Keepers' Diaries, July 2016
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
There was much activity around the Ithumba stockade this month, as the wider Tsavo region remained dry and the Ex Orphans and wild elephants continued to frequent the stockade and mud bath daily for water. Suguta’s group of young semi dependent orphans comprised of herself, Sities, Mutara, Turkwel, Kainuk and Kanjoro have not been roaming far this month, content to remain close to creature comforts such as water and the lucerne pellets which are savoured by our semi dependent herd during these particularly dry months. On numerous occasions this month the Keepers have awoken to find the area flooded with Ex Orphans and wild elephants, sometimes over 50 in number! Most evenings the independent orphans and wild elephants pass by for a drink, before melting away into the park leaving the dependent orphans to sleep soundly in their stockades. The month of July has been a hot one, and often during the hottest time of the day, the dependent orphans convene under the shade of trees to siesta and relax. Ambient temperature was such that even Kithaka, who usually has an aversion to water, ventured into the mud bath to cool off!
01 July 2016
Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau joined the juniors in the morning and they all settled to eat lucerne together. A while later, Yatta and Mulika’s groups arrived making it difficult for the juniors to enjoy the lucerne peacefully. Led by Shukuru, the orphans started collecting as much lucerne as their trunks could allow them and they left the venue as they headed for browsing.
Out browsing, Vuria had his own game of rolling on the ground, a game which attracted Garzi and Bongo. Garzi was the first one to come in and he engaged Vuria in a pushing game while Vuria was still lying down. A while later Bongo came in and pushed Garzi away, before starting to play with Vuria himself. Enkikwe spentsome time soil dusting as Bomani settled to browse with Garzi. Later, Garzi engaged Laragai in a pushing game but lost the game. At eleven o'clock in the morning the orphans had a brief mud bathing exercise soon after drinking their milk, before returning back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in theKanziku area. It was very hot and the sun burned bright.Barsilinga and Vuria had a misunderstanding about some shade the two were sharing. The misunderstanding led to a physical fight that saw Barsilinga bow out and go in search of another tree with a nice shade.
02 July 2016
It was a quiet morning today and the orphans had their breakfast peacefully; they were all happily and peacefully enjoying the lucerne when Suguta’s group of Ex Orphans comprised of Sities, Mutara, Turkwel, Kainuk and Kanjoro came in. Some wild bulls were just around the corner and came in for some water too. Laragai later tried to join them and share the same water trough with them, without any fear.After a fewminutes,a wild group came in with a young baby, accompanied by her mother; they drank water and left.
After eating lucerne, Bomani was very active and played vigorously, rolling on the ground. Narok was also playing, kneeling down on the ground. Later on,Orwa started scratching on the rock with Bomani in different styles.
Later out in the bush,Barsilinga and Garzi were busy playfighting while Orwa and Vuria concentrated on browsing. The juniors later met the second group of Ex Orphans comprised of Olare, Kitirua,Kibo,Naisula,Kandecha and Murka.They all interacted with Orwa, play fighting with Kitirua.Later on, Lemoyian led the group to mudbath.
At the mud bath we had a group of wild bulls with Half Trunk amongst them. They drank water and then some played in the mudbath with some of our orphans such as Bongo and Vuria.Narok was playing with Lemoyian before they headed back to the bush.
On their way back to the bush, Olsekki started testing his strength with Bomani by play-fighting. After Bomani won he started trying to climb on Olsekki as he pushed him.Olsekki with Enkikwe later started scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air, with some landing on his head and back.Narok and Bomani later copied Olsekki and Enkikwe and started throwing soil in the air and some on their bodies. Narok started rolling on the ground while Vuria and Bomani played. They all walked back later that evening to the safety of the stockades.
Back in the stockade,we had a group of wills bulls who came to drink water and left.No other Ex Orphans came in today despite the cold weather in the area.
03 July 2016
Six wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. The orphans settled for lucerne and shortly later the brave Laragai walked over to join the bulls drink water. At the browsing field, Garzi spent sometime playing with Barsilinga, a game that ended in a draw. The orphans were then joined by Mutara’s group. Orwa, who likes to test his strength against his seniors, got an opportunity to play with Mutara and later with Suguta.
At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by five wild bulls and after sharing the drinking water, Siangiki scratched her ear against a nearby acacia tree while Orwa visited a nearby small hole to soil dust himself, as Lemoyian played with Garzi. Vuria spotted two warthogs coming for a mud bath and decided to deny them their right of mud bathing by chasing them away. After Vuria made sure that the warthogs had disappeared out of sight, he walked towards Orwa who he engaged with in a brief strength testing exercise. Later, the orphans returned back to the browsing field. Olsekki spent some time soil dusting but his soil dusting exercise came into an abrupt end when Bomani passed by and threatened to push him. Olsekki stood his ground and prepared to defend himself but surrendered when Bomani made real his threats. Later in the day, Enkikwe, Olsekki, Bomani, Narok and Teleki settled for a soil dusting exercise while Bongo was busy attempting to climb on Vuria, though without success. Shortly before returning to the stockade for the night, Orwa spent sometime in a pushing gamewith Narok, but Narok quit the game when the going got tough.
04 July 2016
Tomboi was at the stockade compound early in the morning and when the orphans were let out, he joined them for lucerne. This was after he had a brief entwining of trunks with Narok in morning greetings. A while later, Tomboi escorted the juniors to the browsing field and after that he left them.
Whilst out browsing Lemoyian settled to browse with Teleki while Garzi had a pushing game with Barsilinga. Later, Barsilinga led the way to the mud bath where the juniors were joined by Olare and Mutara’s groups. Narok picked on Tumaren for a pushing game while Vuria and Chemi Chemi enjoyed a lengthy strength testing exercise; a game that saw Chemi Chemi emerge as the winner. Orwa was not left behind in terms of the pushing games; he picked on Olare for a game that lasted for a while. Challa, with a wild bull, joined the juniors briefly at mud bath before heading towards Imenti area. Olsekki scratched against a nearby acacia tree soon after he was through with mud bathing and later, Shukuru led the way back to the browsing field.
In the afternoon, the sun was hot and this made the orphans want to converge under a tree to hide from the scorching sun. They resumed browsing later when the temperature dropped. Shukuru and Bongo performed a soil dusting exercise from time to time.
In the evening the stockade compound was flooded with Ex Orphans and thirty wild elephants. When all the elephants had enough water, the entire herd left back into the bush.
05 July 2016
It was a quiet morning when the orphans left the stockade and settled for lucerne. Only two wild elephants were present at the water trough at that time. Soon after they had enough water, the two wild elephants approached the orphans in a slow measured walk, trying to find out what exactly was happening. They mingled with the orphans for a while and retreated the moment they spotted the keepers. Shortly later, Mulika’s group consisting of Mulika, Mwende, Wendi, Wiva, Sidai, Lualeni, Ololoo, Naserian, Loijuk, Makena and Lenana showed up at the stockade compound. Laragai, Orwa and Bomani mobbed at Wiva as each tried to play with the baby. Bomani was lucky to have a light pushing game with Wiva as Narok quit to play with Mwende. Moments before heading for browsing, Orwa engaged Mwende in a pushing game too. Kilaguni and Chaimu came to stockade after Mulika and the orphans had left for browsing. Challa, Rapsu and Zurura, who are slowly withdrawing from Mulika and Yatta’s herd to join the bachelor herds, passed by the stockade in the company of a wild bull.
The sun was really hot but this didn't deter the orphans from carrying out the browsing activities as they looked forward to having a nice mud bath at eleven o'clock. At mud bath time, it was all quiet without any outsider visiting the water hole. The orphans went for drinking water first, soon after having their milk,and then walked down to cool off by getting into the mud. Siangiki and Shukuru led their friends in a soil dusting exercise soon after mud bathing. Only Bongo and Vuria remained in the water as Bongo tried to block Vuria from coming out of the mud. Finally Vuria managed to fight his way out. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in theKanziku area and browsed calmly throughout the remaining part of the day.
06 July 2016
Olare and Chaimu’s groups were at the stockade compound early in the morning. The groups settled in the venue where the juniors usually get their lucerne. As soon as the juniors were let out, Narok entwined her trunk with Tumaren in morning greetings. Later, Bomani engaged Tumaren in a strength testing exercise that he lost easily to Tumaren. Teleki tried to play with Naisula but Naisula's tusks were too long, twice the size of his own and thus it proved difficult for him to handle Naisula. Orwa tackled Chemi Chemi but ended up losing. Teleki walked to tackle Kalama whose tusks nearly equal his own in size, and managed to have a fair game. After Kalama and Teleki had enough of their pushing game, the duo turned to share water from the water trough.
The junior Ex Orphans and the orphans then parted ways soon after arriving out in the bush. Orwa had a lone game of rolling on the ground that soon attracted Vuria’s attention. Vuria came and tried to climb on Orwa but Orwa resisted and stood up. For a while, the duo was involved in a pushing game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by Yatta’s Ex Orphan group that consisted of Yatta, Yetu, Kina, Kenze, Galana, Meibai, Nasalot, Ithumba and a wild boy. Later, four wild bulls checked in and this brought the mud bath to an end as the juniors gave the seniors respect by paving the way for the bulls at the water trough.
In the afternoon, the juniors settled to browse at upper Kalovoto area. Orwa settled to browse with Bomani as Narok fed with Lemoyian. Siangiki, Barsilinga, Laragai and Olsekki spent some time soil dusting. At around four o'clock in the evening, Makireti escorted by her group, Olare’s group and Tomboi, arrived at the stockade; Makireti had an arrow head stuck in the upper left side of her belly. While drinking water, Tomboi tried to pull the arrow out from Makireti’s body but without success. We tried to pull the arrow out with pliers but still we didn't succeed. Makireti was put into the stockade to wait the vet who would perform an operation to get the arrow out.
07 July 2016
Present in the morning at the stockade compound were, Mulika, Mwende, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Ishanga the group-less girl, Kilaguni, Chaimu, Kibo, Mutara’s group and a wild bull. Kilibasi and Kasigau escorted by the other junior Ex Orphans had come to console Makireti who had spent the night in the stockade following the encounter with poachers who had hit her with an arrow. Suguta, who had fallen to the same fate in June last year, raised her trunk in the air to find out how Makireti was feeling. Suguta had two wounds but no arrows were present when she was brought back for treatment by Loijuk and Matiba on the 5th June 2015.
When the juniors were let out, Makireti wasn't allowed to leave as she had to wait for the vet to come and remove the arrow. Makireti wasn't happy about being prevented from leaving the stockade and protested bitterly by making alot of noise as she moved up and down in the stockade. Her friends, Kasigau and Kilabasi were brought in to join her in her stockade and she felt much more at ease then.
Enkikwe spent some time scratching on a nearby rock as Garzi stretched his trunk towards Rapsu, talking about what only the two of them could explain. Bomani engaged Olsekki in a strength testing exercise that didn't last for long as Olsekki surrendered. As the rest left for browsing, Kithaka remained behind with a wild bull but later followed his friends. In the browsing field, Bomani and Teleki engaged one another in a pushing game while Kibo played with Chaimu.
At around nine o'clock in the morning, the vet arrived to operate on Makireti and remove the arrow. Kibo, Kasigau and Kilabasi stood with Makireti as she went through the treatment. The three watched very closely with Kibo coming to touch Makireti from time to time as she lay unconscious on the ground. Finally the treatment was over and Kasigau and Kilabasi took the group leader for a walk. At mud bath time, it was all quiet, only ‘Limpy’ the elephant that was treated two months ago for a snare wound showed up at mud bath. Garzi, Shukuru and Bongo spent sometime soil dusting. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area.
08 July 2016
Kilaguni, Chaimu, Kilabasi, Kibo, Kasigau, Ishanga, Mutara, Kanjoro, Turkwel, Kainuk, Sities, Suguta and Makireti were all sleeping outside the stockade after arriving in the dead of the night. Three bulls kept watch over them just outside at the stockade water trough as they waited for water. The junior Ex Orphans decided to stick together with Makireti in a show of solidarity and comfort, ensuring Makireti had a quick recovery. Makireti's wound was dry and the clay that had been applied the previous day was still intact meaning that no pus had yet formed in the wound. Narok and Shukuru headed straight to the store of lucerne and stood outside waiting for the lucerne to come out. The junior Ex Orphans joined the orphans for lucerne, whilst Orwa and Kilaguni engaged in a light pushing that saw Orwa surrender moments later.
An hour later, the herd left for browsing. Makireti, Chaimu and Mutara’s groups parted ways with the dependent orphans shortly before mud bath time. The junior Ex Orphans headed back to stockade for water while the orphans headed to the mud wallow where they joined Half Trunk with three other wild elephants. The weather was chilly and the orphans didn't bother getting into the mud but relaxed close to the water trough. Lemoyian engaged Narok in a light pushing game as Siangiki scratched her itching foot on a tree stump. Enkikwe played with Bongo as Bomani played with Teleki. On the way back to browsing, Orwa climbed on Narok and later they settled to feed together. Garzi decided to feed with Bomani while Kithaka settled to browse with Teleki.
In the afternoon, Yatta and Mulika’s groups passed by the stockade compound as they headed towards Kalovoto. In the evening, Vuria spent sometime time in a soil dusting exercise, an exercise that also attracted Laragai who joined him. Shukuru mostly concentrated on peeling bark of trees and later, Lemoyian led the first group back to the stockade.
09 July 2016
It was a quiet morning with only the orphan’s present and feeding on the lucerne. Kithaka had an itchy buttock and so decided to scratch it against the nearby rocks. Shukuru then led the way out to browse. Orwa came across a fallen dry tree that he used to scratch his itchy belly on. Lemoyian and Garzi soil dusted together and thereafter had a strength testing exercise, before resuming browsing. Later, Vuria came to browse close to Garzi and the two ended up engaging each other in a pushing game that saw Garzi surrender after the going got tough. After Garzi quit the game, Vuria moved over to Orwa and the two had a pushing game which ended in a draw. Lemoyian also engaged Bomani in a pushing game while standing on slightly higher ground which put him at a better advantage of pushing Bomani.
Olare’s group visited the stockade water trough briefly and left to join the orphans soon after having enough water. Kalama engaged Teleki in a pushing game and later played with Narok. An hour later, Olare and her group parted ways with the orphans.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by five wild bulls that shared water with them. Olsekki spent some time in soil dusting as his friends walked down for a mud wallowing exercise. Bongo remained with the bulls for sometime before joining his friends in mud bathing. In the afternoon, Vuria had a pushing game with Bongo and when it ended, Vuria walked to a nearby tree where he tried to enhance his pushing skills by pushing the tree. Orwa and Enkikwe took a break from feeding and spent some time in a soil dusting exercise. Olsekki, who has learned the art of stripping bark from trees now, was busy attending to a tree and helping himself to the tasty bark. Later, Olsekki engaged Bomani in a pushing game that lasted for quite a while. In the evening, four wild bulls reported for water at the stockade water trough.
10 July 2016
Makireti and Mutara’s groups were at the stockade compound early in the morning. When the orphans were let out, Kasigau engaged Narok in a pushing game. Makireti, who was treated two days ago after being shot by an arrow, was doing fine. The groups joined the orphans for lucerne and shortly later headed to drink water. At the water trough, Narok briefly engaged Orwa in a pushing game that was interrupted by Kilabasi when she pushed both of them away. In the browsing field, Garzi started his morning activities by engaging Vuria in a pushing game. The orphans settled close by for browsing as they awaited the new babies from Nairobi.
At ten thirty in the morning, the lorry carrying Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei arrived. The three new babies were welcomed by the Keepers with bottles of milk that they really enjoyed drinking. A while later, Shukuru’s group was brought to meet the new babies. Laragai entwined her trunk with Sokotei in greeting while Shukuru had a brief conversation with Boromoko. Orwa was a bit of a bully as he tried to climb on the new babies but stopped when he was shouted at by the Keepers.
On the way to the browsing field, Boromoko was escorted by Laragai and Teleki as Bongo and Lemoyian lagged behind as they charged at warthogs that had come for water at the stockade. At the browsing field, Shukuru, Laragai, Bongo and Enkikwe spent some time in soil dusting exercise. Shukuru had an itchy foot and used a nearby rock to scratch it. Sirimon settled to feed with Garzi while Boromoko settled to browse with Barsilinga. Sirimon and Boromoko felt totally at home with the other orphans but Sokotei felt slightly uneasy. Narok enjoyed a lone game of rolling on the ground, a game that also attracted Orwa. The Ex Orphans in the company of fifteen wild elephants visited the stockade for water and left immediately after drinking enough water. Bongo and Vuria wound up the day’s activities by engaging in a pushing game. In the evening, Mutara and Makireti’s groups were at the stockade compound to check on the new arrivals. Suguta walked close to fence and with her trunk in the air, greeted the babies, looking forward to meeting them the next day.
11 July 2016
The Ex Orphans were at the stockade compound early before the juniors were let out. When they were let out, Nasalot, Sidai, Lenana and Chyulu welcomed them out. Lenana walked with Boromoko to the water trough while Sidai walked with Sirimon. Wiva got into trouble with Orwa when she passed behind him. Orwa, who had been angered by Wendi after Wendi took lucerne from him, threw a back kick that landed on Wiva. Wiva complained and walked away to stand with her mum. Shortly later Wiva was escorted by Bomani to meet Sirimon and Boromoko. After sniffing one another for some time, Wiva left to join her nannies. Sokotei met with Chaimu and they entwined their trunks before parting ways. Vuria and Lemoyian lagged behind trying to pick up leftover lucerne as their friends left for browsing.
At the browsing field, Garzi opened up his day’s activities by engaging Barsilinga in a pushing game. Garzi emerged as the winner and walked to Vuria to gauge his strength by initiating a pushing game. This time round Garzi wasn't so lucky and he lost the game to Vuria. Lemoyian played with Bongo for Bongo this game was a complete walkover and he won the game easily. Sirimon and Sokotei shared food for sometime before Sirimon left to join Vuria. On their way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans and twenty wild elephants. Sirimon, Boromoko and Sokotei had their first mud bath with the Ex Orphans and wild elephants. Kitirua took control of Sirimon and Boromoko briefly after mud bath as Ololoo engaged Orwa in a pushing game. Vuria tried tackling Meibai but Meibai was too strong for him and so he surrendered and left to play with Murka, a game that he too lost to Murka. Chemi Chemi engaged Teleki in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw as Orwa tried to play Kitirua. In the afternoon Bomani played with Garzi and thereafter resumed to browse; in the evening Narok led the new babies back to the stockade.
12 July 2016
Moments after the juniors settled for lucerne in the morning, the Ex Orphans emerged from the south west of the stockade. The orphans started picking whatever they can so as to avoid conflict with their seniors. Teleki engaged Ololoo in a pushing game as Sokotei had a brief strength testing exercise with Sirimon. Lemoyian went into Shukuru's stockade and picked a branch that he chewed as he walked out to the browsing field.
Ishanga, who keeps on hopping from one group to another, followed the juniors to the browsing field leaving her fellow Ex Orphans at the stockade compound. The orphans concentrated on browsing throughout the morning and were joined by Mutara, Makireti and Chaimu’s groups on their way to the mud bath. Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon were the first ones to head for their milk. After getting their milk, the three new babies headed straight for wallowing. As the keepers were busy feeding the other orphans, Sokotei returned and went to the crates carrying the milk where he grabbed a bottle of milk and moved fast in the other direction to avoid being caught. By the time he was spotted, Sokotei had drunk half of the milk. The keepers then confiscated the half bottle from him and Sokotei walked happily back to the mud bath, with a story to tell his friends about how he had outwitted the Keepers. Vuria engaged Kilabasi in a pushing game which he lost, while Narok played with Kanjoro. Boromoko headed for soil dusting where he was joined by the rest of the orphans. Later Vuria played with Kasigau, a game that he lost, and Orwa stepped in to try his luck but ended up losing to Kasigau too.
In the afternoon, the entire group settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Enkikwe settled to browse with Turkwel and in the evening, Shukuru, Mutara, Barsilinga, Lemoyian, Boromoko and Enkikwe settled for soil dusting. Bomani took advantage of Narok lying down and decided to climb on her back to play.
13 July 2016
It was a chilly morning with a clear sky as the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from their stockades. Bomani met with Olsekki and threatened to push him if he didn't get out of his way. Olsekki stood his ground and what followed was brief strength testing exercise that saw Olsekki bow out of the game. The orphans then quietly settled for lucerne and they had plenty, for no other outsiders visited them in the morning.
After having enough of the lucerne, Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. At the browsing field, Shukuru and Boromoko took some time off from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. Teleki had a brief conversation with Boromoko and Sokotei while Orwa and Garzi entwined their trunks for sometime before resuming browsing. When it was bottle feeding time Olsekki was very cunning and went around to join the second group again, pretending he hadn't had any milk yet. But the keepers were vigilant and saw all what Olsekki was doing. Upon realizing that his tricks wouldn't work and no one was ready to offer him more milk, Olsekki went to the crate of milk but before he could bend to help himself, the keepers came and told him off… so he had no option other than to walk away defeated!
Mutara, Kilabasi and Chaimu’s groups joined the orphans at mud bath. Noticeable amongst them was the hopper ‘Ishanga’ who has stuck with Chaimu’s group for the last two days. A while later, a warthog running at a very high speed passed close to the herd. This scared the herd and with their ears raised they ran towards the keepers. The herd then converged in one place and turned to face the direction the warthog had come from with apprehension all over their faces. After awhile the tense moment died away though and the orphan herd returned back to browsing. They settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The rest of the day was quiet as the orphans browsed calmly throughout.
14 July 2016
A wild herd consisting of a mother and her two calves, Taita, Tomboi, Zurura, Challa and two bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans came out this morning. Laragai, who feels agitated whenever she sees an outsider of her size or age, headed straight to one of the wild calves and started pushing it. The wild calf turned to defend itself but Laragai proved to be very strong in comparison. The wild calf surrendered and went to stay close to its mother. The orphans later left for browsing soon after feeding on lucerne. The sky was clear and this indicated a hot day ahead. The orphans settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area without any major event.
Shortly before mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Lualeni. The orphans felt happy and all surrounded Lualeni and they rumbled in low tones. Lualeni escorted the juniors to the mud bath where they met with Yatta and Mulika’s groups in the company of twenty wild bills. Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon head straight for wallowing soon after drinking their milk. They were joined by Zurura, Challa and a wild bull. Kithaka and Teleki stood some distance away as they suckled their trunks soon after drinking their milk. Barsilinga went to relax under a tree after having enough of his mud bath while Vuria attempted to climb on Orwa at soil dusting time. Shortly later, Olsekki led the way back to the browsing field. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area.
In the evening the bulls Kenze, Ololoo, Rapsu and Meibai came to the stockade in the company of another five wild bulls. It appears that the bull Ex Orphans are slowly withdrawing from their female friends and socializing more wild bulls, to learn how to be grown-up boys.
15 July 2016
One wild bull was relaxing by the stockade water trough when the orphans left their stockades in the morning. Boromoko knelt down to cut a shrub using his mouth as his friends scrambled for lucerne. After some time, Sokotei walked up to the wild bull with his trunk in the air, but he soon turned and joined the orphans again. Then Sirimon accompanied him and they walked by the same bull again. They suddenly started running and this confused the wild bull about what was happening. The wild elephant couldn't understand why the two little fellows were running and so charged in the direction the two babies were running as well; but he couldn’t see anything which confused him even more! Because he wasn’t sure though, he decided to run with the two juniors anyway… it looked as if it were the babies chasing the big bull! The keepers panicked when they saw Sirimon and Sokotei disappearing with the wild bull and so hurriedly followed them to bring them back. Boromoko and Narok, who shares a stockade with them, did not want to be left behind and followed the keepers to help bring their friends back. The rest of the orphans settled for an early soil dusting exercise, as they waited for their friends which had run off. Finally the drama came to an end when the keepers with the help of Narok and Boromoko managed to catch up with the two and brought them back to rejoin their orphan herd.
Olare’s group checked in when the orphans were preparing to leave for browsing. Narok enjoyed a brief strength testing exercise with Orwa and later Orwa engaged Murka in a pushing game. Narok, who was close by, decided to help Murka in driving Orwa away. Orwa couldn't withstand strength from the two girls and so decided to quit the game. The two girls had nothing to do after Orwa walked off and so to kill their boredom they decided to turn on each other, a game that went on for quite some time before Narok surrendered. Olare’s group escorted the juniors to the browsing field and two hours later, without the keeper’s knowledge, they made away with Barsilinga, Kithaka, Boromoko, Sokotei, Sirimon, Lemoyian and Narok. When the keepers realized that Olare’s group had left with some of the orphans, they tracked them down up to the stockade where they found them drinking water. At mud bath time, the juniors were joined by ten wild bulls. The orphans that had surrounded the water trough to drink water stopped the moment they saw the wild bulls approaching. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area and browsed calmly throughout the rest of the day.
16 July 2016
Shortly after the orphans settled for lucerne in the morning, the Ex Orphans emerged from the eastern side of the stockade and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Narok lay down in an effort to attract Wiva to play. It worked and Wiva saw Narok lying down and then came over. The orphans parted ways with the Ex Orphans and headed east while the Ex Orphans headed west. Garzi settled to browse with Bomani while Boromoko settled to feed with Sirimon. At mud bath time the orphans took their milk then proceeded for water. After that they walked down to bathe in the mud. Orwa remained at the water trough where he was joined by Half Trunk. After sharing water with Half Trunk, Orwa left when he saw four wild bulls coming to join him. Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon gathered their courage and walked up to the water trough to check out the wild bulls. Led by Boromoko, who appears to be braver than Sokotei and Sirimon, the trio walked and stood close to the bulls. Boromoko tried to squeeze in and he managed to get some water. Boromoko quit drinking when one of the bulls pushed his friends, as he didn't want to be crushed by the big bull. A while later, Boromoko led the way back to the browsing field. In the evening, Laragai had a lone game of rolling on the ground. Tomboi visited the stockade in the company of two wild bulls.
17 July 2016
It was a quiet morning for the orphans as they settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. We only two hyenas spotted some distance away heading. The orphans didn't get wind of them and they fed undisturbed until Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei started heading east, making the rest of group trail behind them. Lemoyian and Bongo passed by the water trough where they drank enough water to see them through the entire morning. Olsekki briefly played Bomani as Boromoko scratched his itchy ear against a tree. A while later, Bomani tried to enhance his pushing skills by pushing down a tree, whilst Barsilinga had a lone game of rolling on the ground. At mud bath time, the sun was really hot making all the orphans want to participate in wallowing. Five bulls reported for water as the orphans prepared to exit from the mud bath. Teleki engaged Vuria in pushing game that left Vuria in a charging mood. Vuria charged at trees and shrubs as he displayed his attacking skills to his friends, and those that dare might challenge him! In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Though the sun was still hot, the orphans continued their browsing as usual.
18 July 2016
Six wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans left their stockades and settled to eat lucerne. Orwa spend some time scratching on the nearby rocks. The feeding on lucerne came to an abrupt end when the Ex Orphans arrived and joined the juniors. The orphans were forced to leave so as to avoid conflict with their seniors. Narok entwined her trunk with Kina in morning greetings as Shukuru led her group to the browsing field. Vuria engaged Garzi in a pushing game that didn't last for long.
Later in the day, Vuria and Bongo had a misunderstanding when Bongo tried to overtake Vuria. The misunderstanding resulted in strength testing game that ended when Shukuru intervened and pushed the boys away. Bomani played with Orwa and later turned on with Garzi.
On the way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau and Kilaguni. Kilaguni appears to have dissolved his group from Chaimu since Chaimu was spotted in Yatta’s group. Hopefully the separation is only for some time. Makireti's arrow wound is still in the process of healing but without any problems. After mud bath, Teleki and Vuria kept themselves busy by engaging each other in a pushing game. As the orphans prepared to return back to the browsing field, the Ex Orphans reported and Kina had a brief meeting with the juniors before watching them leave. Bomani challenged Chyulu while Vuria challenged Makireti; the two juniors lost their games to their seniors. Teleki tried his hand with Ishanga but lost the game miserably to her. He then moved off and had some pushing lessons from Kenze. Orwa engaged Kasigau in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Orwa then proceeded to play with Orok but lost the game to the very strong Orok. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. In the evening, twenty five wild elephants reported at the stockade to drink water and they left shortly after dark when they had enough water.
19 July 2016
The sky was clear as the orphans left their stockades this morning. Narok started her day activities by rolling on the ground as she waited for the lucerne to come out. The lucerne was provided and the orphans fed calmly. Barsilinga kept dusting a place on the side of his belly where he was hurt by the Ex Orphans a week ago in the scramble for lucerne. We are still using hydrogen peroxide to clean the small wound every day. It was a quiet morning as the orphans settled to browse calmly in the bush without any major events.
At mud bath time, ten wild bulls were present and they mostly concentrated on drinking water. Only one of the bulls joined Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon in mud bathing. Shortly later, Makireti, Kasigau, Kilaguni and Kilabasi joined the juniors. Kasigau engaged Orwa in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Barsilinga and Garzi spent some time in a light strength testing exercise. Vuria also tried his hand in playing with Kasigau but he ended up losing the game. The orphans participated in a lengthy soil dusting exercise before being led away by Makireti. In the evening Mutara and her group showed up at the stockade to drink water. Shortly later, fifteen wild elephants joined Mutara and her group to drink and they drank leisurely at their own pace, leaving back to the bush once they were done.
20 July 2016
The stockade compound was flooded by sixty elephants, Ex Orphans, our junior orphans and wild elephants. It was very difficult for the juniors to eat their lucerne peacefully since the Ex Orphans were too rough with them. Bomani tried to play with Makena but she proved to be too rough with him so he quit the game. In an effort to minimize conflict with the seniors just over lucerne, Shukuru led her group to the browsing field. Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon browsed together while Siangiki, Enkikwe and Olsekki formed their own small group to feed together.
At eleven o'clock in the morning, Boromoko led the first group to the mud bath. Present at mud bath were the Ex Orphans and ten wild bulls. Zurura and Kenze joined Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon in mud bathing. Shortly later, the orphans settled to dust with soil. As the soil dusting exercise was in progress, Vuria the warthog chaser saw warthogs approaching from a distance. He stopped soil dusting and went after the warthogs at a very high speed. The warthogs didn’t wait but turned with their tails in the air and disappeared as fast as their legs could carry them. Vuria was left charging at the bushes as the warthogs disappeared without a trace. Kilaguni engaged Orwa in a pushing game that didn't last long as Orwa withdrew to go and play with Kilabasi instead. In the afternoon, Bomani browsed close to Sokotei as Bongo, Enkikwe, Barsilinga, Siangiki, Laragai and Boromoko went back to soil dusting once more.
21 July 2016
The sky was clear in the morning, an indication of a hot day a head. The orphans settled peacefully for their lucerne without any disturbance from any others. After finishing their lucerne, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. At ten o'clock in the morning, the temperature sky-rocketed making Olsekki and Orwa want to seek shelter under a tree. Bomani and Garzi had a brief conversation before heading for mud bath. At mud bath time, ten wild bulls were present. One of the bulls joined the orphans in mud bathing. After mud bathing, the orphans headed to dust with soil with the exception of Bongo and Barsilinga who walked up to join the bulls to drink water. Barsilinga was hesitant to squeeze in among the wild elephants but Bongo walked straight and enjoyed drinking water with the seniors. The afternoon was quiet and hot. In the evening the orphans passed by the mud bath for another evening cool off.
22 July 2016
The Ex Orphans and wild elephants, totaling around sixty in number, flooded the stockade compound to drink water this morning. The orphans were let out at six o'clock and to get their lucerne proved to be very difficult as the Ex Orphans wanted to grab everything. As a show of respect, the orphans decided to leave for browsing to avoid trouble with their seniors. Orwa engaged a young wild female in a pushing game but lost to the wild girl. Bomani and Narok lagged behind as they tried to play with Wiva while Teleki engaged Meibai in a pushing game. Mutara and her group reported for water shortly after Mulika and Yatta’s groups had left. It was a hot day but the temperature didn't deter the orphans from carrying on with their browsing business.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Ololoo, Rapsu and Taita. Tomboi showed up later. Mulika and Yatta’s groups in the company of ten wild bulls reported when the juniors were just finishing their mud bath activities. Orwa briefly played with Vuria before the two joined up with Bongo and Garzi to walk towards the wild elephants that were drinking water. The bulls threatened to push the four boys but the boys didn’t want to leave without tasting the water. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area.
In the evening, Olare’s group which normally consists of ten members, reported at the stockade with eleven members. Chaimu, who appears to have dissolved her group, was the newest member in Olare’s group. Shortly later Buchuma and Madiba, who were lastly seen in April, reported at the stockade compound and joined Olare’s group to drink water; the duo were so thirsty that they spent a lot of time drinking water. After having enough water, the duo left back to the bush.
23 July 2016
It was a quiet morning as the orphans strolled out from their stockades and settled for lucerne. After peacefully feeding on lucerne, Kithaka led the juniors to the water trough where they drank enough water to last them the entire morning. The sky was clear and this was an indication of a hot day ahead. At one point, the sun became so unbearable the orphans converged under a tree with good shade. At mud bath time all the orphans participated in wallowing soon after drinking their milk. Only four bulls showed up for water at mud bath and Bongo was brave enough to join them to drink water. The bulls walked down to the mud bath where again they filled up their stomachs with water. The orphans that were still wallowing decided to stop, to give way to the wild bulls, their seniors. The orphans briefly settled for soil dusting before heading to the Kanziku area where they settled to browse. Orwa engaged Vuria in a pushing game and later tackled Kithaka. Later in the day, Bongo and Kithaka took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise. In the evening, ten wild bulls reported for water.
24 July 2016
The orphans were joined by Mulika, Yatta and Makireti’s groups in the morning. Makireti’s group had increased by one, making it a four member group; Kilaguni was the new member. Kilaguni used to share a group with Chaimu who was seen in Olare’s group yesterday; it remains unclear if the group has been permanently dissolved or they will reunite in the future. Wiva was surrounded by Narok and Bomani as they each tried to spend some quality time with her. Shortly later, the groups parted ways with orphans who headed to browse in the lower Kalovoto area, while the Ex Orphans headed west of the stockade.
It was quiet in the browsing field given that the sun was very hot. The orphans turned up for their milk and mud bath at around eleven o'clock in the morning. Boromoko was the first one to get into the mud, later followed by Sirimon and Sokotei. Orwa briefly engaged Bongo in a pushing game while Vuria tried to put on a show whilst mud bathing. Vuria rolled in the mud and tried to raise his fore feet in the air while seated in the mud. When he at last tried to get out of the mud, Orwa was at his exit point and tried to block him from coming out, but Vuria managed to fight his way out. Garzi rolled on dry soil as Bomani came forward to engage him in pushing game.
Shortly after the orphans returned back to the browsing field, the Ex Orphans and wild elephants, totaling about seventy in number, reported for mud bath. In the evening, Makireti’s group consisting of Makireti, Kasigau, Kilabasi and their new recruit Kilaguni reported for water at the stockade. Makireti's arrow wound is healing nicely after she was operated on the 7th of this month to remove an arrow head.
25 July 2016
It was a quiet morning today with the orphans walking out of their respective stables to meet with the Ex Orphans Olare, Kibo, Kandecha, Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Kitirua, Naisula, Tumaren, Murka and Zurura. They drank water and interacted together around where they were eating Lucerne. Olare was play fighting with Orwa and after they had finished their game, they all walked to the Bush to browse. The new babies Sokotei, Boromoko and Sirimon were running around here and there. These three are always together in the bush. Orwa then met a young wild bull within a wild herd and started playing with him for some time, before he headed to the mudbath.
At mudbath they found Olare’s group of Ex Orphans already there and having long baths in the water. They started interacting and playing together; Kandecha greeted the new babies and played with them, welcoming them officially as the new male teenagers of Ithumba. Two wild bulls arrived to drink water and left shortly after. Chemi Chemi started playing with Vuria while Olare play fought with Orwa. Chemi Chemi was being funny by pulling some funny poses while play fighting with Vuria, and later the group headed to the bush for browsing. They came back home in the evening happily running for the milk one by one. After they were in their stockades, Wendi's group arrived in the late evening, with Wiva and Yatta with her baby Yetu too. There were almost twenty Ex Orphans and three wild bulls.
26 July 2016
We had about 58 Ex Orphans and wild elephants in the stockade compound this morning. Wendi with Wiva, Yatta with Yetu, and Mulika with Mwende were amongst the group as well. Mulika was seen hiding and carrying Lucerne with her tusks while eating another bunch of lucerne. Wendi was eating Lucerne while Wiva was circling below. Wiva was very playful and active and our orphan Narok escorted her everywhere she went. Vuria started play fighting with Orwa and later the group walked to the bush for browsing. Orwa was also playing with a stick which he rolled along with his trunk. Shukuru was stretching to get chunks of soil for a dust bath. Lemoyian later led the group to mudbath.
At the mudbath, Boromoko came running and took a bottle of milk by himself and started drinking it on his own! We had a group of wild bulls including Half Trunk playing in the mudbath with Kilaguni, Chaimu, Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau and Ishanga also amongst them. Kithaka was scratching on a tree next to the wild bulls without fear. The orphans and Kilaguni’s group played in the mudbath and later had their dust bath. Bongo and Vuria were the most playful and active ones.
Back in the bush, the orphans browsed happily despite the hot and dry weather. Later Lemoyian led the group back home in the evening.
27 July 2016
The orphans came out of their stockades this morning and met with Mutara’s group of Ex Orphans where they were eating lucerne. Then in came a family of four wild bulls with a baby who drank some water and left. The orphans finished up the lucerne and walked to the bush to browse. It was a hot day already and the new babies from the nursery Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei found some water and started splashing their backs with it using their trunks. Later Lemoyian led the group to mudbath.
Around the mud bath they all played peacefully. Bongo made sure that he was muddy all over his body. Lemoyian was scratching on the trunk of a tree while Vuria played in the mud. A group of wild elephants arrived who only drank water and left back to the bush. Narok, Sirimon, Sokotei, Boromoko and Garzi started playing and having a dust bath before they headed back to the bush. Kithaka, the naughty boy, played in the mudbath today for a short while, despite his fear of water.
The orphans all browse quietly for the rest of the hot and dry day. Barsilinga later led the group back home in the evening.
In the stockades we had a wild group with Mutara herd comprised of Suguta, Turkwel, Kainuk, Sities and Kanjoro who drunk water and left. Today we had also Madiba and Buchuma who had been away for such a long time, but they turned up today for water. Wendi's group also came in with Wiva still in a very playful and active mood; she was knocking Suguta as they played. Kanjoro also played with her in the last few hours before they all left.
28 July 2016
It was a lovely morning and Wendi's family visited the stockade early in the morning with some wild bulls amongst them; Mulika and Yatta with their babies were present too. It was very difficult for the orphans to eat their delicious morning lucerne with so many Ex Orphans! The Ex Orphans were all interacting with the younger ones and some, like Orwa and Lenana, were play fighting too. Bomani, still a dependant orphan, started acting as a security guard to Wiva. The orphans all walked away later when another group of wild bulls walked in for water.
A group of young Ex Orphans accompanied the orphans to the bush; Ishanga started playing with Bongo and Bomani started climbing on Orwa. They were all very busy in the bush and later Barsilinga led the group to the mudbath. Here the three new arrivals Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon played in the waterhole vigorously and for a long time. Wendi's group also walked in and little Wiva confidently walked into the mudhole as well and started playing. She later came out after some time. Yatta and the other Ex Orphans started having a dust bath with Orwa rolling and painting himself in the red soil; he later started playing with Chyulu. Bongo went back to the mudbath for a fresh shower again. Narok came and started calling Bongo to follow their friends back to the bush. Ithumba also walked into mudbath and started playing in the water. Later the Ex Orphans walked away while the orphans walked back to the bush; they were all happy and active. After feeding, Bomani started trying to climb on Lemoyian and later they all walked back home in the evening.
29 July 2016
As the orphans came out of their stockades this morning they met with Kilaguni, Zurura, Challa, Buchuma, Tomboi, Lualeni and Ololoo the other Ex Orphans. There was also a group of wild bulls who came to drink water and left soon after.
In the bush, Orwa and Vuria as usual started their daily morning play fight. Kilaguni later followed them and was playing with Orwa. Bomani was trying to climb on Olsekki and Vuria looked like he was doing early morning press-ups on the ground! The rest of the group were very busy browsing and not messing around. Sirimon led the group back to the mudbath for their milk.
At the mud bath Barsilinga was busy sharpening his tusks on a tree as he clear off some insects from his trunk as well. Lemoyian also came to scratch on the same tree. However then the two started play fighting. Bongo, Vuria, Narok and Kithaka walked to the mudbath and started playing in the water. We were surprised to see Kithaka there too! Boromoko and Narok also followed them. Vuria and Bongo later came out pushing each other which turned into a serious fight, but after a few minutes they were stopped by a keeper. Narok,Vuria and Orwa started having a dust bath. Narok was rolling in the dust while Vuria and Orwa were scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air. Later all the orphans walked back to the bush and the whole group were very busy browsing for the rest of the day despite the hot weather. Lemoyian led the dependent herd back in the evening.
In the stockades today we had 10 wild bulls who arrived very thirsty. They drank a lot of water and left back into the park.
30 July 2016
The orphans settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. Madiba and a wild friend, who were drinking water at the stockade water trough, joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Shortly later, Mutara and her group in the company of wild elephants checked in at the stockade compound. It was time for the orphans to leave for browsing and Orwa didn’t want to leave without bidding farewell to Madiba. Orwa walked towards him and they entwined their trunks for some time.
Out in the browsing field, Olsekki had a brief soil dusting exercise before settling to browse. As the day progressed, the sun got hotter. Bongo engaged Vuria in a pushing game but Vuria retreated into the shade and made sure that he played Bongo only whilst he was covered and Bongo was roasting in the sun. Bongo later realised Vuria’s trick and decided to end the game by withdrawing completely. Barsilinga led the way to the mud bath. It was a quiet mud bath with no outsider visiting apart from the other Ex Orphans. Due to the prevailing high temperatures, all the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. In the afternoon, the dependent orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Teleki, Bongo, Bomani, Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei decided to feed under the trees to escape the scorching sun.
31 July 2016
It was a quiet morning with a clear sky. The orphans as usual settled for lucerne. Bomani and Orwa started their day activities by scratching on a nearby rock. After feeding on lucerne, the juniors passed by the water trough and armed themselves with enough water to take them through the entire hot morning. At the browsing field Bomani and Garzi had a brief strength testing exercise that saw Bomani emerge as the winner. Teleki played with Bongo while Vuria played with Orwa. Vuria, who is slightly shorter than Orwa, devised a method of stepping on a rock that would increase his size by some inches, so as to tackle Orwa properly.
At mud bath time, twenty four wild bulls arrived shortly before the orphans and settled for water. When the orphans finally arrived, they headed straight for the mud bath soon after drinking their milk. Three wild bulls then joined them in mud bathing. When the orphans had enough of wallowing, Barsilinga led the way to the dusting soil. Orwa took advantage of Narok who was rolling on the ground and used her to scratch his belly. Lualeni and Ololoo, in the company of Olare’s group, joined the orphans and Ololoo spend some time wrestling with Orwa. Orwa couldn't take much from Ololoo and so he surrendered after a short while. Lualeni escorted the juniors back to the browsing field and a while later she left. In the evening, twenty two wild bulls reported for water at the stockade water trough. The bachelor herd left shortly before dark after drinking enough water.