The July Diary sees Yatta gradually taking charge of the Ithumba Unit, whereas initially Nasalot and Mulika seemed to share the Matriarchal role. Selengai is quite obviously the favourite of Mulika, permitted to suckle the older elephant’s ears, and overseen closely by Mulika when Taita chose to play a pushing game with her. However, Olmalo as the youngest, is quite obviously adored by all the elephants, but the particular favourite of Nasalot. Napasha, as the oldest boy, has followed in the footsteps of Imenti by adopting the role of “Protector” , cahsing off dikdiks, guineafowl, and a flock of quelea, and standing his ground when the others flee, although Yatta and Nasalot had to deal with the baboon troop that habitually scares the babies. Tomboi is becoming bolder, sometimes leading the group to pasture. He enjoyed chasing two rats, trying to stamp on them. Wendi has been rushing around joyfully, downing shrubs and breaking small branches, and in the process managing to alarm the others. Tomboi and Taita are good friends who enjoy testing their strength in pushing games that occasionally deteriorate into a fight, when Napasha intervenes to separate the warring parties. We also read that Napasha disciplined Tomboi for pushing Olmalo, and Mulika threatened Kinna who shoved Wendi aside when the younger elephant tried to take food from her.
Of the four older elephants, Kinna is the one that shows signs of being slightly jealous of the affection in which the little ones are held and perhaps is not entirely satisfied with the change. But all in all, the Orphans of Ithumba are well settled, and obviously enjoying life, rushing around “joyfully” is always a good sign.
Meanwhile, Imenti is still on a walk-about, but has been seen from the air at Tundani, which is not far from his Northern base, and, more importantly, in the company of a very large, and very old Bull. Having a large and old Bull who is obviously high-ranking within the community as a friend is what all teenage bulls aspire to, and the fact that Imenti has not felt the need to return in search of his human family, means that at last, he is settled and happy in his new home having found a Big Protector who will give him confidence. For us, the fact that Imenti has been absent for so long is cause for celebration, for it means that he is feeling at home and prefers the company of other elephants to his human family. At last this very precious orphan, who came into our care the day he was born (19th January 1994) has made the transition.