Keepers' Diaries, June 2005

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Ithumba Reintegration Unit

An exciting event for the Ithumba orphans has been the visit or two bulls, under cover of darkness, who came to drink at the Stockades before dawn on the 14th, and again at midnight the following day. The older elephants rumbled to them, and tried to follow the direction they had taken in the morning, but were unable to catch up with them. However, the fact that the bulls have visited the Stockades, means that the message will soon get out, and others are sure to follow given time, since the bulls are the scouts of elephant society. We wonder whether the visitors could perhaps have been Imenti and his Big friend?

An exciting event for the Ithumba orphans has been the visit or two bulls, under cover of darkness, who came to drink at the Stockades before dawn on the 14th, and again at midnight the following day. The older elephants rumbled to them, and tried to follow the direction they had taken in the morning, but were unable to catch up with them. However, the fact that the bulls have visited the Stockades, means that the message will soon get out, and others are sure to follow given time, since the bulls are the scouts of elephant society. We wonder whether the visitors could perhaps have been Imenti and his Big friend?

Apart from this, it has been a quiet month for the Ithumba unit, with Napasha, as usual, featuring a great deal, and the bond that exists between Yatta and Olmalo reiterated, as is that between Selengai and Mulika. Wendi, as usual, put on a good display for some visitors who provided a mudbath audience for her on the 20th. Wendi has always been a “show-off”, attracting the attention of any visitors by putting on an amusing display - standing on her head, and lifting up one hind leg, something that always raises a laugh. As usual the baboon troupe have provided plenty of diversion, as have some warthogs, and the usual dikdiks, whilst little Olmalo felt very proud for having single-handedly sent a rock hyrax into hiding.

An interesting incident took place on the 23rd, when Tomboi noticed that Wendi had a mouthful of grass, and went to try and snatch it from her. Yatta, who was watching from afar, then came and led Tomboi to where he could find some grass for himself!

There has been very little rain this season in Tsavo, which has made us think long and hard about the proposed move of 4 of our Nursery elephants. However, Daphne feels that it is essential that they acclimatize gradually to the heat of Tsavo, and now that they are all approaching two, also have access to the mineral rich vegetation of the Northern Area, since Nairobi National Park is low in essential minerals. Hence, the decision to move them has been taken, scheduled for the 1st July. Due to leave the Nursery are Madiba, Ndomot, Galana and Sunyei. Madiba, and Sunyei will, of course, be known to the younger Ithumba elephants,, namely Napasha, Tomboi, Taita, Olmalo, Selengai and Wendi, all of whom shared Nursery time with them, so we anticipate a joyful reunion up at Ithumba and a great welcome from the older elephants who will be delighted to have their unit swell in numbers. Once the move has been accomplished, we will have 14 young elephants within the Ithumba unit, 24 still Keeper Dependent within the Voi Unit, and just five left in our Nairobi Nursery.

June 2005 day to day

01 Jun

There was drama at the mudbath when a warthog tried to force its way in to drink whilst the orphans were still in the mud. Napasha spotted the intruder and chased it away backed up by Tomboi and Taita.

The Ithumba orphans havng fun at the mud wallow

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