Keepers' Diaries, June 2020

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This month we rescued little Olorien from the Masai Mara and after a few days of becoming accustomed to the Keepers, the milk bottle and her new surroundings, she joined the orphans out in the forest to follow their same daily routines; it is so important for their wellbeing that our new arrivals can join the others as soon as they are able to, and browse and interact with their new family. Sweet inquisitive baby Olorien joined the rest of the orphans out in the forest for the first time on the 9th. Soon after the orphans finished their 9am bottles of milk, they were led back to the stockades to accompany Olorien out to the forest. Larro and Maktao were the first to greet her as she came running out of her stable, but it wasn’t long before Maisha, Kiasa, and Nabulu came over to greet her too. As Olorien was dashing out to the forest she was sandwiched by all the girls, who were all trying to smell their new Nursery friend. 

01 June 2020

Since Luggard and Enkesha’s translocation to the Umani Reintegration Unit, Ziwadi has been spending a bit more time with the other orphans and new rescue Naboishu. As Naboishu is not as boisterous as some of the other bulls, she seems to prefer his company. Ziwadi is not a fan of wrestling games and she will often move away when the boys start their games, making sure she doesn’t get caught in the middle. As always, she is just as determined as ever to find her favourite greens and continues to happily walk off on her own to find them, oblivious as to whether the rest of the Nursery herd follow her or not. The Keepers have become accustomed to her wandering ways, and are always keeping a watchful eye on her with one of them following her whenever she starts to walk off. 

Naboishu appears to be getting more and more settled into his new life at the Nursery and like many of the other orphans he loves his bottles of milk and is becoming just as greedy as speedy Mukkoka. When it is time for the orphans to have their milk, he has recently been giving his Keepers a hard time as he is reluctant to wait his turn and always wants to be in the first group to go down and get his milk. In recent days, he has been even greedier than Mukkoka, speeding down for his milk and often having a little skid as he comes to a grinding halt in front of his Keeper.

This afternoon, when the orphans were having their 3pm bottles of milk, Kiasa appeared to be in one of her naughty moods. As soon as she finished her bottle of milk, she charged over to the Keeper feeding Naboishu and kept trying to steal Naboishu’s bottle. The Keeper had a smart strategy as he moved Naboishu between Nabulu and Maisha so he could finish his bottle in peace. Nabulu and Maisha immediately took a stand and chased her away. Maisha seemed to have to discipline a number of the orphans this afternoon, as she also had to chase Kiombo away as he kept trying to push Ziwadi and the younger orphans around.

02 June 2020

Early in the morning, the orphans made their way out to the forest where they settled for their morning browsing activities. Whilst they were all busy munching away on their fresh greens, a troop of baboons suddenly appeared out of the bushes. This caused some unrest amongst the orphans as Kiasa, Mukkoka, Larro, Naboishu, Maktao and Kiombo began to charge after them, chasing them up the trees. The baboons suddenly began to challenge Kiasa from up in the branches, and as they did so Larro, Naboishu, and Mukkoka started a fun game of chasing them as they jumped from branch to branch. They could all be heard rumbling and trumpeting loudly trying to chase them away. 

During the chase, one of the larger male baboons grabbed hold of a weak branch and had to hang on so as not to fall down. As he hung he let out a loud call to the others which appeared to frighten Larro, who immediately ran off back to the Nursery herd. As Larro panicked she seemed to cause panic amongst the others and Mukkoka, Naboishu, Maktao, Kiombo and Kiasa quickly ran over to their Keepers with Larro behind. During all this action, Maisha and Nabulu remained close to Roho, Naleku and Ziwadi, protecting them from any danger and keeping them all calm. 

03 June 2020

Ziwadi was in one of her adventurous moods this morning. As the orphans were busy browsing in the forest, Ziwadi decided to wander off looking for her favourite greens. One of the Keepers followed her to make sure she didn’t walk too far away. As the Keeper got closer to her, he noticed that she was following two buffalos that were heading back to the plain lands. The buffalo seemed very relaxed about her following them and were happy to graze near her as she began to browse on her favourite shrubs. The buffalo were, however, frightened when they saw the Keeper approaching and quickly ran off. Ziwadi, unperturbed by the buffalo running off, continued to browse and happily greeted her Keeper whom ushered her back to the Nursery herd. 

Soon after the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, Mukkoka, Larro, Naleku and Roho began their own little game of chasing the warthogs that were busy grazing in the forest. As Mukkoka and the others were chasing the warthogs, Maisha and Kiasa were busy chasing after them trying to protect little Naleku and Roho from getting too close to the warthogs. Eventually Maisha seemed to grow tired of this game and quickly intervened by chasing the warthogs far away. As she ended their game, all the orphans settled down and began to browse again. 

04 June 2020

Out in the forest, as the orphans were getting ready for their 9am bottles of milk, Mukkoka, Naboishu, and Kiasa began to get over excited as they were pushing at any orphan who walked past or near them. The last few days, little Naleku and Roho have seemed to pick up this habit too and they can constantly be seen wrestling each other to see whom will get to run down first. This morning, however, their game seemed to be going on for a bit too long and Larro who was standing nearby came over and separated them. Larro is flourishing in her new role as nanny and she seems to be learning how to deal with such situations by watching Kiasa and Maisha with the younger orphans. 

Maxwell has been rather lethargic the last few days and seemed to be losing some weight despite still loving his pellets and greens. Just to make sure he was doing alright, the KWS Veterinarian was called to come and do a check-up, and we are now awaiting the results from his bloodwork just to make sure everything is okay. 

05 June 2020

As the orphans came out their stables this morning, the older girls could be seen checking in on Naleku, Roho and Naboishu. Whilst the girls were busy looking after the youngest orphans, Kiombo, Maktao, and Mukkoka were busy chasing each other around the stockade compound and wrestling whilst they waited for all the orphans to head to the forest. Wrestling matches are an important part of a bull’s development, as they learn to test each other’s skills and they figure out their own strength. Maktao seems to think he is the strongest amongst the bulls and when he challenges Kiombo and Mukkoka he does his utmost to be the victor. This, however, is not always the case as Mukkoka and Kiombo although smaller in size are also very strong and they do sometimes outmaneuver him. They were having so much fun that their game continued as they headed out to the forest. Their game abruptly ended not long after they got to the forest when Mukkoka cheekily bit Maktao’s tail, upsetting him. 

As Kiasa has been quite naughty during the milk feeding time, the Keepers have had to keep her back and ensure that she goes down amongst the last group so that she doesn’t bother the other orphans whilst they drink their milk. This afternoon, she appeared very disappointed that all the orphans had already finished their milk and that there was none left for her to steal. As she failed find any bottles to steal, she appeared to decide to take out her frustrations on poor Mukkoka who was still standing near the wheelbarrow and she quickly chased him away and then shook her head and walked off. 

Maxwell's bloodwork revealed he needed a bit of an iron-boost, so we are treating him accodingly.

06 June 2020

The orphans seemed to be in an excited mood this morning. As they arrived in the forest, they suddenly all began to charge around bush-bashing through the forest, and they could be heard trumpeting and rumbling in excitement. At one point all you could see was shaking bushes and ears. Even little Roho and Naleku who are just learning how to trumpet properly were getting involved today and appeared to be having the best time running alongside Maisha, Nabulu and Kiasa. 

Whilst the girls were busy running around with the younger orphans, the three older bulls Kiombo, Maktao and Mukkoka began to chase each other around to play a climbing game, where they would try to climb on each other’s back. Their games continued for quite some time and only ended when the Keepers called them to walk further into the forest. 

Today an orphan was rescued from the Masai Mara and brought to the Nairobi Nursery. She is about 14 months old and we have named her Olorien, a Maa name meaning ‘a place of olive trees’ after where she was found.

07 June 2020

Kiombo was in a mischievous mood today and kept trying to push the younger orphans around, especially unsuspecting Naboishu and Ziwadi. As the bulls grow older, depending on their personalities, some of them will often try to test their strength even on the smaller orphans, showing off their strength and dominance in the herd. Every time Naboishu and Ziwadi would be close enough, he would try and push them. Eventually the Keepers intervened and moved him away from the Nursery herd, giving him a time out and teaching him that it is not okay to pick on the younger orphans. 

After a few minutes, Kiombo seemed to realize that he wasn’t being very nice and slowly began to walk back. The Keepers were amazed to see him walk straight to where Naboishu and Ziwadi were browsing. As he got there, he lightly nuzzled Naboishu, as if it was his way of apologizing, and the two could be seen gently nuzzling each other and then Naboishu let out a light rumble in acceptance of his apology. For the rest of the day Kiombo did not bother Naboishu and Ziwadi. 

08 June 2020

It was a cloudy morning with scattered showers as the orphans headed out to the forest. As the showers continued sporadically, the morning became quite chilly and the orphans didn’t seem too impressed. To warm themselves up, the orphans began to charge around and chase each other. Kiasa and Kiombo began their own wrestling match, whilst Maktao decided to challenge Maisha. It was very rare to see Kiasa and Maisha engaging in wrestling matches with the bulls, as the bulls are always wrestling each other. 

When Mukkoka saw Kiombo and Maktao wrestling the girls, he seemed to think it would be a good idea to try and challenge Nabulu but she was having none of it. As Mukkoka approached her, she quickly flared her ears and put her trunk in the air, signaling to him that she was not interested in having a wrestling match. Mukkoka quickly changed directions and walked towards the wrestling four. 

After some time, Maisha decided to end her wrestling match with Maktao to check on the younger orphans Naleku and Roho, and Naboishu who were all busy soil dusting. As Maktao no longer had a wrestling partner he quickly ran over to challenge Mukkoka, and they continued their game for quite some time. 

09 June 2020

This morning as the orphans settled out in the forest, Ziwadi decided to head off in her own direction to find her favourite greens. Whilst she was busy browsing, Naboishu walked over and decided to join her and the two could be seen browsing together. Naboishu and Ziwadi seem to have a nice friendship since he used to spend quite a bit of time with her when he first arrived. 

Soon after the orphans finished their 9am bottles of milk, the orphans were led back to the stockades to accompany the new arrival back to the forest. Little Olorien arrived three days earlier as she was found wandering alone in the Masai Mara, and the Keepers felt that she was doing well enough to join the Nursery herd out in the forest. Larro and Maktao were the first to greet her as she came running out of her stable, but it wasn’t long before Maisha, Kiasa, and Nabulu came over to meet her. As Olorien was dashing out to the forest she was sandwiched by all the girls, who were all trying to smell their new Nursery friend. 

Kiasa and Maisha seemed to be confused as to how to react to this new arrival as they have become so used to little Roho and Naleku and this was their first new arrival with Maisha as Matriarch. Roho didn’t seem too pleased with sharing the attention of the older girls and he kept trying to push her away from Maisha and Kiasa. However, once the orphans all calmed down, they were all happily welcoming little Olorien to the herd, with Naleku keeping her company. 

10 June 2020

It was very wet as the orphans started to come out of their stables as there had been frequent showers throughout the evening and early hours of the morning. Ziwadi, Naleku, Larro, and Roho were all very reluctant to leave their warm rooms to head out to the forest, but as soon as they heard all the older orphans making their way out, they all came running to join them. 

The rain had created lots of little mud baths throughout the forest and as the morning started to warm up, the orphans seemed eager to have a mud bath. Roho was amongst the first to enter the muddy pools and he was having a great time trying to climb on Maisha, and Nabulu’s backs. Naboishu is another orphan who seems to thoroughly enjoy climbing on his friends backs, and he was busy trying to climb onto Kiasa’s back. The Keepers feel that Naboishu may have learn this habit from little Roho who in turn learnt from Musiara. 

Naleku, who is still smallest in size, is very tough for her small stature and will not tolerate being pushed around by the other orphans. Roho has been known to try and push her around at times and she seems to have learnt his ways. This afternoon, she was having none of his antics and as soon as he approached her, she would chase him away. Whilst she was busy browsing with Mukkoka and Kiasa, Roho tried to get close but she turned quickly to challenge him and the two began their own little wrestling match. Their game became a little too intense so Mukkoka came over to separate them both as Maisha was busy browsing not too far away.

11 June 2020

Due to the bad weather yesterday, Olorien remained in the warmth of her stable but this morning it was warm enough for her to join the Nursery herd. She seemed very happy to be accompanied out by Ziwadi and Larro as they headed out to the forest and could be seen happily browsing as she made her way up the path to the forest. As is common nowadays, Kiombo and Maktao began to wrestle each other once they had reached the forest.  

Kiasa and Maisha seemed happy to have Olorien with them and were warmly greeting her as she arrived in the forest. Naboishu seems to have similar personality traits to Kiombo in that he enjoys throwing his weight around and pushing the younger orphans as if to boast his own strength. This morning, he kept trying to push Olorien, but she was being protected by Maktao and Kiasa who kept chasing him away. 

Naleku on the other hand appear to be a very friendly and welcoming girl as she has been happily keeping Olorien company and browsing near her in the forest. Later in the day, she even seemed to be accompanying Olorien around the forest. 

12 June 2020

Roho seems to have become the Nursery herds little timekeeper, informing the orphans of whenever the Keepers radios go off. Although small, he has a very deep and loud rumble which all the orphans can easily hear, and they all know exactly when it is time for their milk feed. Maisha is always the first to run and check on him, making sure that he is okay. When she gets to him, she will often pull him close to her and let out a low rumble as if to console him. 

Since becoming matriarch Maisha does not often initiate playful games, as she is busy watching over all the orphans. This afternoon, however, she appeared to be in a very excited mood and was seen running all around the forest, trumpeting and pushing her way through the bushes. As she was so excited, all the other orphans decided to join in her fun and began to charge around with her, Nabulu and Kiasa by her side. Even little Ziwadi got involved in all the fun and she was charging around with her ear flapping. She even came across some warthogs which she decided to chase after, trumpeting and rumbling at them to move away. 

13 June 2020

Roho has a new nickname, the little wrestler. He is always eager to get involved in the fun and take part in the different games with the other orphans. As the orphans arrived in the forest, Mukkoka and Maktao were busy wrestling each other when Kiombo came over to join them. As Kiombo came over Mukkoka decided he had had enough, and he moved away. 

With Mukkoka no longer wrestling Maktao, Roho came running over to challenge him. Mukkoka remaining gentle with the young bull, their game was able to continue for quite some time before Maisha intervened so she too could play with little Roho. Whilst Maisha and Roho were busy wrestling, Mukkoka went over to browse with his friend Naleku. 

14 June 2020

Maxwell seemed to be in an energetic mood this morning as he woke up as soon as he heard the orphans coming out of their stables. He walked straight up to the top gate in his stockade, where it was easy for him to greet the orphans as they walked directly by his stockade. Maisha was amongst the first to walk up to his stockade to greet him and she could be seen gently placing her trunk on his head as if to say hello. After a short interaction, the orphans then made their way out to the forest. Maxwell hung around his top stockade for some minutes before heading back to his bedroom. 

Olorien is still settling into her new life with the Nursery herd and her Keepers. Due to this, she is still not completely trusting of her Keepers and will sometimes try to mock charge, which she kept doing this morning. As Roho saw her getting ready to charge he seemed to step in to protect his Keeper from her and encouraging her to stop. 

The forest was still very muddy, and later in the day, Naboishu led Nabulu, Larro and Ziwadi for a lengthy mud bath whilst the rest of the orphans continued to browse. 

15 June 2020

The orphans all have their own personality traits and characteristics. Some of the orphans, such as Olorien, are very good sleepers and she can fall asleep very quickly after having her evening bottle of milk whereas other orphans might take a bit longer. Naboishu on the other hand is a shouter, and he can constantly be heard shouting for his milk bottles and rumbling at his Keepers as if to tell them to have his bottle ready. 

This morning as the orphans were having their 9am bottle of milk, Naboishu kept trumpeting and rumbling loudly to get his milk first. This seemed to upset Nabulu and she took it upon herself to try and calm him down by rumbling at him. Soon after Nabulu rumbled at Naboishu he seemed to calm down and then patiently waited his turn. 

This afternoon, Larro seemed to be taking on her role of mini matriarch as she decided to keep all the little ones to herself. She ushered Naleku, Roho, Ziwadi and Olorien away from the rest of the Nursery herd and they were all happy to follow her. They settled not too far from the herd and were all happily browsing until the Keepers led them back to the stockade for the evening. 

Max has shown so much improvement over the last couple of weeks and seems his old self again - happily enjoying his greens, exploring the far side of his stockade and generally marching around - so we are happy that he seems to be feeling better.

16 June 2020

Roho has always been more dependent on the older girls and he is always eager to be near them and is not too fond of sharing their attention, especially Maisha’s. Olorien, who continues to become more and more settled within the Nursery herd, also enjoys spending time with the older girls and receive the much-needed love and attention from them. Roho isn’t so eager to share the older girls with her and he keeps trying to chase her away and any other orphans away from them, keeping Maisha to himself. This afternoon Roho went a little bit too far by pushing Olorien whilst she was in the company of Naleku and this seemed to make Naleku very mad. Naleku immediately stepped in and began to push back at Roho, pushing him away from Olorien. The two began to really push at each other and the Keepers decided to step in and separate them from each other. 

As the orphans grow up, they will have different learning experiences such as these, whereby they need to learn to support each other in the herd and not push each other around out of jealousy. Little Ziwadi and Naboishu continue to remain outside these antics.

17 June 2020

Maktao didn’t seem to be in the best of moods this morning as he came out his stockade. Unlike other mornings where he is happily walking amongst the Nursery orphans, this morning he walked off all on his own away from the others. The first stop for the orphans in the morning is usually the leftover Lucerne pellets from Maxwell’s stockades which are put out in the forest for them and perhaps some of the warthogs that come by. Maktao settled at the pellets first and he was soon joined by little Naleku and Roho, who he seemed happy to share them with. However, as soon as Kiombo arrived, Maktao’s mood quickly changed and he started to push him away, stopping him from grabbing any pellets. 

Mukkoka arrived soon after that and he too kept getting chased away by Maktao. Kiombo was a bit more persistent and kept trying to get back to the pellets but Maktao wouldn’t let him anywhere near them. The Keepers and Maisha even tried to stop Maktao from chasing them away but he kept finding sneaky ways around them. Eventually Kiombo and Mukkoka gave up and waited for him to move away before coming back. 

18 June 2020

Within the herd, the older orphans will also act as disciplinarians of the younger orphans, teaching them what is okay and what not to do within the herd. Naboishu has been the recent naughty one in the herd as he is continuously yelling for his milk bottle and continues to rumble and trumpet even whilst he is having his milk sometimes. As he can be quite loud, he sometimes does bother some of the other orphans mainly Nabulu, Kiombo, Larro and on occasion Maisha but most of the time they just ignore him. 

This morning he was told off by Maktao as he screamed so loudly after finishing his morning bottle. This gave Maktao a fright as he wasn’t expecting it, so Maktao rumbled at him and chased him away. Naboishu then decided to continue his antics and tried to steal Mukkoka’s second milk bottle whilst he was busy drinking. This appeared to really annoy Mukkoka who quickly turned and chased him away making sure he wouldn’t come back any time soon. Naboishu heeded this warning and decided to rather walk off to the other orphans that had also finished their milk. 

As the orphans were making their way back to the forest, Roho spotted a tortoise just near the path and he decided to mock charge it. He could be seen running forward with his ears open wide and his trunk waving around and then as the tortoise remained still, Roho would then back up to charge him again. The tortoise eventually let out a small hiss, but this scared Roho and he quickly came running back to the herd trumpeting and yelling loudly. Kiasa followed by all the other girls quickly ran over to his aid, unsure what had scared him, they quickly comforted him and walked him back to the other orphans. 

19 June 2020

The orphans were all excited this morning and were charging around the stockade as they were heading out to the forest, with the boys Kiombo, Maktao and Mukkoka chasing and wrestling each other as well as playing hide and seek. They were making so much noise that they woke Maxwell up who was fast asleep in his room. Maxwell came walking around to see what was going on and when he smelt the orphans and listened to their antics, he seemed to lose interest and chose to rather head back to his warm bed. 

Suddenly Maisha seemed to decide that it was time to make a move to the forest and she trumpeted loudly and began to sprint out to the forest. All the orphans immediately began to follow her and run behind her in excitement. They were running over all the short bushes and trumpeting so loudly and then any wild animals within the forest would have know the orphans were arriving. 

Amid all the excitement Ziwadi and Olorien decided to stop running and enjoy some of the fresh greenery. Their Keepers stayed close to them ensuring that they met up with the rest of the herd once they had settled down to browse. Olorien and Ziwadi have been enjoying each other’s company and seem to be developing quite a nice friendship. 

20 June 2020

It is always so easy to tell when the orphans are in good moods as they are so eager to have their milk and greens and will happily play with one another. After their midday bottles of milk Kiasa, Maktao and Kiombo all appeared to be in the best of moods as they were chasing each other around the forest, sizing each other up and having strength testing marches. Since Kiasa has been helping Maisha and Nabulu look after all the younger orphans she hasn’t been getting involved in the wrestling matches but today she was eager to get stuck in and join the boys. 

Whilst they were busy charging around, Olorien appeared to be quite tired after her midday bottle of milk and she decided to have a nap in between Maisha, Larro and some of the other older girls. She is starting to feel a lot more settled and Kiasa, Maisha and Larro have all taken her under their wing. Larro and Maisha kept her safe while she napped. 

21 June 2020

Since the Vet visited Maxwell the Keepers have been giving him some supplement vitamins which seem to be helping him a lot. As soon as he heard his top gate being opened this morning, he was up and moving around trying to see if his Lucerne pellets had been laid out yet for him. As he was walking around, he began to eat some of his greens that were in his lower stockade, patiently waiting for his top stockade to be opened so he could get to his pellets. 

He could be seen listening to his Keepers wheeling his pellets in and tidying up his bedroom for him. He eventually went and waited at the top gate to be opened calling out to his Keepers. After a couple of minutes his Keepers had finished up and let him out where he quickly headed over to his pellets.  

22 June 2020

Naleku, although more independent than Roho, still enjoys all the attentions she receives from the older girls including Maisha. This morning Naleku seemed to want to wait for Roho before dashing out of her stable. She could be seen standing at her door waiting for the Keepers to open his door. As soon as he was let out, she came charging out as if trying to ambush him. Maisha was already waiting for them both and as they came out, she greeted them both. They then all walked out to the top of the stockades waiting for the others. 

Larro and Ziwadi walked round from their stables together and Maisha could be seen waiting for them. Larro, who used to be the youngest in the Nursery, is now one of the nannies. Despite this Maisha and Kiasa still enjoy spending time with her and checking in on her every now and again. As Larro and Ziwadi joined Maisha, Naleku and Roho they all began to make their way out to the forest. Once the orphans were all together, they made their way deeper into the forest to have a fun day browsing. 

23 June 2020

Naboishu, Mukkoka, and Maktao seem to be enjoying leading the orphans around the forest the last few days. As it was quite a chilly morning as the orphans came out their stockade, the trio were quick to gather the orphans and make their way out to the forest. The three boys walked the orphans out to a different location where they could browse on different greens and enjoy a dust bath to warm up. 

Ziwadi was in one of her wandering moods this morning, but instead of walking off on her own this morning she was joined by Naleku, Mukkoka, and Maktao. They didn’t walk too far away and one of the Keepers was accompanying them no matter where they went. When Ziwadi had found her favorite greens she stopped to browse, and the others stopped near her and began to browse. The Keeper ushered them back to the rest of the orphans when it was time for them to have their 9am bottles of milk. 

24 June 2020

Kiasa was in another one of her naughty moods today and kept trying to steal milk from the others during the morning milk feed. Due to this, the Keepers then decided to keep her back and let her go down in the last group for her mid-morning bottle of milk. Even though she was part of the last group, she kept going up to Mukkoka, Larro, Kiombo and Naboishu to see if they had anything nice and she even tried to get to the wheelbarrow to grab one of the empty bottles. The Keepers are very aware of her naughty behavior and they quickly ushered her away from the wheelbarrow. 

After their midday bottles of milk, the orphans were enjoying a mud bath and Kiasa and Kiombo were enjoying a strength testing match, chasing each other around the mud bath. Kiombo even got hold of a branch to munch on which Kiasa seemed to want and she began to chase after him trying to get hold of it. After a little bit of fun, the orphans were led back to the forest for their afternoons browsing activities. 

25 June 2020

Nabulu has become quite the protector of the Nursery herd, making sure that the orphans are safe and keeping guard of what is going on around them. She is especially protective of Kiombo, who she has always had a special bond with, even though she isn’t always eager to wrestle him. She seemed to be in a very good mood this morning and was happily waving her trunk about as she made her way out to the forest. The Keepers led the orphans to one of their favorite browsing spots.

When it was time for the orphans to have their 9am bottle of milk, Mukkoka was very eager to be first down and he kept sneaking round his Keepers to be at the front of the line. The Keepers kept trying to usher him back but at the last minute he quickly dashed ahead and raced Roho, Naleku, and Larro down to the milk feeding point, and of course was first to get there. He quickly down his milk and then could be seen happily suckling his trunk as if he was the happiest little elephant after his milk. 

After all the orphans finished their milk, they were led back to the forest by their Keepers for their afternoon browsing activities. 

26 June 2020

It was a chilly morning this morning as it was drizzling slightly and the orphans were reluctant at first to come out of their warm rooms. Soon their rumbling bellies got the better of them however, and then they were keen to head out to the forest for the day to browse, despite the weather.

Larro, Ziwadi and Olorien walked straight over to beside Maxwell’s gate and started feeding on an acacia branch there, which had been left there by the Keepers to place in Maxwell’s stockade later. Maxwell heard the orphans and decided to walk over to his gate to investigate what they were doing. The Keepers spotted the elephants however and directed them to walk out in the same direction as their friends who were already on their way to the forest. Maxwell decided to walk up to the top partition of his stockade and feast on some of the fresh lucerne pellets the Keepers had already put there for him.

27 June 2020

Naleku and Roho are really getting on recently which is lovely to see. They are close in age and are the youngest in the Nursery, but are quite different in personality. This morning both these young babies decided they would enjoy a wrestling game. Roho approached Naleku and Naleku, always keen to prove that although she might be little she is no push-over, engaged Roho in a pushing game which turned into them both wrestling with their trunks. As the game wore on and neither of the little babies wanted to back-down, eventually Maisha came over and intervened, bringing an end to their game.

28 June 2020

Maxwell was full of energy this morning. When he came out of his bedroom where he had been lying in his bed of hay, he walked straight over to his feeding point to enjoy his lucerne pellets. As he was enjoying his pellets the sun came out and Max decided to lie down right where he was an enjoy the morning rays. By strategically lying on his pellets it meant that no warthogs and baboons could come in and steal any while he was sleeping either!

29 June 2020

Today while the orphans were browsing in the forest, the Keepers witnessed Nabulu and Maisha engaged in a pushing game. This is not a sight they often see but Nabulu obviously wanted to play a game with her older adopted sister and approached her for a pushing game which Maisha accepted. Their game went on and on right up until the 9am milk feeding time. Naleku was a bit worried about why the older girls were wrestling as they never play games like that, and followed them everywhere. Maisha and Nabulu didn’t even realise it was time for their milk bottles they were so absorbed in their game! When they eventually had their bottles though, they returned back to browsing and that was seemingly the end of their game. All the orphans enjoyed browsing on the different varieties of greens found in the forest, with the older orphans keeping the youngsters with them in the centre of the group as they browsed.

30 June 2020

For the last few weeks Kiasa has been enjoying spending her time with Nabulu, sometimes even engaging in wrestling matches out in the forest. We often find Kiasa and Nabulu browsing near one another and when they are both feeling satisfied and want to take a break, they walk around with their trunks in the air in happiness and that’s when they start to pass the time and find each other for a pushing game, trunks raised! Maisha on the other hand tries to uphold her matriarchal role and doesn’t play as much. 

As Kiasa and Nabulu played together, Naleku browsed with Maisha throughout the morning and both girls went to the 11am bottle feeding along with Mukkoka and Naboishu, who always like to be first to the bottle feed. Olorien spent the morning with Ziwadi, and the two little girls were the last to the feeding as they walk a little slower than the others sometimes. The orphans enjoyed browsing for the rest of the day, right up until it was time to return home in the evening.