Keepers' Diaries, July 2021

Nairobi Nursery Unit

July began on a sunny note. On the first day of the month, everyone woke up in a wonderful mood, charging out of their bedrooms and eager to start the day. Even Shukuru enjoyed an enthusiastic dust bath in the sun. We are happy to share that she has been steadily improving this month. She finds herself a very popular figure at the Nursery and all the youngsters constantly clamber around her. No doubt they are attracted to her gentle, comforting presence, but they may also have more mercenary motives: As the largest member of the Nursery herd, Shukuru gives off a lot of body heat, so the orphans huddle around her on colder days. 

01 July 2021

It was a wonderful sunny morning as the orphans were being let out of their stables and stockades. As all the orphans were making their way to the forest, they seemed to be a in a great mood charging around and eager to start their day. Even Shukuru could be seen enjoying a dust bath in the sun. Mukkoka, Naboishu, and Roho were all busy wrestling, and Ziwadi and Kindani were just off standing in one of the open plains enjoying the morning sun. Maxwell also seemed to be enjoying the morning sun as he could be seen lounging in the direct sunlight in one of the corners of his stockade. 

As the orphans ran down to the mud bath for their midday bottles of milk, the sun was still shining, and the day had warmed up nicely. Larro, Mukkoka, Roho, Naleku, Olorien and Rama all quickly downed their milk bottles and ran straight over to the mud bath. Rama, as always, carried out his own routine of standing on the edge and covering every inch of his body with my mud by splashing himself with his trunk. He covers himself in mud so well, that you would think he was fully submerged in the muddy waters. 

Some of the younger orphans have seemed to learn that if they stand close enough to Rama that they too will get splashed with mud and therefore can also enjoy a mud bath without any effort. Kindani, Kinyei, Bondeni, and Olorien who are all still a bit shy when it comes to mud bathing, especially like standing near him to get splashed. They will either stand to his left, right or behind him waiting for him to start splashing. 

After a long mud wallow, the orphans headed back to the forest with their Keepers, where they enjoyed a quiet afternoon of browsing. 

02 July 2021

This morning, the Keepers let the older orphans, such as Shukuru, Rama, Naboishu, Mukkoka, and Larro, out of their stables first. Being older and more independent, Shukuru, Rama, Naboishu and Mukkoka began to make their way to the forest, and they settled just on the corner of the stockade compound to browse. Larro, on the other hand, as matriarch appeared to immediately notice that none of the younger elephants and Ziwadi had been let out yet and she stayed back to wait for them. She stood in the stockade compound, waiting for Roho, Naleku, Esoit, Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei and Ziwadi.

As soon as Bondeni’s door was opened and he walked out, Larro went running over to him and let out a deep rumble as if to greet him and all the other little orphans that were now coming out of their stables. Once all the younger orphans were out, Larro seemingly happy led them out to the forest where they joined the rest of the Nursery herd.

Naboishu, although not as often, continues to be the loudest orphan amongst the Nursery herd when it comes to his milk bottle. As soon as he starts running down for his milk, you can hear him trumpeting and yelling throughout the forest. As he gets closer to his Keepers he is even louder and sometimes even yells as he takes his first sips. This afternoon, he yelled so loudly that he gave Olorien, Bondeni and Esoit a fright as they were drinking their bottles. The Keepers had to quickly calm them all down so they could drink their milk in peace. 

03 July 2021

This morning as the Nairobi orphans were  browsing in the forest, Roho, Kindani, Kinyei, Olorien and Naleku seemed to decide to sneak off in their own direction, moving away from the herd. As the Keepers noticed they had wandered off, they didn’t have to look for them for very long as within a couple of minutes, they could all be heard rumbling and trumpeting in a panic running back to the herd. The Keepers wondered what had given them such a fright and upon closer inspection, they noticed that there was a big male giraffe browsing nearby that must have frightened them. Kindani, Kinyei and Olorien got such a fright that they ran straight for the stockade compound and only once the Keepers had calmed them down did, they remain in the forest with the herd. 

The orphans always know where they are safe which is why they will either run back to the herd or to the stockade compound. 

In recent days, Olorien seems to have changed the direction in which she would like to leave the stockade compound and come back to it. She appears to now dislike the drain she has been walking over to get to her stable and now will do everything she can to avoid it. In the mornings, she will come out of her stable and Naleku and Ziwadi will proceed with their normal route through the stockade compound whereas she will walk along the front of Maxwell’s stockade and then along the side where she will re-join the rest of the herd at the back of his stockade. In the evenings, she will come back the same way, joining Naleku and Ziwadi once they are all back in their stables. Some evenings, the Keepers will direct Ziwadi and Naleku the same way so they can all arrive together. 

04 July 2021

Early this morning as the orphans arrived in the forest, Naleku, Kindani, Kinyei, Bondeni and Olorien were very busy chasing after some of the resident warthogs who were also out foraging and grazing. The warthogs seem to enjoy grazing near the orphans and Keepers, as perhaps they feel safer then when out on their own. This morning, however, the younger orphans especially Naleku, Kindani, and Bondeni did not want to leave them in peace as they kept chasing after them every time they tried to settle down. As soon as Larro seemed to notice that Bondeni was trumpeting and running after one of the warthogs she immediately ran after him and began to follow him wherever he went. Bondeni seemed to think this was now some sort of game as he kept running all around and looking back to see if she was following. Eventually, once Larro appeared to grow bored of this game did he too stop running around. 

Kindani appears to be the fastest drinker out of the orphans as she can down her milk bottle faster than Mukkoka, Larro and even Naboishu. Within a matter of seconds this little girl has finished her milk whereas Bondeni is by far the slowest. Bondeni never drinks with any rush as he always seems quite happy to take his time and enjoy every drop. Naleku on the other hand is the messiest drinker as she just opens her mouth wide and gulps down, not worrying if she spills her milk or not. Ziwadi continues to not be so bothered with her milk feeds as she is still so obsessed with her browsing. Naboishu, of course, is the greediest but he sometimes has some competition from Mukkoka, the fastest runner, who will race him as they run down for their milk bottles. Naboishu is also the most impatient as he doesn’t seem to enjoy it when the Keepers keep him back for too long before letting him run and he will even try to tell his Keepers off if his bottle is not ready. 

05 July 2021

Most days, the orphans will have fun carrying out one of their many activities, such as wrestling each other, dust, and mud bathing, climbing on each other’s backs and even enjoying longer walks further into the forest. This morning, however, as the orphans settled out in the forest, none of them seemed to be in a playful mood as they were instead calm and relaxed just enjoying their morning browse. Even the bulls such as Mukkoka, Naboishu and Roho were calm and didn’t seem eager to engage each other in any wrestling matches. Other orphans such as Naleku, Kindani, Roho, Kinyei and Shukuru who often love to wander further into the forest were quite happy to remain close to the herd this morning. 

Ziwadi continues to enjoy her morning and evening routine of stopping off at all the water troughs in the stockade compound to enjoy a long drink of water. Although it has very little effect on her well-being, she has still not quite mastered how to use her trunk when it comes to drinking but nonetheless her morning routine ensures she is getting her fill of water every day. 

Lately, in the evenings Kindani has gotten into this habit of knocking at her door when it his time for her to receive her evening bottles of milk. As soon as she starts to hear the Keepers moving around, she starts head butting at her door which in turn wakes up the rest of the orphans who then also get excited for their bottles. It is always so amazing to see how the orphans become so settled in their routines that they know exactly when it is time for the milk feeds.

06 July 2021

This morning there were quite a few spats of light showers which caused it to be very cold as the orphans were coming out of their stables and stockades. Orphans such as Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, Olorien and Naleku were all very reluctant to come out of their stables. Olorien and Bondeni even began to ignore their Keepers who were calling them to come out. They could be heard rumbling and trumpeting as if in protest. Suddenly they seemed to both realise that they were the last ones at the stockade compound as everything had gone quiet and this saw them quickly dash out of their stables to catch up to Kindani, Kinyei, Naleku and Ziwadi who were just at the start of the forest following the herd.  

Once the rain had stopped, Rama, Shukuru, Larro, Naboishu, Mukkoka and Roho could all be seen enjoying a mud bath on some of the wet mounds of soil. They were all happily rolling around when Esoit joined and immediately began to playfully climb on their backs as they all covered themselves in mud. Although smaller in size, Esoit is a confident playful young bull and he has settled in so well, making lots of friends within the herd. He is so confident that he has even been seen enjoying wrestling matches with Roho and Mukkoka. 

07 July 2021

It is always amusing for the Keepers to watch how the orphans behave when they have found extremely tasty greens that they want to hide them from the rest of the herd. This morning, as the orphans had settled back in the forest after their 9am bottles of milk, Kindani found a tasty branch that she did not want to share with any of the other orphans. She refused to share her delicious meal with Kinyei, Bondeni, and Esoit as they immediately seemed to smell it and came running over trying to grab any bits of her browse. As they kept trying to get her greens from her, she could be seen changing her stance keeping them far away from their reach and pushing them away with her bum. Kinyei was so persistent that Kindani eventually dropped the branch and aggressively pushed her away. 

Kinyei and the others eventually gave up and moved off into some of the nearby thickets. Once Kindani finished enjoying her branch she moved away giving Kinyei and the others some time to also enjoy the tasty greens around the area where she had been browsing. Some of the orphans such as Kindani are not good sharers, and they will always push their friends away when browsing. Whereas as other orphans such as Ziwadi and Rama are more than happy to share their greens when browsing. 

08 July 2021

This morning as the orphans were heading back to the forest after their 9am bottles of milk, Ziwadi seemed to be happily keeping up with Larro, Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, Naleku, and Naboishu, and she seemed to be keeping their pace quite well even as they moved through the forest. Unlike other days where Ziwadi happily keeps her own pace, today she was eagerly following the herd which was amazing to see as the Keepers had not witnessed this before. Rama also seemed to be keeping up with the rest of them as he always seems happy to follow his friend Ziwadi. 

It is often said that the orphans share many characteristics to humans in their behaviour and moods. This afternoon, as the orphans settled back down in the forest to enjoy their afternoon browse, naughty Naboishu didn’t seem eager at all to browse with anyone in the herd. Instead he decided to wander off and find his own browsing spot. He didn’t wander too far away as the Keepers could still see him and keep an eye on him and he spent about twenty minutes on his own before seeming to get antsy. He suddenly started to trumpet, rumble, and go bush bashing, as if trying to get the attention of the rest of the herd. As soon as he yelled out, he caught the attention of Larro, Mukkoka, and Roho who all immediately ran towards him. As Larro ran off she seemed to draw the attention of the rest of the orphans who all followed suit. 

As soon as the herd joined Naboishu he let out a deep rumble as if happy to see them all and welcome them to his browsing spot. He then proceeded to lead the orphans further into the forest. Ziwadi, Shukuru and Rama joined them much later once they were finished browsing in their first spot. 

09 July 2021

Mukkoka has always been one of the calmer and gentler of the bulls in the Nursery, and recently he seems to be taking his uncle duties very seriously as he appears to be continuously monitoring Naboishu’s naughty habits, especially during the milk feeding times. This morning, as the orphans were running down for their 9am bottles of milk, Mukkoka ran down in the first group of orphans and as soon as he finished his bottle, he hung around as if to watch over things. 

As always, Naboishu ran down in the last group as he can be so naughty with the other orphans and this afternoon he was just as naughty as ever. As soon as he got near the wheelbarrow, he just began pushing at any of the orphans that were nearby, this time it was Kindani, Kinyei and Olorien. As soon as he pushed the little girls they yelled out in protest and before the Keepers could step in, Mukkoka came barrelling over and pushed Naboishu far away from them. He let out a very deep and angry rumble which seemed to scare Naboishu so much that he ran away. Once Mukkoka had walked off, Naboishu finally came back and finished his milk. 

It is always important for the orphans to learn how to manage such disorderly behaviour amongst each other as they will have to do so in the wild amongst their own herds.

10 July 2021

This morning as the orphans settled back in the forest after their 9am bottles of milk, Kindani, Kinyei, Larro, Olorien, Mukkoka, Esoit and Naboishu were having a fun moment rolling around in the dust. It was amusing and heart-warming to see naughty Naboishu enjoying a playful moment with little Esoit where they were happily pushing against one another and rolling around. He even allowed little Esoit to climb on his back and Esoit seemed to really enjoy climbing up and then sliding down and climbing again. 

The orphans continued to be playful for the rest of the day and as they settled back in the forest after their midday bottles of milk, Mukkoka and Naboishu enjoyed a playful moment of chasing the resident warthogs around the forest. The two bulls would not give the warthogs any peace as they kept rumbling and chasing after them every moment they got. Naboishu was especially running after them, but he kept missing the warthogs as they were able to cut tight corners when running away. Their game was going so well but unfortunately Naboishu tried to cut a corner too tight that he fell over and then seemed unhappy to continue. Fortunately, he did not hurt himself, but their game was abruptly ended by his fall. Once he and Mukkoka left them alone, the warthogs happily settled to graze. 

11 July 2021

Nairobi is in the thick of its winter season and it certainly has been cold the last few days, especially in the early hours of the morning as the orphans are making their way out to the forest. Lately, it has been so cold that the orphans have been spending their mornings huddling together as opposed to playing, so generally their mornings have been quite quiet. Being the biggest in size and the eldest, all the younger orphans have kept trying to snuggle up next to Shukuru to keep warm. 

This has seemed to bring out Roho’s jealous side once again. This morning he was hogging Shukuru’s attention and every time Esoit, Naleku, Kindani and Bondeni tried to get close he would charge them and chase them away. He kept doing it that eventually Shukuru stepped in and chased him away, letting the others settle around her and share in her warmth. 

This morning as the orphans were heading down for their 9am bottles of milk, Naboishu ran down with Mukkoka, Larro and Esoit. He quickly gulped down his milk, and then began to bother all the other orphans and Keepers trying to get more milk. He was being so naughty that he was not even listening to his Keepers and kept protesting. Just like the other day, Mukkoka who was nearby, once again, stepped in and began to chase him away but this time Larro joined him as she came over and ticked him off. Only once Larro and Mukkoka had calmed down, did Naboishu return. 

Kindani had a busy afternoon down at the mud bath as she kept chasing the warthogs who were trying to enjoy a mud bath. Every time the warthogs tried to get close, she would run after them, rumbling and trumpeting. She continued for so long that eventually they gave up and ran off to the forest leaving the orphans. 

12 July 2021

This morning there were heavy showers throughout Nairobi, including at the Nursery. As a result, the Keepers chose to keep the orphans within the warmth of their stables and stockades. Maxwell seemed to be having a wonderful time in his stockade as he was walking and rolling around in the mud, enjoying the rain. Once he had covered his whole body in mud, Max walked up and down his stockade compound scratching against his walls. He would later settle to enjoy his Lucerne pellets and greens. 

The rain stopped for a moment and that is when the Keepers let the orphans out of their stables and stockades but as soon as they got to the forest, the rain began once more. As it began to rain, all the orphans were huddling under the bigger trees in the forest, seeking shelter. Once again, all the orphans would try to huddle near Shukuru, as her body heat would help them all warm up. Larro, Naboishu, Olorien and Roho were all pushing at each other trying to get space near her. They eventually seemed to annoy Shukuru as she kept trying to move over to another tree to get some peace and quiet. However, all the younger orphans would just follow her. 

It was still drizzling as the orphans were running down for their 9am bottles of milk. After they finished their milk bottles, they all enjoyed a long mud bath on one of the wet dust mounds which helped them keep warm as well as cover themselves in mud. 

After their midday bottles of milk, Naboishu enjoyed a playful moment with Roho and Naleku. 

13 July 2021

It was a beautiful sunny morning as the orphans were let out of their stables and stockades. It was great to see Kinyei excitedly run out of her stable after she had had a troubled evening. It took a while for the Keepers to see what was bothering her but one of the local tree hyraxes had snuck into her room and kept dashing about tying to get out. Eventually the Keeper saw the hyrax and opened the door letting it out. Elephants are very weary of smaller animals dashing around their feet and the hyrax was lucky to not have been trod on before getting out. 

As she came running out of her stable, she enjoyed a short game with Maxwell who was standing at his bottom gate listening to the orphans. Once she finished playing with him, she ran over to play with Roho, and they enjoyed a long game of pushing and chasing each other around the stockade compound. Their game, eventually, was interrupted by Kindani who came over and separated them. 

Rama is apprehensive of Kindani and Olorien as they can bully him a little, but otherwise he has settled in well amongst the Nursery herd and gained his confidence. Recently, he has even been challenging Olorien and Kindani and standing his ground when they have tried to bully him. 

Bondeni continues to be a young playful bull and will often mock charge his Keepers in a playful way and chase them around the forest. The Keepers always have a wonderful time playing with him, and they are always pleased to see he has kept playful personality. 

14 July 2021

Maxwell’s leftover pellets never go to waste as the Keepers always put them out in the forest for the wild warthogs, other wild animals and even the orphans. As the orphans get to the forest, they will often stop off and grab a couple of pellets before heading off deeper in the forest to browse. Naleku always goes out of her way to find where they Keepers have placed the pellets. She will even disappear whilst the orphans are browsing to go in search of them. 

The Keepers have even tried to lead the orphans in different directions so that they do not always finish all the pellets but with such great memories they always know where to go. This afternoon, after the orphans’ midday bottles of milk down at the mud bath, Naleku in the company of Larro, Roho, Naboishu and Olorien all snuck off to have some pellets.

They were gone for such an extended period, that one of the Keepers went to look for them. As soon as he found them, they all ran off back to the herd like naughty children. Roho would even try to distract the Keepers by chasing after a herd of impala that was nearby and he was joined by Mukkoka. They managed to chase the impala far away and once the impala had run off, they began to wrestle each other. Naboishu eventually also came over and joined their game. They finished their game with just enough time to browse before heading home. 

15 July 2021

Esoit appeared to be in an extremely joyful mood this morning as the Keepers were letting all the orphans out of their stables and stockades. Every morning before dashing out of his stable he will always check to see if his neighbour, Roho, has left for the day. This morning as he was checking, he seemed to notice that Roho was already outside greeting Shukuru at her gate, and he immediately came barrelling out of his stockade rumbling and trumpeting as if to greet the rest of the orphans. The duo then engaged each other in a short wrestling match and chased each other around the stockade compound. Their game continued until all the orphans were out. 

In the forest, Roho settled with the rest of the orphans to browse whereas Esoit jovial mood continued as he was busy charging around the entire forest, bashing through all the bushes trumpeting and rumbling. He even tried to push over the smaller shrubs. Esoit’s game continued for so long that eventually Roho joined him once again. The duo then began playing one of their favourite games which was to chase after the troop of baboons that was foraging in the forest. Later in the morning, Esoit spent time with one of his other favourite friends, Shukuru. He loves spending time with her and will often follow her around and then browse right close to her as if he feels protected. 

The orphans were slightly unruly during their midday feeding time as they seemed to not be enjoying the light drizzle and as soon as they finished their milk bottles, they wanted to head back to the forest. Only Ziwadi was happy remaining down at the mud bath feeding on the greens the Keepers had cut for the orphans. The rest of the herd was pushing against one another trying to get closer to Shukuru. Shukuru seemed to grow tired of their antics and pushed Mukkoka, Naboishu and Roho a away as they kept causing problems near her. This afternoon, Mukkoka, Naboishu, Roho, Rama, Naleku and Larro enjoyed a lengthy mud bath. Bondeni was being so naughty, and not listening to his Keepers so they sent him to the naughty corner until the orphans went back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

16 July 2021

Although Rama has settled nicely in the Nairobi Nursery, he is still shy of the Keepers and will occasionally get close and then shy again once more. He seems to have gained more confidence with the younger orphans of the Nursery but is still a little apprehensive of the bigger guys such as Mukkoka and Naboishu. The Keepers feel that one day he may be confident enough to challenge these boys to a wrestling match. 

Recently, however, Rama seems to have been remembering which of the orphans used to bully him and he seems to be getting annoyed in return to them. Throughout today, he seemed to be giving Olorien, Kindani and Roho a tough time and kept pushing them away from him. He pushed Olorien quite hard at one point that the Keepers had to intervene and usher him away. Kindani used to stand in Rama’s way when he would run down for his milk, so today he did exactly that. As Kindani was running down for her midday bottle of milk, Rama stood directly in her way, blocking her path. He was being so naughty that the Keepers had to step in and chase him off. 

Later in the afternoon, all the orphans enjoyed a wonderful dust bath with each other. Esoit appeared to be having a wonderful time climbing on Kinyei, Roho, and Larro’s backs, he would then run to the top of the mound and then slide all the way down. This evening, once back in the orphans were back in their stables and stockades, Mukkoka and Larro kept on stealing greens from their neighbours. Mukkoka kept stealing Naboishu’s greens whereas Larro kept stealing Shukuru’s. Shukuru gets a wide variety of greens to assist with her health, but she always stacks her greens near Larro’s side as if she is happy to share. 

17 July 2021

Kindani and Ziwadi always seem to prefer to not engage in any games with the rest of the Nursery herd. Ziwadi will take part in the herd’s celebrations, if all the orphans are running around in excitement, she will quite happily take part and follow them along, but mostly she will remain quiet browsing. In addition, if she is feeling very energetic, she will enjoy chasing the warthogs around the forest. Apart from dust and mud bathing with the Nursery orphans it is rare to see Kindani taking part in all the other activities with the herd, but she can occasionally be seen wrestling with Roho and Larro. It has been a couple of days since Kinyei and Roho have wrestled but they have remained close friends. 

Larro seems to still have a soft spot for little Bondeni as she always so sure to keep a close eye on him. Generally, Bondeni will be amongst the first group of orphans that run down for their midday bottles of milk with Shukuru or one of the older orphans, today he and Shukuru were in the last group. As Larro was down at the mud bath before the others, she seemed confused to not see Bondeni and she even went and stood near the path to the mud bath waiting for him. Slowly, Shukuru and Bondeni showed up and as soon as Larro saw him she let out a deep rumble as if in excitement that he quickly responded to. Larro even went running past the Keepers to greet him and escort him down to the mud bath. 

The orphans had a quiet afternoon browsing in the forest. 

18 July 2021

Naleku is such a sweet young girl, she continues to be so disciplined and independent and doesn’t cause any trouble with the other orphans. This morning, as all the orphans had settled in the forest, Naleku was standing near Olorien and Larro. As she was standing just behind Olorien, Olorien began to back kick her unnecessarily. Naleku kept trying to dodge her kicks and as Olorien kept missing she seemed to get even more annoyed that she turned to face and charge at Naleku. Naleku stood her ground, and the two locked heads with neither of them giving up an inch. Although she is a quiet girl, she is very strong and Olorien seemed to quickly realise that she would not give in so easily. 

Larro decided to take a step back and see whether they would sort things out with one another but as neither of them seemed to give in, she eventually intervened. Larro had to get quite angry with Olorien and eventually chased her far away from Naleku. 

Although Naleku is not greedy at milk feeding times, she has learnt which orphans to stay close to, to suck up any of their spilt milk. This is mainly Esoit, Mukkoka, and Ziwadi who are always spilling milk all over the place. She will stand very close to them and then gently reach out her trunk to suck up any of the spilt milk, not disturbing them or causing any harm. 

19 July 2021

This morning, it was Bondeni who was charging all around the forest chasing after the baboons and not Roho. Since Bondeni is smaller in size, the baboons seemed to be more interested in playing with Bondeni than rushing off to get away. As they were just hanging around in the trees, Bondeni seemed to grow even more frustrated with chasing after them, that he even stepped up against some of the barks as if to try and climb the trees. Eventually he seemed to get so frustrated that he trumpeted loudly in protest, and this appeared to grab Kindani’s attention who came rushing over to help him. They then both chased after the baboons together and the baboons seemed to enjoy it too. Their game was abruptly ended when Shukuru appeared as she seemed to scare off the baboons. As Shukuru settled to browse, she was soon joined by Naleku, Esoit, Bondeni and Kindani. Wherever she walked, her little companions would follow her along as if they were her little shadows. 

Esoit continues to be a very playful young bull and every day he is looking for someone new to play with. This afternoon, he seemed to be challenging Mukkoka and Larro to some fun little wrestling matches whilst down at the mud bath. They all seemed to be having such a great time when suddenly out of the blue Rama joined in. For the first time since his arrival Rama challenged Mukkoka to a short strength testing match. The Keepers thoroughly enjoyed watching them all play before ushering them back to the forest for more browsing. 

20 July 2021

Kindani, Bondeni and Kinyei have been referred to as the three best friends and the fun trio of the Nursery. Kinyei is the quiet calm one, Kindani is the confident stern one who can sometimes be a bit of a bully, and Bondeni is the cheekiest and most playful even though he is the smallest in size. 

This morning, as he came out of his stable, Bondeni went rushing over to Maxwell’s lower gate to greet the big rhino who was standing at his gate. After a short interaction between the two, Kindani came over to join them and the three of them enjoyed a short playful moment together. Kinyei in the meantime, just stood back and seemed to be watching them from nearby Shukuru’s stockade. Eventually, Kindani seemed to grow tired of their interactions as she began to push Bondeni passed Kinyei and out towards the forest. Shukuru was already up ahead of the herd but was waiting for the rest of the orphans to catch up. 

Today, as the orphans had settled to browse near one another in the forest, these three little best friends happened to wander off together looking for their own area to browse in. The Keepers had to really look for them as they were so well hidden in the forest that they took some time to locate them but once they did, they all happily ran back to the herd. 

Mukkoka was enjoying lots of playful moments today with Esoit as he was teaching this young bull how to wrestle. During their midday mud bath, the two bulls enjoyed a lengthy match, and it was incredible to see how Mukkoka knew to play gently with him as he was still so young and small. Shukuru has also been so playful today and after her 3 o’clock bottle of milk as the sun was slightly out, she walked straight over to the mud bath and began to splash mud on her body. After a lengthy amount of time, she then walked over to the dust bath where she dried herself off and covered herself in dust by rolling on top of the mound.

21 July 2021

Since Rama’s arrival he has always been close to Ziwadi, and most days, they have spent a lot of time together. Recently, however, as Rama has gained his confidence in amongst the Nursery herd, he has been enjoying moving between different friends throughout the day. Since Shukuru’s arrival back at the Nursery, Rama has been enjoying her company too but today he was happily spending time with Mukkoka and Naboishu. Unlike most days, Naboishu was in a peaceful mood today and he was not giving any of the younger orphans, including Rama a hard time. It was great to see the three bulls following each other around the forest and each taking their turns to lead their little group. 

Esoit and Kinyei enjoyed a playful moment today. Kinyei has always been a gentle orphan and even when she wrestles, she is always gentle when challenging her opponents. Roho on the other hand can play quite rough and really tries to defeat his opponents, this is perhaps because he is now challenging Naboishu and Mukkoka more regularly. Esoit and Kinyei played for ages, even when they were down at the mud bath. 

Ziwadi was so busy happily browsing that she didn’t notice that most of the herd had moved further afield. Suddenly these two ibises flew straight over her head squawking, and this seemed to give her such a fright. She immediately dashed in the direction of the other orphans, rumbling, and trumpeting with her ears out. All the orphans ran towards her and once all of them were together they all calmed down and continued to browse until it was time to return home for the evening. 

22 July 2021

It was a beautiful sunny morning and all the orphans seemed to be in happy moods as they were running out of their stables and stockades. As the orphans settled in the forest to browse, Olorien, Kindani, Kinyei and Bondeni all happily settled near Larro. Larro has really stepped into her role as matriarch as she is always so happy to look after all the orphans in the Nursery and seems to love to spend time with the younger orphans. When need be, she is also a great disciplinarian. 

Ziwadi as always has her days when she is more social with the Nursery herd than others. Today, Ziwadi was happily following the orphans throughout the forest and whenever they would settle to brows, so would she. She would settle to browse near Bondeni, Olorien and the other younger orphans. She even seemed a little bit spritelier when it was time for the orphans to run down for their milk feeds. 

The orphans had a wonderful peaceful day browsing in the forest only breaking for their milk feeds before heading back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

23 July 2021

This morning Maxwell appeared to be full of energy as he came bouncing out of his room to enjoy his greens. He immediately began to sort his greens with his horn, moving his favourite acacia branches to one side and then his lesser favourite ones to the other side. Once he was done sorting them, he began to crunch down on the branches and all the orphans and Keepers could hear him throughout the stockade compound. He was too busy enjoying his greens this morning to go over and greet the orphans, so they all left for the forest without stopping off at his gates. 

After a good while, Max finally made his way up to his top stockade where his Keepers had already laid out his Lucerne pellets. He walked straight over to his pellets and began to eat those too. He even allowed the warthogs to share his breakfast with him. Once they all had their fill, Max and the warthogs went over to the sunny corner of his stockade, and they all enjoyed a long nap. 

Later in the afternoon, Max went over to the other side of his stockade and enjoyed walking through the grass and laying around in between his browsing. In the evening, as the orphans were running back to the stockade compound, Max was back down at his greens that had been freshly cut by the Keepers. Once again, he was sorting his greens and then munching away at his favourite greens before the rest. Around 6pm max disappeared into his bedroom. 

24 July 2021

Ziwadi, once again, seemed to be in one of her more sociable moods today as the orphans were all browsing in the forest together. She was happily following Larro and the herd as they would walk around the forest, and she seemed to be always keeping an eye as to whether the other orphans were around or not. If she noticed that they weren’t around she would quickly walk around to locate them and then head off in their direction. It is always wonderful to see her being social as she is normally so quiet. 

In the afternoon as the Keepers were calling all the orphans to run down for their 3 o’clock bottles of milk, Ziwadi was just as eager as the rest of the orphans to run down for her milk. She ran down with Naleku, Olorien, Kindani, Kinyei, and Esoit who were all eagerly dashing in front of her as she just carried on at her own pace. Once all the orphans finished their bottles of milk, they were led back to the forest by their Keepers. 

Ziwadi’s energy continued throughout the day as even this evening, she was ahead of the herd leading the Nursery orphans back to the stockade compound. 

25 July 2021

It was another bitterly cold morning, so the Keepers decided to leave the orphans within the warmth of their stockades and stables a little bit longer, until it wasn’t so dark anymore. At around 7am, the orphans began to make their way to the forest, they were all huddled together as they walked, keeping each other warm and staying close to Shukuru who always seemed to the warmest. This morning, the forest was full of other wild animals, the warthogs, impala, and some of the buffalo were all about grazing. It is always important for the orphans to come across wild animals as they will have to learn how to interact with them when they are older and living wild. 

The orphans were quite calm this morning as it was so cold, and they did not seem to mind sharing the forest with the other animals. It was cold throughout the day so even at 11am when the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, they didn’t want to mud bath or dust bath, but they just continued to browse on the freshly cut greens. After a short while, the Keepers led them back to the forest. 

The orphans had a very quiet afternoon browsing together and they were once again led back to the stockade compound by Ziwadi when it was for them to head home. All the orphans seemed excited to head home as they all dashed into their stables and stockade. 

26 July 2021

Contrary to the day before, it was a beautiful sunny morning, so all the orphans were up bright and early, and all seemed to be eagerly waiting by their doors to be let out. As all the orphans were rushing out to the forest to start their day, Ziwadi was slowly walking up through the stockade compound stopping at each water trough enjoying her morning intake of water. Some of the Keepers were walking slowly behind her, to make sure she didn’t get left behind by the herd. 

Once out in the forest, Ziwadi settled with Esoit, Rama, and Bondeni. They were happily browsing just near where they rest of the herd were browsing. Shukuru was just off to the distance browsing quite happily on her own, when she was soon joined by Naleku who was another one of her little fans. 

Later in the afternoon, as it was a warmer day, some of the orphans namely Shukuru, Esoit, Kindani, Kinyei and Naleku were all enjoying a long dust bath. The little guys were rolling around as Shukuru was spraying dust over her body with her trunk. Once they finished dust bathing, they continued to browse before heading home for the evening. 

27 July 2021

Esoit continues to become more and more settled in his new life at the Nursery and he seems to thoroughly enjoy his new friendships with all the Nursery orphans. Larro and he have also become quite close, and they will often share a short moment together whether browsing or being playful in the mud or dust. After their midday bottles of milk today, Larro escorted Esoit away from the wheelbarrow, where they joined Ziwadi, Naleku, Olorien and Kinyei who were already busy browsing once more on the cut greens. They all peacefully browsed as the other orphans finished their milk bottles.  

This afternoon, as the orphans were back in the forest, Mukkoka and Naboishu enjoyed a long strength testing match as the rest of the herd peacefully browsed. They were having such fun chasing each other around the forest and really challenging each other to see who would be the strongest of them both. Neither of them gave in, so they eventually seemed to give up as they were both tired. After their game, they went back to browsing before heading home. 

28 July 2021

This afternoon, the orphans enjoyed their 3 o’clock bottles of milk down at the mud bath. Larro, Naleku, Olorien and Bondeni all came running down together in the first group. They all quickly gulped down their bottles of milk before heading over to the mud bath waiting for the rest of the herd. As it wasn’t quite warm enough yet, none of the orphans chose to mud bath but Kindani, Kinyei and Bondeni all enjoyed rolling around the dust mound together and climbing on each other. 

Once the orphans, had settled back in the forest, Shukuru and Ziwadi seemed to be quite happy browsing in each other’s company. They were happily moving along near one another, and they both seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their greens as neither of them were paying much attention to the rest of the herd. Unbeknown to the, Naboishu and Mukkoka had once again engaged in another wrestling match, and they continued their game up until it was time for them to head home, even chasing each other back to the stockade compound. 

29 July 2021

It was another chilly morning as the orphans were already settling in the forest to browse. Much like the other morning, some of the orphans especially the younger bunch stayed within the warmth of their stables and stockades until around 7am. Even had the Keepers wanted to keep them in until it got warmer, they all seemed particularly eager to start their day, including Ziwadi who was even trying to see over her door, with her trunk over the other side. 

Larro seemed happy to have all the orphans together browsing as she rumbled as some of the late comers arrived. She first walked over to Bondeni, Kindani and Kinyei and greeted them all and then continued to the rest of the orphans. Ziwadi and Rama were happily browsing near one another and minding their own business as Olorien was causing more mischief bullying some of the other orphans. Larro eventually told her off chasing her away from Naleku who she seemed to be picking on again. 

This afternoon, Ziwadi, Rama and Shukuru all enjoyed a peaceful afternoon browsing together. 

30 July 2021

This morning, it was quite sweet to see the orphans following each other out to the forest in a single file line. They were being led by Larro and some of the Keepers and they were being brought up the rear by Ziwadi and Rama who were very much keeping at their own pace today. As it remained, cold none of the orphans seemed eager to play but instead were quite content browsing with one another until it was time for them to head down for their bottle feeds. 

At midday, Naboishu was once again let down in the last group of orphans as the Keepers were wary that he may stir trouble. Although he didn’t cause any trouble, he did make a lot of noise as he was running down letting everyone know he was arriving. 

The orphans were peacefully browsing this afternoon, but Naboishu seemed to be getting bored as he kept trying to entice a wrestling match with Mukkoka. Mukkoka was very uninterested as he just wanted to browse. He eventually moved over to Roho, and Roho seemed very eager to challenge. He and Roho enjoyed a lovely wrestling match before settling to browse.

31 July 2021

It was another cold morning and the Keepers left Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, Esoit, Olorien, and Ziwadi in their stables a little longer to wait for it to warm up. Shukuru and the others proceeded to the forest as they were all more resilient to the colder temperatures. Even though more resilient, Mukkoka, Naboishu, and Roho were still all huddling around Shukuru to share in some of her warmth. A little bit later the rest of the Nursery orphans were let out and they all charged off to the forest to join the others and start browsing. 

Larro enjoyed a wonderful playful moment with Esoit in the forest as she challenged him to a playful wrestling match in the forest. Esoit seems to love these games as Larro is always so calm and gentle with him. They played for quite some time, and Larro even let Esoit playfully climb on her back before they ended their game to run down for their midday bottles of milk.

As the day remained quite cold, the orphans were all quite quiet this afternoon just browsing and enjoying short dust baths and mainly breaking for their milk feeds.