Keepers' Diaries, June 2018

Nairobi Nursery Unit

It was a month of adjustments for the babies in the Nairobi Nursery. Some welcomed the new change; with the absence of the older orphans, who were recently moved to the Rehabilitation Units in Tsavo, and with Jotto, Ambo and Mapia moving up to the older group, the babies in the younger group have been enjoying their new found playful freedom. Without the foreboding presence of some of the older orphans and those like Esampu or Mteto to stifle their play, some of the characters of the young orphans like Maisha and Malima, as well as Kuishi, Jotto and Emoli have come shining through, and they are playful indeed! Even the sweet little boy Jotto has been initiating all kinds of wrestling games with Ambo, Mapia and Emoli, trying to establish himself as the strongest bull in the herd with new found confidence, now the older boys have moved on.

01 June 2018

After just a few days of training, Mundusi, Mteto and Esampu woke up early this morning and walked onto the lorry with no trouble, to begin their journey to Ithumba in Tsavo East and the next chapter of their lives. It was a very smooth loading process and they were on their way in no time at all. Today some of the orphans like Ndiwa, Sana Sana and Sagala, who used to sneak away into the bushes with them, seemed to miss them. None of them wanted to walk away from the herd and they stayed with the main group all day! Once or twice Ndiwa and Sagala looked like they were about to walk away from the group, but they got scared and ran back to the herd and stuck close to the keepers. Even Shukuru who used to walk off deep into the forest during the day has not done so recently, since the other older orphans in Mbegu’s group left for Voi. She likes to stay close to the herd, although still browses to the side as she is not one to mother the babies very much.

02 June 2018

Just days after the naughty elephants Mundusi, Mteto and Esampu left for Tsavo and already some of the characters of the other elephants have come shining through. The past couple of days Kuishi, Jotto and Emoli have all been at the forefront, having been bullied by the likes of Esampu and Mteto before, they are now trying to announce themselves in the family herd. Kuishi has been a bit of a bully towards the youngsters and Emoli has been doing the same with the other bulls. Jotto is usually a sweet little boy but even he has been initiating plenty of wrestling matches between Ambo, Mapia and Emoli, trying to show off as the strongest bull. He is enjoying this new found confidence with the bigger boys having moved to Tsavo, paving the way for him to show off his strength. There are not too many other bulls left to challenge him!

03 June 2018

Today the orphans all browsed nicely together with none of them trying to walk away from the herd. They all remained very much attached to one another! It seems they are still feeling the absence of the others in the herd since nine were moved to the Reintegration Units in Tsavo. Elephants are so intelligent and it is obvious to them that the older members of their herd have gone. It must be very confusing as to why they would suddenly leave, but it is all part of growing up and being reintroduced back to the wild and we know that one day in the future they will see them again when they are old enough to make the same journey. Musiara and Sattao are doing okay without the presence of their adopted mothers Mbegu and Godoma, and are forging new close bonds with Tagwa, Ndiwa and Sana Sana, and sometimes Malkia to. Sometimes they are just spotted browsing on their own too. Funny little Maktao is perfectly happy attached to his keepers as always, very happy to love and trust them the most.

04 June 2018

With the departure of Mbegu and Godoma to Tsavo, the babies left in the Nursery are still trying to decide who between Tagwa, Sana Sana and Ndiwa will be their new leader. Sometimes they are attached to Ndiwa, but at other times Tagwa and then Sana Sana too. It is unclear at the moment, but who will emerge as their leader will probably be a slow and gradual process, and it will just natural unfold. They know for now that all three of those older girls are reliable. Luggard has been looking very well these past few days, very happy to be out in the bush and spending time with the others orphans. He can now walk quite a good distance with the rest of the herd. When the group does make to walk deeper into the forest, he complains that he is not allowed to follow them when the keepers try to hold him back, to prevent him walking too far. Most of the time he wants to follow the herd everywhere. He is doing very well at the moment.

05 June 2018

When the orphans had settled out to browse in the forest in the early morning, Ambo, Tamiyoi and Enkesha were all spotted enjoying a playful moment as Ambo chased after the two girls. The two girls were too clever for Ambo and when he was busy chasing after one, the other would run up behind him and playfully head-butt him, prompting him to turn and chase the other… and so it went on until Ambo became very confused over which one to chase, and gave up and just lay down on the ground so the other two girls could climb on him. During the public visit today it was Maisha who was acting like the little show-off today! She was running up and down the rope cordon enjoying bumping into the public and also kicking some of the bags that were placed on the ground. She trumpeted at the visitors trying to scare them and also trying to rally some of her friends into joining her, but none of them wanted to join in her game. With Esampu in Tsavo now and Jotto and Ambo in the second group (not in the first as she is) she can run frolic and run about and show off to her hearts content, as there is no one to bully her or bring her down a notch!

06 June 2018

In the early morning the orphans settled out in the forest to browse. Ndiwa was scaring the other orphans by trying to lead them away into the bushes but then turning and running back frightened. This meant the little ones Maktao, Kiasa, Musiara, Maisha and Sattao ran about frightened thinking that there was something ahead of them. We have noticed that Ndiwa has been trying to sneak back to the stockades, just like Ndotto used to do, because she knows there are tasty lucerne pellets near Maxwell’s stockades and there are always some left over in the rooms of the little ones, who never finish their share. Today the keepers were keeping a very close eye on her and not letting her return to the stockade compound, so we think she was trying to scare the herd as a diversion! She is a naughty and yet clever little girl.

07 June 2018

After Jotto, Ambo and Mapia were moved to be in the older group with the big girls like Shukuru, Ndiwa, Sana Sana, Sagala, Malkia, Tagwa and Kuishi, the first group seems to be very peaceful and there is no one to bully the youngsters, especially during the public visit. Maisha and Malima are now all happy and playful and able to run about without the worry of one of the bullish older orphans to stop them. Today during the public visit Malima was especially playful, rolling around in the loose soil and striking all sorts of poses. Suddenly she got up and started running along the rope cordon, playfully bumping into the visitors with her ears spread wide, with the keepers running after her. When she noticed the keepers coming after her she did a u-turn and went back to playing on the soil, but when she saw the keepers moving away again she quickly got up and went back to running along the cordon! She was very funny and seemed to steal the visiting public’s attention today.

08 June 2018

In the early morning soon after the orphans arrived out in the forest, many were busy browsing whilst Jotto and Mapia were busy engaged in a pushing game trying to show off their strength against each other. Neither one wanted the other to win, or wanted to take it easy on the other, so they played vigorously with each one trying to dominate the other! As their game reached its climax Ndiwa, who had been watching the two boys play fighting for some time with neither one giving up, approached the two boys to see what was going on. When she realized that it was a little more than a play fight, she decided to separate the two boys, pushing Mapia away from Jotto. It was so funny to see Jotto’s reaction as he clearly wanted to carry on with the fight; he went down on his front legs and started head butting the ground. He did that a few times before getting up and running off, trumpeting and bashing the bushes down as he went to join the other orphans who were busy browsing.

09 June 2018

Even though Shukuru doesn’t show that much interest in taking care of the herd, Ambo is still slightly attached to her, and sometimes to Sagala too. Ambo seems to feel more protected in the company of these older females in the herd. Today he has been following Shukuru around for most of the day. Ndiwa looks as if she is still missing her friends Mundusi and Mteto a little, who she used to go out into the forest with. Sometimes she looks as if she is about to move off away from the herd, but then she changes her mind without her older friends there to go with her. Sometimes she decided to browse along the periphery of where the others were. Maisha is one baby that doesn’t like to play around with the vegetation in her pen. She decides to eat it as soon as she is finished with her milk bottle and throughout the night until it is finished too. She is one of the last ones to go to sleep at night. Sometimes when she gets into her room and has had her milk, she might even try stealing some of the branches from Musiara’s room. Musiara is a gentle boy who doesn’t try to stop her either. We have even watched him pull some branches over to share with Maisha, if they are placed in the middle of his room.

10 June 2018

Tamiyoi is taking on Godoma’s old role very well and is showing promise of becoming an excellent mini matriarch within the herd. With some of the babies it is not often we find them sharing or inviting their friends to share food with them, but Tamiyoi has remained gentle and polite and is a peace-maker among the young group. Some of the babies like Enkesha recognize her good nature and appreciate her character so much, they invite her to share their food with them. Enkesha is normally quite protective of her food, especially when approached by one of her age-mates, but not with Tamiyoi or the very little ones. Today during the public visit she got very angry with Malima and charged at her to keep her away from her food pile, but allowed Tamiyoi to share with her. Today for once it was Kiasa who had to teach one of her age-mates a lesson. Emoli was being a little trouble maker and head butting those in front of him, but Kiasa came over and chased him away which was very interesting to see. Perhaps there is only room for one naughty elephant!

11 June 2018

There was a time when old friends Jotto and Ambo couldn’t be separated and for a while it seemed that friendship cooled off a little. Recently though their friendship seems to have been revived. Jotto is known to be creative with his games and is always eager to put a smile on his friends faces. He has been at it since morning and wanted to engage almost everyone in some kind of game! When he came out of his room this morning he started playing with Sana Sana beside his gate. Then he walked over to Maxwell’s gate where Max was enjoying some of his lucerne pellets. Jotto started pushing and pulling on the gate to attract his attention and Sana Sana stretched her trunk through the bars to touch his ears. Their efforts worked as Maxwell stopped eating and began to play with them, head-butting the gate. They played for a while and Max got very excited, running and jumping in circles, until all the orphans were out of their rooms and they had to begin to make their way to the forest for the day. Out in the bush Jotto ran ahead to engage Malkia in a pushing wrestling game, and during the public visit he had a lot of fun rolling in the fresh loose soil with his friend Ambo, who he wrestled with as well. He was relentless today!

12 June 2018

When Kiko walked out to the forest to catch up with the elephants, none of the elephant babies were interested in his company and they all started walking away from him; all a part from Musiara who kept trying to charge at Kiko whenever he walked towards him. Kiko seems to have noticed the absence of the older orphans who used to charge and chase him away. He is not very concerned with what tiny Musiara tries to do, so he is trying to spend more time with the elephants now that the older orphans have gone. Shukuru was accompanied by Ndiwa, Sagala and Kuishi today. At one stage Shukuru felt the need to discipline Kuishi however, when she tried to take Sagala’s vegetation she was eating. During the public visit today it seemed as if Emoli and Maktao were on guard duty. They pretended to be having a pushing game when in fact they were keeping an eye on the warthogs close by. Any warthog that wandered too close was charged at and driven away from the area.

13 June 2018

The orphans seemed anxious this morning as they went out to the forest. They ran out as fast as they could to go deep into the forest, but little Luggard was left behind as he couldn’t keep up with them. The kind girl Enkesha realized this and came back running towards Luggard to escort him out. She decided to keep him company and walk at his pace as they made their way to the rest of the group. When they arrived where the orphans had settled to feed, it was as if Jotto had been waiting for him, and he invited Luggard to a gentle wrestling game. Jotto is a very reasonable boy and knows just how to handle playing with Luggard considering his bad leg. Their game did not last for long though, as Sana Sana came over and started digging at the soil, inviting the two boys to come and play a soul dusting game. When Sana Sana became too rough in the game Luggard excused himself and Jotto followed, and the two boys decided to go and browse.

14 June 2018

Shukuru’s training to enter the elephant moving lorry has been the easiest out of all the orphans that have been moved recently. Angela has decided that it is time for her to be with older orphans again, as she is looking dull and lonely without their company. She has decided that the best place for Shukuru to be is in the easy habitat of Umani Springs, where she will never have to walk far to find water and vegetation to eat. Today was to be her last day in the Nursery, as well as the last chance to familiarize her with the lorry that would take her to the Umani stockades very early tomorrow morning. For the 9am milk feed she was escorted back to the stockades to have her milk bottles in the lorry with Tagwa. It went very smoothly and since she went in so well, it was decided there was no need to familiarize her with the noon feed as well. At 3pm it was Malkia’s turn to escort her and all went okay again. It has been very cold in Nairobi over the past few days and none of the orphans have felt like mud bathing at all. Today however the three girls Sana Sana, Malkia and Tagwa decided to take advantage of the afternoon sunshine and have some fun in the mud. There is a lot of stagnant water around from the recent rains still. Tagwa was the first to go down on the ground and prepare a nice muddy patch, for the others to join her later. As they rolled in the mud, Shukuru was watching closely. The whole day she stayed with the herd and didn’t wander away as she usually does. When it was time for bed in the evening, Mapia was racing Kiasa down and the little girl managed to beat Mapia. Sagala is taking a while to get to know her new stockade that belonged to Esampu before. Since the older orphans moved to Tsavo, some of the orphans have changed rooms to keep them altogether better. Sagala is still causing trouble in the evening trying to go into her old room, but she will get used to the new one soon.

16 June 2018

The loading and journey for Shukuru to Umani went smoothly this morning and was a success. It started around 2am with the preparation of everything inside the lorry for the journey; extra milk, extra lucerne pellets the elephants love so much and extra vegetation for her to browse on the way as well. Despite all her familiarization with the lorry, Shukuru was a little hesitant at first, but then she was fine and on the lorry within 15 minutes. By 2.30am the lorry was on the road and Shukuru had left the Nursery once more, destined for a ‘third’ attempt of returning to the wild once more. Tamiyoi seemed a little unsettled as Shukuru was being loaded and kept yelling out. Jotto, Tagwa and Malkia rumbled in response and tried to reassure her but Tamiyoi remained uncomfortable. Kuishi also realized Shukuru’s absence when the lorry left, and was so upset until it was time for them to go out into the forest in the morning. Out in the forest though the orphans calmed down and seemed to relax in the presence of their keepers. They went back to browsing and playing, and, one day too they will all understand in turn why the older orphans leave eventually one day.

17 June 2018

It seems Kiko’s naughtiness is growing as fast as he is! The giraffe is determined to make sure his presence is felt and he is not forgotten by the keepers and the elephant orphans too. Just after 1pm, as the orphans gathered under the trees to seek shade from the hot sun, the naughty giraffe stormed through, forcing his way through the herd. This sparked a response from the elephants, with playful girls like Malima trying to mock-charge him. Tagwa joined in to protect her from the mischievous Kiko, who was throwing back-kicks towards Tamiyoi. Naughty Kiko then used his height to his advantage, by picking a hat off one of the keepers’ heads and trying to chew on it, before another keeper could snatch it back! The attempts from Kiko’s keeper to lure him away from the group bore no fruit as Kiko was clearly wise to this old trick. The elephants then got together and gathered their courage to charge at the defiant giraffe, and eventually they succeeded in driving him a small distance from the herd and he wandered off to go and browse on his own.

18 June 2018

With Shukuru having gone back to Tsavo it seems Ndiwa has taken over her shoes. She likes to wander off during the day and browse on her own, and today the Keepers had a hard time following her as she chose to walk deeper into the forest. There was chaos during the public visiting time today as Kiasa, who seems to be working hard to fill Esampu’s shoes as the naughty girl in the Nursery, was trying to take an extra milk bottle from Sattao. She was bullying Sattao and in the process the keeper feeding him dropped his bottle spilling some of the milk on the ground, until another keeper came over and managed to chase the naughty girl away. Malkia wanted some extra milk too, but she did it by sucking up the extra milk in the wheelbarrow with her trunk, as Sagala tried to suck on the empty bottles. Jotto was being very funny trying to scratch his tummy on one of the water troughs, bending his legs in such a way as to reach the right spot. Sana Sana slowly got into the mud bath, spraying herself with muddy water to cool her body, and then Kuishi joined her too. Maisha was only preferred to spray herself from the side of the mud pool using her trunk, but she managed to spray some of the unsuspecting visitors behind her too!

19 June 2018

It was a warm afternoon and all the orphans were in a good mood. Some were browsing and others were dusting themselves in the loose, dry soil. What started off as a game only between the little boys, soon attracted some of the young girls as well and even some of the older ones. It was Musiara who set the ball rolling, grabbing Maktao’s tail. In protest Maktao turned and a pushing game started. As the game gained momentum, Musiara’s friend and age-mate Sattao joined in to help his friend. Emoli intervened and tried to separate them all, but he received a bad response as Musiara pushed him hard and bit his tail as well! The little limping boy Luggard stepped in and took hold of one of Maktao’s ears with his trunk, before Kiasa came rushing over to help her neighbour little Maktao. Enkesha then joined the pushing game too, with Jotto, Ambo and Malima mock-charging from a distance. The game continued for some time, before they were all drawn to Tagwa who had made the decision to start moving into the nearby thicket to browse. This meant the game drew to a close, as each of the babies bowed out to follow their new matriarch into the bushes as well.

20 June 2018

Today we watched Luggard have a lengthy interaction with Musiara and Jotto. It was nice to see the three playing and pushing each other. Luggard went after Musiara and grabbed his tail to make sure he couldn’t walk away and so that there wasn’t a big gap between them. Mapia keeps warning Ambo as day after day he seems to want to bully him. Today however whenever Ambo has tried to charge at him, Mapia raises his ears and moves a few steps forward, showing Ambo that he is ready to take him on now he is feeling more confident. Today during visiting Malima was happy running along the rope cordon throwing back-kicks towards the visitors, as Sattao was happily interacting with them. He especially enjoys interacting with school children. In the evening while in their stockades, most of the babies will go on pulling branches over from their neighbour’s room, even though they have their own to browse on. Sometimes Malkia is left with almost nothing to eat as Ndiwa and Tagwa have pulled through all her branches, which is exactly what happened this evening too!

21 June 2018

It was a sunny day for the orphans and they all really enjoyed it. Jotto as usually was leading the games and his first choice was a wrestling game. Malkia was in a good mood and enjoyed a pushing game with him. Later after their 9am milk feed, they decided to go further into the forest. Inside the thicket where the elephants had settled to browse, no one at first saw Solio there too! Black rhinos usually rest or sleep in the heat of the day, and Solio was fast asleep and did not hear the orphan elephants browsing towards her. She was woken up by the breaking of bushes as they fed close to her and she got up in a hurry, breathing loudly through her nose as a warning to the elephants. The orphans were scared and went running back to their keepers for safety, but when Solio realised it was just the elephants orphans she walked away quietly, looking for another quiet spot to go back to sleep. Tagwa and Sana Sana did a sort of mock-charge after her, but the keepers stopped them so to leave Solio in peace.

22 June 2018

It was a bright morning as the elephants orphans started off on their journey into the Park this morning around 6am. Maisha, Musiara and Emoli were among the first orphans to move out of their night stockades. As they walked past Maxwell’s gate, these little babies noticed some lucerne pellet leftovers. Using their tiny trunks they scrambled to collect up as much of the leftover pellets as they could. They fed for some minutes until a wild cry filled the air. It came from Maisha who was calling for help as her poor trunk was stuck, caught between the posts of Maxwell’s stockade. This drew Ndiwa’s attention who came rushing over to find out what was happening. Fortunately the little girl managed to free herself, but the rest of the herd had already started to make their way out to the forest. Maxwell trotted around his room a few times, clearly a little disturbed by poor Maisha’s loud cry.

23 June 2018

It was a long day for the elephants browsing in the Park today. As usual Kiko came running home for bed ahead of the elephants. He was hesitating to go into his night stockade but eventually the keeper lured him in. He was followed some minutes later by Luggard, who arrived back in the stockades slowly, pausing to take several breaks on the way with his keeper. As he approached Maisha’s room which is near his own, a warthog emerged scaring him and forcing him to take a step back with his ears raised. He gathered his courage and mock-charged at the warthog, before going for his milk bottle and settling down in his room. His next door neighbour Kiko, then began his mischief. He thought the ‘grass (or branches) were greener on the other side’, and he reached over to Luggard’s greens and began pulling a branch through the window. This irritated poor Luggard who grabbed the branch back with his trunk, and a tug of war began! It went on for some time until Luggard managed to pull his branch back.

24 June 2018

The two ‘big boys’ in the Nursery at the moment, Jotto and Ambo, were playing a pushing game after the 9am milk feed. Ambo was determined to win the game, and pushed Jotto hard against a nearby tree. In revenge, Jotto grabbed Ambo’s leg with his trunk, almost causing his opponent to fall over. Malima decided to join the game by biting Jotto’s tail! Jotto yelled his complaint and turned to face his female opponent for revenge. Tamiyoi now intervened to assist Jotto, her long-time friend, before Kuishi interrupted the entire game by lying on the ground in the middle of the sparring babies to dust herself. Malima decided to exit the game and dust herself as well, as Jotto and Tamiyoi lay next to Kuishi to join in too. Sattao and Maktao came running over to enjoy the dusting session, as Kiasa scratched her belly against a tree that was nearby.

25 June 2018

Malkia is turning into a greedy little girl these days. During the public visiting today she was trying to get an extra bottle from Sagala which caused a stir as tried to fend her off. Malkia’s quest for more milk did not end there however, as she tried to suck up extra milk from the empty milk bottles and the wheelbarrow containing them. Eventually she picked up one of the empty ones and tried to run along the rope cordon while sucking on it before one of the keepers managed to get it off her. Sana Sana then came down for her milk and surprised all the visitors who did not know that an elephant can hold a bottle by themselves and drink its contents quite happily. Attempts by Ndiwa to copy Sana Sana however did not quite work out, as she cannot yet hold her bottle firmly enough. Ndiwa accidentally dropped the bottle as it slipped from her trunk, spilling some of the milk on the floor before the keepers could retrieve it for her.

26 June 2018

Kiasa is most certainly the naughtiest orphan in the Nursery at the moment. Today she pushed Sattao to the ground during the 9am milk feed, but her naughty antics did not stop there. During the public visiting time between 11am-12noon, she wanted to make sure her presence was felt and this time she did it by bullying Musiara, wanting his share of milk and demanding it from the keepers feeding him. The keepers tried to block her from getting Musiara’s milk bottle, but instead she turned her attention to Maisha. As Maisha arrived for her share Kiasa quickly ran over and pulled the bottle out of the keeper’s hands, spilling some on the ground before he could pick it up. After being warned by the keepers, the cheeky girl turned to Emoli and decided to try and take a branch from his mouth. In protest Emoli turned in circles trying to protect the nice branch he had found and that he was enjoying chewing on. As Kiasa persisted, Emoli resisted, and decided to try and fight her which initiated a ‘push and pull’ game. Tamiyoi intervened to try and get the situation under control, but the two babies wanted to continue with their fight. Eventually everything was resolved when Malima came over and bit Kiasa’s tail! The naughty girl bowed out of the fight and decided to at last behave herself, heading to the mud hole for a mud bath.

27 June 2018

As the sun rose slowly warming the ground after a long night it also slowly warmed the elephant babies as they made their way through the forest slowly browsing. Kuishi took the opportunity to warm herself, lying on some open ground next to where the keepers were seated enjoying their breakfast. At one stage she threw a whole chunk of soil over herself so vigorously that some went into the keepers tea cups, so they moved so the little girl could enjoy her dusting game, and their breakfast would not get ruined either. Musiara then joined Kuishi who had spread her legs out with her tummy in the air so she could fully enjoy the morning sun. The little boy copied her and lay down on the warm ground with his trunk curled and his eyes closed. Little boy Luggard decided to join them too, and by that stage Musiara was resting his tiny trunk on Kuishi’s head. Maktao and Kiasa joined the sleeping group, taking up position next to Musiara. Their peaceful slumber in the sun was brought to an abrupt end however when baboons came running through making a lot of noise, waking the sleeping babies up with a start. They got up to run to the keepers and the other orphans for safety, and then the whole group moved off to browse again.

28 June 2018

It was a sunny afternoon and all the orphans were gathered under some big trees to protect themselves from the scorching sun. The tallest of all the orphans, the giraffe Kiko, was behind the bushes nearby, and his head was visible above the tree tops where he was feeding. Little boys like Musiara, Sattao and Maktao lay in the shade, at times flapping their ears to keep cool. Luggard was busy spraying himself with mud from a nearby drying stream. All of a sudden a group of gazelles emerged from the bushes running and making a lot of noise. The elephant orphans relaxing on the ground got up with a fright and Luggard hurried over to join them. Kiko got a fright too and ran with long strides towards the keepers. He stood still between the keepers and the elephants, staring in the direction the gazelles had run from. Using his height to his advantage he looked in all directions, and when everything seemed calm and there was no sign of danger, he started his journey towards the stockades. It was too early for bed, but he obviously felt scared now and wanted the reassurance of being in the stockade compound.

29 June 2018

Today Maxwell woke up earlier than usual. He was seen to be quite restless and moving up and down in his large stockade. Dust filled the air as the blind orphan stamped his feet on the ground. Later as the keepers were leading the elephant orphans out to the forest, they noticed a herd of buffalo near Maxwell’s stockade, and we realized that was the reason why Maxwell was so unsettled and stamping around his territory. As the orphans made their way out, the buffaloes began to move slowly away into the bushes. Sana Sana, Tagwa, Malkia and Malima were in the front line and doing little mock-charges at the buffaloes. They trumpeted and stamped around in the bushes, raising their wars high to make themselves appear big to the retreating buffaloes. Jotto, one of the big boys in the Nursery, mock-charged with them as well. Mapia and Ambo, although not at the front, trumpeted and kicked to support their older friends. Maktao, Musiara and Luggard with his bad leg preferred to remain close to the keepers and watch from behind.

30 June 2018

During the public visiting hour today, Musiara stole the show. As the last group of elephants came running in for their milk bottles, this little boy lagged behind, slowly following his friends who rushed in. Musiara chose to avoid the water that separated the feeding area and the rocks, and instead chose a dry path to follow, forcing the visitors to pave way for the little boy. He slowly drank his bottle, resting his trunk on his keeper’s hand. Emoli and Maktao were rolling on a fresh heap of loose soil, taking it in turns to roll and dust their bodies. Sattao joined their game and as it gained momentum, Kiasa decided to join the three boys. This also changed the style of game from a rolling one to a pushing and pulling one. Emoli pulled Sattao’s trunk as Kiasa pushed Emoli from behind. Emoli did not know but Kiasa had other plans, and the naughty girl bit Emoli’s tail so hard that he yelled for help. Malima came running over with her ears raised to save the crying Emoli, and Tamiyoi came over to help separate the fighting babies as well. They all walked off in different directions, bringing their fighting game to an end.