The Southern part of Tsavo East is again gripped by prolonged drought - something that is becoming much more frequent with the Earth's changing climate, wildlife compromised by the ongoing intrusion of large herds of domestic livestock into the Park, some being transported from Northern Kenya where drought conditions also persist. The Voi Orphans are having supplementary feeding of lucerne and Copra plus Dairy cubes, which Emily's unit also enjoys whenever they happen to visit the Voi Stockades. This month Emily's unit has only been once on the 13th, and with them was Ex Orphan Tsavo, who has taken to spending quite a lot of time on his own away from the main Ex Orphan herd. All enjoyed supplements and a drink before moving off, but unfortunately missed meeting the Junior Orphans who had not yet returned for the night. The next day, on the 14th, Big Boy "Laikipia" turned up alone to enjoy a hand-out, and led the Juniors out to browse Mazinga Hill, spending an hour with them before peeling off. That day the Juniors met up[ with 2 wild bulls at their noon mudbath, whom they greeted warmly, and who spent browsing time with them later. The Juniors have enjoyed wild company on several other occasions this month - on the 5th when a known wild herd came to the Stockade water trough at 1 p.m. and spent sometime there; again on the l7th and the 25th and 26th when a wild cow allowed the Juniors to interact with her calf, and when Wasessa, Lesanju and and Lempaute attempted to entice the wild baby away from its rightful mother and Wasessa and her favourite, Tassia, trailed the wild cow and her baby when the wild pair decided to leave.
A rescued female calf from the Tsavo Conservation Area near Challa spent a night at the Voi Stockades on the 7th, before being airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery on the 8th. She was about l8 months old, and had been immobilized for the journey, so was still drowsey upon arrival. Kenia rushed to greet her in the new "Taming Stockade", reaching out her trunk in greeting, while all the orphans rumbled reassurance and delight. The next morning, all even forgot about their milk, but instead excitedly rushed to greet the newcomer, caressing her with their trunks and rumbling greetings and reassurance. They were all very reluctant to leave her when it was time to head out to browse and exceedingly disappointed to find her gone when they returned in the evening.
Wasessa's love of little Tassia endures. She escorts him to his milk and supplements and is never far from his side. This month Dida suffered some stomach problems on the 12th, appearing bloated and off her food. Lesanju and Kenia, noticing that she was unwell, kept pace with her as she trailed the group on their way out to browse, and continued to do so until she recovered. Byby the end of the month Dida was back to normal, keeping pace with the rest of the group and even first at tnhe milk venue as well as climbing half way up Mazinga hill to browse.
The Voi Orphans have entertained two groups of African schoolchildren this month, on the 18th when mischievous Lempaute was the centre of attention, making them all scream with delight whenever she approached them, and on the l9th when Siria wanted to suckle their fingers, something that also caused quite a stir!
The Ex Orphaned Kudus, Mkuki and Aruba visited the Stockades on the 28th and spent time feeding around the compound. Both were in good health and growing apace. A herd of oryx also visited the Orphans waterhole on the 27th, and waited patiently for the elephants to vacate it before enjoying a drink. Lesanju is the main Matriarch of the Voi Juniors, ably assisted by Wasessa, Sinya and Kenia while Ndii and Dida remain firm friends. Siria, the main "dude" of the Junior group enjoys wrestling with the other boys, especially Taveta and Mzima and Lesanju seems to be becoming more accustomed to associating with wild herds, less possessive of her own group whenever the orphans meet up with wild elephants.