It has been a very exciting month for the Nursery contingent, the proximity of the lions causing a great deal of disruption, especially one night when they were roaring right around the Stockades and Stables, so much so that the Night Milk Mixer’s 3 hourly milk run became suffered severe disruption. This in turn affected the elephants, so all in all, it was an extremely disturbed night. With very little for lions to eat in Nairobi National Park these days, and the remaining warthogs seeking protection around the Trust premises, the lions have come far too close for comfort, steadily depleting the warthog population and terrifying the elephants and their Keepers. As a precaution the Keepers now take with them a red blanket hoping that this will leave the lions believing they are Masai, who have habitually speared lions for centuries, and of whom lions generally are very wary! At the end of the month the lions killed two warthogs, one just behind the Stockades, and the other also very close. Watching out for the lions has become a daily hazardous routine!
Lenana is gradually asserting herself to become the new Matriarch in the absence of Sian, but she is still wary of disciplining Zurura and Kamboyo, who are the same size as herself and enjoy jumping on Makena and Chyulu. Lenana adores little Shimba, and her affection is reciprocated, since she allows him to try and suckle her miniscule teats! Lesanju doesn’t want to be smother-loved by the bigger girls, and nor does Lempaute, who looks upon Lesanju and the Keepers as her mentors. This has frustrated Makena and Chyulu, both of whom have been vying for the affections of little Lempaute, who doesn’t want to know!.
Lempaute adores young children, and seeks them out for a bit of fun at every mudbath; charging through the rope cordon to play with them, causing initial disruption, and then collapsing at their feet to regain their confidence again so that they will interact with her. She then loves playing with their hair, and generally showing off to an audience, yet always focusing on the children, scanning the crowd and always targeting them.
Zurura sprained a foreleg somehow, and was very lame for a few days, but has fully recovered since. He now has a Stockade to himself, with Kamboyo next door, but Chyulu and Makena share what used to be Sian’s Stockade, with Lenana next door. The older orphans are usually joined by the small babies every afternoon for a few hours, but we have been keeping the small elephants closer to home in view of the presence of the hungry lions. Lions aside, it has been a very peaceful and happy month for all the Nursery babies, who have enjoyed good health, entertained the public during the open visiting hour, when large crowds turn up as well as many school children. In fact, the school visits are now so popular that we have to restrict numbers on a daily basis to 250, and bring them in, in batches of 50 at a time.