Just as with the rest of Kenya, Voi has received enormous amounts of rain and the ground is completely saturated. The vegetation is lush and bountiful, and all the wildlife is beginning to look much healthier. The Orphans, who thankfully did not suffer as much as the other wildlife, are looking very plump and healthy now that food is no longer scarce.
The Orphans favourite feeding ground has become Msinga Hill which is visited on most days by them who at times spend the whole day browsing there, stopping only to drink their noon bottle of milk. The Hill is full of lovely creepers that the youngsters enjoy shoveling into their mouths by the trunk-full which accounts for their rotund appearance.
Emily and Edie’s Groups have visited from time to time, and with them has been Burra who is once again back in the fold following his return last month. Lissa’s group was also seen and visited the stockade on one or two occasions this month. Mpenzi, her calf, and Uaso were seen on the 22nd as they made their way to join Lissa who was browsing with her group who were near Msinga Hill.
Siria & Mzima are best of friends, they play together early every day and both love to immerse themselves in the water. During the mudbath on the 20th, Siria was spending a little extra time bathing blissfully when a wild bull came up behind him and reached out to greet him by gently touching him on the back. This caught Siria by surprise and made him jump out of his skin as he quickly made a dash for his orphan herd!
Shimba has been showing signs of becoming more of a lone bull, and has at times returned to the stockades about half an hour after the others. Wasessa continued to dote on Tassia who is completely besotted by her, refusing to finish his milk unless she is within sight. On one occasion Wassesa caused some dissention amongst the group as she prevented Lesanju and the others from eating the copra cake that she had saved for her “baby”. As copra cake is Lesanju’s favourite treat this behaviour did not go down well!
Lempaute is still as playful as ever, she has grown tremendously and is even taller than some of the older orphans in the group. Her tusks are slowly growing and she makes full use of them during playtime at the mudbath, digging up soil to play with. She still has a very strong alliance with Lesanju; both have been great friends since they were youngsters in the Nairobi Nursery. Taveta is thriving in Voi, he is quite an independent young calf, sometimes taking the lead when it is time to return in the evening. On the 8th the group encountered a large herd of impala’s grazing on intended orphans route. Taveta, Lempaute, and Kenia mounted a ‘scaring strategy’ to scatter the herd. They marched confidently towards the herd with ears spread and were extremely proud of themselves when the impalas reacted as planned!
On several occasions the orphans encountered wild herds and were excited to make their acquaintance, often running up to them with such enthusiasm that they scare them away. Shira has always been the 1st and the last to engage with the wild elephants which should have been a sign of things to come. On the 25th, while the orphans were making their way to the mudwallow, they came across a group of wild females & their calves. Shira ran to them becoming enveloped by the group who walked away with her in their midst. Despite mounting an immediate search and rescue mission, undertaken both on foot and by car, Shira was not located and even though we continue to look for her she has yet to be found. We believe that she is safe and loved having made new friends who have welcomed her like family and thus returning her to her rightful place in the wild.