Keepers' Diaries, July 2015

Nairobi Nursery Unit

The beginning of the month began with another orphan coming into our care. A well victim was rescued and taken to Sera airstrip where he was retrieved by plane with our Keepers on hand. We have called him Rapa, and thankfully he has done well and gained strength throughout the month. He was an extremely restless baby, and it took days for him to settle before he could be let out of his stockade. Tusuja who was rescued from the Mara towards the end of June joined the orphans for the first time on the 1st of the month. This took place without too much drama with this mellow little elephant joining the fold attracting the attention of the young mummies Oltaiyoni, Roi, Kamok, Mbegu, but with Embu our new matriarch not being very nice to him surprisingly. Arruba came to his rescue thankfully.

01 July 2015

The orphans left their stockades in a joyful mood and paired off to play some games before heading to the bush. Murit played with Kamok, Dupotto with Mbegu, and Boromoko with Mwashoti. The older girls were busy charging around and trumpeting excitedly. After the stockade games the orphans headed out to the bush for the day. A little before the public visit we received a call from Lewa Downs about an orphan in need of rescue. The calf had fallen down a well at the Sera Conservancy. A rescue team was arranged, arriving at the Sera airstrip a little before 3pm. They found the calf already restrained in the back of a land cruiser and administered some first aid to the wounds it received when it fell down the well. The baby was then loaded into the plane before being flown to Nairobi, arriving at the Trust a little before 5pm. The young calf was very tired and confused and following his ordeal was very subdued and we allowed it to rest. Today Tusuja was taken out in the afternoon to be with the rest of the orphans in the bush. Mbegu and Kauro escorted him out of his stockade and took him to join the rest of the group. While out in the forest Arruba, Mashariki, Oltaiyoni, Mbegu and Roi showered him with affection, never leaving his side as they all tried to get to know him better. Embu and Rorogoi were not as welcoming and tried to bully him and Rorogoi was able to push him to the ground. She was reprimanded by Arruba who chased both him and Embu away.

02 July 2015

The new calf that arrived yesterday was restless all night and was pacing around his stockade, screaming and crying for his mother and family. His actions upset Oltiayoni, Roi, Mbegu, Kamok, Mashariki and Arruba all of whom started trumpeting and trying to get out of their stockades to go and help the newcomer. At around 12:45 Mbegu was able to get out of her stockade and went in search of the new baby who was in the stockade next to Tusuja. The keepers tried to get her to return to her stockade but she refused and kept running away. Arruba saw her and also tried to get out of her stockade. In the end the keepers were able to coax Mbegu back to the stockades by offering her an additional milk bottle. In the morning all the orphans crowded around the newcomers stockade wanting to greet him and comfort him. The calf fed well on milk and greens during the night but is still tired and mourning the loss of his family. As such he did not approach the nursery group to greet them choosing to stay towards the back of his stockade. Mbegu was also feeling tired following last night’s activity and was quiet when out in the field. Tusuja spent the day out in the bush again today and loved being around the older orphans, never wanting to leave their side. This morning we received a call about an orphan in need of rescue. The young calf had numerous spear wounds all over her body. The rescue team arrived in Ziwani at about 3:40 and found that the calf had very sadly succumbed to its injuries a few minutes before their arrival.

03 July 2015

Arruba, Suswa, Oltaiyoni, Roi and Mbegu have taken to going and seeing the new arrival Simotua before they head out to the bush for the day. His stockade doors is always crowded in the morning as the orphan herd greet him and offer love and comfort before they leave for the morning browsing session. This morning it appeared that Suswa and Arruba had a bit of a disagreement over something and had taken to pushing each other which escalated into a fight. Suswa took the high road and brought an end to the fight by heading out to the browsing fields, followed by the rest of the orphans. At around 8:30 Lasayen and Ndotto escorted Alamaya back to the stockade so that she could have an operation as she is having difficulty urinating and needs an operation to unblock the urinary tract. The two orphans kept Alamaya company until she was anesthetized before they returned to the bush. The operation took over three hours and was successful. The urinary tract was opened and Alamaya will be able to urinate without problems. A surprise outcome of the operation was that Alamaya is actually a BOY and not a girl as we had believed. Alamaya was very confused when he was revived from the anesthesia and wanted to run into the bush. Mbegu, Kamok, Mwashoti, Lasayen and Ndotto were all brought back to keep him company. Their presence had a calming effect on Alamaya who followed them out to the bush for the rest of the afternoon. At about 4:30 Alamaya, Elkerama and Tusuja returned to the stockades ahead of the rest of the orphan herd.

04 July 2015

Over the last few days Ngilai and Elkerama have been spending a lot of time together, with Elkerama even allowing the little one to suck his ears. Elkerama then took little Ngilai for a mud bath in the bush, where Ngilai stood as Elkerama sprayed him with mud. Pea and Pod continue to enjoy mingling with the elephants interacting and playing with them – even though they got a hard time today from Tusuja today who still hasn’t really understood them and why they are part of the elephant gang – he kept smacking them with his trunk! All of the orphans went in the mudbath in the afternoon, except the boy who never likes to get wet, Kauro, who looked on from the sidelines.

05 July 2015

As of today Simotua is still in his stockade as he is still settling down into his new surroundings and recovering from the shock of what he went through prior to his rescue. The new baby from Sera was named Rapa today, and the whole gang of orphans came back to the stockades to take him out into the bush together. He was eager to get out into the bush, and was the first one to lead the way! A little too eager and one of the keepers had to run after him and show him the right way. Throughout the rest of the morning it took Lasayen, Arruba and Mashariki to keep him from disappearing into the thicket. The two girls, true to their character, did their role perfectly, caring and protecting him from the other older and more boisterous males Sirimon, Kauro and Enkikwe who were all rather bullish. When the older girls moved away, Mwashoti and Alamaya also tried their best to reassure and look after little Rapa. When it came time to return to his stockade little Rapa put up a good fight and made a lot of noise! But this is just a routine he needs to get used to, and once he knows he will be out in the bush again the next morning he will begin to settle down nicely.

06 July 2015

Today started well for the newest arrivals, Rapa and Tusuja, who followed the other orphans calmly out into the park in the early morning. Tusuja is very much attached to the older elephants, but Rapa is still keeping slightly more to himself and taking his time to trust the other elephants and the keepers. Today Mwashoti, Ngilai, Rapa and Tusuja all attended the public visiting hour for the first time since their arrival at the nursery. For Mwashoti and Ngilai this took time due to the severity of their wounds when they arrived, and since they are best friends we didn’t want to separate them! As of today both their wounds have recovered remarkably well. Mwashoti can run, play and interact just like any other young elephant. By the time it came to public viewing as well, Rapa had started interacting well with Lasayen, Ndotto and Ngilai, so it was a good time for him to accompany them all to the mudbath and the public viewing. After their mudbath all the orphans returned to the stockade to collect Simotua to take him out into the bush with them. It was a wonderful moment for this little boy, who had been wounded so badly, to be free in the bush with the other orphans. Arruba looked after him well and made sure no one bullied him on his first day out in the bush. Simotua later returned to his stockade a lot earlier than the others, but in the company of Elkarama, Alamaya, Mwashoti, Tusuja and Rapa. It seemed like he had enjoyed his first day out and he went back into his stockade for milk without any trouble at all.

07 July 2015

All of the latest arrivals are really funny when they first meet Pea and Pod out on the morning walk. Tusuja especially continues to chase and charge them throughout the day in the forest, and today it was Simotua who kept lifting his ears and chasing them away! Pea and Pod love the company and playing with the other orphans, so they are always a little surprised by this hostile behaviour. At one point in the morning they were busy straightening their tail feathers, when Simotua, not liking their presence in the group, walked up behind them and grabbed their tail feathers with his trunk! As they turned around and raised their necks and wing feathers to see what was happening, Simotua got a fright and set them free. Pea and Pod moved to the side of group and started dancing around and lying down on the ground. Simotua didn’t like this at all and shoved his way into the middle of the herd - he watched them from a distance for the rest of the day, and when they moved closer he kept moving away again. Mwashoti cried when he was kept back from the group who return to the stockade early before the final visiting hour, but it is time he gets used to the normal routine since his wounds have healed. Elkerama, Alamaya, Tusuja, Rapa and Simotua all returned to the stockades without him, but in time Mwashoti will get used to the new routine and it will allow him to grow stronger as well.

08 July 2015

Today Simotua managed to separate himself from the rest of the herd as they were coming down for the 11am public visit. As soon as the keepers noticed that he was not among the group they went in search of him, eventually finding him a couple of hours later in some dense bushes where he had managed to conceal himself while he enjoyed the vegetation. He was so happy to see the other orphans who had come all the way back to collect him, he forget his full belly and rejoined the group. During the afternoon private visit Mashariki, Suswa and Embu were all in the mud bath enjoying a good roll around. As she got up from her mudbath Mashariki accidentally stepped on Suswa’s trunk, and nearly went as far as sitting on her head! Suswa struggled to get up but Mashariki was too heavy for her. She started shouting for help and the little ones got scared so they ran to the keepers. When the keepers finally managed to get Suswa up she charged at Kauro who she thought was the one who stepped on her trunk and tried to sit on his head! The keepers were quick to come between them and Kauro hid behind them. She kept trying to get at him but the keepers shouted at her and eventually she stopped. Poor Kauro!

09 July 2015

Tusuja wasn’t his normal self this morning and he was lagging behind the herd. He looked so weak he was taken back to the stockades and his blood was taken for testing, which confirmed his blood sugar was very low. However as the day warmed up and he had another bottle of milk and some fresh soft greens, he began to improve and soon he was pushing against his gate wanting to rejoin his friends again, which he did in the afternoon. Ngilai, who had been separated from Elkarama the day before, was delighted to see him and ran up to him, immediately sucking his ear. Ndotto and Lasayen really showed off for the public visiting hour, playing and having a mock wrestling match - so of course everybody fell in love!

10 July 2015

Mbegu has been a bit quieter the last few days – focusing on browsing in the bush rather than being her normal playful self. Though she is still good friends with Ndotto. Being a Friday today all the orphans got their usual supplement of coconut oil as well. By the time it came to the 11am public viewing it was quite a hot day and Embu, Mashariki, Enkikwe and Arruba were the first in the mudbath. After the older ones had come out Dupotto, Rapa and Simotua went into the mudbath as well, whilst the others dusted themselves dry with soil. Oltaiyoni is really attached to her older playmates Arruba, Rorogoi and Mashariki but since the herd has been split into two groups according to age, she has been left with the younger ones as a ‘mini matriarch’ as it is so important for the younger babies to follow the lead of an older female. Having missed the company of her friends she sneaked over to the older group whilst the babies were enjoying their mudbath. The keepers decided not to deny her some time with her old play mates, and she stayed with the older group until the end of the day when they all returned home for bed.

11 July 2015

As the orphans were awaiting their 9 o’clock bottle Mwashoti and Boromoko decided to play a game that neither side wanted to lose! Though Mwashoti has an injured leg it is healing fast and he gave Boromoko a good challenge, with the latter running into the bushes for cover. It is amazing to see Mwashoti’s leg recovering so well that he is even able to partake in this boisterous play all male elephants enjoy at that age. All games came to a swift end though as soon as the milk bottles arrived! After the 4 o’clock private viewing all the orphans settled down in the bush again, browsing and playing. None more so than Lasayen and Ndotto who decided to terrorize poor Pea and Pod again by charging and chasing them around, even though little Ndotto could hardly reach them with his tiny trunk. The ostriches managed to tire them out in the end though and they went back to quietly browsing in the bushes again.

12 July 2015

As soon as they had their 9 o’clock bottle today all the orphans settled down into a busy browsing session in the bush. Kamok, Mbegu and Dupotto were also busy charging around after the warthogs, who had decided to graze nearby. Kamok and Mbegu cornered them which prompted them to run through the keepers to Dupotto who was lying in wait to ambush them. She trumpeted noisily but the warthogs still managed to hastily run through, avoiding her playful racket. Kamok and Mbegu were a bit surprised by all the noise and ran to the keepers, which brought an end to the warthog game! Ngilai wasn’t very well today and even vomited once after his milk in the morning so blood samples were taken and he will continue to be watched very closely.

13 July 2015

Today the famous ‘memory of an elephant’ was shown in true form. Tusuja and Simotua have become a little greedy for their milk and whilst the keepers were busy keeping an eye on Ngilai, snuck off on their own down to the mudbath, looking around for their milk which arrives with the 9 o’clock feeding time. Not finding anyone around, as obviously they were too early, they made their way up to the stockades and noisily rumbled their arrival and demand for milk to the other keepers who were drinking tea nearby. It’s obvious their memory is amazing but being the two newest arrivals it was quite a surprise to find them there standing in the stockades demanding a bottle! It’s obvious that Kauro is missing his younger friends since he joined the older orphan group. Today at 11 o’clock public viewing he sneaked over to the younger group and was happily welcomed by Oltaiyoni, Dupotto and Mbegu. Just before the older group walked to the mudbath the keepers found that Elkarama was missing, but he was soon found browsing deep in the thick bush absentmindedly munching away and somewhat reluctant to go in. It seemed he was just busy browsing, remembering his old life out in the bush - soon he will be old enough to move to Tsavo, and become a wild elephant once again.

14 July 2015

When the younger babies walked out from their stockades this morning to join the older orphans poor Ngilai was panicking as he could not find his friend Elkerama. He walked from one elephant to the next looking for him, and even though Kamok and Mbegu tried to comfort him by spreading their ears for him to suckle and laying their trunks on his back, Ngilai kept looking until he finally found him. Elkerama raised his ears for Ngilai to suck for reassurance and soon Ngilai settled down. Lovely Elkerama has a rare character for a male elephant of his age in that he is gentle and caring, and Ngilai is certainly all the better for it. Around 3 o’clock today Alamaya was scratching his hind area where his stitches are, but he accidentally scratched too hard and managed to pull his stitches and temporary plastic urethra out! The vet was called to check on him and make sure that the operation site was clear of infection and no damage had been done, we will continue to monitor him to ensure that he is still able to urinate without difficulty.

15 July 2015

Little Rapa has finally settled down into life in the nursery and approaches the keepers without fear or hesitation as he did before. He enjoys the company of his new best friends Kamok, Mbegu and Oltaiyoni. Simotua and Tusuja are fully settled as well and enjoy the company of all the other orphans as well as the keepers. Tusuja can always be found browsing close to the keepers and in the company of Mwashoti and Alamaya who are the most welcoming of the young males and not bullish like Kauro! These three can always be found together with Simotua sometimes a part of their group as well. Kauro isn’t afraid of the older orphans and was rolling around in the mud bath with Arruba and Mashariki for the afternoon private visiting hour. He accidentally missed his footing though and ended up in the deepest part of the mudbath, bringing a swift end to his game! He tried to get out using Dupotto as a step, but Embu saw him and quickly warned him off. He eventually made his way out though, and went off to dust himself dry with soil.

16 July 2015

Early in the morning on their way out into the bush the orphans were startled by a lone male buffalo grazing in the thick bush. Rorogoi, Olsekki, Arruba, Elkarama, Mashariki and Sokotei, who are always the first to lead the herd out in the morning, charged into the bushes rumbling and trumpeting, prompted the swift departure of the buffalo into the forest. Arruba, Mashariki and Elkarama continued to charge and stamp around the bushes, as if beefing up security for the other orphans to pass through feeling protected. All the elephants settled down though as the keepers came to the fore and the led the way through the bush to continue to day of browsing.

17 July 2015

Mwashoti and Boromoko were messing around this morning. When Boromoko was let out he went straight over the Mwashoti’s door which was still locked. He started playing around with the bucket which hangs outside Mwashoti’s door for his milk bottles, making a lot of noise. It was as if to say he had arrived and hurry up! Mwashoti started rumbling and pushing against his door, eager to join his friend having all the fun outside. To restore some peace and quiet his keeper opened the door. But it wasn’t to be. As soon as Mwashoti came out Boromoko put his head down, showing off. Then they started to wrestle which they did all the way down to Maxwell’s gate. Upon reaching Maxwell’s gate they abandoned this game and started trying to reach Maxwell through the bars with their trunks to try and wake him up. To begin with Max ignored them, but they carried on until he couldn’t ignore them anymore! Mwashoti and Boromoko started trumpeting and fanning their ears trying to scare Max, who in return pushed against his gate and charged at them so they would run away squealing and come back again for more fun. Max then started charging around in circles and jumping up and down (as well as a rhino can) in happiness. This game lasted for quite a while, until all three were tired and the elephants moved off into the forest for morning browsing, leaving Max in peace once more.

18 July 2015

What an amazing memory elephants do have. We have said it before but it is because every day we are reminded of it. Balguda arrived back into the nursery this morning from Umani as he had been showing signs of weakness and lagging behind the rest of the herd there. Blood samples were taken and his was given a bottle of milk in his stockade. Mashariki, Arruba, Suswa, Oltaiyoni and Sokotei all came back to the stockades from the bush to collect him and take him out with them. He seemed to remember everyone immediately! There was a lot of shoving amongst all the babies wanting to greet him and say hello. This wasn’t a newcomer they had to get used to, but an old friend. Balguda led the way into the forest, as some of the others directed him to where the others were waiting. Then there was a similar greeting as everyone who knew him wanted to say hello. Even for the 11am public show and without keepers directing him, the gentle and disciplined Balguda led the way back as the others followed behind, despite having been away for some months. At the public viewing he was calm and you wouldn’t have been able to tell he had been away at all... only his colour gave it away! (The nursery babies are the reddish clay colour of the Nairobi soil, and Balguda was the natural grey from Umani’s clay).

19 July 2015

When the baby’s went out in the early morning it was very misty and dark with the rain drizzling. Winter is certainly here! Ndotto, Lasayen and Ngilai stayed behind until it got a bit warmer for them to join the others, and actually the little ones stayed covered in their blankets for the whole day. Out in the forest Balguda rejoined his team of boys, enjoying the company of Sokotei, Olsekki, Kauro, Sirimon and Simotua and Boromoko. Not everyone wanted to join in on the mudbath on this kind of cold day though, and in the end it was only little Rapa and the mud loving girl Mashariki who decided to go in.

20 July 2015

Today it seemed like the girls Suswa and Arruba were playing ‘mothers and babies’. All throughout the day Suswa allowed Arruba to stand and suckle on her ear. This behaviour is common between older and younger elephants but not normally those of the same age. It seemed today that Arruba just needed a bit of comforting! Elkerama has been Balguda’s particular friend today and the two have spent the whole day browsing together. As the weather changed from a cold morning to a warm afternoon the orphans went in search of water and a mud bath in the bush to cool down. At 3pm as well, after they had all had their milk of course, all of the orphans decided to go into the mudbath. Rapa and Boromoko were the first in, swiftly followed by the others.

21 July 2015

Murit was in a very playful mood today and he, Lasayen and Ndotto had a great time playing around with Pea and Pod. Murit also decided he would teach the younger ones some wrestling skills. He would butt Lasayen in the head whilst Ndotto would push him from behind or from the side. It was during these wrestling matches, that would sometimes end up with the elephants on the ground that Pea and Pod would jump over them. Ndotto would then get up and start chasing them around swiftly followed by the other two boys and it would turn into a game of 3 against 2. The ostriches are too fast though and they would dance and dart out of the way causing the three elephants to crash into each other more often than not – a very entertaining game to watch! The ostriches would just sit and wait for the elephants to charge them, trying to reach for them with their trunks, before dancing off again. It was all as if to say ‘you can’t catch me’ swaying their necks and looking back at the elephants. This game in fact lasted a couple of hours, before the ostriches tired the elephants out, and they went back to quietly browsing in the bushes once more.

22 July 2015

Tusuja was not looking that well this morning. Throughout the morning sometimes he appeared fine active and strong, pushing some of the others around, other times he seemed weak and slow. His stomach was bloated and he was not browsing as usual, only picking at a few leaves here and there. After the 9am private viewing he struggled to return to the forest and isolated himself in the shade. It was then we decided he should not go to the 11am public viewing. Mbegu noticed his absence and didn’t like it at all, she seemed restless. She was even more unsettled after the 11am viewing when Tusuja remained in the bushes with one keeper and the others moved off further into the thicket. Eventually, together with Lasayen and Ndotto, she snuck off to find her friend that had been left behind. She looked for where she had seen him last, thanks to her good memory, and stayed to keep him company together with the other two boys. It seemed her company meant a lot to Tusuja. Together with a bit of play from Lasayen, Tusuja was encouraged to eat more. They kept him company until 3pm when they walked down for their feed. Tusuja was later joined by Mwashoti and Simotua to escort him back to the stockades for some medicine for his bloated stomach and an early bedtime. He will continue to be monitored.

23 July 2015

Suswa was having fun with her younger friends today. She dug at the soil with her tusks to make a nice dust bed and starting rolling around in it to attract the younger ones to play. It seemed to work as Kauro, Roi, Boromoko and Mwashoti were happy to enjoy such a game with an older friend. As others left the soil dusting game, Murit and Ndotto decided to join in too. As Murit was rolling in the dust, Ndotto would climb onto his back. Murit is such a nice calm elephant he doesn’t mind playing with the younger orphans. After the game they went back to browsing. Ndotto, who sometimes seems to like pretend to be a young bull these days, browsed independently in the long grass and stayed by himself for the rest of the day.

24 July 2015

Sometimes the orphans can be in a bad mood, just like humans, and they can take it out on their friends as well. It seems that Elkarama was in such a kind of mood today. He has been mean and bullying some of the babies. Ngilai has been searching for his company and wishing to suckle on his ears as he normally does, but today Elkarama pushed him away. He even pushed Tusuja over for no reason! Today it was a hot day and all of the babies decided to enjoy the mud bath. But in his bad mood twice Elkarama charged at Roi to make her get out. Siangiki challenged Kauro who was trying to climb on her back as she was rolling in the soil – and she managed to get up and push him away. Boromoko had a nice time playing a wrestling game with Lasayen, and we was very gentle, understanding that little Lasayen is not as strong as him, similar to his other play mate Mwashoti.

25 July 2015

Young Rapa was suckling on Tusuja’s ears as they were awaiting their 9 o’clock feed this morning, an act of close friendship. Even when they are out browsing they spend most of their time together. Tusuja is still quiet and doesn’t spend time wrestling or playing other games with the young ones. But the good news is that Balguda, who came back to the nursery from Tsavo due to ill health, is already showing signs of improvement. He is not as quiet and reserved anymore and is quite into the browsing sessions as much as the others – he is eating a good amount of greens! Sometimes he moves quite far afield in the company of Arruba and Suswa, two of the friends he recognized immediately and welcomed when he arrived back at the nursery.

26 July 2015

As soon as they left their stockades this morning, the orphans settled down into a good morning of browsing the new green shoots on the trees and plants. Kauro and Sokotei soon started a very busy ‘wrestling game’ so common amongst young male elephants of their age. Most attempts Kauro failed to pin down his counterpart and Sokotei would take the upper hand and climb on top of him. Sometimes Kauro would turn around however, whilst on the ground, and manage to climb on top of Sokotei too. This was quite a fun game that attracted the interest of Boromoko too. He joined Kauro and both climbed on top of Sokotei! With two on top of him Sokotei yelled, which prompted Suswa to come running over to see what was happening. Upon seeing Suswa coming Kauro and Boromoko quickly left Sokotei alone, and Suswa checked him over. During public visiting this morning the orphans finished their bottles very quickly and were busy grazing and munching on the green provided for them. Little Lasayen however, who is becoming quite a character, busied himself with running along the rope cordon, enjoying being touched by the public and entertained himself by bumping against children who happily cheered him on.

27 July 2015

Today was a hot day and the orphans quickly finished their milk bottles at the 11am public showing before running into the mud bath to cool down. Mbegu, Dupotto, Roi and young Rapa were the first ones into the mud. Ngilai enjoyed his mudbath at the shallower end to avoid getting stuck in the deeper part where the others were. However when more of the orphans joined in the mud became quite thick and there wasn’t very much space left. Soon Ngilai was struggling to stand up without falling over and he started to shout as his trunk kept getting covered in mud. The lovely Kamok, Mbegu and Oltaiyoni waded towards him and Mbegu, always fond and caring towards the younger orphans, supported the head and neck of Ngilai with her foreleg. Oltaiyoni pushed Ngilai from the back and together they managed to help Ngilai walk out of the mudbath, to the applause of the audience watching in the public showing! Enkikwe, Sirimon, Olsekki and Rorogoi lead the orphans out back in to the bush for browsing and they passed some warthogs on their way, off to enjoy wallowing in the mudbath themselves. Rorogoi, in a playful mood, charged after them and thrashed the bushes as the warthogs ran towards the mudbath site. She surrendered her game once the warthogs had disappeared, and rejoined the keepers and the other orphans in the bush.

28 July 2015

The day started off very chilly so most of the bigger orphans spent most of the morning dust bathing. The very little orphans such as Ngilai, Ndotto and Lasayen had to stay under thick blankets and a raincoat to prevent the weather from affecting their frail condition. Mwashoti, Suswa, Embu, Arruba and Elkerama all busied themselves with rolling in the soil. Young Kauro and Sokotei, always fond of climbing on the older orphans when they have the opportunity, enjoyed climbing, bumping and sliding on Arruba and Elkerama. Elkerama is still a very gentle young boy much loved by some of the younger orphans like Ngilai and Murit. All games ended quickly close to 9am as the orphans realised it was nearly time for their milk bottle. Greedy ones like Olsekki, Tusuja, Simotua, Sokotei, Embu and Enkikwe were very restless and kept trying to sneak out to the bottle-feeding area near the mudbath. Tusuja and Simotua went a step further and tried to sneak back to the stockades again as well! At the 11am public viewing the weather was still chilly and none of the orphans wanted to go into the mud, preferring to stay dusting themselves with drier soil.

29 July 2015

Due to his continued weakness and having to be assisted throughout the night to stand up for his milk bottle, a blood sample was taken from Tusuja this morning. There was no sign of infection however and all that was found was a low blood sugar level, which we will continue to monitor. Just after 10am a rescue report was received from the Tsavo Conservation Area. There was a lone baby elephant in need of rescue which had been spotted by school children after it had walked out of Tsavo West National Park into community land. The reason it was suspected of being alone was due to poaching as five adult elephants had very recently been killed in that area. The calf arrived at the nursery in the afternoon and its condition was found to be average. It was a bit skinny but not aggressive and actually very calm with all the keepers and took milk very easily, although it had a very upset stomach. The calf was found to be a young boy of about 6-8 months and we named him Losoito after the area he was found. We will continue to monitor his condition.

30 July 2015

Losoito had a peaceful night with sweet little Mbegu checking on him through the wooden bars of her stockade. Throughout the night however he had to be assisted to stand up to take his milk and it is obvious he is not very strong. Towards 9.30 in the morning Losoito was let out of his stockade to meet the other orphans and he was welcomed by Mbegu, Kamok, Oltaiyoni, Mwashoti, Suswa and Roi. They all happily escorted him out of his stable and into the bush for browsing, sandwiched between them so he would not try to walk ahead or walk off. Oltaiyoni and Mbegu kept him between them so they had all of his attention over Mashariki and Suswa. But Mashariki and Suswa left the calf with them as they knew they were good little nannies. Losoito continued to show good strength and was allowed to go to the public viewing at 11am. He seemed to really enjoy it and walked along the rope cordon allowing everyone to touch him. Rapa seemed very jealous of the new boy. He keeps pushing him and didn’t like all the attention he was getting at public visiting, even pushing him out of the way so that it was him who got all of the attention. This bullish behaviour was cut short by the keepers however, and Rapa walked off to the other side of the mudbath area.

31 July 2015

Kauro was in a very bad mood today and when the orphans were out browsing for their morning session he just walked up to poor Tusuja and head butted him, causing him to fall over. Tusuja’s shout caused Kauro to run off as the keepers came over and told him off. He quickly ran over to where Mwashoti and Boromoko were challenging each other in a pushing game and tried to get involved but neither of the other two paid him any attention. He resorted to bashing around in the bushes until he came across Alamaya who was busy browsing and tried to push him over as well, before running off again! Today Kauro was being a serious bully to his friends. We decided it was time he moved to the older orphan group for some ‘correcting’ by the big girls like Arruba, Mashariki and Suswa.