Keepers' Diaries, July 2017

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This month, the orphans enjoyed a delicious treat of lucerne pellets during their mud bath, which caused even the quietest babies like Tamiyoi to change into greedy, impolite little girls when these tasty and much relished grass pellets are around. One day we watched as Enkesha and Jotto jostled over the same pile; every time Jotto came close, Enkesha would lie down across the whole pile, denying Jotto access to even a little. In the mornings Mbegu, Murit and Tamiyoi run between all the stockades of their friends gathering up as many left over pellets as they can in a great game to dodge the keepers trying to herd them out to the forest.

01 July 2017

Tusks are part of an elephants set of teeth, like an over-sized incisor, but some of the boys like to use them as a weapon as well. When they start protruding after the age of about 2 years then some of the boys start to feel like they are real bulls and sometimes start to bully some of their friends. Pare is a good example as a few months ago he was such a polite and calm boy and now he has sharp little tusks he uses to push some of the young bulls around. Lasayen used to bully him awhile back but today he was playing with Maramoja when Pare just came over and pushed him! Before he could poke his tusks into his back, Lasayen dodged him, and shouted loudly. Maramoja was not happy with Pare’s behaviour and she drove him away from the herd to save Lasayen. Little babies will sometimes try to throw their weight around and be bossy; especially when they know there is someone around protect them! Enkesha is a sweet little girl that understands the little babies very well. Today Sattao kept trying to push her and keep her from accessing the water trough whilst they were at mud bath, but she understood that he is just a little one and being bolshie; he did the same to Malima and she reacted in much the same way; just ignoring him!

02 July 2017

Musiara had a lovely morning wake up call today as Murit and Malkia walked over to knock on his door and wake him. We know that elephants have their own way of communicating and we watched as Murit moved to push on one of the two doors to Musiara’s stable and Malkia moved to the other, emitting a low rumble. Musiara woke up and got up so quickly like one woken from the middle of a dream and ran to the door where Malkia was. He started pushing on it and trying to climb over and with all the fuss the keeper was forced to open the door and let the little boy out early. During the public visit today Ndiwa and Ndotto sneaked in to the first group to have their milk before their time. Ndotto seems to have been influenced by Ndiwa who is known for sneaking in early to have her milk at feeding times. After they had their bottles which the keepers were obliged to give them, they walked towards the mud bath where the other were playing. Ndiwa pushed Tamiyoi and this really annoyed Ndotto and he drove her away making sure she did not come back to where the babies were playing for the rest of the visit.

03 July 2017

Today the young girls, Godoma, Malkia, Tagwa and Esampu, were fighting over who should get to baby sit Musiara. Malkia did not want anyone to browse with him except Mbegu. Esampu, Tagwa and Kuishi were driven away but Godoma she just blocked from getting close to him; she knows her position in the hierarchy of the herd and would not challenger her. Murit was a bit naughty during the public visit today and was in a very strange mood as he kept trying to bite his friends tails! He moved from one to the other but kept trying to bite Malima and Enkesha and it reached a point where Godoma had to intervene and block him from approaching any others. Esampu also tried to snatch Tamiyoi’s milk bottle which annoyed the short little girl and she left her milk bottle for awhile to sort Esampu out, before returning to finish the rest. As the Head Keeper gave his talk during this visit, Jotto was busy trying to find where the voice was coming out of the strange looking speakers. He kept inspecting and trying to pick it up so the keepers had to move it as he was so interested. All the orphans from the baby Musiara to the matriarch Mbegu enjoyed a lengthy mud bath today, all except for Kauro who does not really enjoy them, no matter how hot it is!

04 July 2017

Jotto decided to play into the night last night and he did not sleep as normal. Since his 9pm milk feed he only went down to sleep for a short while before getting up and playing again! Whenever his night keeper thought he would just start to close his eyes for awhile Jotto would pull his blanket to make sure that he stayed awake with him! When he got his 6am feed he started pushing to go out, climbing up against the keeper’s bed and pushing the wall as well. It was still a bit dark because of the misty weather but due to his persistence the keeper let him out and he ran in a celebratory fashion straight to Ndiwa’s gate which is right at the top of the stockade area. When Ndiwa saw him approach she moved closer to her gate to say hello. He came running back down to Tamiyoi’s door but she did not pay any attention to him. He started to push harder on her door trying to open it but was obviously unsuccessful. He moved on to Esampu’s gate and went down on his knees to do a head stand outside her gate and she did the same on the other side! This was a sign that she had accepted his game but he left and went to Maxwell’s stockade. Max too accepted the invitation to play and started running around inside his stockade, poking his horn through the posts of his stockade in excitement.

05 July 2017

It is a well known habit of Murit’s to walk into every pen in the morning to feed on the lucerne pellets left by his friends. Today it was not him who did this however but the matriarch, Mbegu! She was going into the stables of the younger ones and eating their leftovers; she kept dodging the keepers to get into those stalls. We remember how at milk feeding time Lasayen used to come down in one group and then go back to return with the second and ask for more –he has not done that in awhile! Today it was Tamiyoi who decided to try this tactic at getting more milk – when the second group came down she linked up with them and was the first at the wheelbarrow demanding to be fed. Unfortunately her trick was already well known to the keepers and she was not successful.

06 July 2017

Today Tamiyoi and Esampu were left behind by the main herd as they were busy browsing next to Maxwell’s stockade. They did not know which way they went and started running around, stamping on the bushes and trumpeting to get the herd attention but it did not work. They were luck though as soon Sattao, Musiara and Luggard were let out of their stables to join the others in the forest too. Tamiyoi saw the trio heading out from a distance and she trumpeted before running towards the little ones with Esampu running behind her. They were very happy to join this little group and the babies were happy to see them too. Sana Sana has been hanging out with Ndiwa and Mundusi today and they have been browsing separately away from the group. It is rare to find her charging at or bullying anyone but today she decided to discipline Mteto when she was shouting for no reason after having her milk; she does not like this kind of nonsense. Malkia is still very protective of the little ones Musiara and Sattao and does not like anyone strange to come close to them, she will chase them away!

07 July 2017

We can see that Sattao is becoming a little boy that likes to climb on things and he is always trying to climb on Musiara’s back whenever he finds him lying down. This morning Musiara was all alone and rolling in the soil when Sattao spotted him and came running over to climb on him. Ngilai was feeding in the bushes nearby and saw Musiara struggling to get up so he came over and helped nudge the baby Sattao away, to assist Musiara. Musiara got to his feet and was prepared to fight Sattao because he was annoyed, but Ngilai intervened and made sure a fight did not ensue. He kept initiating games to keep the atmosphere light and rolled on the ground so the two boys could bump and slide on him instead. They did not play for long before Mbegu came over as she was slightly concerned due to the fact Ngilai can be quite a rough boy. This time he was being very calm and gentle with them though. Enkesha is one orphan that can lead and escort others even when there is no keeper to lead the way. She always knows where to go and what to do whilst others like Jotto, Ambo, Malima, Kuishi and Tagwa cannot really do the same; they always need a keeper to help direct them, or someone else in the group. What started off as a dull mud bath today soon got more exciting as Jotto read the mood and decided to make it more fun. He tested the temperature of the mud with his trunk before jumping in and running up and down and playing with a football. Esampu joined him and Malima did not want to be left out of the fun either – within no time everyone was having fun in the mud and after they went to dry themselves on the soil piles. As Enkesha was rolling on the soil Jotto came over and started lying on her and she started screaming. The keepers ran over to help her as Godoma charged over to discipline Jotto.

08 July 2017

It’s great to watch Murit initiate pushing games against Rapa, Lasayen, Ngilai and even Kauro as we see his health improve in leaps and bounds. He grew up with Kauro and they are even the same age, but ill health always plagued Murit and he was always much smaller than his age mate. Now he is so much better and is a healthy young bull, giving us all reason to smile when he plays his games. Rapa, who is a well-known naughty boy, is now Murit’s favourite play mate and Murit uses his full strength and challenges him. Today as soon as the orphans were settled out in the forest, these two boys were busy testing their strength against each other and Murit was seen to be winning against Rapa due to his nice long tusks!

09 July 2017

It’s quite funny to watch Tagwa who has learnt that all the other girls like Esampu, Godoma, Malkia, Malima and Sana Sana like to argue over who will mother and babysit Musiara, leaving her to dote on little Sattao. These days as soon as the babies are out in the forest she is seen attached to his side, leaving the other girls to concentrate on mothering Musiara! Today when the first group was separated for the milk feed from the older ones, Tagwa gave the keepers a hard time as she was held back but she wanted to join her beloved Sattao in the first group! She yelled out in protest which brought Mbegu running over to see what was wrong but she relaxed when she saw the keepers and Tagwa together. Tagwa is a lovely caring girl these days.

10 July 2017

Godoma consistently shows a strong maternal nature these days especially with the younger baby elephants, and as a result is very well behaved during the public visiting time as she likes to watch the goings on. Today during the public visit after the first group had finished their milk, some were jostling over access to the water at the small troughs whilst others played on the piles of red, loose soil. The playfulness of Malima, Tamiyoi, Jotto, Ambo and Enkesha on the soil attracted the attention of the two little boys, Musiara and Sattao. They ran and joined in the games on the soil, with Godoma standing to the side and watching. Everyone watched as Godoma got down on her knees to help support Musiara when he failed to get up on his own. He used her side to support him and she held him with her trunk as well so eventually he managed to get up and we were all left thinking what a wonderful matriarch Godoma might be in the future.

11 July 2017

Today at dawn lovely Ex Orphan rhino Solio visited the orphans’ stockades which excited Maxwell as usual and he ran about his stockades in happiness. He knocked on the wooden fence of his stockade looking for a way to join her, and in response Solio knocked back. This really excited Maxwell and made him really want to knock down the posts to play with her. After 6am in the morning when Solio had finished the lucerne feed which the keepers had put out for her, she went back to Maxwell and the two had a sparring match through the posts by locking horns. A while later Solio left Maxwell in style because she turned and sprayed urine and unfortunately it went in Maxwell’s face as he was standing right beside his gate! This drove Maxwell nuts and he ran about his stockade and turned back to knock on the gate as hard as he could, but Solio had already left running for the forest to make her way back into the Park. Maxwell ran around until he was so tired he was very out of breath and his mouth was open; finally he went to his mud bath to relax and cool down for awhile.

12 July 2017

Mbegu, Murit and Tamiyoi are very greedy with the lucerne pellets these days. It’s funny when they go into their rooms at night as they switch between having their milk and grabbing their lucerne pellets too. After a minute of drinking they push the bottle back to the keeper, as if asking him to hold it for a bit whilst they have some lucerne, before turning back to enjoy their milk again. In the morning these three were witnessed running out of their rooms and from one stockade to the next in search of left over pellets. They will distract the keepers as they try to lead them out in the morning by running in different directions and hiding in stockades to find more pellets. Tamiyoi and Murit always run out and into Musiara and Luggard’s stables as they know that these two never finish their pellets. Mbegu will always run towards Ndiwa, Sana Sana and Tagwa’s as well as Maxwell’s gate where his lucerne is kept as she knows she will find some there too.

13 July 2017

This morning when the orphans settled out in the forest, most of them were enjoying browsing quietly but some like Pare, Lasayen, Ndotto and Murit were happily enjoying some pushing games as they rolled on the ground and bumped and slid down each other’s backs. Ndotto is one boy who really loves this game and who is always fond of clambering over anyone else who happens to be on the ground. At one point we watched as Ndotto was enjoying climbing on Lasayen and Murit but then he accidentally sat on Murit’s head, at which point Murit took Ndotto’s tail in his mouth and bit it hard to get him off! Ndotto got the message and quickly got off Murit’s head and gave him space to get up, and went to take out his anger at his tail being bitten on Pare, who he found posing with his trunk raised ready to take him on. The two boys wrestled with each other until Kauro, who was watching, stepped in to separate the two. Ndotto is a playmate of Kauro’s so the two happily engaged in a light pushing game, leaving Pare, Lasayen and Murit to carry on rolling on the ground.

14 July 2017

In the field this morning, Kuishi, Sana Sana, Malima, Ndiwa, Ngilai, Mundusi, Rapa and Mteto were having a great time chasing and charging after some impalas they encountered. It was a funny game to watch as the baby elephants trumpeted and ran with their ears spread out sending the impalas sprinting and jumping in all directions, but then some of the impalas turned around and challenged the elephants, sending them running back to their keepers for safety. After a brief moment of silence the group of orphans then went trumpeting and charging in the direction the impalas disappeared, starting the game all over again. Unfortunately, the game didn’t last long as Rapa and Ngilai decided it would be more fun to chase Sana Sana, Kuishi and Malima. They kept trying to climb on them but the three girls had enough and ran to Maramoja and Mbegu who were looking after the little boys, Musiara and Sattao, with Esampu, Tagwa and Tamiyoi. Rapa and Ngilai had no choice but to engage each other in a pushing game instead, which ended when Lasayen tried to join in as they didn’t seem interested in playing with him.

15 July 2017

This morning Kiko left his stockade in style as when the doors were opened wide, he exited at full speed, kicking out with both his front and back legs in pure joy for another day to begin. He then made his way out to the bush after the elephants and keepers. His high speed entrance at first scared the elephants, which was probably Kiko’s intention, but then Mbegu, Maramoja, Kauro, Rapa, Ndotto, Pare, Godoma, Lasayen and Sana Sana turned and started trumpeting and stamping their feet to scare him. Kiko quickly changed his mind against such opposition and ran back to the safety of the stockades with Mbegu and Co just behind him. Once he was out of sight all the orphans settled back down and continued with their day.

16 July 2017

A character will always remain a character! Today at the public visiting hour, soon after the first group had finished their milk bottles and when most of the orphans busy feeding on the lucerne pellets, Esampu was having a great time running about, playing with the football. She ran from one end to the other kicking the ball, gaining much applause from the crowd. Esampu loved all the attention and even kicked the ball intentionally at the on looking crowd and then ran along the cordon deliberately bumping into the public to get even more of a reaction from them. Her mischievous behavior meant the keepers had to keep a close eye on her and eventually, after several attempts to bump into the crowd, the keepers had to put a stop to her games which were getting out of hand.

17 July 2017

Early in the morning Kauro and Ndotto engaged each other in a pushing game. Kauro was intentionally playing quite rough as if he wanted to teach Ndotto some rough tactics. Ndotto seemed more than happy to learn how to challenge a bull bigger and stronger than himself and he stepped up to the challenge and fought hard against Kauro. Caring Mbegu was at some point seen trying to join the wrestling figures but Kauro warned her to keep away as this was Ndotto’s lesson only. Mbegu had no option but to respect Kauro and walked away too busy herself with Musiara and Sattao. Ndotto and Kauro kept their game going for over an hour before final tiring. For Kauro, who was unwell at the beginning of the year, this is a good sign that he is now healthy and well on the road to recovery.

18 July 2017

Lately, Ndiwa and Mundusi have been misbehaving around the public visiting hour and are always up to new tactics to outwit their keepers. When they witness the first group of orphans being led to the public visiting hour, both will hang close to each other and pretend to browse in the opposite direction. In fact they are trying to fool the keepers and end up far enough away that the keepers can’t see them and put a stop to their mischievous plans! Today, 15 minutes after the first group of orphans had gone down to the mud bath, Ndiwa and Mundusi made a break for it and ran down early for their bottle. Both came at a run, trumpeting and competing to be first to have their milk. Ndiwa and Mundusi are two very greedy little elephants who just cannot wait in the bush patiently for their milk.

19 July 2017

Lately we have been hosting big crowds during the 11am visiting hour due to the high season. To keep the babies calm and settled close to the crowds, the babies have been getting “special treats” like lucerne pellets that they love very much. Some of them are obsessed with the pellets, mainly Tamiyoi, Ndotto, Malima, Mbegu, Mundusi and Murit, and are getting very greedy, refusing to share with the others. Tamiyoi, who is usually a sweet and gentle elephant, changes into a naughty greedy girl around the lucerne pellet handouts. Today she was misbehaving by bullying anyone who tried to stretch their trunk to her and the pellets, with Enkesha and Malima being her primary targets. Eventually, Murit, who is a very disciplined boy, couldn’t tolerate her bad behavior anymore and punished her by making sure she didn’t get any more pellets. Whenever she moved to a different pile of pellets, he was beside her and pushed her away. Enkesha is particularly fond of the keepers during the lucerne handouts and any keeper with pellets in hand is her best friend. However, if they stop hand feeding her she starts screaming and yelling for more and then moves to the next keeper. The naughty bully girl Mteto was in a bad mood today and during the 3pm feeding and private visiting hour she went around head-butting all the other orphans at any given opportunity. At one point, Kuishi was drinking water from the mud bath and as she stood by the edge, Mteto sneaked up behind her and gave her a powerful head-butt sending her rolling several times into the water. Kuishi shouted and Godoma ran over to help and got into the mud bath to help lift her up. Mteto, knowing she would be disciplined, ran away from the scene.

20 July 2017

Early in the morning, Tamiyoi and Malima came out of their stockades earlier than the others and engaged in a pushing game in front of Jotto’s stable. Jotto’s stable is close to Maxwell’s stockade and on hearing the commotion, Max got up, came over and started head-butting his gate as he wanted to join in the game. Jotto and Ambo finally came out of their stockade and stood by watching the two girls wrestling, but Max continued head-butting his gate to try and entice them into a game. Eventually, the two boys decided to engage him in a running game and they ran up and down Max’s stockade with him following suit on the other side. These games were brought to a halt when the other orphans started coming out of their stockade, flooding the compound and eventually heading out to the forest one by one. There was another incident this morning, which started with naughty girl Mteto. Quiet little Tagwa was feeding all alone when Mteto pushed her to the ground. Murit saw this and immediately disciplined Mteto and chased her away. Ndotto, saw Murit chasing Mteto and thought he was being a bully and went to discipline him. Luckily, Kauro, who must have seen the whole incident, stepped in to stop Ndotto and clear the air by pushing Mteto away. Sneaky girl Ndiwa, lured Enkesha, Sana Sana and Mundusi away from the herd as the keepers were rounding the orphans up to take them back to the stockades for their 5pm feeding. They snuck through the mud bath area and came into the stockades behind the foster parents who were waiting for the orphans to arrive. They gave the foster parents quite a scare as Enkesha yelled for a way through, scattering people in different directions as the four ran into their respective stockades.

21 July 2017

The warthogs that call the stockades home seem to have learnt the orphan’s daily routine. Once the orphans have left for the forest the warthogs visit all of the stockades to look for left over lucerne pellets and only when they have made sure they have found them all will they join the orphans out in the forest. The warthogs too have become uncontrollable at the public visiting hour, especially with the introduction of the lucerne pellets. Some of the orphans don’t like the warthogs to be present at the mud bath and try to drive them away. When the warthogs are chased away they run in all directions, even into the crowds of people. Today, Esampu, Godoma and Jotto were the “warthog guards” of the mud bath. Jotto waited by the piles of lucerne pellets to drive away the warthogs, whilst Esampu and Godoma stayed in the middle, in the open play area, and chased the warthogs far away back into the forest. The warthogs then walked around the back of the public and snuck through the crowds where the found Jotto waiting for them to chase them back. Unfortunately, with warthogs running between their legs and elephants charging about, the crowds became very nervous and it was tough for the keepers to keep everything calm. When the second group came down, it was Mundusi and Ngilai who were most disturbed by the warthogs and they yelled for help whenever they came close. Mbegu and Ndotto, with the help of the keepers, saved the situation. At around 1pm a DSWT helicopter landed at the nursery with a young baby bull orphan on board from Tsavo West.

22 July 2017

The new orphan from Tsavo West was originally fighting and very stressed but settled overnight with the help of Enkesha. With all the noise from next door, Enkesha became suspicious and unsettled, and walked all over the room putting her trunk between the bars to comfort the little one. As soon as their trunks touched, the new orphan became calm as if Enkesha was communicating to him that everything was okay. He then lay down to sleep and Enkesha moved her mattress next to the wall separating the two stockades so she could sleep next to him. It was extra cold this morning and Musiara and Sattao needed extra blankets to keep them warm out in the bush. When Kauro is in his playful mood his two favourite orphans to play with are Ndotto and Mbegu. Today he was in a really playful mood and he engaged Ndotto in wrestling games for much of the day.

23 July 2017

Rapa and Ndiwa were both moved to a different stockade a few days ago. At first both were fine with the move but last night the two spent the whole time yelling and making quite a commotion. Rapa was the instigator and as soon as he started, Ndiwa was quick to join in. Early in the morning two hyenas were seen, and the keepers weren’t sure if the two were yelling because of the hyenas, or the hyenas had come because they were making so much noise!

24 July 2017

Solio arrived in the middle of the night and walked directly to her stockade next to Maxwell. She seemed very tired as she went straight to sleep in the safety of the stockade. Max had been sleeping but woke up when he sensed her presence and called out to her but she didn’t respond. After discovering where she was, he decided to sleep next to her but he kept waking up and calling to her throughout the night. When Solio heard the elephants playing in the stockade compound, she finally decided it was time to wake up and started calling for her lucerne. Whilst she was eating her Lucerne, Maxwell was struggling to reach her through the bars but she didn’t pay any attention to him. Only when she had eaten all her lucerne was it time to play with Max and the two had a lengthy conversation through the bars at the top of his stockade before she headed back into the forest. Max seemed to have been satisfied by their “chat” since he did not behave as he usually does when she leaves. Instead of running up and down in a frenzy he walked back to his stockade and went back to sleep. The new orphan, Maktao, is doing well but he doesn’t go out into the forest until after the 11am public visiting hour because behaves very strangely when he is around mud or stagnant water and drops down to his knees and starts to eat it! For the few hours he was with the others today, Godoma stayed by his side taking care of him. Maktao became very jealous of Musiara as he seems to think he should be first priority and didn’t want to share Godoma’s attentions.

25 July 2017

Mbegu is trying to keep her distance from little Musiara and Sattao and giving all her attention to her adopted baby boy Ambo. It’s as if she is allowing the younger girls some time and space to practice looking after the babies. This has given Tagwa, Malkia, and sometimes Esampu, opportunity to pamper the babies and be there for them when needed. Godoma also spends time with the babies but if all is ok she just watches the other girls from a distance. Tagwa has relished this chance of proving her skills at being an adoptive mum and though she shows lots of love for all the little ones, she has a soft spot for Sattao. She seems to have set up a little routine for herself, alternating time between Sattao and Musiara. If she spends the whole day with Sattao then the next day she will make more time for Musiara. Today was Musiara’s day and Sattao spent his time with the other girls. This morning at 9am, Musiara started demanding for more milk after he finished his and was making quite the racket! Tagwa ran to him as soon as he started complaining to try and settle him down. Godoma, Malkia and Malima were not far behind but they found Tagwa had the situation in hand. When Maktao joined the others in the afternoon all the orphans ran to welcome him from quite a distance. After the dust settled and everyone calmed down, Sana Sana and Ndotto had the chance to spend some time with the new boy. Together they both walked him around, resting their trunks on his back and neck, hugging him. Malkia then showed up and started shoving Sana Sana. Eventually Sana Sana surrendered and walked away with Ndotto, leaving Malkia with the baby. Sana Sana was obviously very upset with Malkia’s behavior and when she walked past Mteto she showed her disappointment by charging her. Ndotto recognized this was not her normal behavior and quickly intervened to stop the situation from escalating.

26 July 2017

Right after the 9am milk feed, Maktao came out to join the rest in the forest. One good thing is that he is very hooked on his keepers. The keepers have taken advantage of this as it helps them control his strange behavior around water. To keep him from heading straight to all the others water troughs, the keepers open his doors and run towards the forest, he instantly follows them and only stops when they stop. This morning, when he joined the others, he was surrounded by Mbegu, Kuishi, Malkia, Maramoja and Esampu. However, he decided to mount Enkesha’s head and even when Mbegu tried to stop him and pull him down, he kept on doing it. Malima was standing close by and soon Maktao started doing the same to her. None of the girls pushed or charged him, understanding he is still very little and learning, but when he started mounting Sattao, Musiara jumped in and pushed him to the ground. Today was full of games for all the orphans. Ndotto played his favourite wrestling game with big boy Kauro. Kauro was always one of the biggest baby bulls and Ndotto was the smallest orphan we have ever had at the nursery. It is wonderful to see the littlest bull now compete with the biggest bull so competently. Kuishi engaged Luggard in a pushing game but Luggard was playing too rough and poked her with his little tusks. Pare got into trouble when he pushed Maramoja from behind; he only wanted to play but he caught her off guard and she chased him away. Malima decided to play with Musiara and Sattao’s blankets that were hung on a tree when it became warm. She knocked them to the ground, threw them up and down and then did head stands on them. Godoma has gotten into the habit of kicking her peers with her hind legs but today she was punished for it by Murit who chased her and poked her with his tusks when he had enough. Jotto, Malima and Tamiyoi raced to see who could get to the milk first; Jotto was leading but just as they got to the finish line, Tamiyoi came from behind and overtook them all. Malima came in second and Jotto finished in last place.

27 July 2017

Ambo and Malima were trying to sort out their differences today during a wrestling match. Tagwa was witness to the fight and was trying to act as moderator to help them resolve their conflict. However, Ambo did not pay attention to Tagwa and so she decided to discipline him. Mbegu was browsing close by and saw what was happening but just ignored it and paid no attention to Ambo or Tagwa. Eventually, Ambo went over to Mbegu who was browsing intently, and took some of the leaves from her mouth but Musiara then came over to join them and Ambo didn’t want to share Mbegu so he started shoving the little boy away. Mbegu was disappointed with little Ambo’s behavior and sent him away instead. Musiara was pleased that Ambo had gone and enjoyed spending time with Mbegu who let him suck her ears which the babies always find comforting. When Kiko was let out of his stockade in the morning he raced off at speed into the forest where he located the babies and ran towards them. Sana Sana was the first to spot him and she raised her ears and charged him to try and stop him scaring the little ones. However, Kiko wasn’t scared by her threats and continued so Sana Sana alerted the other orphans by trumpeting loudly. Godoma, Esampu, Malkia and Mbegu came running from different directions and when Kiko saw them coming he tried to scare them away but they had made up their minds to protect the little ones from Kiko’s games. As they got closer he decided to run back to the safety of the stockades and the protective girls went back to check Musiara, Sattao and Maktao were all ok. At 3pm there was new fresh soil for at the mud bath which all the orphans love. Musiara in particular was enjoying the soil bath at the edge of the mud bath when he accidentally fell into the water. He got stuck and started screaming for help. Godoma got really upset seeing him in distress and even blocked the keepers from going to help, but eventually she calmed down and gave them space to assist him.

28 July 2017

It was a very cold morning today and all the orphans were quite chilly, and their keepers too! All the little ones like Musiara, Sattao, Malkia, Malima, Tamiyoi, Ambo, Enkesha and even Luggard wore thick double blankets to keep warm. Whilst out in the forest we watched all the orphans browse next to each other to keep warm and the smallest ones were very much attached to the sides of those bigger than them, staying tight to the middle of the group. Big boys like Kauro, Ndotto, Pare, Lasayen, Rapa, Murit and Mundusi decided to engage each other in pushing and wrestling games to keep themselves warm, especially when it started drizzling lightly and became even colder! During the public visiting time none of the orphans even dared to even test the water in the mud bath since they knew it would be cold and they would certainly be cold when they came out after. The majority of the orphans decided to dust themselves in the piles of red soil that had been placed there for them instead.

29 July 2017

Maxwell woke up in a playful mood today after he was woken up by Pare and Kauro who went straight to Maxwell’s gate after coming out of their stockades this morning. They went straight to where the lucerne is laid out for Max to feed on in order to steal some for themselves. The noise they made as they struggled to pull more lucerne through the bars of the gate woke Maxwell and then Pare decided to pull on one of his ears! Poor Maxwell got a fright and ran into the top half of his stockade, where he encountered some warthogs who were feeding on the lucerne pellets in his trough there. Since he was now in a playful mood he started chasing them and he managed to corner one between him and the trough, causing it to squeal in fright which brought the keepers running to call Maxwell away from the frightened pig.

30 July 2017

When the orphans came out of their night stockades, some of them like Murit, Tamiyoi, Mteto, Lasayen and Mbegu were seen walking amongst the rooms looking for extra lucerne pellets, whilst others like Ndotto, Kauro, Pare and Rapa were greeting each other with pushing games and Esampu, Tagwa, Malkia and Kuishi were welcoming the three little boys – Musiara, Sattao and Maktao. Malkia and Esampu were fighting over Maktao’s attention and each one wanted to be closer to him. They both engaged in a pushing game and Esampu ended up falling over after being over powered by Malkia. Esampu knocked into Maktao as she fell and she started to shout, so she got up and ran away for fear of being disciplined by Mbegu who she could see running over to find out what the problem was.

31 July 2017

During the public visit, Enkesha and Jotto were busy challenging each other by shoving, pushing and head butting each other. Their struggle was over who would claim victory over a heap of lucerne pellets that had been placed for them there. Neither one was ready to surrender the pile, so they resorted to all sorts of acts against each other. As Jotto failed to move Enkesha away from the pile, he tried pulling her tail to which she resorted to sitting down right on top of the pellets! Jotto then tried to push her off but Enkesha then lay down on them, leaving Jotto with no other option than to walk away at which point, Enkesha got onto her knees and started to feed on the lucerne. It was funny to watch because as soon as she saw Jotto walk towards the pile she lay down again to avoid him having any!