push her out. After that Yatta and Mukwaju had a wonderful wallow. Emily's group and that of Natumi met up with two buffalo whom they chased, backed up by Edie and Salama. After mudbath they met a bull elephant the size of Dika, of whom Imenti was afraid. Edo and Lewa were at the Stockades when the others returned in the evening.

29 July 2001

The smaller orphans played a lot during the morning. Emily despatched a visiting buffalo after the mudbath whilst Natumi played with Ilingwezi. Edo, Lewa and Dika were at the Stockades in the evening.

30 July 2001

The smaller orphans enjoyed their mudbath today. Maungu climbed on Yatta who was lying down. In the afternoon they were scared by a waterbuck and ran to the Keepers for protection. The older group spent the day as usual, except that Ilingwezi and Salama had a disagreement over a grass stem Salama wanted to uproot. He won and got the grass stem. Edo and Lewa were at the Stockades in the evening.

31 July 2001

The day was uneventful and passed peacefully, with Emily's and Natumi's group feeding at the base of the hill. Back at the Stockades in the evening, Edo, Ndume and Lewa appeared.