Keepers' Diaries, June 2018
Voi Reintegration Unit
Over a month has passed since Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen, Murit, Godoma and Ngilai made the move to our Voi Relocation Unit and they have settled in extremely well to their new surroundings. The most marked difference can be seen in Murit, who at 4 years old was held back from leaving the Nursery until slightly later due to the poor health, but who is now thriving in his new home, relishing the stimulation and interaction with the older dependent orphans, some ex-orphans, and wild herds too. He has proven to be a mud bathing star, and has a special love for water and enjoys wallowing.
01 June 2018
The orphan elephants walked out of the stockade this morning full of excitement as they drank their morning milk bottle and enjoyed the extra supplements like copra cake and lucerne pellets, before leaving for the bush. On arriving at the southern foot of Msinga Hill, the orphans saw a wild elephant herd browsing half way up the hill. Ndoria and Mbegu were excited and led the others uphill to interact with them.
Mbegu stopped half way, while Ndoria reached them greeting them briefly before descending to rejoin the rest of the orphan elephant herd.
After an hour of a serious browsing, Ngilai started a strength testing game with Tahri which Godoma later joined. Ndotto and Lasayen kept themselves together browsing close to the keepers as the others explored further uphill. Ndii and Mbegu were seen together with their trunks entwined.
The orphan elephants visited the baobab water hole, and had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games after which they resumed with the days browsing activities.
02 June 2018
The orphan elephants came out of the stockades in happy mood and drank a morning milk bottle before settling for supplements after which they followed Mbegu and Lentili out to the bush.
Tundani and Nelion later took over the lead and had the group browsing up on the western side of Msinga Hill. After two hours browsing, Ngilai and Lasayen became engaged in a friendly pushing game before resuming their browsing activities.
A wild elephant herd was browsing along the bottom of the hill and raised their trunks in greeting to the orphans. One teenage female wild elephant came uphill and had a wonderful trunk touching greeting with Suswa, before moving to rejoin her wild herd.
The orphan elephants came down the hill and had some fun rolling in the grass before making their way to the baobab water hole. Arruba got excited in the water, striking the water with her front foot, sending muddy water into Mashariki, Bada, Mudanda and Ndotto’s faces. Panda was happy to see Ndii in the water and quickly stole Tahri away for some soil bathing games on the piles of the red earth. Ndii came out of the water and approached the two, hugging and embracing Tahri and robbing Panda of the chance to have Tahri to herself. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing in the flat savanna grass lands close to the baobab water hole.
03 June 2018
It was a busy morning as the orphan elephants assembled for their delicious milk bottle and range cubes before starting the journey to the browsing grounds. The mid-morning browsing session went well with the orphans interacting with one another. Mbegu’s herd of Lasayen, Ndotto, Godoma, Ngilai and Murit interacted well with the members of Kenia’s herd, with Godoma enjoying feeding with Embu and Arruba with Murit spend the morning hours browsing with Ishaq-B.
Tahri seemed to become a little upset with the attention of the new arrivals and pushed Mbegu hard from behind. Mbegu reacted calmly and simply sucked up some cold water with her trunk and poured it over Tahri! With the cloudy and cold weather prevalent today the orphan elephants chose to forgo wallowing in the mud bath when they visited the baobab water hole for a drink. When they had their fill of water they continued with their browsing activities on the northern foot of Msinga Hill.
04 June 2018
It was a chilly Monday morning as the orphans exited their stockades for their morning milk bottle and supplement foods. Mbegu and her herd were the first to be given their milk bottles followed closely by their older friends in Kenia’s herd. The orphans enjoyed browsing while taking shelter from the cold wind behind some big rock boulders on the eastern foot of Msinga Hill. They browsed peacefully while they moved towards the baobab water hole, where they enjoyed their afternoon milk bottles and had a drink of water.
Kihari and Lentili enjoyed playing a game of rolling on one another in a wonderful soil bathing game while Rorogoi and Arruba had a quick dust bath before taking each other on in a strength testing game. Later in the afternoon Arruba stopped browsing to engage Bada in a strength testing pushing game.
05 June 2018
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the orphan elephants concentrating on their usual milk and supplement feeding before taking off towards the browsing grounds for the beginning of the days browsing activities.
After three hours of feeding, Ngilai decided to roll on the ground enjoying a soil dusting session. Godoma approached to watch his games which made Ngilai happy and his games became even more animated. Ndoria who does not have many close friends due to her tail biting behavior has reformed a great deal since the arrival of the new orphans from Nairobi and today was happy to have Mbegu’s company as the two browsed side by side. Arruba enjoyed browsing with Godoma, while Embu settled down with Ndotto.
Later in the day Araba, who usually avoids strength testing games, was seen engaging Rorogoi in a pushing match. Rorogoi is older than Araba but the two are almost the same height so there were no unfair advantages. Kihari was also seen in engaging Arruba in a pushing game while sitting on the ground, which drew the attention of Ngilai, Murit and Lasayen who were curious to see if Kihari would manage to somehow win the pushing contest.
06 June 2018
It was a bright Wednesday morning as the gates of the stockade were flung open with Ngilai being the first one to come out, followed by Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen, Murit, Godoma and Tahri behind her. A few minutes later they were followed by Nguvu and Araba who came running up for their morning milk bottles. Ndoria pushed Rorogoi away in an effort to steal her milk and there was a brief scuffle between them, before they continued with their milk feed.
The orphan elephants followed the keepers to the browsing grounds and once there, Tundani separated from the rest of the group to enjoy a private browsing session. He rejoined his friends an hour later. The orphans visited the baobab water hole in the afternoon where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games with Godoma enjoying playing with the rest of the Voi orphan herd.
In the afternoon Tundani was successful in getting the orphans to join a big wild bull elephant for a browsing session. Mbegu, Ngilai, Ndotto, Godoma, Murit and Lasayen went up to the bull to touch him before running away with fright. He was as big an elephant as they had ever seen! Ndii, Mashariki, and Panda had the unenviable task of calming them down.
07 June 2018
It was a chilly morning with winds drifting down the southern side of Msinga Hill to the stockades. Once the stockade doors were opened the orphans came rushing out for their morning milk bottle. They then enjoyed browsing on range cubes before Lentili, Mudanda and Mbegu led the group towards the southern foot of Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session.
Today the orphans had a lovely surprise when ex-orphan Laikipia came and joined them at around 8:20am, following an absence of about six months as he was last seen in December 2017. Kenia’s herd stretched their small trunks towards him to greet their older friend. Laikipia interacted with them briefly, touching them with his trunk. Rorogoi, Nelion and Mashariki welcomed him into the stockade dependent orphan elephant herd. He remained with them for a while before making his way to the stockades. Mbegu was quite curious about the older bull and followed him for some distance to see where he was going. On arrival at the stockade Laikipia had a drink of water before settling to enjoy the supplements that had been put out for him. He then headed to the northern side of Msinga Hill to browse. It was very nice to see him happy and healthy.
08 June 2018
It was a peaceful Friday morning as the keepers prepared for the day ahead with their orphan charges. The milk bottles were ready and waiting for the orphans when they exited their stockades and they wasted no time in gulping it down before enjoying some lucerne grass pellets.
Lentili took the browsing lead today and headed up Msinga Hill, browsing above some massive rock boulders. Naipoki enjoyed scratching against one of the big rocks where she was soon joined by Arruba and the two enjoyed a buttock scratch.
In the afternoon the orphans made their way to the baobab water hole where they all dove into the water to cool off as it was a hot day. Murit was the first to get into the water joined a short while later by Godoma. Arruba was next in and had fun rolling around while Mbegu watched. Tahri decided to engage Mbegu in a pushing game which Mbegu walked away from as she was not interested in fighting with Tahri who seems to always target Mbegu for pushing and strength testing games.
09 June 2018
The orphan elephants were happily walking out of their stockades to begin their day. They spent the morning browsing on the western foot of Msinga Hill. Mbegu’s group remained at the foot of the hill while the others browsed further up. The keepers led the orphans uphill where there is lots of untouched vegetation for them to enjoy.
It was still quite cold when the orphans made their way to their noon milk bottle. As soon as Tahri finished her milk she ran screaming towards Kenia’s herd sending a panic through them all as they thought she may be in trouble. When the realized nothing was wrong they quickly settled down and had a drink from the water trough. Arruba was the only one to enter the water while Kenia, Kihari Lasayen enjoyed a soil bathing session. Soon after the orphans headed back to the browsing fields a big wild elephant herd visited the water hole for a drink and a mud bath.
10 June 2018
The orphans walked out of their stockades and went straight for their milk bottles which they downed before enjoying the supplements that had been laid out for them. The orphan herd then followed the keepers and Mbegu’s herd to the browsing fields. They browsed for two hours after which Nelion and Bada joined a small wild elephant family that was browsing nearby for a spell, before rejoining their friends.
Today Laikipia came and joined the orphans. Mbegu’s herd is now more used to him and were happy to interact with the older ex-orphan. Laikipia spent some time with the babies before joining the same wild herd that Nelion and Bada had browsed with before his arrival. Ndotto, Murit and Mbegu escorted Laikipia for a short distance before returning to their friends.
At midday the group made their way to the baobab water hole where they had their milk and then wallowed in the water. Embu was the first to enter the water followed a few minutes later by Murit. Rorogoi joined Embu for some rolling in the water games and it was not long before all the others were doing the same. Ndotto and Ngilai did not want to join the rest of the group in the water and chose instead to enjoy a lovely dust bath.
11 June 2018
The morning began with the orphan elephants concentrating on their morning milk and supplement feeding before heading for the browsing field. Today it was cloudy with light rain as the orphans browsed in single file during the morning hours.
Godoma, Lasayen and Murit have become much more relaxed around the older Voi orphans and enjoyed browsing with them before they all headed to the baobab water hole where Mbegu’s group was the first to arrive for their milk bottle.
They all then headed to the water trough for a drink at which point Arruba wanted to get into the trough for a bath. She first tested the temperature of the water with her front foot and found it was too cold and quickly abandoned her bathing ideas. Mashariki and Nelion stood in the middle and rumbled at one another while Mashariki scooped water with her trunk and threw it over herself splashing Mbegu, Ndotto, Ngilai and Tundani in the process; they all quickly moved out of the way! Arruba went to investigate the perimeter of the big baobab tree, walking around it several times before rejoining the orphan herd who had settled to browse close to the waterhole.
12 June 2018
It was drizzling this morning as the orphans followed the keepers to the western side of Msinga Hill where the babies all enjoyed feeding on the moist soft grass they found there. Mbegu was seen making a great effort to separate her herd from the older orphans in the group but was not very successful in doing so as Ngilai and Murit were enjoying walking and browsing with their older friends.
Today the afternoon milk bottles were taken to where the orphans were browsing as they were reluctant to go to the waterhole as it was a rather cold and wet day. Soon after the milk feed was over Murit, Ngilai and Ndotto lay down on the ground and rolled around in an effort to get warm. Godoma watched their games but did not join them.
Ndii was busy with the new arrivals and was not paying much attention to Tahri who engaged Araba in a pushing game in an effort to get some attention from the older females. Ndii reacted quickly and went up to Tahri, bringing an end to the fight. She managed to get Tahri to walk away with her to browse.
In the evening Murit was in a very naughty mood and went to each of his friends taking their milk bottles from the ground having a drink and then dropping the bottle. The keepers had to quickly run in to right the bottles so as to prevent all the milk from spilling onto the ground before trying to get Murit to move away. Murit grabbed his milk bottle and ran away with it downing the contents as he went.
13 June 2018
It was a cold Friday morning as the junior orphan elephants together with Tahri and Araba made their way out of the stockade for their morning milk bottle. After the supplement feeding was over
Mbegu took the lead with Lentili doing her best to get past Ngilai, Ndotto, Lasayen, Murit and Godoma to overtake Mbegu and become the leader.
Laikipia visited the stockade at 9.30am and remained there for an hour drinking water and feeding on Lucerne grass pellets.
The morning browsing session went well with Mbegu approaching Tahri in an effort to form a friendship with her and to bring an end to the grudge that Tahri seems to have for her. The two spent the better part of the morning hours browsing peacefully together under Ndii’s watchful eye.
Godoma came and joined the two and they all enjoyed spending some time together.
At midday the orphan elephants visited the baobab water hole to drink water, but opted not to take a bath, due to the cold weather. After having a drink they resumed with their browsing activities until 5pm when it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
14 June 2018
The morning was began with the usual milk and supplement feeding before the orphan herd made their way to the browsing grounds. Ishaq-B had a wonderful browsing moment with Tahri which made little Tahri very happy as she has been feeling a little out of sorts since the arrival of the six new orphans from the Nursery.
Lasayen and Ndotto together with Mbegu and Murit were browsing together today when Murit seemed undecided as to whether or not to follow the older orphans uphill or to stay with Mbegu, Lasayen and Ndotto. Murit lifted his trunk, smelling the older orphans who were busy browsing and decided to remain with his friends.
Kenia and Naipoki enjoyed a scratching session against two different rocks after which the orphan herd visited the baobab tree water hole where they had their milk bottle but forgo the water as it was too cold.
The group then made their way to the northern foot of Msinga Hill where they started to browse but became unsettled as a there was a female lioness busy mating with a big male lion who was roaring loudly which sent the orphans running off in fear. The keepers managed to get them all back tighter and calm them down but Mbegu, Lasayen, Ngilai, Godoma, Murit and Ndotto chose to stay close to the keepers for the rest of the day.
15 June 2018
The orphan elephants took their morning feed as usual before leaving for the browsing fields. The keepers took the lead, with Lasayen following right behind them with the other five new arrivals following suit behind Lasayen and the keepers. The orphan elephants settled to browse on the northern foot of Msinga hill where Mbegu separated her herd for a little private browsing session. Later in the morning Mbegu had a wonderful browsing and trunk touching encounter with Ishaq-B when the older orphan came to join the babies.
Tundani explored further uphill than the rest of the group and enjoyed browsing surrounded by beautiful vegetation and rocks. Ndotto was moving slowly and fell a little behind the rest of the group but when he saw he was on his own he was quick to make up the distance and rejoin his friends.
Nelion tried to join two wild elephant bulls, but was unable to fully interact with them as his friends were busy walking towards the baobab tree water hole for the afternoon milk feed. The weather was cold and none of the orphans wanted to wallow, choosing instead to resume with their browsing activities once they had finished their milk bottles and had a drink of water.
16 June 2018
It was a bright morning with the orphan elephants running out of their stockade to gulp down their delicious milk bottle. Godoma saw other milk bottles in the holding crate and decided to go and beg for more. She had to give up her request when the older orphan elephants came running in for their share.
The orphan elephants settled to browse on the eastern side of Msinga Hill with Panda exploring further uphill followed by Tahri. The two came down in the afternoon, joining the rest of the orphan elephants as they made their way to the baobab water hole for the afternoon milk feed and mud bath.
Arruba and Embu plunged into the cold water for a bath while the rest stood by watching. After they were done Lasayen, Godoma, Ngilai, and Mbegu teamed up for a separate browsing moment away the others who were feeding close to the waterhole.
17 June 2018
It was a cold Sunday morning as Mbegu lead the first group out of the stockades for their morning milk bottle. Ngilai hung around the milk feeding area in great hope that he would manage to get some more milk, but ran away when he realized that he was standing near Ndoria’s milk share and Ndoria is a no-nonsense character.
After the milk feed Nelion went for a bottom scratching session against a rock. While there Panda approached and attempted to drive him away so that she could take his place. Nelion stood firm, engaging Panda in a strength testing pushing game, successfully diverting her attention away from the rock scratching game. Panda then went to enjoy browsing from a nearby acacia tree.
The mornings browsing activities took place on the eastern side of the stockade, with Ngilai enjoying browsing together with Ndotto. At noon the orphan elephants had their milk bottle under a tree close to the baobab tree, but didn’t visit the water hole again due to the cold weather.
18 June 2018
The gates of the stockade were flung open in the morning and the orphans came rushing out and went straight for their milk bottles which they happily gulped down. Tahri, who had spent the night separate to Kenia’s herd and had missed the older orphans, went running to the upper stockades to greet them and was received with joyful trumpets by Kenia, Araba, Ndii, Ishaq-B and Kihari with Nguvu and Araba happily having her join them for the morning milk bottles.
The orphan herd left for the browsing fields under Lentili and Mashariki’s leadership. Lentili enjoyed a game of sliding from the top of an erosion trench in the hopes of wooing Tahri to join her. Tahri watched her game but didn’t join her. Rorogoi was also attracted to the game but found the walls of the erosion trench quite steep, preventing her from joining in.
The keepers led the orphan elephants to the baobab water hole for the afternoon milk feed after which Murit and Embu played happily in the water. Naipoki enjoyed a strength testing game with Nelion which Nelion won.
19 June 2018
It was a nice beginning to the day with the stockade dependent orphan elephants coming out of their respective stockades and concentrating on their milk and supplement feeding. On arriving at the western foot of Msinga Hill they encountered ex-orphan Laikipia who was heading towards the stockade for a drink. Laikipia stayed with the juniors and enjoyed receiving their caresses with their trunks as they greeted him warmly.
The orphans browsed half way up the northern side of Msinga Hill, with Godoma, Ndotto and Mbegu interacting freely with older ones. Tahri engaged Araba but Ndii came over and broke up their game by taking Tahri away for a browsing session.
At noon Murit was the first to plunge into the water for a wallow. He was having such fun that he was soon joined by Mudanda, Mashariki and Kihari all of whom wanted to join him and they all had a lot of fun playing mudbathing games. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the baobab water hole.
20 June 2018
The morning was good with the orphan elephants downing their milk bottle after which they settled to feed on Lucerne grass pellets and copra cake. Ndoria was a little bully today and kept preventing Nguvu from getting to the feeding trough. Nelion was quick to come to Nguvu’s aid allowing each orphan to get their share of supplements and making sure that no other fights broke out.
The orphans headed to the eastern side of Msinga Hill, moving uphill to browse with Tundani and Suswa remaining at the bottom of the Hill. The orphans came down at noon for their milk bottle which they took under a tree close to the baobab water hole. There were more than four wild elephant families that had come to the baobab water hole for a drink of water and the trough had to be replenished before the orphan’s arrival. Mbegu’s herd came first for the afternoon milk feeding with Ndotto coming in and demanding to be given Mudanda’s share. Mudanda was not happy about this and pushed Ndotto onto Ngilai. The keepers had to intervene to prevent a fight breaking out.
Nelion was among the first to arrive at the water hole and came running out of the water to welcome an approaching wild herd, who were quite taken aback by Nelion’s enthusiasm and nearly ran away. There was a big wild bull in the wild herd that was bent on preventing a second wild herd and their two calves from coming for a drink. Ndotto went up to the bull and somehow managed to get him to allow the second group to join the first for a drink. Ishaq-B and Tahri tried to get close to the wild calves but were prevented from doing so by their elder sisters. The wild herds enjoyed drinking the clean water from the trough, with one calf attempting to jump into the trough to take a bath. Panda enjoyed spending some time all the wild herds that visited today.
21 June 2018
It was a wonderful morning with the orphan elephants coming out of the stockade at the first light of day. They had their morning bottle of milk and supplements after which they made their way to the browsing grounds.
Rorogoi went into a narrow erosion trench where she enjoying some very green browse but had had difficulty getting out of the trench when she was done. She finally managed to turn around and come out the same way that she had gone in.
Laikipia was seen browsing alone on the western foot of Msinga Hill, quite far from the junior orphans, and as such they were unable to join him. Ndotto and Murit separated themselves from the others and enjoying a private browsing moment together. The two later had enjoyed a wonderful pushing game, testing their strength against one another. Ndotto won the match, and rewarded himself by riding onto Murit’s back after which he enjoyed a dusting game.
Bada enjoyed sliding down from the top of an erosion trench into its gully. Arruba stood by watching but did not join in as if seemingly finding the game a little dangerous. The orphans visited the baobab water hole for their noon milk bottle but did not wallow as it was a rather cold day.
22 June 2018
It was a beautiful beginning to the day with the orphan elephants enjoying their milk and supplement feeding, before marching out to the browsing grounds. After three hours of serious browsing Mashariki managed to steal Tahri away from Ndii, which Ndii was not happy about at all and came charging in to reclaim her beloved baby.
Later in the day Godoma lay under a tree for a siesta. She did not seem interested in getting up which worried Mbegu who came in to check on her, touching Godoma with her trunk to make sure she was ok. When she realized that everything was fine she left Godoma to enjoy a rest.
Ngilai also decided to have a rest, but lay down on a steep hill side and promptly started sliding down the hill. To hide his embarrassment he kept his eyes closed and pretended that nothing had happened.
Arruba tried to imitate what Ngilai had done but had chosen a different gradient and did not achieve the same result.
The orphans visited the baobab waterhole in the afternoon for their milk bottle and a drink of water. They only had a partial bath as it was a rather cold day.
23 June 2018
Another wonderful morning began with the orphan elephants leaving the stockade and making their way to the browsing fields after their milk and supplement feeding. A few meters away from the stockade, the juniors met with their big bother Laikipia who stood by calmly waiting for them to join him. Mbegu seemed curious about Laikipia and walked all around him touching his body with her trunk. Laikipia then continued on to the stockade where he enjoyed feeding on copra cake following a drink of clean water from the stockade water trough.
Panda led the other orphans to the eastern side of Msinga Hill, before moving further uphill for a lone browsing session. She maneuvered herself between some big rocks, grabbing the lush green browse while the rest browsed a few meters downhill.
Lentili stopped her browsing to come and clamber over Ndotto who was lying down and playing rolling games. Ndotto struggled to get up and engaged Lentili in a pushing game. When they were done the two rejoined the group who were making their way to the water hole for an afternoon milk bottle and wallow.
24 June 2018
The orphan elephants came out of their stockades in a happy mood ready for the milk and supplement feeding. Ndoria tried to engage Ngilai and Lasayen in a pushing game but was prevented from doing so by the keepers. Ishaq-B enjoyed scratching against rocks in the stockade compound where she was joined by Tundani. Murit and Lasayen engaged in a strength testing pushing match after which Lasayen had a scratching session against a tree trunk in the stockade compound.
The orphan elephants spent the morning browsing on the far northern side of the stockade before visiting the baobab water hole in the afternoon. A big wild elephant herd totaling more than thirty members had been drinking from the baobab water hole and nearly emptied all the water by the time the orphans arrived and the trough, and waterhole had to be replenished.
In the evening Laikipia came to the stockades together with a wild elephant cow and her calf, to have a drink from the stockade water hole after the orphans had already entered their stockades. The wild calf felt very safe and secure with Laikipia, and spent about half an hour with him at the stockade before all three returned to the park.
25 June 2018
It was a nice beginning to the day with the orphan elephants downing their morning milk bottle in a hurry before assembling for the copra cake piles after which they played games around the stockade compound. Rorogoi and Bada engaged each other in a pushing contest. Their game was brought to a premature end when a baboon tried to get to the copra cake by walking through Rorogoi’s legs. Rorogoi was not happy about this and stopped playing with Bada so that she could chase the baboon away.
Kihari went and sat on the top of the red earth pile, enjoying the warmth of the soil up there while Arruba succeeded in taking away Tahri for a soil dusting game. Ndii came running in and chased Arruba away from Tahri while also preventing Mashariki from taking Tahri away.
The orphans visited the baobab water hole with Lentili and Lasayen engaging in a game of poking the baobab tree trunk with their little sharp tusks. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close to the waterhole.
26 June 2018
The orphan elephants exited their respective stockades this morning and ran to assemble for their morning milk bottle before proceeding to the supplement feeding area. Lentili and Nguvu placed themselves in the leadership position as the group made their way to the browsing grounds.
Ngilai seemed to be quite courageous today and was seen browsing with the tail bitter Ndoria in a private browsing moment. The two then walked together towards the baobab tree to join the others for the noon milk feed and to enjoy a mud bath. After the milk feed Tahri ran back to join Ndii and Kenia charging up to them while trumpeting loudly. Arruba walked into the central part of the waterhole and kicked the water with her fore foot making a muddy mess.
At about 5:30 in the evening visited the stockade to drink water in the company of two wild elephant cows and their three calves. They remained around the stockade compound feeding on acacia trees for about an hour, after which they left for the park.
27 June 2018
The orphan elephants walked out of their stockades in a happy mood, downing a morning milk bottle and settling down to enjoy their copra cake supplements. The orphans then played various games around the stockade compound.
Lentili sat on her bottom and moved round and round. Her game was noticed by Ishaq-B who came to join her, walking down the steep stockade terrace to get to Lentili who by then had stopped playing and had headed off for a scratching session. Ishaq-B engaged Arruba in a pushing game which became quite heated and needed the intervention of the keepers. Panda enjoyed scratching her bottom on a rock close to the stockade water trough, after which she went and sat on top of the red earth pile for a soil dusting game.
Laikipia arrived at the stockade compound soon after the juniors had left for the day. He had a drink of clean water before enjoying his share of copra cake. He left 20 minutes later.
28 June 2018
The orphan elephants enjoyed their share of copra cake this morning following their milk feed. Lasayen then played a wonderful game of hide and seek with Murit which ended when Murit conceded defeat as he was tired of the game. Lasayen then engaged Godoma in a pushing game. Mbegu mistakenly thought the two were fighting and went to play peacemaker but finding nothing was wrong, she joined Ndotto and Ngilai for a game of rolling down the red earth piles. Ndotto left the other two playing and joined Tahri and Mudanda to socialize with them and get to know them a bit more.
Lentili, Nguvu and Bada led the orphan herd out to the bush with the orphans spreading out in the browsing field to enjoy the variety of vegetation they found. They then made their way to the baobab water hole, under Godoma, Mbegu and Ndotto’s leadership, where they enjoyed their milk bottle, some water and a mud bath. Murit has proven to be a mud bathing star and has a special love for water and enjoyed wallowing. Ndii and Tahri enjoyed rolling on the red earth piles before joining their friends for the afternoon browsing session which took place close to the waterhole.
29 June 2018
It was another perfect beginning to the day with the orphan elephants concentrating on their milk and the supplement feeding before making their way to the northern side of Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session.
Arruba decided to move uphill to browse with Embu following her a short while later. The rest of the orphan herd remained at the base and were rejoined by Arruba and Embu when they were preparing to head to the baobab waterhole.
The orphans had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games, with Arruba entering the water in style, kicking the water with her front legs throwing muddy water all over her friends who were quick to exit the wallow. Rorogoi was the only one to remain in the mud bath with Arruba. Embu then decided to charge into the water where she began rolling around tossing her trunk skyward and trumpeting loudly showing her excitement. Once they were all done bathing the orphan herd enjoyed a dust bath with Arruba making her way to a nearby tree for a scratching session. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
30 June 2018
The orphans rushed out of their respective stockades placing themselves in the right positions for their milk and supplement feeding. Bada grabbed two trunks full of copra cake stuffing it into his mouth before moving on to play games at the stockade terrace. Lentili was thrilled to play pushing games with Tahri while Ndii was busy feeding on copra cake.
Kenia, Ndii and Araba, did not seem to be at all bothered by the baboons that were around them this morning while Ngilai, Lasayen and Ndotto were not happy at all to have them around and called to Tundani to help them chase them away. The keepers also came in to help the orphans keep the baboons at bay and keep them from stealing the orphans’ food.
Kihari and Mbegu enjoyed greeting one another as they played friendly games. Kenia came in and broke the two apart by standing between them. While out in the field Ndotto and Lasayen lay on the ground for about five minutes and continuously gave one another trunk hugs.
The afternoon milk bottle was brought to the orphans on the eastern side of Msinga Hill. They did not visit the waterhole today as it was a fairly cold day.