Every month brings about new growth for our orphans. Usually, this is quite subtle —but sometimes, more obvious changes take us by surprise. Such was the case with Lasayen over the course of June. He has always been a very reserved bull, uninterested in most games, especially if they involved the female members of the herd. It was almost as if he was a new elephant this month, initiating games with both the boys and girls. His friends Ndotto, Murit, and Godoma welcomed this change and happily accepted all his invitations to play.
The orphans woke up early in the morning and began their day with the morning milk feed followed by the lucerne supplement feeding at the far end of the stockade compound. Mudanda was being a bit of a bully to Lasayen today but Ishaq-B was quick to intervene and come to Lasayen’s rescue.
The orphans headed out for the day and spent the morning browsing peacefully until it was time to make their way to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed after which Godoma led the group to the waterhole for a mud bath. There were a large number of wild elephants visiting the waterhole today and the orphan herd had a lovely time interacting and bonding with their new wild friends.
Ngilai and Ivia the buffaloes were busy playing one of their usual sparring games while Murit was having fun digging at the soil pile to throw soil on himself. Suswa was having a drink at the water trough in the company of a wild friend. Once the orphan herd was done spending time with the wild elephants they headed off to resume their browsing activities for the rest of the afternoon.
This morning the orphans headed out to the Park as soon as the milk and Lucerne pellet feeding was over. They headed to the southern foot of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse. Mbegu and Emoli enjoyed a sparring session which Ngilai wanted to join. He came up to them and played on his own until Emoli left, which meant that Mbegu could turn to engage Ngilai. Ivia saw the two elephants playing and came running over to take over playing with Ngilai. Ngilai played with the buffalo for a bit, but then left to play with Tagwa. It was certainly a morning full of fun and games and different sparring sessions among the orphans.
At noon the orphans made their way to the waterhole for their milk bottles and a wallow. Upon arriving at the water hole they found a wild elephant herd resting under the baobab tree, having had a drink from the water trough. A few of the wild elephants joined the orphans at the water hole before rejoining their friends to head off into the Park. Sagala was very interested in the younger members of the wild herd and started to follow them, before running back to the orphan herd that were leaving the waterhole to begin their afternoon of browsing.
The orphans had their usual milk and supplement feeding this morning after which they settled for fun and games around the stockade compound. Mbegu had a lovely time rolling around in the loose soil until Murit came and disturbed her by stepping on her back with his front feet. Arruba came rushing over to Mbegu’s aid, while Murit pretended that he was just being friendly and engaged Arruba in a game. Mbegu got up and left the two playing. Ngilai, who was sitting on the ground, invited Emoli for a sparring session and the two enjoyed playing until it was time to head out for the day.
Following the noon milk feed the orphan herd joined a wild herd at the baobab tree waterhole. Several other herds were waiting to come in for a drink from the water trough too. Panda and Tundani had fun playing with some wild calves about their own age, before following the rest of the orphan herd out for the afternoon browsing session.
This morning Ngilai left his friends enjoying the lucerne pellets to enjoy a scratching session against two different rocks, after which he engaged Tagwa and Pika Pika in a sparring session. When the stockade activities were over, the orphans headed out to the Park for the morning browsing session.
At noon the orphans arrived at the waterhole following their milk feed and joined up with a big congregation of wild elephants, zebra, waterbuck and impala that had all come to the waterhole for a drink. There were quite a few wild elephant calves present which thrilled Sagala and Tamiyoi who tried to contain their excitement and keep their distance so as not to get into trouble with their older family members.
Tundani was having run rolling around showcasing his wallowing and dust bathing tactics while Ishaq-B and Arruba stood side by side scratching their bottoms against the baobab tree. Emoli, Mbegu and Godoma were showing off their wallowing tactics to the wild elephants and were joined by Arruba who also wanted to showcase her expertise. Ndotto on the other hand was not at all interested in the wild elephants, choosing instead to engage his good friend Ivia the buffalo in a sparring match.
The dependent orphans were in happy mood as they exited their night quarters this morning with the milk dependent babies downing their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends for the lucerne pellet feeding. Once the morning stockade activities were over the orphan herd followed Sagala and Tamiyoi out to the Park for the day.
The orphan herd arrived at the milk feeding area near the baobab tree waterhole at noon and after the milk feed the orphans joined some wild elephant herds at the mud bath. Ndotto and Ivia enjoyed their usual sparring game in front of a wild matriarch which did not sit well with her and she started charging and chasing them to get them to stop.
Godoma was very lucky today as she got the opportunity to interact with a wild calf and had a lot of fun enjoying her time with her new friend. The orphan herd all had a good time interacting with the wild elephants before parting company when it was time for the orphans to return to their browsing activities for the afternoon.
The morning was full of birdsong as the orphans exited their stockades for the milk and supplement feeding. After the feeding activities were over Mbegu approached Ivia for a sparring session. When their game came to an end, Ndotto was standing waiting on the sidelines for his turn to play with Ivia too. When Ndotto and Ivia started playing everything else seemed to fade away with Ndotto forgoing everything for fun and games with Ivia instead.
When the orphans arrived at the baobab tree waterhole at noon following the milk feed, they joined up with a large number of wild elephants that had come to the waterhole for a drink. Pika Pika and Mbegu got the opportunity to touch and play with a small wild elephant calf, something that they both relished. When the wild herd left the waterhole Pika Pika left with them but was promptly called back by the Keepers as she is still milk dependent and too young to leave the orphan herd just yet!
After the morning milk feed the orphans headed over to the feeding trough to enjoy the lucerne pellets. Mbegu enjoyed relaxing as Ngilai and Emoli became engaged in a sparring match and when they were done, Ngilai tried to ride on Pika Pika. Once the stockade activities were over the orphan herd headed out for the day and spent the morning browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill.
At noon the orphans walked to the baobab tree waterhole for the milk feeding session and a mud bath. Ndotto and Ivia remained behind as the two were engaged in one of their usual sparring sessions. The two joined the rest of the group when they were done playing.
At the waterhole the orphans had a drink from the water trough. Soon, a wild elephant herd arrived at the mud bath and joined the orphans. Ngilai exited the water and enjoyed dust bathing while Mbegu took a nap and was joined by Ndii and the two spent some time lying down together. Arruba and Ndoria remained at the waterhole drinking from the water trough while the rest of the orphan herd left to resume their browsing activities.
In the evening just as the orphans were making their way back to the stockades, Emoli engaged Sagala in a strength testing game while Ngilai took on Murit in a different sparring session. When the four were done playing they caught up with their friends and the entire orphan herd returned to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a bright and sunny morning as the orphans exited their night stockades to begin their day with the usual milk and Lucerne feeding. Arruba and Ishaq-B then enjoyed a dust bath at the stockade soil pile where they were joined by Sagala. Once the three were done playing they joined the rest of the herd who were ready to head out for the day.
Once out in the bush Ndotto and Mbegu spent some time browsing side by side while Ngilai and Emoli played a wrestling game. As noon approached the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk bottles and a mud bath. Once at the waterhole Pika Pika stood between Kenia and Ndii at the water trough as they all had a drink of water. Tamiyoi and Ishaq-B enjoyed a dust bath.
As the orphans left the waterhole Suswa spotted a wild elephant herd approaching and placed herself strategically near the water trough to get a chance to interact with the babies in the wild herd. Ndotto and Mashariki returned to the waterhole under the pretense of greeting the wild group when in actual fact they only came back to get Suswa and take her back to the Keepers and the rest of the orphan herd.
Godoma enjoyed an early morning dust bath today while Tagwa was busy scratching against a rock in the stockade compound. Ngilai tried to climb on Emoli as the two were playing beside the piles of loose soil. Godoma then came to the dust bath where she had fun rolling around in the loose soil while Mbegu and Mashariki stood close by. When Godoma was done she got up and left and Mbegu decided to take her place and roll on the soil too. Ngilai and Emoli enjoyed a sparring game nearby and Emoli saw Godoma and decided to come over and climb on her. Tagwa came over and climbed on Ngilai on the other side of the dust bath.
This morning all the orphans were busy taking turns dust bathing with Mudanda having a turn as well. Mbegu and Arruba communicated with one another as did Tagwa and Ngilai, while Ndotto was busy scratching against a rock.
When all the dust bathing and scratching activities were over the orphan herd headed out to the Park for the day where they settled to browse at the foot of Msinga Hill.
At noon the orphans arrived at the baobab tree waterhole where the milk dependent babies had their milk bottles before heading to the mud bath where they all enjoyed bonding and playing with some visiting wild elephants.
It was a bright and sunny morning as the orphans exited their night stockades ready to being their day. Their day started as usual with the milk dependent babies enjoying a morning milk bottle after which they joined their older friends on the other side of the stockade compound to feed on lucerne grass. Once the supplement feeding was over the orphans headed to the water trough for a drink of water and when they were done, they all slowly followed Sagala out to the browsing grounds.
Although Sagala was leading the herd, the orphans ended up browsing in different groups as some of them got distracted on the way - Mudanda was busy enjoying a scratching session, Mbegu and Emoli were engaged in a sparring session and Ngilai was climbing on Tagwa. Sagala was moving quite quickly and was halfway out to the browsing grounds accompanied by Suswa.
At the baobab tree waterhole at noon, Ngilai and Lasayen were having fun playing together while the rest of the orphans enjoyed interacting with some wild elephant friends. Once Ngilai and Lasayen were done playing Emoli invited Ngilai to play a sparring game while Tundani and Araba had a drink from the water trough. The afternoon was spent browsing to the south of the mud wallow.
The dependent orphan elephants were in a very good mood this morning as they came running out of their stockades for their usual milk and supplement feeding. When all the feeding was over Mudanda and Mashariki began playing on the soil pile until Sagala trumpeted loudly to signal that it was time to head out to the Park, and the orphans all dutifully followed her lead.
At noon the orphans arrived at the baobab tree waterhole after having finished their milk feed. They were joined at the waterhole by a thirsty wild elephant herd that made a beeline for the water trough where they quickly quenched their thirst. Tamiyoi and Sagala wanted the opportunity to play with the wild calves but were prevented from doing so by the teenagers in the wild group. Rorogoi and Suswa wanted to do the same and wouldn’t give up trying to get close to the wild calves as they kept going round and round the water trough trying to get closer to them. Pika Pika was the lucky one today as she managed to get close to a small wild calf as she stood in the water, stretching her trunk towards the calf to greet it. One teenage wild bull was very friendly and spent the entire time interacting with the orphans and sparring with Panda and Tundani. He even followed the orphan herd when they left the waterhole to resume their browsing activities. He spent some time with them before running back to the waterhole to join his family.
The morning began peacefully with the milk dependent orphans enjoying their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends at the feeding trough for lucerne pellets. Once the supplement feeding was over the orphans headed out to the Park where they spent the morning browsing peacefully until it was time to make their way to the baobab tree waterhole.
The orphans arrived for their noon milk feed with Emoli, Ngilai, Pika Pika, Godoma and Sagala being the first group to come for their bottles. Once all the milk dependent babies had finished their milk the orphan herd proceeded to the water trough where they had a drink. As it was a cold day the orphans were all reluctant to enter the mud bath. Ndotto enjoyed a sparring match with Ivia while Lasayen and Emoli also enjoyed a pushing and strength testing game for a while until Emoli left Lasayen to go and play with Ngilai.
As the orphans were preparing to leave the waterhole Lasayen spotted a wild herd a few hundred meters away, making their way to the waterhole. Lasayen was undecided whether or not to leave with his friends or wait for the wild herd to arrive. He hesitated for a few minutes before leaving the waterhole to catch up with the rest of the orphan herd who had resumed their browsing activities for the afternoon.
After the morning milk feed, the stockade dependent orphans hung around the stockade compound playing bonding and socializing games before heading out to the Park for the day. Once at the browsing grounds the milk-dependent babies spread out to feed with Kenia, Ndii, Pika Pika and Ishaq-B joining them. The orphans stayed close to one another as they browsed.
The orphans followed the usual daily routine and after spending the morning browsing peacefully, made their way to the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk feed and a mud bath.
A wild herd was at the waterhole when the orphans arrived but as the orphans arrived they slowly wandered away, leaving the orphans to have a drink and wallow in peace. Embu, Mbegu and Tamiyoi teamed up for the mud bathing activities and the three of them had a lovely time playing in the water as they charged about trumpeting loudly, while also rolling around in the mud. Mbegu then tried to get Godoma to join the three in their game by pulling her with her trunk into the water.
Emoli and Sagala were at the other end of the mud bath where they had a lot of fun rolling around and lying on one another. Ngilai was also in a very playful mood and lay in the water between the two groups, throwing his legs and trunk into the air. Once all the fun and games were over the orphan herd left the mud bath to begin the afternoon browsing session.
The orphans were all in a happy mood as they exited their stockades this morning to begin the day. After the milk and supplement feeding was over the orphans teamed up to play on the loose soil. Lasayen separated himself from the soil bathing group and went to engage Murit in a strength testing pushing game to showcase their sparring tactics, and also show the others that they consider themselves to be the dominant bulls in the orphan herd.
Once the fun and games were over Sagala, Tamiyoi and Murit took on the leadership role and led the rest of their friends out to the Park to begin the days browsing activities. The orphans set a slow browsing pace today as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole, arriving in time to have their noon milk feed. A wild herd was already at the waterhole and was busy drinking from the water trough when the orphans arrived to join them, and the two groups spent some time drinking water side by side. Tamiyoi was interested in a wild elephant calf and tried to reach out to greet and interact with it, but was prevented from doing so by the matriarch who chased Tamiyoi away. This went on until the entire orphan herd left the waterhole to resume their browsing activities, which would continue until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The orphan elephants exited their stockades ready to begin their day. Emoli and Pika Pika fed side by side and kept bumping into one another as if to warn each other not to try and steal each other’s milk. The milk dependent group then joined their older friends for the Lucerne grass feeding area, with Tundani taking some lucerne over to the fence line to enjoy on his own there, while also browsing on vegetation.
Once out at the browsing grounds Ndotto engaged Ivia in a sparring session. Ivia wasn’t in the best of moods today and managed to push Ndotto against a big rock, but he wasn’t able to get away with that and the Keepers told him off. Godoma and Lasayen also enjoyed a pushing game this morning with Lasayen doing his best not to be seen playing with the females of the group!
There were some lions hanging around the baobab tree water hole today and the stockade pick up was called to come and drive them away. This resulted in the orphans spending the majority of their day browsing to the south of Msinga Hill, far away from the lions and any danger that they posed.
The morning was cloudy and cold as the orphans exited their stockades to begin the day with morning milk bottles followed by feeding on the lucerne pellets. They then gathered to enjoy some lucerne grass but Pika Pika was in a mischievous mood, lying on the lucerne grass and preventing her friends from enjoying it. Kenia, Ndii, Panda and Ishaq-B stood watching her but didn’t stop her from what she was doing as they like to dote on the little girl.
The morning was spent browsing peacefully until it was time for the orphan herd to head to the noon milk feeding area before walking down to the baobab tree waterhole. Ngilai and Emoli were engaged in a sparring game. Pika Pika and Ndotto were the first to welcome a visiting wild elephant herd to the waterhole with Rorogoi walked over to join them. Pika Pika and Rorogoi were spellbound by the babies in the wild herd and couldn’t take their eyes off them! Rorogoi made sure to guard Pika Pika while she was mud bathing to ensure that the youngster wouldn’t leave with the wild herd when they walked off. The afternoon was spent browsing to the south of the water hole.
The morning was quiet with the orphan herd undertaking the normal stockade activities which consisted of the milk and supplement feeding after which they headed out to the Park for the day.
Soon after arriving out in the browsing grounds Ngilai approached Pika Pika, who was busy browsing, to try and engage her in a sparring game. Pika Pika didn’t like having her browsing session interrupted however and retaliated by trying to get behind Ngilai to bite his tail, but Ngilai was able to evade her and quickly moved away to play with Tagwa instead, who played with him until he tried to climb on her back. Tagwa was struggling to get out from under him but Murit came in to help and engaged Ngilai in a sparring game. Godoma went to keep an eye on Pika Pika to make sure that Ngilai wouldn’t bother her.
The orphan herd visited the baobab tree waterhole in the afternoon following the noon milk feed. A wild elephant herd came for a drink from the water trough where they briefly interacted with the orphans. The orphans were desperately trying to play with the youngsters in the herd but soon the matriarch had enough of all the shenanigans and led her herd away off into the Park, and the orphans carried on with their afternoon of browsing.
The morning was wonderful with Ngilai beginning his day with a sparring session with Tagwa. While playing he grabbed a trunk full of lucerne grass and put it in his mouth, and Tagwa grabbed some from him to eat herself, and the two continued playing like this while simultaneously feeding which was something that they had not done before. Ngilai then went and anchored himself against some rocks in the stockade compound where he struck several different poses to scratch an itch, which caught Tagwa and Pika Pika’s attention and they watched him strike this funny poses and scratch himself for a while!
As the orphans were walking out of the compound Ngilai decided to climb on Pika Pika’s back but as he wasn’t being rough or mean in any way he wasn’t disciplined for doing so by Pika Pika’s adopted mothers like Ndii and Ishaq-B.
The day was spent browsing peacefully stopping for a break at noon when the orphan group visited the baobab tree waterhole so that the milk dependent babies could have their noon milk bottles. They all then went for some fun and games at the mud bath before resuming the browsing activities until it was time to return home for the night.
This morning the orphans exited their stockades excited to begin their day with the milk dependent babies finishing their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends for the lucerne supplement feeding. The orphan herd browsed on lucerne for about 45 minutes after which they had a drink of water before heading out to the Park for the day.
The orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon where the juniors had their milk bottles before the group walked down to the water trough where they had a drink before wallowing in the mud bath. Ndotto and Mbegu enjoyed a sparring session while Lasayen rolled around at the edge of the waterhole posing in different styles, and Murit enjoyed scratching against an acacia tree near the soil piles. Ngilai engaged his favourite playmate Emoli in a sparring game while Mashariki mud bathed and Ndotto attempted to ride on Sagala’s back but failed as she just walked away.
The afternoon was spent browsing around on the southern plains below the baobab tree waterhole. In the evening Mbegu had a lovely time rolling around on the ground before the orphans returned home to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a bright morning as the orphans exited their night stockades ready to begin their day with the milk and lucerne supplement feeding. Sagala was being very affectionate towards Ngilai while Tagwa and Emoli were busy sparring, as were Godoma and Lasayen who were engaged in a wrestling game.
Once the stockade activities were over the orphans left the stockade compound for the bush where they spent the morning browsing in the open grasslands until it was time to head to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed and a mud bath.
The orphans crowded around the water trough for a drink before heading to the waterhole for a mud bath. Ndotto was having a lot of fun playing a wrestling game with Ivia while Tundani drank water and Mbegu leaned against the baobab tree.
Once the waterhole activities were over, the orphans resumed with their browsing activities which took place on the rocky side of Msinga Hill. Godoma and Lasayen spent the afternoon together as they browsed and also engaged one another in playing and sparring games. Lasayen is much more relaxed about playing with the girls these days! Mbegu was scratching against a rock with Ndotto coming to invite her to play a sparring game which she was happy to do.
The stockade dependent orphan elephants exited their stockades and headed to the lucerne pellet feeding area with the milk dependent babies stopping to down their morning milk bottle before joining their older friends for the supplement feeding. Ndii, Pika Pika, Mudanda, Kenia, Araba and Suswa lined up along one of the stockade terraces where they enjoyed picking up lucerne pellets, one trunkful at a time, and feasting on them.
The orphan herd headed out to the Park once the stockade activities were over, and settled on the browsing grounds to the north where they spent the morning. A little before noon the group headed to the baobab tree waterhole with the milk dependent babies being the first to arrive in groups of four. Pika Pika, Emoli, Sagala and Tamiyoi were the first to their milk bottles followed closely by the rest of the group. Once the milk feeding was over the orphan elephants, together with Diria, Cheza and Ivia all went to the water trough where they interacted with two wild elephant herds that had come for a drink of water.
Diria the orphan zebra ran back to the Keepers’ vehicle which carries the milk bottles to hide and avoid interacting with a wild zebra that had developed an interest in him. He might not be quite ready to interact with zebras who are much bigger than him still!
Ndotto engaged Ivia in a sparring game which went on until Ivia got tired and moved away, at which point Ndotto tried to play with Cheza the buffalo instead, but she wasn’t interested in playing with him at all and ran away.
It was a bright morning for the orphans who enjoyed playing and bonding while feeding on lucerne following the milk feed. Ngilai was scratching against a tree in the stockade compound while Tamiyoi, Sagala and Tagwa all lay on the soil pile. Murit went to the water trough for a drink while Sagala scratched against a tree following her dust bath. Ngilai was busy feeding along the electric fence line after which he invited Murit to a pushing game, but Murit wasn’t interested as he was already playing with Mbegu. Sagala was trying to get involved as well and kept coming over and trying to climb on Mbegu’s back.
The orphans left the stockade for their daily browsing activities and spent the morning feeding on the open grasslands towards the baobab tree waterhole. A little before noon the orphans headed to the milk feeding area before walking down the hill to the mud wallow.
At the waterhole Araba, Kenia and Ndii lined up at the water trough for a drink where they were joined by Panda and Tundani, while Ndotto and Ivia enjoyed a sparring session. Sagala scratched against the baobab tree while Cheza the buffalo had a drink from the water trough where she was joined by Ndotto, Suswa and Lasayen.
After the morning milk and lucerne feeding the orphans left the stockade compound for the Park where they maneuvered around Msinga Hill looking for fresh vegetation to browse on.
Towards noon the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk bottles. After, the majority of the orphans gathered around the water trough for a drink while Suswa went to drink from the waterhole instead. Ndotto enjoyed having a dust bath, rolling around in the loose soil. After the mud bath the orphans took it in turns to scratch against the baobab tree. Rorogoi was the first to do so, followed by Arruba, Ishaq-B and then Embu. Ngilai and Emoli enjoyed a strength testing game away from the mud bathing area.
The afternoon was spent browsing on the grasslands below Msinga Hill until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
Godoma and Emoli came sprinting out of their night stockades this morning for their milk bottles which they finished in a matter of seconds before heading to the lucerne feeding area at the far end of the stockade compound. Tagwa and Sagala left the stockade compound for the browsing fields followed by some of the herd, while Mbegu, Godoma and Tundani remained behind finishing every last bit of lucerne!
The orphans spent the morning hours browsing until it was time for the noon milk feed and mud bath at the baobab tree waterhole. Ndotto and Ivia quickly became engaged in their sparring games while Pika Pika enjoyed mud bathing in the middle of the waterhole. Panda stood at the edge splashing water over herself. Emoli entered the water to play with Pika Pika and even tried to climb on her but then he saw Panda standing nearby and thought better of it. Tamiyoi was busy scratching near the mud bath before entering the water just as Emoli was leaving. Ndii went into the water to have a turn playing with Pika Pika.
The orphan herd was getting ready to head back to the browsing grounds while Pika Pika and Ndii had a drink from the water trough before joining the rest of the group. Arruba, Lasayen, Mbegu and Suswa were the last to leave as they stopped at the water trough for some water too.
The Voi orphans were eager to begin their day as they exited their stockades this morning. The milk dependent babies had their bottles, after which they joined their older friends for the lucerne supplement feeding. Tundani decided to sneak away with a bunch of lucerne to enjoy all by himself. Sagala led the group out to the Park today and they settled to browse along the open grasslands at the foot of Msinga Hill, where Tagwa decided to engage Ngilai in a sparring session.
The orphans spent the morning browsing before making their way to the noon milk feeding area. Once the babies finished their milk bottles they all walked down to the waterhole where they got to interact with a wild elephant herd that had come for a drink from the water trough.
As it was a cold day none of the orphans were really interested in playing in the mud bath, choosing instead to engage in some bonding and socialising games.
Panda enjoyed a sparring session with a wild friend while Arruba was approached by the same calf’s older sibling for a pushing game, but Arruba soon moved away as the young elephant was a bit too rough. The youngster then tried to engage Mudanda in a sparring session but because she was so rough Mudanda also moved away, leaving the wild elephant to join her younger sister playing with Panda instead. Sagala got the opportunity to play with a small wild calf which she relished. She managed to play with the baby for quite a while before being chased away but its mother.
It was a wonderful morning today with Ngilai overtaking Ndotto as they ran for their morning milk bottles. Ngilai was the first to arrive at the milk feeding place and he grabbed his bottle to finish it as fast as he could, and Ndotto was close behind him. Once the milk and supplement feeding was over the orphan herd headed out to the Park for the day to browse.
The orphans spent their morning browsing slowly on their way to where the noon milk feeding takes place.
It was another cold day and the orphans were reluctant to enter the mud wallow. Ndoria was the first to get in the water however, and she stood in the middle of the mud bath to try and encourage the rest of her friends to join her.
While the rest of the orphans were debating whether or not to get in the water, some wild elephant herds came to the waterhole for a drink of clean water from the water trough. Tamiyoi lay down and rolled around on the ground to showcase her playing tactics to the wild elephants. Lasayen sat on his bottom and invited Ngilai to come and play with him. Once the waterhole games were over, the orphans headed back out to the browsing grounds for the afternoon browsing activities.
It was a good morning for the orphans who began their day with the usual milk and lucerne pellet feeding. Ndii then went and lay on the ground next to a large rock where she started rolling around and playing. Kenia came past her and stopped for a minute as if communicating something to her, because very quickly Ndii got to her feet to follow behind Kenia as they all walked out to the Park. Kenia is aware that the Voi area has not received enough rain so far this year and is very dry, so she was eager to encourage the orphan herd out to browse as early as possible, so as to get enough feed.
The orphan elephants, buffalo and zebra browsed in single file arriving at the baobab tree waterhole at noon for their milk bottles and a drink of water. It was another cold and cloudy day, signaling the arrival of the cold season in Kenya, and as such the orphans avoided the mud bath. Lasayen and Ndotto were engaged in a strength testing game until Ndotto tried to climb on Lasayen’s head, instead of his back, which had Lasayen moving away and ending the game with Ndotto.
A small wild elephant family consisting of two wild elephant cows and their three calves visited the stockade compound today and had a drink of water from the stockade water trough before heading back out to the Park.
The orphans began their day with the usual milk and supplement feeding with Tundani picking up a bunch of lucerne and moving away from the rest of the orphans to feed on it in private again. When he finished what he had he would come back for more! Pika Pika still has a very strong bond with Kenia and Ndii and can usually be found by the side of one, if not both of them. That said the Keepers do have to keep a close eye on Pika Pika as she has developed a habit of trying to leave with the visiting wild herds at the noon mud bath sometimes.
Sagala, Tagwa and Tamiyoi led the herd out to the browsing fields today and maneuvered them along the rocky side of Msinga Hill. Once out on the open grasslands the orphans fed until it was time for the noon milk feed. While browsing, Ngilai invited Tagwa for a sparring session which was cut short by the arrival of Ivia who immediately took his sparring partner Ngilai away from Tagwa, leaving her to wander off and find another play mate!
After the milk feed, the orphans walked down to the waterhole where they interacted with some wild elephants visiting the water trough. Pika Pika again sneaked off with a wild family and spent some time playing with the young babies before rejoining the orphan herd. The afternoon was spent browsing on the foot of Msinga Hill. Kenia, Pika Pika, Ndii and Araba spent time browsing side by side, with Pika Pika snuggling up to Kenia and being very affectionate with her adopted big sister.
The morning began peacefully beginning with the usual milk feeding. While the rest of the group was busy feeding on lucerne pellets, Rorogoi tried to leave the stockade compound together with Pika Pika. Ndii noticed what Rorogoi was doing and came rushing over to stop her. While Ndii and Rorogoi spoke Pika Pika got bored of waiting and decided to play some rolling games on the ground. Ndii then stood guard over Pika Pika while she played and when she was done, they joined the rest of the orphan herd who was ready to head out to the Park.
Later Ngilai engaged Tagwa in a sparring game which lasted for a while with Ngilai incorporating a new technique of hiding behind a small tree and using it as a shield, ambushing Tagwa from behind the tree and making it difficult for Tagwa to retaliate. Their game attracted the attention of Murit and Lasayen who came in to join the two, but Ngilai and Tagwa didn’t want anyone to interrupt their game so they moved away to continue elsewhere. Lasayen, who in the past has been quite a reserved elephant, has been seen playing with his friends in the orphan herd on several occasions this month!
As soon as Tagwa finished playing with Ngilai, Emoli came running over to take a turn playing with Tagwa but Murit intervened again. The noon milk feed took place near the baobab tree waterhole as usual and once it was over the orphan herd headed to the waterhole where they interacted with a wild elephant herd. Pika Pika was quite naughty today and walked off with the wild herd, completely ignoring the Keepers’ calls to return to the orphan herd. It took a while and some intervention by the Keepers to get her back as she is still milk dependent and too young to leave the care of the Keepers and the safety of the stockades.
The morning was bright and the sun was shining when the orphans exited their stockades this morning, but there was also a cool breeze blowing signaling that the cold season is well and truly upon us. The orphans played around the stockade compound following the milk and lucerne pellet feeding. Godoma enjoyed a game of climbing up and down one of the stockade terraces while Sagala and Pika Pika had fun rolling and playing on the loose soil piles, with their game attracting the attention of Ngilai, Emoli, Mudanda and Mashariki who came to join them.
The orphans settled to feed out in the bush, with Emoli and Ngilai stopping their browsing activities to play a sparring game.
When the orphans were playing in the waterhole later on in the day, Ndii charged into the water to chase Mbegu away who was playing with Pika Pika, so she could have Pika Pika for herself. Ndii brought Pika Pika close to her making it difficult for the youngster to wallow. Despite the cold, both Rorogoi and Arruba were also enjoying playing in the water, splashing about and smacking their trunks in the water. Ngilai left the water to play with Tagwa who seems to be a new favourite play mate of his.
The same wild herd that had visited the waterhole yesterday returned today together with their ten calves and joined the orphans for a drink at the water trough. When they left the waterhole, Pika Pika again went with them and the Keepers had to carefully go and separate her to bring her back to the orphan herd again, which they did without trouble.