Keepers' Diaries, March 2021

Nairobi Nursery Unit

For much of March, we all waited expectantly for the rains to break. Nairobi was incredibly hot in the lead-up and sometimes the orphans even made extra trips to the mud bath, seeking relief from the scorching sun. This led us to discover that Rama, our newest rescue, is extremely fond of the activity! He slides right in, flinging mud in every direction with unbridled delight. He seems to prefer a more private wallowing experience, and we often saw him finish his bottle at breakneck speed so he could enter the mud bath while the others were still having their milk. Because of his formidable tusks, some of the other orphans — particularly Kiasa, Nabulu, Kiombo, Olorien, and Roho — remain a bit wary of Rama’s presence and can be rough with the new bull. Fortunately, Rama is completely nonplussed by their behaviour and simply gives them a wide berth if they are being unfriendly. 

01 March 2021

Every orphan within the herd will have his or her best friend or group that they like to be with. Although all the orphans pretty much get along, the Keepers are always able to tell which orphans are closer, and they always thoroughly enjoy watching these friendships grow. Recently, Ziwadi and Kinyei seem to be getting closer as they are spending more and more time browsing together whilst out in the forest. Olorien continues to remain close to Ziwadi and Kinyei, and whilst she browsed near Kinyei, Ziwadi was resting her trunk on Kinyei’s back. 

Despite being naughty and sometimes a bit a pushy, Kiasa and Larro have remained close, and this is a relationship that has grown since Larro’s arrival at the Nairobi Nursery. They spent most of their day browsing together and were even seen enjoying some short wrestling matches throughout the day. At one point, they even enjoyed a short dust bath near one another, both throwing soil all over their backs and bellies. 

Mukkoka, Maktao and even Maisha are close friends, and let’s not forget Maktao’s best friend and neighbour Kiombo. Throughout the day, they could be seen wrestling each other and swapping partners as their games continued. Mostly Kiombo, Mukkoka and Maktao will wrestle, with Naboishu joining in also, but on the odd occasion they can entice Maisha to join in on their fun too. Mukkoka and Maktao especially enjoy their wrestling matches with the matriarch. 

The orphans had a wonderful day out in the forest, pausing only for their milk feeds, one of which they enjoyed down at the mud bath so that they could all wallow in the mud cooling them down in the hot sun. 

02 March 2021

The orphans were all in a jovial mood this morning as they headed out to the forest. Whilst some were busy enjoying a morning dust bath, Mukkoka and Maktao began their own wrestling match and they could be seen chasing and pushing each other through the dense bush of the forest. Kiasa and Nabulu, unlike the others, are always eager to walk further into the forest and this morning was no exception. As the other orphans were being playful under the watchful eye Maisha the matriarch, the Keepers could see Kiasa and Nabulu starting to wander off. The Keepers quickly ushered them back towards the group, ensuring that they didn’t go too far before the other orphans were ready to follow. 

As Naboishu and Kindani were rolling around on the soil pile, Maisha, Larro and Roho were throwing soil all over their bodies, warming themselves up. Kiasa and Nabulu finally settled to browse nearby and they were soon joined by young Kinyei who was also eager to get her fill of fresh greens. 

As all the orphans settled to browse, Kiasa and Nabulu wandered a little further away, and Ziwadi and Olorien were not too far behind them. One of the Keepers was sure to keep an eye on them and they were eventually all ushered back to the herd as they were getting ready to head down for their midday bottles of milk. 

The orphans enjoyed a quiet afternoon of browsing and none of them wandered off as they all remained close to one another. 

03 March 2021

Larro continues to be an exceptional nanny, and the Keepers will often say how proud they are of her and the affection she shows towards the younger orphans. Today, she was seen looking after Naleku, Bondeni, Kinyei and Olorien as well as some of the other younger orphans. The Keepers were impressed to watch her follow the younger orphans as they moved throughout the forest and if any of them became separated, she would quickly usher them back together. 

Maisha also seems happy to share some of her responsibilities with Larro, as she appeared to be quite happy browsing near Roho and Kindani. Roho is still in complete awe of Maisha, and often, he continues to remain by her side or that of one of the other older girls. 

The orphans enjoyed a long mud bath after their afternoon bottles of milk. All the orphans, apart from Ziwadi, were covering themselves in mud including Rama, the newest member to the Nursery herd. Although Rama does not get into the muddy waters, he can always be seen on the banks of the mud bath splashing mud everywhere. As always, Ziwadi does not get into the middle of the hustle of bustle of the other orphans and rather enjoys browsing at the perimeter of the mud bath. Sometimes the Keepers will get lucky and Ziwadi will be close enough for them to splash some mud on her back, but she will often move off to browse in peace. 

04 March 2021

Maxwell was full of energy this morning as he came bouncing out of his bedroom and headed straight for his greens. As he got to his greens, he began to sort the ones he didn’t want aside with his horns and making sure all his favorite greens, the acacia branches, were kept in one spot ready for him to eat. As he finished sorting them out, he began to crunch down on the acacia branches and leaves. 

Whilst Maxwell was busy eating his greens, some of the resident warthogs began to sneak into his stockade to run up to where his Lucerne pellets were being laid out by one of his Keepers. As soon as Max heard the warthogs he immediately stopped munching away on his branches and listened to them, as his ears flickering. The warthogs also seemed to notice that the big rhino had stopped eating his greens as they stopped dead in their tracks and began to watch what he was doing. Once Max realised that the warthogs were in his stockade he came barreling over to where they were standing. His big footsteps could be heard against the dry ground, and he let a few deep breaths as he kicked his legs back. The warthogs quickly sped off as he approached, and they all ran towards one of their escape routes where they quickly exited his stockade. 

Once Max was confident that the warthogs were out of his stockade, he settled back down and walked over to his pile of Lucerne pellets where he began to enjoy his morning treat. After having his fill, the large rhino walked over to his neighbouring stockade, where he settled in the long grass to have his morning nap as the day began to warm up. As Max was now fast asleep, the warthogs quickly snuck back in an enjoyed some of his leftover pellets before heading off to the forest. 

05 March 2021

This morning as the Keepers were getting the orphans ready for their 11am bottles of milk, Kiasa, Nabulu, Mukkoka and Larro were all behaving like naughty teenagers and as though they had never had a milk feed before. They were all late to run down and were pushing each other all over the place, as well as some of the other orphans. The Keepers eventually ushered them to the back so that the other orphans could run down in peace, and when they were eventually let down, they all began to race each other causing such a scene. As Nabulu was drinking her bottle, Kiasa kept pausing with her bottles and pushing Nabulu to try and get her milk, as if she were a greedy child. Nabulu eventually got very annoyed and pushed Kiasa away, resulting in Kiasa’s Keeper moving her to the other side where she finished her milk without disturbing the others. 

Once the orphans had finished their midday bottles, Kiasa, Nabulu, Mukkoka and Larro seemed to return to their normal selves as all the orphans made their way back to the forest. 

As the orphans settled back in the forest, Mukkoka and Maktao began to wrestle one another and chase each other throughout the forest. Eventually, Mukkoka grew tired of the game as he gave up so he could resume browsing with the rest of the Nursery herd. Maktao, seemingly a little disappointed, moved off to find his friend Kiombo who was nearby. 

All the orphans enjoyed their browse before heading back to their stockades for the evening. 

06 March 2021

All the orphans were very excited this morning as the Keepers were letting them out of their rooms and they were all eager to start their day out in the forest. Despite all the orphans running around, rumbling and trumpeting to greet each other, Ziwadi as always started her day with her normal routine. As the orphans were starting to head off to the forest, Ziwadi could be seen stopping at each of the water troughs to have her morning drink of water. Most of the orphans were already browsing behind Naboishu’s stockade as they all waited for Ziwadi to join them. 

As Ziwadi was in no rush, one of the Keepers slowly ushered her along so she could join the rest of the herd. When all the orphans were together, they were led out to the forest by Maisha and their Keepers. 

Later in the day, Maktao and Kiombo were once again in one of their playful moods as they began to wrestle each other around the forest. Both being so big in size, these games tend to last quite some time as both refuse to back down. In fact, this afternoon their games continued for so long that they even continued wrestling each other as they were heading back to the stockade compound, pushing each other as they ran. As they were making such a noise, they caught the attention of Maxwell who was already eating his greens. As soon as Max heard them, he came over to his gate and he began to smell and listen. Once he realized it was just the elephant orphans, he walked back over to his greens. Once Maktao and Kiombo were both back in their stockades they seemed to settle down and both began to eat their freshly cut greens. 

07 March 2021

It was a beautiful sunny morning as the orphans were starting their day. As the Keepers were letting out the older orphans first, Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, Olorien and Ziwadi were all patiently waiting in their stables. Some of the bigger orphans began to make their way out to the forest, namely Kiasa, Nabulu, Naboishu, Larro, and Kiombo, whereas Maisha, Mukkoka, and Maktao were clearly waiting for the younger orphans with Roho and Naleku. As soon as Ziwadi, Olorien, Bondeni, Kindani, and Kinyei were let out, Maisha let out a deep rumble as if to greet them all and then quickly turned to walk with them out to the forest. Ziwadi and Olorien slowly followed behind, as Ziwadi stopped for her daily drink of water. 

Once out in the forest, Maisha, Mukkoka and Maktao all surrounded the younger orphans, including Naleku and Roho, as if they were protecting them and watching over them as the rest of the herd was already busy browsing. Roho walked over to Maisha and the two shared a short cuddle where Maisha wrapped her trunk around the young bull and they both let out a deep rumble as if they were greeting one another. All the younger orphans enjoy spending time with Maktao and Mukkoka as they are both gentle bulls, and they seem to be spending more and more time with these two bulls. 

The orphans enjoyed a wonderful day of browsing and milk in the forest. 

08 March 2021

Ziwadi seemed to be a little quiet this morning. As the orphans all finished their midday bottles of milk down at the mud bath, Ziwadi finished her bottle and then walked off towards the forest, uninterested in the orphans’ mud bathing or staying with the others. Although Ziwadi can sometimes be quiet the Keepers kept a watchful eye on her just to make sure she wasn’t stressed or feeling ill. She seemed to be doing alright and was just quietly enjoying her greens. 

Larro, Naleku, Roho, and Mukkoka were amongst the first to enter the muddy waters and they were soon joined by the rest of the herd who all seemed excited to cool off. Even Rama was once again on the edge of the mud bath covering himself in muddy water before heading off to the soil mound where he covered himself in soil. Once all the orphans were finished rolling around the Keepers led them back to the forest for the rest of the day. 

Ziwadi spent most of her afternoon with Olorien and Rama, who both seemed happy to walk at her slower pace, keeping her company wherever she went. 

09 March 2021

Despite Ziwadi being one of the quieter orphans, she does sometimes seem to enjoy leading the other orphans back to the forest. Once the orphans finished their 11am bottles of milk and mud wallowing, Ziwadi appeared very eager to lead them all out to the forest. As is well known, Ziwadi is one of the few orphans who seems to prefer her greens over her milk formula and as soon as she finishes her milk, she is always ready and eager to head back to the forest for her favorite greens. She led all the orphans, including Maisha who was happy to follow, to one of her favourite browsing spots. As soon as the orphans arrived in the forest, they all happily settled to browse and Ziwadi could already be seen swinging her tail as she munched away on the fresh greens. 

Kiasa and Larro enjoyed browsing near each other once more, and contrary to other days, Kiasa seemed quite happy browsing where Ziwadi had settled and she didn’t try to wander off further afield. The orphans all browsed quietly until the Keepers started to get them ready to head down for their 3 o’clock bottles of milk. 

Ziwadi appears to be enjoying spending time with the younger orphans such as Kinyei, Kindani, Bondeni and Olorien and often she will run down for her milk bottles with them. This afternoon was no different, as the Keepers allowed the younger orphans to run for their bottles, Ziwadi ran with them and she and Bondeni finished their bottles near one another. This afternoon, the orphans enjoyed their bottles in the forest, so it was not long before they were all back to their browsing activities before heading back to the stockade and stables for the evening.

10 March 2021

It was a beautiful morning as all the orphans were let out of their stables. As the sun was already shining brightly, the Keepers removed the blankets off Bondeni, Kinyei, Kindani and Olorien and then let them out of their stables. They all seemed so excited to have their blankets off that they came barreling out to greet Maisha and the other orphans. As they were all dashing around the stockade compound greeting each other, Ziwadi came around from her stable and began her normal morning routine of drinking from each of the water troughs. This morning, however, when she finished drinking, she seemed to decide to head back to her stable. The Keepers were quick to call her and as soon as she heard them, she turned around and came back to follow the herd out to the forest. 

The orphans were all excitable but once in the forest they all settled to browse. Just before 9 o’clock the Keepers gathered the orphans and then sent them down in their small groups to have their morning milk bottles. Ziwadi, Naleku, Bondeni, Rama and Kinyei all ran down together for their bottles, and then Roho, Olorien, and Kindani came down with Mukkoka and Maisha. Maktao, and Kiombo ran down with Larro, and Naboishu, and finally Kiasa came down with Nabulu. Once all the orphans were finished their bottles of milk, they all went back to the forest where they enjoyed a wonderful day of browsing on all the different variety of greens. 

11 March 2021

Sometimes when an older orphan such as Rama is rescued it takes some time for the older girls to get used to them because they are older and more independent and aren’t as reliant on the girls. Kiasa, Nabulu, Kiombo, Olorien, and sometimes Roho seem to be the most troubled by Rama’s age and they can sometimes be a little rough with the new bull, fortunately Rama isn’t too bothered by them and has now learnt to keep his distance. Despite some of the girls being a little cold towards him, Rama remains a gentle and friendly bull and he has made many other friends around the Nursery. 

Today Kiasa and Nabulu were being particularly bad with Rama and they both kept bullying him and pushing him. Maisha can sometimes be less attentive to the older bulls, and as such she doesn’t always come to their aid. Maktao, however, did try to intervene and help Rama but he was challenged by Nabulu who was also quite rough with him. Eventually, the Keepers stepped in and chased Kiasa and Nabulu away, sending them to the naughty corner for the rest of the day, and both girls seemed to know they were in trouble.

Rama has now gotten used to keeping his distance from them, and he enjoys spending his time with Ziwadi, Kinyei, Bondeni and Kindani. He is always welcome to browse with them and Ziwadi especially seems to be enjoying his company as they are often seen browsing quietly near one another and will often be joined by the younger orphans as well. 

12 March 2021

As the young orphans are growing up it is wonderful for the Keepers to see them growing into their characters and learning the skills they will require to survive in the wild. For the bulls, an important part of their growth is to learn how to challenge one another. Adult bulls continue to have their strength-testing matches but they will also challenge each other in immense fights to win over a female so it is always important for the younger bulls to learn these valuable skills. One such young bull is Roho who has recently been challenging Naboishu and Mukkoka to strength testing matches. It is good to see him gain some independence from the older females, especially Maisha and Kiasa, as he would need to do the same in the wild eventually too.  

This morning as the orphans arrived in the forest, Roho, Mukkoka and Naboishu quickly started their games. They mostly played hide and seek but they also enjoyed challenging each other to a few strength testing matches. It wasn’t long before other orphans joined in; Maisha even challenged Naboishu to a strength testing match, something which the Keepers hadn’t expected. Bondeni seemed to be trying to prove how speedy he was to Kindani and Kinyei as he kept zooming off and then running back to them. 

Once Mukkoka was done wrestling Roho, he moved on to challenge Maktao and Larro, but Larro didn’t partake for very long and she eventually moved off to browse. Before leaving the stockade compound to follow the herd, Nabulu, Kiombo and Kiasa enjoyed a playful moment with Maxwell whereby they would all charge at his gate and then quickly run off. Max, however, would stand his ground at his gate, kicking back his hind legs and huffing at them. 

Eventually as all the orphans settled to browse, Mukkoka and Naboishu seemed to be the only two that were still eager to play, and they engaged each other in a long strength testing match. Roho even decided to re-join them and it was amazing to watch as Mukkoka would act as a buffer or mediator between Naboishu and Roho. If Naboishu ever got too rough, Mukkoka would step in and then their game would continue. Nabulu eventually ended their game by chasing Mukkoka and Naboishu away from Roho. The bulls, seemingly disappointed by her actions, moved off and settled to browse. 

The orphans had a quiet rest of the day browsing and enjoying their three hourly milk feeds. 

13 March 2021

Maisha and Roho have a very special relationship and this hasn’t changed since the new orphans arrived at the Nursery, and Roho has become better at sharing her attention. Naleku, although very independent and very capable of standing up for herself, is a very gentle young girl and she doesn’t bother with competing with Roho for the attention of Maisha, but rather prefers to do her own thing. Olorien, on the other hand, seems to have a similar personality to Kiasa and she will often be quite rough with other orphans and always seems ready for a challenge. 

This morning Maisha was busy browsing with Roho on one side of her and on the other Olorien and Naleku. They all seemed quite happy together but when Maisha began to snuggle up to Olorien and Naleku this appeared to bother Roho who began to fuss about and push at Olorien and Naleku. Naleku wasn’t bothered and she just moved away from the bull. Olorien, however, was ready for a challenge and she came barreling over challenging Roho to a pushing match. Surprisingly, Olorien managed to overpower Roho and chase him away. Maisha decided to ignore them and let them sort it out for themselves and she continued to browse in peace with Naleku. 

Rama, much like Luggard and Roho, loves his mud baths. He seems to prefer to get in and out of the mud bath before the other older orphans arrive and will often down his bottle and be done with his wallow as the others are still finishing their milk. After his midday bottle of milk, he quickly ran over to the mud bath and began splashing mud all over his back and belly and enjoyed a short wallow. As Nabulu and Kiasa were finishing up their milk bottles, he exited the mud bath and walked over to the dust mound where Bondeni and Kindani were playfully rolling around. Once he finished his dust bath, he walked over to where Ziwadi was browsing and the two ate the cut greens peacefully together. 

After a long mud wallow the Nursery herd made their way back to the forest where they enjoyed a peaceful afternoon of browsing. 

14 March 2021

Despite being a smaller herd, the Nursery herd certainly does have its mix of characters. Maktao and Mukkoka both seem to be the gentler and kinder bulls of the herd, whereas Kiombo and Naboishu are far more boisterous and not so eager to take care of the younger orphans. Maktao has always been a gentle bull and he continues to spend more and more time caring for the younger orphans, watching over them as they browse and protecting them against any bullies. Maktao has also recently become the protector of the Nursery herd as he is often seen walking behind the herd making sure everyone is safe; this is a behaviour that can often been seen in the wild when big bulls act as satellite members and follow herds from a short distance. 

Mukkoka continues to share a special relationship with Naleku and they are often browsing near one another, and he isn’t seen bullying any of the other orphans but rather does his own thing. This afternoon Mukkoka was seen happily browsing with Rama. The two appeared to be quite happy in each other’s company and it was nice to see Rama spending time with one of the older bulls. Naleku was also happy browsing with them from time to time. 

Naleku, as she often does, was happily moving throughout the herd browsing. She was seen with Nabulu and Kiasa as well as Larro before heading back to Mukkoka and Rama. Olorien and Naboishu seem to the noisiest orphans in the herd and will often trumpet and rumble loudly for no reason at all. Naboishu, who has been nicknamed the noise-maker, will always yell out for his milk and he can really yell out loudly sometimes, disturbing the other orphans. This afternoon he yelled out right near Maisha and this seemed to give her a fright as she quickly turned and chased him away. Once all the orphans finished their afternoon bottles of milk, they all settled down for their last hour of browsing before heading back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

15 March 2021

This morning before the orphans went out to the forest, they enjoyed a playful moment with Maxwell. Naleku, Roho, and Bondeni were the first to head over to Max’s gate and greet him, and they were all enjoying tapping the rhino with their trunks. They were soon joined by Maisha, Nabulu, and Kiasa. Kinyei continues to be quite a shy girl and she is still quite shy when it comes to greeting Max, and she will often keep her distance. She has, however, become slightly more playful with some of the other orphans and even the resident warthogs.

This morning as the orphans had settled to browse, they were joined by the resident warthogs who were happily grazing nearby. Suddenly a large male warthog appeared, and he started chasing the other male warthogs, trying to get to the female. This seemed to upset Kinyei as she began chasing after this large new warthog; she was soon joined by Ziwadi and they were both seen blocking the warthog every time he tried to get to the other warthogs. Ziwadi and Kinyei flared their ears at the warthog and rumbled at him as they chased him away. Mukkoka watched them for a while before stepping in and chasing the warthog too; he was soon joined by Maisha and they both drove the warthog far away. 

Once all the warthogs and orphans settled down, they enjoyed a peaceful day out in the forest. 

16 March 2021

Kiasa continues to keep the Keepers on their toes with her change of moods; some days she can be so naughty and a bit of a bully and then other days she can be very caring and gentle with all the orphans in the Nursery herd. This morning, she appeared to be in one of her gentle moods and from when the orphans were let out of their stables, she was seen accompanying Ziwadi and Rama out in the forest. As opposed to normally wandering off on her own path, she chose to spend all her time with them, something she has not done before. Rama and Ziwadi both seemed to enjoy having her company. 

In the afternoon, the older orphans will generally head further into the forest in the company of Roho and Naleku. Naleku and Mukkoka will generally lead the way, whereas Roho will remain in the company of Maisha and some of the other girls. This afternoon, however, Naleku chose to remain with Rama, Ziwadi, Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, and Olorien, who all remained closer to the stockade compound. Kindani started being a little mean towards Rama, and it was incredible to watch Naleku step in and protect Rama from her. Naleku wasn’t too aggressive towards Kindani, but just enough to move her away. 

In the evening, when the orphans are back in their stables and stockades, Kiombo is always trying to steal Maktao’s freshly cut greens and this evening he was trying to steal them all. Sometimes Maktao will fight for them back but this evening he seemed to not mind so much and just left him. Eventually, one of the Keepers intervened and moved all Maktao’s green back, but this didn’t stop Kiombo from trying again, and he kept trying until he fell asleep. 

17 March 2021

Despite Kiombo stealing Maktao’s greens, they have remained the closest of friends and always have time for one another. Whether in their stables or out in the forest these two bulls are always eager to wrestle one another. A similar friendship seems to be developing between Mukkoka and Naboishu, as Naboishu seems to always prefer to challenge Mukkoka as opposed to the bigger bulls, Maktao and Kiombo. Mukkoka, unlike Maktao and Kiombo, isn’t always so eager to wrestle and it can sometimes take some time for him to get into the game, but Naboishu isn’t one to give up so easily and will often manage to convince Mukkoka to enjoy a short game or two. 

Kinyei, Kindani, and Bondeni continue to all have such individual personalities. Kinyei remains the quiet, shy one, who gets along with everyone in the Nursery herd. Bondeni remains small, cheeky and playful, who is always looking for something fun to do with his peers and Keepers. Kindani, however, remains very selective as to whom she spends her days with and is not always so eager to follow the older orphans as she quite likes being the mini matriarch of her little group. Kindani can also sometimes be a little bit of a bully pushing around some of the other orphans such Olorien, Ziwadi, Roho, Naleku, Rama, and Kinyei. 

As the orphans were getting ready to have their midday bottles of milk, Kindani went running down with Bondeni, Kinyei, Naleku and Rama. She suddenly seemed to decide to block Rama’s path, stopping him from running down to the mud bath for his bottle. This may have been her way of protective Bondeni and Kinyei, but Rama was getting quite annoyed as he kept trying to get past. Fortunately, one of the Keepers wasn’t far behind them and he quickly came to Rama’s aid, telling Kindani to move on by pointing his finger and raising his voice ever so slightly. Kindani immediately knew she was in trouble and she quickly ran off, leaving Rama in peace in the company of his Keeper. 

After their midday bottles of milk, the orphans enjoyed a quiet afternoon in the Nairobi National Park.

18 March 2021

As it was quite warm this morning, Maxwell decided to have a mud bath nice and early. As the Keepers were getting the orphans ready to head off to the forest, the large rhino could be seen relaxing in his mud bath, rolling around and covering his whole body in mud. He was also quite happy to share his mud bath with the resident warthogs, who were also busy rolling around in the mud. When he was done rolling around he walked over to one his favourite corners to have his morning nap in the sun. When it got too hot for him, he then moved over to his neighbouring stockade where he ate some grass and relaxed in the shade. 

Unlike other days, Olorien has been spending more and more time with Rama, as well as her usual friends Ziwadi, Kindani, Kinyei and Bondeni. This afternoon, as the older orphans wandered off further into the forest, Olorien seemed to manage to convince Kinyei and Bondeni to follow her as she followed them, leaving behind Ziwadi, Rama and Kindani. The Keepers quickly realized that Olorien and her group were following the older orphans and they radioed ahead to the other Keepers to look out for them. 

Unfortunately for Bondeni and Kinyei, Olorien didn’t know what direction she should head in and she ended up getting them a little lost. Bondeni and Kinyei were far too busy browsing but Olorien began to trumpet out loudly looking for the other orphans. As soon as the Keepers heard her, they knew exactly where they were and walked straight over to them. As soon as Olorien saw her Keepers she seemed to calm down and rumbled deeply at her Keepers. Then they all walked back to Ziwadi, Rama and Kindani.

This evening Kiasa was in another one of her naughty moods and she tipped over one of the water troughs near hers and Mukkoka’s stockades. She was refusing to go into her stockade and then knocked it over whilst trying to run away. The Keepers eventually managed to entice her into her room with an extra milk bottle; once Kiasa was in her stockade, all the orphans settled for the evening. 

19 March 2021

This morning Roho and Naleku were the first to come running out of their stables. Naleku immediately ran over to Maxwell’s gate to greet the large rhino who was already awake listening to the orphans and Keepers. Once she was done nuzzling Max with her trunk, she began to make her way to the forest. Roho, on the other hand, was walking around greeting all the orphans as they were coming out their stockades. He started with Maisha and then walked back to Kinyei, Bondeni and Kindani before walking up to Naboishu. Once at Naboishu’s stockade, Roho engaged him in a small wrestling match before they both carried on out to the forest. 

As the orphans were running down for their 9 o’clock bottles of milk, Kiasa, Maisha, Nabulu, Kiombo, Mukkoka and Naboishu all began to race each other for their bottles. Naboishu was at first in the lead, but he was soon overtaken by Mukkoka who is the fastest in the Nursery herd, and then by Maisha and Nabulu who both had the advantage of their size and therefore their longer strides. This seemed to really upset Naboishu as he started to shout out in protest, alerting his Keepers that he was close by. Naboishu always yells out and he is well known for this, but contrary to other days, when Naboishu started yelling today all the other orphans in his group began to yell too, and they all made such a noise that they managed to cause panic among the younger orphans too. The Keepers were quick to calm them down though as they didn’t want them running off in different directions. 

When the younger orphans went for their milk, Bondeni, Kindani and Kinyei were all running down together and Bondeni was in the lead. Unbeknown to him, there was a heron along the path having a drink of water and as he lifted his head up, he suddenly saw this big bird in his path. He immediately panicked and turned back towards Kindani and Kinyei trumpeting and panicking loudly. Kindani and Kinyei both quickly followed him and the three of them ran back to their Keepers who weren’t far behind. They wouldn’t move until the heron was chased away the Keepers. 

After their midday bottles the orphans had a quiet afternoon in the forest. 

20 March 2021

Being within the Nairobi National Park, it can be that the orphans and Keepers have some unwanted visitors such as lions and hyenas, but this is all part of the orphans learning to survive in the wild and to live amongst other wild animals. During the night, two lions settled for the evening on the border of the forest behind Naboishu’s stockade; they sometimes come in whilst following the warthogs. Naboishu could obviously sense they were there as he was quite restless throughout the night and the Keepers kept a watchful eye on him but knew there was no risk as all the orphans were safely within their stockades, including Maxwell. 

In the morning the Keepers checked to see if the lions had moved on and couldn’t see any sign of them until the orphans started coming out. Mukkoka was the first to come up to Naboishu’s stockade but he quickly turned around and came back to play around within the stockade compound. Next to head up was Kiombo, who pretty much reacted the same as Mukkoka so the Keepers were now on high alert but the orphan that really alerted everyone was Ziwadi, who walked up to the bushes just behind the stockade compound and suddenly put her trunk up to smell and then flared out her ears and trumpeted loudly. She seemed to alert all the other orphans and Kiasa came running over to see what was going on, and as soon as she got close enough to smell the lions, she began to trumpet and rumble aggressively. Maisha ran straight over to the younger orphans and surrounded them, protecting them from any threat. Kiasa’s aggressive rumble managed to ward off the lions who quickly disappeared into the forest. The Keepers checked that the coast was clear before leading the orphans out to the forest. 

This afternoon, once Rama had finished his mud bath, he was walking over to join Ziwadi in the bushes when he came across a large tortoise in the grass. The tortoise gave him such a fright that he let out a loud trumpet and even frightened little Bondeni who was busy kicking one of the water troughs around. Bondeni quickly ran over to Larro for protection and Kiasa walked over to check on Rama who had already relaxed once he realized there was nothing dangerous about the tortoise. 

21 March 2021

There were heavy showers throughout the evening and although it was not cold in the morning it was still quite wet and muddy. As a result, Rama, Larro, Mukkoka, Maktao, Kinyei, Bondeni and Kindani were all reluctant to leave their stables and stockades and they were rumbling at their Keepers in protest. When Nabulu, Kiasa and Naboishu all exited their stockades without a worry in the world, Larro and Mukkoka both trumpeted loudly as if in protest or amazement at them leaving their stockades. As all the other orphans were now coming out of their stables and stockades, Rama, Larro, Mukkoka, Maktao, Kinyei, Kindani and Bondeni finally agreed to also come out and head off to the forest. 

As the morning progressed and the day got warmer, the orphans had settled nicely in the forest, browsing on all the fresh greens. Maisha was busy this morning looking after and browsing with Olorien, Kinyei and Kindani. She spent most of her morning with them, and even enjoyed a mid-morning mud bath with them and some of the other orphans. They seemed to be having such fun rolling around with their matriarch, climbing on her back and lying next to her. 

After the orphans finished their afternoon bottles of milk, Mukkoka, Maktao and Kiombo were all eager to play a wrestling match and equally challenge each other. Mukkoka was a great opponent despite being slightly smaller than Maktao and Kiombo and their game continued for quite some time. As the three of them were wrestling each other around the forest, Naboishu seemed rather shy to join their game and instead chose to challenge Larro. He enjoyed a short game with her before they both settled to browse a little bit longer before heading back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

22 March 2021

The older orphans were rather playful this morning as they got to the forest. Maisha, Kiombo, Maktao, Kiasa, Mukkoka, Naboishu and Nabulu were all playfully running around the forest, charging through the dense shrubbery and wrestling each other. Maisha chose to challenge Kiombo to a wrestling match which lasted quite a long time as they continued to challenge one another, proving to be equal opponents. Their game continued for so long that they even seemed to get some of the other orphans eager to join in. Mukkoka and Naboishu were next to challenger each other and they too challenged each other for quite some time. 

It was such hot day, that as soon as the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, they all dashed for the muddy waters of the mud bath. Shortly after little Bondeni finished his bottle of milk, he started charging around the waterhole and attacking whatever water trough he could get close to. He eventually settled to wrestle the one water trough that was half full and he could be seen eagerly trying to push it over. He managed to flip the water trough over and spilt the water everywhere. Now that the water trough was nice and light, he managed to kick the large bucket all around the waterhole, he seemed to be having the best time. 

Once all the orphans had finished wallowing in the mud, Maisha, and the Keepers, led them back to the forest, including little Bondeni who came charging up behind them. They settled in the forest for a short browse before heading back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

23 March 2021

Having been rescued around the same age and all grown up together, Kinyei, Kindani and Bondeni are all very close and have remained the best of friends at the Nursery too. Most of the time, they will be seen browsing and playing with each other out in the forest, and Bondeni and Kinyei are always so willing to follow Kindani as she was their mini matriarch before coming to the Nursery. Despite being so close, they have also formed friendships with other members of the Nursery herd, and they will also happily browse with Ziwadi, Olorien and Rama on most days. 

Rama seems to really enjoy spending time with his little group in the Nursery herd, and he and Ziwadi have recently been spending most days together. Naleku and Roho, have also been happily browsing with Rama and his younger group, and they will often move throughout the herd browsing with all the different orphans. 

Olorien seems to have a similar temperament to Kiasa as she can be so gentle and sweet one day and then the next, she can suddenly turn into such a bully. Recently, she has been picking on Rama when it is time for them to run down for their milk bottles. She seems to not want the new bull to be in front of her, as she always wants to get to her milk first. If Rama is standing in front of her, she will start pushing at him and angrily rumbling at him, causing him to move away. The Keepers have learnt Olorien’s new habit and they have now been keeping them separate when it is time for milk. 

Rama is the best at splashing mud all over his body, he is even better than Maisha, Maktao, Mukkoka, Kiombo, Kiasa and Nabulu whom will often miss parts of their bodies. When Rama is finished covering himself in mud, you cannot see one inch of his body that isn’t muddy. 

24 March 2021

Maktao has become a real gentle uncle to the younger orphans and all of them seem to love spending time with him. This morning, after the orphans finished their 9am bottles of milk, Maktao and Kindani were seen happily browsing in each other’s company. As opposed to some of the other older orphans, Maktao chose to stay behind with Kindani and the other younger orphans, watching over them as they enjoyed their morning browse. 

Olorien and Kinyei are quite the playful duo, as they both thoroughly enjoy their dust and mud baths. Often when the orphans are out browsing or down at the mud bath, these two will be rolling around, showing off their different yoga poses whilst they cover themselves in mud and soil. In addition, Kinyei has even started wrestling some of her friend, namely Roho, which is such a great sign as it means that she is growing in confidence. 

Mukkoka and Naleku have remained the best of friends, and they seem to be particularly fond of leading the orphans in the forest together. Mukkoka will often be up front with Naleku happily showing the rest of the herd the way and choosing their favourite spots to browse. Naleku, despite being so close to Mukkoka, will also spend a lot of time with the other orphans in the Nursery herd as she has always been such an independent little orphan. She will also be seen in the company of Larro, Kindani, Kinyei, Rama, Ziwadi, Kiasa, Nabulu and Roho. 

Mukkoka and Naboishu continue to be close, and they are enjoying their wrestling matches more and more these days and will find time on most days to enjoy a short game.

25 March 2021

Maxwell was in a very friendly and welcoming mood this morning. As he came out his bedroom, he was more than happy to smell the resident warthogs within his stockade and as opposed to chasing them out, he just carried on with his morning routine of eating his greens first and then going to his Lucerne pellets. As he arrived at his Lucerne pellets, the warthogs were slightly hesitant and were keeping an eye on him but when he ignored them, they all relaxed and joined him in eating his Lucerne pellets. Once Max had had his fill of pellets, he walked over to one of his favourite resting points and enjoyed a long nap in the shade. 

It was an excruciatingly hot afternoon and as such the Keepers took the orphans down to the mud bath area for their afternoon bottles of milk. All the orphans gulped down their milk and then walked over to the mud bath where the all began to cool themselves off with the muddy water. Roho, Mukkoka, Kiasa, Kiombo, Maisha, Maktao, Nabulu, Larro, Naleku all followed Rama as he was the first to get to the muddy waters. As Rama continued his normal routine of standing on the edge, the rest of them submerged themselves in the muddy waters, and even Naboishu joined in. 

Ziwadi, enjoyed a short splash of mud and water on her back from the Keepers but then she quickly ran off to start browsing again. Ziwadi doesn’t often enjoy a mud bath, and she will always try to quickly get back to her greens no matter how hot a day it is. Once all the orphans had finished wallowing in the mud, they all made their way back to the forest before heading back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

26 March 2021

Although settled within the Nursery herd, Naboishu continues to be quite a shy boy and he continues to be the most vocal amongst the orphans. If the Keepers try to play with him, he can generally be very shy and a little reluctant to play but when it is time for his milk, you will think you were interacting with a different bull. As soon as the Keepers start to radio about the next milk feed, Naboishu’s ears will perk up and he will start pacing back and forth between the Keepers, eagerly waiting his turn. The Keepers sometimes have some difficulty managing his excitement as he will keep trying to run down first, but generally they have learnt how to keep him in line whilst they let the other orphans run down. As soon as Naboishu starts to run down, he immediately starts to trumpet loudly and race any of the orphans he is running down with, and just before he has his bottle, he will let out one final yell in excitement. Although noisy, his routine has become rather entertaining for the Keepers. 

Mukkoka, although not as loud as Naboishu, can also be just as eager as him when running down for his bottle. Mukkoka continues to be the fastest in the Nursery and he will always dash out to be the first one down in his group. No matter who is running down with, Mukkoka will always manage to sprint out ahead and then quickly put on the breaks as he gets to the Keeper waiting with his bottle. 

Kiasa continues to be well behaved during the milk feeding times, and for the last couple of weeks she has not bothered any of the other orphans as they finish their bottles. As such the Keepers have now allowed her to run down with some of the other older orphans and have not kept her back until the last group. 

Rama, Ziwadi, and Kinyei spent the whole day together browsing, and they even ran down for their milk bottles together. The three of them seem to be particularly close and often in tune with where they want to browse as they will automatically follow one another. Bondeni and Kindani were seen browsing with them, but they were also moving around amongst the other orphans. The orphans all enjoyed a quiet afternoon browsing in the forest. 

27 March 2021

As the orphans settled back in the forest after their midday bottles of milk, they seemed to break off into two groups. The younger group was as per usual made up of Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei, Ziwadi, Naleku, Rama and Olorien who also stayed closer to the stockade compound and walked slower as they were browsing along the path, as some of the Keepers watched over them. The other older group, comprised of Maisha, Nabulu, Kiombo, Maktao, Mukkoka, Naboishu, Larro, Kiasa and Roho. Roho will always follow Maisha as he is still so close to her and the older girls. The older orphans settled to browse some distance from the younger group with the other Keepers. 

As it was getting closer to the time for the orphans to run down for their afternoon bottles of milk, the Keepers gathered the two groups back together and started to separate them into their smaller groups so they could run down. After the orphans finished their bottles, and settled back in the forest to browse, Kiasa, Larro and Naleku all enjoyed a playful moment together. As Kiasa was lying on the ground, Larro and Naleku were enjoying climbing on her back and rolling around near her. Kiasa doesn’t seem to mind so much when the younger, smaller girls climb on her back but when it is heavy bulls such as Mukkoka and Naboishu, she is always quick to get up and move away quickly. After they rolled around, they both got back up and browsed before heading home for the evening. 

28 March 2021

Larro, despite being a wonderful nanny, can sometimes adopt many of Kiasa’s naughty habits. The main habit she seems to have picked up from Kiasa is that of being a troublemaker during the milk feeds. This morning, Larro was amongst the first group of orphans with Kindani, Ziwadi, Rama, Bondeni, and Kinyei to run down for her bottles. They all happily finished their milk bottles before heading aside to the forest, where they would wait for the other orphans to finish their bottles. 

When the second group comprised of Roho, Naleku, Olorien, Naboishu and Mukkoka, Larro was suddenly naughty as she tried to sneak past the Keepers to steal some of Naleku’s milk. As the Keepers chased her away from Naleku, she then tried to steal a bottle from the wheelbarrow. Eventually the Keepers got very annoyed with her and chased her far away. 

As the Keepers were busy chasing Larro off, Olorien then seemed to try her luck at stealing a bottle from the wheelbarrow. Unfortunately for Olorien, she has still not mastered the art of holding the bottle on her own, so she only managed to slurp up some of the spilt milk in the wheelbarrow before the Keepers chased her away too. Once the orphans finished their bottles, they settled back in the forest where they enjoyed a long day of browsing. 

29 March 2021

Despite being the newest arrival in the Nursery, Rama has quickly learnt the different routes around the forest and has also learnt how to get to and from the mud bath and the stockade compound. This morning, just before the orphans were to run down for their 9 o’clock bottles of milk, Rama snuck off to where Ziwadi was browsing and led her to the milk feeding point in the forest. The Keepers whom were already waiting with the milk wheelbarrow, were so surprised to see Ziwadi and Rama appear without some of the other orphans. As the Keepers were ready, they radioed to the other Keepers letting them know Ziwadi and Rama were already there enjoying their second morning bottles. Just like Ziwadi, the Keepers will now be keeping a close eye on Rama, making sure he doesn’t wander off. 

Kiasa, Larro and Naboishu have started a naughty habit of banging against their stockade gates when they hear the Keepers getting the milk formula ready. Kiasa is always the first to start rumbling and knocking against her gate, but it isn’t long before Larro and Naboishu join in and they all start making such a noise that the Keepers must quickly rush over with their bottles. As soon as they have finished their evening bottles, they all settle back down for the rest of the evening.

30 March 2021

It was a wet morning as the Keepers started to let the orphans out of their stables and stockades. As it was still drizzling, most of the orphans were reluctant to leave their bedrooms and were rumbling at the Keepers as if in protest. Orphans such as Maisha, Kiombo, Mukkoka, Nabulu, Larro, Roho and Kiasa, who normally come rushing out of their rooms, were this morning all standing at the back of their rooms under the roofs of their stables and stockades. The Keepers waited for a little bit and then eventually the orphans came out their rooms and started to make their way to the forest. Bondeni, Kinyei, and Kindani all came out with their blankets on to keep warm until the day warmed up. 

As the orphans got to the forest, Maisha seemed to choose the closest browsing spot, as if to avoid getting too wet or walking too far into the forest. All the orphans browsed very close to one another to keep each other warm, especially the younger orphans who stayed close to the older girls, snuggling under their bellies. 

As the day was warming up, Rama and Kiombo enjoyed a short playful moment with each other. They were both seen rolling around on the wet ground and they were having such fun that even Mukkoka, Maktao and Naboishu decided to join. It was great to see Rama enjoying a playful moment with the other big bulls in the Nursery herd. Kiombo has been so gentle and welcoming with Rama that this seemed to make him feel more at ease whilst rolling around with them. 

The orphans had a wonderful day browsing in the forest. 

31 March 2021

Shortly after the orphans arrived in the forest this morning, they all seemed to be in a playful mood and as such broke off into smaller groups. Mukkoka and Naboishu were the first to start wrestling, they were then followed by Naleku and Roho, Kinyei and Bondeni, Maisha and Maktao and lastly, Nabulu and Kiombo. Kiombo and Maktao being the larger of the bulls, are better opponents for the larger girls such as Nabulu, Maisha and Kiasa, and the girls occasionally seem to enjoy short wrestling matches with them. 

Maisha and Nabulu, however, are very tough opponents as neither of them is ever willing to back down when challenging the bulls. This may be because they are the leading ladies of the herd and they need to maintain this dominance within the herd. This morning, Maisha would not back down against Maktao, proving to him that she was still the matriarch of the herd. 

Despite always backing down against the older girls, Maktao and Kiombo never seem to mind very much as they continue to respect the older girls and their role in the Herd. Often, when they have finished wrestling the girls, they will start wrestling each other and neither of them will back down and their games continue for quite some time. 

Once all the games were finished, the orphans had wonderful quiet day browsing.