Keepers' Diaries, July 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
It is starting to dry out in the area surrounding Ithumba but thankfully they received more rain than other parts of Tsavo during the rainy season. This means the area will take a while to become very dry and as there is still water in the water hole which the DSWT keeps topped up, more and more wild elephants and Ex Orphans have been returning to the stockade area where a permanent source of water can be found. Sometimes this leads to a bit of jostling for the lucerne and as the junior dependents dislike all the pushing; they often end up leaving early for the bush to begin their day of browsing. Other times, the likes of Kamok and Laragai will pick up their share of lucerne and move to a quiet corner to enjoy it in peace.
01 July 2017
It was a quiet morning as the orphans strolled out from their stockades. Led by Laragai, the orphans headed east of the stockade and settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area. At around ten o’clock in the morning the orphans were joined by Orwa, Narok, Vuria and Bomani. Garzi and Vuria greeted each other by entwining trunks whilst Bomani fed close to Barsilinga. On the way to the mud bath the orphans were escorted by Ex Orphan Buchuma. Buchuma headed straight to the wallow while the babies had their milk. After finishing their bottles Tusuja and Siangiki joined Buchuma to wallow in the mud. Sokotei and Enkikwe kept themselves busy in a strength testing exercise which concluded in a draw. In the afternoon the orphans settled down and browsed in the Kanziku area, Oltaiyoni and Naseku took a break from feeding, relaxing under a tree. In the evening, the first group was led back by Naseku and the second group by Ukame.
02 July 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade in the morning, the orphans were joined by Orwa, Narok, Bomani, Vuria and those in Mutara’s group. Barsilinga started the days activities by engaging Orwa in a pushing game.. At the browsing field Narok fed with Roi while Boromoko fed with Enkikwe. Barsilinga took a break from feeding and started to participate in soil dusting while Enkikwe and Sirimon were pushing each other back and forth. Naseku and Galla went to a nearby tree to have a good scratch. At the mud bath the orphans were joined by Half Trunk who was in the company of four other wild elephants. Later on Mutara and her group arrived. Barsilinga and Mutara engaged in a pushing game whilst Garzi tested his strength against Kanjoro. Later in the afternoon the orphans settled down to browse in the Kanziku area again. In the evening the Ex Orphans and wild elephants, up to eighty in number, came to the stockade water troughs to drink together before returning to the park.
03 July 2017
After having their milk, the orphans were let out into the cool and cloudy morning. Lemoyian kept trying to climb on Siangiki’s back which she was most displeased with and Tusuja and Boromoko had some fun pushing each other back and forth. Their game attracted Sirimon and Enkikwe to have a go themselves, testing each other’s strength. Kamok spent some of her time scratching her belly on the nearby rocks.
On the way to the browsing fields the orphans were joined by Makena. Barsilinga, who is a bit cheeky and enjoys challenging his seniors, proceeded to push Makena to provoke a game. The game between them didn’t last long but prompted Garzi to have a go pushing Makena; it was safe to say Makena was the victor in this round. At the mud bath, the orphans were joined by some Ex Orphans in Yatta and Galana’s group along with some wild bull elephants. Gawa spent some time interacting with the orphans before being taken away by her nanny, Murka. The orphans took part in some soil dusting before heading back to the browsing field.
In the afternoon Lemoyian tried jumping on the back of Tusuja, Tusuja was not happy about this and turned around quickly to defend himself. The rest of the day was spent quietly browsing.
04 July 2017
Narok and Mutara’s groups spent the night just outside the stockade and joined the juniors in the morning. Wanjala and Narok greeted each other by entwining trunks before settling for some lucerne. It was a quiet morning and all the elephants were sharing the lucerne peacefully. After they had finished eating, the groups parted ways. Mutara and Narok’s group headed east while the orphans proceeded to feed in the Kone area.
The weather was quite cold today so none of the orphans wanted to wallow in the mud bath. They were joined by a wild bull elephant. The boys kept themselves busy playing pushing games. Tusuja played with Galla whilst Boromoko played with the little girl Oltaiyoni. Olsekki played with Enkikwe and Kithaka with Barsilinga. The orphans made their way back to the bush to browse and the boys continued with their pushing games along the way. Boromoko tackled Olsekki while Sirimon played with Enkikwe.
In the evening Enkikwe took a break from feeding and wandered over to a rock to test his strength. After a while he admitted defeat and walked back towards the stockade. The rest of the group followed behind him.
05 July 2017
No wild or Ex Orphan elephants visited this morning. The orphans ate lucerne then headed towards the browsing field. The sky was clear which indicated a very hot day ahead. They all browsed quietly in the Kanziku area, Kamok teaming up with Ukame and Wanjala and Galla accompanying Boromoko to browse.
Around ten o’clock in the morning the orphans were joined by Rapsu who then escorted them to the mud bath. Shukuru, Olsekki, Siangiki, Ukame, Boromoko, Barsilinga, Sirimon, Kithaka and Garzi all followed him into the water. Barsilinga and Garzi had a lot of fun pushing each other in the water and so did Olsekki. Rapsu and Kamok settled for soil dusting and after playing in the water the rest of the orphans joined them.
In the afternoon the orphans began browsing in the upper Kalovoto area before heading back to the stockades in the evening, led by Roi
06 July 2017
The juniors were joined by Olare’s group soon after they left the stockade. Shortly later two bulls with Orwa, Bomani, Vuria and Narok checked in at the stockade compound. The two wild bulls briefly passed by where the herd was feeding on lucerne; they picked up what they considered to be their share then went back into the Park. Tusuja settled to share lucerne with Chemi Chemi as Kalama spent some time playing with Garzi. Later Chemi Chemi had a strength testing exercise with Orwa. An hour later, Olare’s group parted ways with the juniors. At the browsing field, Oltaiyoni and Galla took a break from feeding to scratch their ears against the same tree. Ukame teamed up with Siangiki to browse while Lemoyian and Enkikwe had a brief strength testing exercise that ended in a draw.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Ex Orphan bulls Tomboi and Buchuma and Olare’s group. Only the Ex Orphans and Shukuru decided to wallow. Barsilinga tested his strength against Kalama but ended up losing miserably. Garzi played with Chemi Chemi and when he lost the game hewent to tackle Kalama. Their game went on for quite some time until Garzi surrendered. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the banks of the upper Kalovo to River. Later in the day, Naseku, Kamok, Galla and Sokotei took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise.
07 July 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Mutara and her group and settled to feed on lucerne together. Kainuk and Kanjoro were so happy and relaxed that they crossed their back legs in a show of satisfaction. Soon after sharing the lucerne, Mutara and her group headed east of the stockade while the orphans headed west and settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Barsilinga and Sirimon had a moment of scratching on rocks that they came across in the bush as the rest of the herd concentrated on browsing.
Tomboi, Orwa, Narok, Bomani and Vuria arrived early at mud bath and relaxed under a tree as they waited for the juniors. When the juniors arrived at mud bath, Narok rushed to welcome them. Shortly later Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau and Kilaguni checked in and headed straight to join Tomboi, Shukuru, Boromoko, Sirimon, Oltaiyoni and Siangiki who were wallowing. Soon after mud bath, Tomboi headed for soil dusting while Kilaguni and Kasigau spent some time in a strength testing exercise. Shortly after the orphans returned back to the browsing field, eight wild elephants checked in and joined Tomboi, who had been left behind. Whilst browsing, Enkikwe spent some time playing with Sirimon while Lemoyian tackled Sokotei in a game that ended in a draw. Later in the day, Yatta and her group reported for water at the stockade and left soon after drinking enough water.
08 July 2017
The orphans left the stockade in a jovial mood and as soon as they settled for lucerne, they were joined by Mutara and her group. Kithaka and Barsilinga had a fight when Kithaka tried to take what Barsilinga thought belonged to him. The conflict ended into a sparing contest which came to an end when Mutara intervened by separating the two boys. An hour later, Mutara and her group left while Shukuru led her herd to Kone area where they were joined by Galana, Gawa, Loijuk and Ishanga. Gawa played with Enkikwe and later tried to charge at the keepers while Boromoko took sometime off from feeding to play with Tusuja.
At eleven o'clock in the morning, Galana and her small group escorted the juniors to the mud bath where they were joined by Ex Orphan bull Rapsu in the company of four wild elephants. After mud bath, the orphans headed to Kanziku area leaving the Ex Orphans and the wild elephants still at the mud bath. Later in the day, Shukuru took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise while Enkikwe invited Sirimon to a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw.
09 July 2017
Olare and Narok’s groups spent the night just outside the stockade and joined the juniors soon after they were let out. After sharing some lucerne together, Garzi tackled Kalama in a strength testing exercise; a game that ended prematurely when Kibo came over and separated them. Two hours later, the Ex Orphan group parted ways with the juniors. Tusuja spent sometime comfortably feeding while leaning against a tree while Oltaiyoni took some time off to soil dust. At mud bath time the orphans were once again joined by Olare and Narok’s groups, this time accompanied by a wild female with her two calves. Later Zurura, in the company of two wild boys, checked in and joined the juniors to mud bathe. Lemoyian, while still in the water, spent most of his time trying to climb on Boromoko but when they came out Boromoko decided to tackle Lemoyian in a pushing game. Kamok and Tusuja settled for soil dusting as Orwa played with Kalama. Chemi Chemi played with Kitirua. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the cool upper Kalovoto River and in the evening, Yatta and her group showed up at the stockade and left shortly after taking enough water.
10 July 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined by Yatta, Nasalot, Yetu, Teleki, Orwa, Bomani, Vuria and Narok. The Ex Orphans shared lucerne with the orphans and left shortly later. The dependent orphans, led by Shukuru, headed to Kone area where they settled to browse. It was a clear-sky day with a hot sun but the orphans went on with their browsing activities undeterred. Wanjala settled to feed with Roi while Ukame and Galla teamed up with Shukuru. Enkikwe and Sirimon had a brief strength testing exercise that ended soon when Garzi intervened by pushing both of them away. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Tomboi, Buchuma and six wild bulls. Soon after mud bath, Lemoyian spent some time playing with Boromoko while Shukuru, Naseku and Wanjala settled for soil dusting. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at the western side of the Ithumba Hill. In the evening the temperature was still high and the orphans passed by mud bath againto cool off on their way back to the stockade.
11 July 2017
All the Ex Orphans were at the stockade compound waiting to be fed lucerne when the juniors were let out. There was a lot of pushing around when the lucerne was being distributed. The juniors couldn't endure the pushing and so decided to walk out to the bush and start browsing, leaving the Ex Orphans at the stockade compound. In the browsing field, the orphans were joined by Bongo, Teleki, Orwa, Ololoo, Bomani, Narok and Vuria. Garzi played with Ololoo which did not last long and he lost. Wanjala settled to browse close to Olsekki as Siangiki settled to browse with Enkikwe.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans were joined by Olare’s group and fifteen wild elephants. It appears that now most of the water holes are drying slowly and wild elephants are coming back to this area. Following the chilly weather none of the orphans dared to step into the water hole. Sokotei and Lemoyian kept themselves busy by having a strength testing exercise, a game that attracted Boromoko who came to join them but assisted Sokotei in driving Lemoyian away. Shukuru challenged Barsilinga to a pushing game but Barsilinga turned away due to the respect he has for Shukuru. Garzi tackled Kalama in a pushing game that ended in a draw, with Barsilinga being the referee. When the game came to an end, Barsilinga coaxed Kalama into have a pushing game with him as the rest of the orphans joined a wild bull to drink water. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in Kanziku area. In the evening Barsilinga and Kithaka engaged each other in a pushing game that ended in a draw.
12 July 2017
Half an hour after leaving the stockade, the orphans were joined for lucerne by Narok, Bomani, Vuria and Orwa. Kamok took her share of lucerne and moved a few metres away from where she enjoyed scratching on a rock while munching on her lucerne. Barsilinga requested Bomani for a pushing game but Bomani declined since he wanted to have lucerne before it was finished. Later, Bomani had a brief strength testing exercise with Laragai on the way out to the bush. The juniors were joined by Makireti, a wild orphan and Kilabasi. Olsekki walked to Makireti and settled to feed with her while Galla stuck with Ukame to feed. Olare and her group joined the juniors on the way to the mud bath. Olare had a brief soil dusting exercise as Chemi Chemi settled scores with Kitirua through a pushing game while Kandecha played with Naisula.
At noon the orphans joined Galana, baby Gawa, Nasalot, Rapsu, Ololoo, Loijuk, Orok, Buchuma and several wild elephants including wild bull Hatari, who had reported for water and to wallow in the mud bath. Wanjala spent some time defending himself against Gawa, who kept charging and threatening to push him. When Wanjala got fed up with Gawa's behaviour he prepared to knock her down, but Loijuk was standing close by and read Wanjala's mood and stepped forward to whisk Gawa away. Garzi challenged Ololoo but ended up losing the game. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in upper Kalovoto area where Olsekki spent some time soil dusting before later engaging Sirimon to a strength testing game.
13 July 2017
Mutara, Olare and Narok’s groups spent their night just outside the stockade. Once the orphans were let out, the junior Ex Orphans received them warmly and escorted them to the area where they always have their lucerne. Kamok and Laragai took their share, carrying it in their trunks, and moved some distance away where they enjoyed feeding on it without any disturbance. Later, Olare’s herd led the group to Kone area where they settled to browse. Wanjala browsed close to Narok and from time to time they could be seen chatting to each other by putting their trunks in each other’s mouth. Laragai teamed up with Kithaka while Ukame and Galla settled to feed with Melia. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Wendi, Wiva, a wild boy, Kenze, Taita, Ithumbah, Rapsu, Meibai, Lualeni, Mulika, Mwende, Lenana, Chyulu, Madiba, Naserian, Teleki, Orok and ten wild elephants. The orphans went to the right hand side to wallow while the Ex Orphans and the wild elephants wallowed to the left hand side of the pool. The orphans feared being pushed by the wild bulls and it was also another way of giving respect to their seniors.
After mud bath, Shukuru,Ukame and Sirimon settled for soil dusting while Naseku and Olsekki picked sticks from the ground and used them to scratch in between their front legs. Enkikwe tried to stand in front of Madiba, probably to challenge him, but with the way Madiba looked at him Enkikwe did not stand there for very long for fear of being knocked down! Later, Enkikwe moved to challenge Olsekki, a game that ended in a draw. In the afternoon, the junior Ex Orphans parted ways with the dependent orphans. In the evening, Olare’s group reported at the stockade in the company of a wild female with her two calves, and left shortly after taking enough water.
14 July 2017
Olare, Mutara, Makireti, Chaimu and Narok spent the night just outside the stockade the evening before, and they were also in the company of Tomboi. The orphans were all aware of the Ex Orphans’ presence as well as their wild friends and soon after getting their early morning milk feed, they joined them, but not before grabbing mouthfuls of lucerne. As she walked away with her Lucerne, Tumaren was being particularly protective, not wanting any of the others to try and steal some of her own stash. Having joined the others Kitirua began playing with Kanjoro and later engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game. On the way to the browsing field Kanjoro then tackled Garzi but their game ended prematurely when Tumaren intervened by pushing the two boys away, which upset Garzi a lot and he confronted Tumaren. By mid-morning the junior Ex Orphans parted ways with the orphans but secretly they hijacked Siangiki without the keeper’s knowledge. It wasn’t until later that day that the keepers found Siangiki with the Ex Orphans, who were being very protective and making sure that Siangiki was back for the evening milk feed.
15 July 2017
It was a chilly morning when the orphans left the stockade and joined Mutara and Narok’s groups in the company of Tomboi, who were waiting outside. After sharing some lucerne, the orphans then left to the Kone area leaving Tomboi and the junior Ex Orphans behind at the stockade compound. The orphans browsed calmly throughout the morning without many games as perhaps it was too cold to play and they were still warming up. At eleven o'clock, Roi led the first group to the mud bath.
It was now much hotterso Boromoko, Sirimon, Tusuja, Olsekki and Lemoyian headed straight for some fun wallowing soon after drinking their milk. Boromoko then engaged Sirimon in a pushing game in the water as Olsekki and Lemoyian waited patiently for their turn to play with Boromoko. Shortly after this, six wild bulls turned up at the mud bath and two of them joined some of the orphans to drink water before wallowing. In the afternoon, the orphans then settled to browse in the area of Kanzikuwhere Oltaiyoni teamed up with Roi to feed while Sokotei played with Olsekki. In the evening Olare’s group showed up at the stockade in the company of twenty wild elephants who enjoyed some fresh water before heading on their way.
16 July 2017
Narok, Orwa, Bomani, Bongo and Vuria received the juniors outside of the stockade as soon as the gates were opened. Orwa lay down in an attempt to woo the juniors to play on him. Siangiki, Boromoko and Oltaiyoni surrounded him but just stood and watched Orwa instead of playing. When Orwa saw that no one was interested in his game, he simply stood up and continued to feed on the lucerne. On the way to the browsing field, Lemoyian engaged Boromoko in a strength testing exercise after losing another game to Sirimon. Their game went on for quite some time until Lemoyian surrendered. At the browsing field, it wasreally hot but this did not deter the elephants from carryingon with their feeding activities. Olare and her group showed up early at the mud bath and by the time the orphans checked in, Olare’s group had already finished wallowing. In the afternoon, the orphans continued browsing and in the evening Makireti, Kilabasi and Kasigau showed up with twenty-five wild elephants for water at the stockade water troughs. When they had had enough, the group left and carried on their way. The number of wild elephants coming to the stockade water troughs in the evenings is slowly increasing and this is an indication that water at most water holes is now in the process of drying up.
17 July 2017
It was a quiet morning, when the juniors left the stockade and settled for lucerne. They were joined by Narok, Bomani, Vuria, Orwa and Bongo who had spent the night just outside the stockade. After sharing lucerne with the juniors, Narok led the herd toKone area where they browsed calmly throughout the morning without any major activities. At mud bath today, a total of one hundred and twenty elephants attended. The mud bath took more two hours as the elephants kept on coming and leaving whenever they had enough of wallowing and drinking. Noticeable in the group was Half Trunk, and babies Kama, Wiva and Gawa. Enkikwe tackled Murka in an effort to acquire new pushing tactics that he would use to tackle the other bulls in the herd. Shortly later the orphans participated in a soil dusting exercise before returning back to the browsing field.
The orphans settledto browse on the western slopes of the Ithumba Hill up to four o'clock in the afternoon when Narok rumbled informing the juniors that it was time to headback slowly. The orphans passed by mud bath for an evening cool off where Kithaka spent some time climbing on Kamok whilst she was still in the water. Shortly before dark, Mutara’s group in the company of a wild herd reported for water at the stockade water troughs and left soon after they had had enough.
18 July 2017
The orphans settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. Kamok,Tusuja and Ukame spent scratched on the nearby rocks as Lemoyian engaged Boromoko in a strength testing exercise. Mutara then rumbled to signal to her friends that it was time to leave. Out in the Park the orphans concentrated mainly on browsing, because if they did not then they would be hungry later. Vegetation is now changing colour and this is an indication of the onset of the dry season.At mud bath time, twenty bulls were in attendance and among them was Orok, who appears to have found a new boys club. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the slopes of Ithumba Hill and had a quiet afternoon. In the evening fifteen wild elephants reported for water at the stockade water troughs.
19 July 2017
Kamok was the last one to leave the stockade in the morning armed with a bunch of lucerne branches in her mouth, whilst Lemoyian tried to grab a branch of lucerne that Wanjala had picked up. Wanjala couldn't allow that to happen and kept running in circles to get away until Lemoyian surrendered and went back to look for another branch instead. Soon after the orphans had finished their lucerne, Shukuru led the herd to Kone area where they settled to browse. At around nine o'clock, the orphans were then joined by Olare’s group. Garzi, who loves to engage in games with elephants older than him, started a pushing game with Tumaren. Melia, who was standing close by took this as an act of disrespect for a small boy like Garzi to engage a big girl like Tumaren, so Melia joined Tumaren and ganged up against Garzi to put him in his place. At mud bath time, ten wild bulls arrived and there was one noticeable big tusker in the group who had not been seen since December last year; it was great to see him well and healthy. After the orphans had enough of wallowing, Shukuru led the group for some soil dusting before later returning back to the browsing field.
20 July 2017
Wanjala, who is slowly learning new ways to deal with his seniors, picked his share of lucerne and quickly took the branches away whilst keeping an eye on the others to make sure no one was following him to steal his treats. Lemoyian, who loves strength testing games, approached Sirimon as Siangiki walked towards Wanjala to beg for some lucerne. By the time she reached where Wanjala was standing, Wanjala had put all the lucerne quickly in his mouth, leaving nothing for Siangiki.
Out in the Park Lemoyian and Boromoko spent some time in a soil dusting game as Ukame enjoyed scratching against a nearby tree. At mud bath time, eighty elephants arrived and bathed and drank water with the orphans. During this playtime Olsekki engaged Kibo in a pushing game, which he sadly lost, whilst Garzi tackled Chemi Chemi and the rest of the orphans dusted themselves in the soil. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the Kalovoto seasonal river. In the evening twenty five wild elephants checked in at the stockade water troughs for water, including Half Trunk and Ex Orphans Orok, Zurura, Olare, Kalama, Nasalot, Ishanga and Teleki.
21 July 2017
Olare and Mutara’s groups spent the night just outside the stockade. When the babies were let out of the stockades after their milk, Galla met with Kanjoro and they entwined their trunks in morning greetings. After the greetings, Galla requested Kanjoro for a little more of his time to practice some defense tactics. Kanjoro took Galla through some pushing lessons before Boromoko intervened by trying to push Kanjoro. Kanjoro quit playing with Galla and turned to teach Boromoko a lesson in how to behave when he is with his seniors. Lemoyian, Shukuru and Wanjala saw Buchuma approaching from the eastern side and walked to welcome him to the stockade compound. Buchuma returned their greeting with appreciation by rumbling as he was walked to the water trough to have some water. Garzi engaged Olare in a pushing game while Enkikwe tackled Kibo. At the browsing field, Sokotei spent played with Olsekki as Naseku settled to browse with Wanjala. At mud bath time, only fifteen wild elephants were in attendance. Soon after mud bath, the orphans headed back out to browse. The afternoon was chiller which the orphans appreciated as they could browse and enjoy every minute without overheating or having to move into the shade.
22 July 2017
In the morning, the stockade was flooded with Ex Orphans, one Tusker, Half Trunk and several other wild elephants. Missing were Galana, baby Gawa, Naserian, Sunyei, Mulika, Loijuk, Mwende, Yatta, Yetu and Lualeni. Kinna was standing in as the matriarch and led her group to where the orphans always get lucerne. Unfortunately there was not very much as the stockades waited for the lorry to arrive. After Kinna waited for some time and nothing came, the herd left and shook their heads with disappointment. As they were leaving, Kenze climbed on Makena while Kilaguni had strength testing exercise with Ololoo.
Out in the Park, Sirimon competed with Siangiki on who could stretch their trunks up the highest to pluck some leaves from the trees. Galla settled to browse with Oltaiyoni while Boromoko chose to browse with Lemoyian.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans and forty five wild elephants. Noticeable was a wild elephant called Masikio who has a collapsed ear, Yetu and Mwende’s father. Wiva had a good time playing with Lemoyian, Oltaiyoni and later with Suguta too. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Oltayoni settled to browse with Tusuja and Sirimon with Boromoko. In the evening, forty wild elephants came for water at the stockade and left shortly before dark.
23 July 2017
The orphans left the stockade early as usual and walked down to the water trough where they joined four bulls that were drinking. Lemoyian was in a playful mood and thus started his first game with Boromoko. As Siangiki was passing by, Lemoyian stopped playing with Boromoko and attempted to climb on Siangiki. Sokotei, who was close by, brought Lemoyian down which annoyed him. To show his anger, Lemoyian turned to attack Sokotei but their game ended in a draw. Later, Lemoyian tackled Enkikwe, but Enkikwe wasn't ready for a pushing game and walked away leaving Lemoyian pondering over what to do next.
In the bush Enkikwe and Olsekki took a break from feeding to participate in a soil dusting exercise while Kamok enjoyed rolling on the ground. At the mud bath, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans and forty wild elephants. Half Trunk and Dad were there again. Yatta, Mulika, Mwende, Galana, baby Gawa, Loijuk, Naserian, Lualeni and Ololoo were not in the group. Kama and Wiva spent some time interacting and playing with the orphans. Kama played with Laragai while Wiva played with Boromoko and Roi. Later, the orphans returned back to browsing, leaving the wild elephants and the Ex Orphans still at the mud bath. The orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. In the evening, Kalama, Narok, Orwa, Bomani, Vuria and Bongo showed up at the stockade. At dark more wild elephants, Yatta, Mulika, Mwende, Lualeni, Lenana, Meibai and Mutara’s group came for water at the stockade water troughs.
24 July 2017
Galla left the stockade with a branch in his mouth that he enjoyed feeding on since there was no lucerne for breakfast this morning. Boromoko saw how Galla was enjoying the branch and decided to try and take it for himself while pretending to have a light strength testing exercise with him. The moment they entwined their trunks, Boromoko pulled the branch from Galla's mouth and left smiling, leaving Galla regretting why he had accepted to participate in the strength testing game. Kithaka played with Sirimon as Lemoyian tackled Barsilinga. Later Boromoko settled scores with Lemoyian while Barsilinga moved to play with Kalama.
Out in the bush Garzi settled to feed with Lemoyian as Boromoko took time off to roll on the ground. Gawa and Galana paid a visit to the orphans where baby Gawa played with Naseku and later took a nap while surrounded by Oltaiyoni, Roi and Naseku.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by thirty five wild elephants and several Ex Orphans and when the mud bath was over, Ukame led the orphans back to the browsing field. We were happy to see Limpy at mud bath today, a wild bull that we treated for a nasty snare wound last year and that has healed nicely. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area up to five o'clock in the evening, when Ukame again led the first group back to the stockade.
25 July 2017
A quiet morning today with the orphans walking down from their bedrooms after their breakfast. Bongo the Ex Orphans greeted them peacefully and joined them at the water trough. Naseku was scratching her trunk on the wall. Despite the absence of lucerne, they walked to the lucerne feeding area to check; finding nothing they walked away to the bush for browsing.
Out in the Park, they were all busy browsing with Wanjala scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air and some on his head. Bomani, Orwa and Vuria later joined them in the bush. Everyone was busy to searching of food. Roi later led the way to the mudbath.
At mudbath the Ex Orphans and wild elephants all interacted together. Naseku was playing and rolling on the ground with Roi, Galla and Wanjala, enjoying the mud bath. We had Wendi, Galana and Kinna with their babies visiting. Baby Kama was seen enjoying a good scratch on the visitor’s cement seat. We also had big, magnificent, wild elephants playing in the mudbath. Oltayoni was scratching her back right leg after playing in the mudbath. It was so much fun and an enjoyable session for all.
Shukuru was scratching on a tree after a long game in the mudbath. The orphans, led by Siangiki, walked back to the bush for browsing with Kinna and Kama leading the Ex Orphans.
In the bush, everyone was busy browsing. Kithaka was busy throwing soil chunks in the air and later Kamok led the group back home for their milk again in the evening.
Back at the stockade, wild bulls visited in search of water. Narok's and Makireti’s group also came and joined them with Kilaguni and Chaimu. They all looked happy and healthy.
26 July 2017
A cold and quiet morning as the elephants walked out to the lucerne field. There were lots of wild elephants and Ex Orphans in the area who were surrounding the water trough and drinking. All sizes were present, big tuskers included.
Kalama was rolling down on the ground playing. The orphans later walked back to the bush to browse as there was no lucerne available. While they were busy browsing, Olsekki was playing by rubbing his trunk on a Baobab tree. The three new arrivals, Wanjala, Galla and Ukame are settling in well although Ukame is still a bit anxious and sometimes keeps herself a separate from the others.
The conditions are getting drier and drier and it is getting harder for the elephants to find fresh vegetation. The group later met with Yatta, Wendi and Mulika who had their babies with them. They were on their way to the mud bath and began interacting with Sokotei and Wiva, browsing together.
At the mud bath there were more wild elephants present. Kinna and Galana were also present with their babies. Gawa was scratching on the visitor’s cemented seat, guarded by the nannies.
They were waiting for the truck of water to arrive. Several of the elephants took water from here while others were busy playing in the mud bath. Naseku was rolling around on the ground and later went to roll by the bent tree. Sokotei and Lemoyian began play fighting with each other. Later on, a wild group of females with their babies came in to join them. Wiva was rolling on the ground with Sidai and Lenana guarding her. It was so much fun with the big elephants playing deep in the mudbath. The orphans walked back to the bush for browsing.
It was very hot in the bush today so the elephants returned to the mud bath in the evening to cool off. Back at the stockade some wild elephants and Ex Orphans were there drinking water at the troughs.
27 July 2017
Another cool morning today. We were greeted by a huge group of wild elephants who greeted the orphans warmly and started interacting at the water troughs. Later, Wendi, Yatta and Mulika arrived with their babies. Wiva was running around full of joy. Later the orphans walked to the bush to browse, leaving the Ex Orphans and wild elephants behind at the water trough.
In the bush everyone was busy browsing, trying to reach any fresh vegetation they could find. Sokotei was lifting himself high to reach the greener vegetation in the tree. Garzi and Kithaka were scratching on a rock and Enkikwe was sniffing around the same rock. Boromoko and Sokotei were having a chat together. Later on Enkikwe led the group to the mud bath for their milk.
It was a lot of fun at the mud bath with the wild bulls and Ex Orphans playing with a buffalo.
They were playing and kissing each other. Kinna and her baby were also present. Shukuru was scratching her back on a tree. The orphans later walked out and headed to the bush to browse leaving the Ex Orphans and wild elephants still playing in the mud bath.
In the bush everyone was busy browsing except for Garzi who was looking for Vuria who he had been close to all morning. He seems to be ready to join his wild friends after weaning together with Kithaka and Barsilinga.
Back in the stockade, we were joined by a big group of wild bulls who came to visit and drink water. They finally walked back to the bush in the evening.
28 July 2017
Wild elephants and Ex Orphans were at the stockade again this morning to drink water together. When the babies came out of their stockades they ran to join them. Wendi, Kinna, Galana, Mulika and Yatta with their babies were among them. Kama and Gawa scared one of the keepers by charging at him while they played. Wiva later joined in with the fun.
The orphans later walked to the bush and the babies followed their mothers. Most of the wild bulls stayed at the water troughs to continue to drink.
At the mud bath there were over eighty elephants present. The three babies Kama, Gawa and Wiva were busy playing together, rolling around on the ground as they played.
Mulika was with her baby Mwende and was scratching her. The wild elephants were interacting for a long time so the orphans and keepers left and headed to the bush to browse.
Back in the bush, everyone was busy browsing. We had a big group of wild elephants at the stockade this evening with Wendi, Yatta, Kinna and Galana amongst them.They took a drink and then left. Oltayoni, Enkikwe and Sokotei were still in the bush then led the group back home in the evening for their milk bottle.
29 July 2017
Four wild bulls and one Ex Orphan visited the stockade this morning. Half Trunk was amongst them with Zurura, the Ex Orphan. The wild bulls drank water then left leaving Zurura playing with Kamok. Lemoyian and Boromoko were busy play fighting, Boromoko was using his tusks. The orphans then walked to the bush for browsing.
In the bush they were all busy browsing. Kithaka had a scratch on a tree. The group then headed to the mud bath for their milk.
It was fun in the mud bath with wild bulls, Ex Orphans and orphans all interacting with each other. Yatta and Sidai were on the other side guarding Yetu and Chaimu. Yatta was still nursing even though she is pregnant for the second time. Galana and Kinna were also nursing Kama and Gawa. Sunyei was resting under the shade of a tree. The orphans then left for the bush to browse.
In the bush the orphans were busy browsing despite it being so dry. Later on Enkikwe led the group back home for their milk.
Back at the stockade, Wendi, Yatta and Galana were present with their babies and some wild bulls. They came to drink water then left for the bush.
30 July 2017
The area around the water trough was full of elephants this morning. The Ex Orphans were mixed among wild elephants too. The dependent orphans came out of their stockades and Barsilinga and Kithaka scratched their necks to remove some insects that were annoying them.The orphans then walked out to the Park whilst the wild elephants and Ex Orphans remained to drink water.
The orphans were busy browsing all morning with Shukuru apparently in a very active mood. Enkikwe and Siangiki led the group to the mudbath for their milk and after all the orphans played in the mud. Wild elephants and Ex Orphans arrived too and joined them. Kithaka started scratching on the bent tree in the mudbath. Wendi was at mud bath as well as Kinna, her baby Kama, Galana, her baby Gawa, Yatta and Mulika with their babies too. Kama was the most active baby of all and the Keepers played with her as she tried to socialise with them a bit. Wiva was trying to charge at the Keepers and Gawa was being shy and walking away. Kama was trying to scratch on the cement seat near the mud bathbut she was too short to reach it.
Back in the bush the orphans were happily browsing in a greener area which always keeps them preoccupied with feeding. However it soon became too hot for them and they were forced to pass by the mudbath again in the afternoon to cool down.They all played vigorously in the water and later came out to make their way back home in the evening for their milk.
31 July 2017
Early in the morning, the orphans were joined by a handful of Ex Orphans. Amongst them were Chaimu and Chemi Chemi who played and tussled together. This ended when Kilaguni intervened by helping his friend Chaimu drive Chemi Chemi away. Later, Shukuru led her group to the Kone area where they settled to browse. Because it is getting so dry the orphans are really concentrating on browsing without wasting any time.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Madiba and several wild elephants. After the mud bath, Roi and Kamok led the way back to the browsing field where Galla and Naseku had a brief chat. Enkikwe and Sirimon engaged in a strength testing exercise. In the evening Ukame led the first group back to the stockade.