At the beginning of March, temperatures soared and the vegetation around Voi became yellowed and bone dry. Towards the end of the month, however, clouds were beginning to build, promising rain and cooler temperatures on the horizon. Our water bowser seemed constantly on the move, ensuring the Voi waterhole remained topped up. During the dry season, it is one of the only sources of water in the area, so it is a popular haunt for wild herds and our orphans alike. It was not unusual to see dozens of elephants clustered under the shade of the giant baobab tree, enjoying a refreshing drink and a respite from the blazing sun.
The orphans enjoyed playing around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. Ndotto invited Arruba for a sparring session but she declined as she wanted to join Pika Pika for a dust bath. Tundani was busy browsing on acacia shrubs on the other side of the stockade fence line, and he was joined by Mashariki so both of them enjoyed browsing side by side. Sagala, Tagwa and Tamiyoi led the orphan herd out for the day, while Ndoria, Suswa and Ndotto remained behind at the stockade compound for awhile to make sure that every last Lucerne pellet was eaten.
The orphans settled to browse at the foot of Msinga Hill where they spent the morning browsing. At noon they made their way to the baobab tree water hole for the milk-dependent babies to have their milk bottles and so they could all enjoy wallowing in the mud bath there. Godoma, Tagwa, Emoli and Pika Pika were the first to arrive. Once the babies had finished their bottles the group made their way to the mud bath where they had a drink from the water trough before entering the water.
The afternoon was spent browsing on the open grasslands under the shadow of Msinga Hill. In the evening the orphan herd made their way back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a bright and sunny morning as the orphans exited their night stockades for their morning milk feed with the older orphans by passing the milk-dependent babies as they made their way to the feeding trough for Lucerne pellets, where they were joined a few minutes later by their younger friends. Pika Pika tried to squeeze herself between Kenia and Ndii while Araba joined Ishaq-B at the far end of the trough.
Tagwa and Sagala set a face pace out to the Park for the day while Suswa, Ndotto and Tundani moved slowly bringing up the rear. The orphans spent the morning browsing until it was time for the noon milk feed, at which point they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they joined up with a herd of wild elephants. Diria and Nzuki the zebras enjoyed spending time with their elephant friends as well as the wild elephants with whom they spent time bonding and making friends. Panda invited a young wild elephant bull for a sparring session while the rest of the orphan herd had a drink at the water trough with their wild friends.
Murit had fun rolling around in the soil while Sagala and Tamiyoi enjoyed a dust bath. Ngilai ran into the water trough while playing with Ivia the buffalo, while Ndii had fun splashing and rolling around in the mud wallow. Once all the fun and games were over with the wild herd, the orphans resumed their browsing activities for the rest of the afternoon.
After the morning milk and supplement feeding the orphans hung around the stockade for a while playing, before leaving for the Park for the day. While playing around the stockade compound Mudanda seemed to want to pick on Tagwa, and Ishaq-B came to her defense chasing Mudanda away. Tundani and Mashariki were busy feeding over the electric fence again, while Ngilai tried to engage Murit in a sparring session, which he turned him down.
Once out in the Park the orphans split into two groups. Mashariki meandered her way up Msinga Hill with the older orphans and Pika Pika, while Mbegu remained at the foot of Msinga Hill to browse together with Emoli, Tagwa, Godoma, Lasayen and the rest of their friends.
At noon the orphans headed towards the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk feed followed by fun and games at the mud bath. Ngilai invited Ivia for a daily sparring session while the rest of the orphans were busy wallowing. Pika Pika teamed up with Arruba, Godoma and Mbegu and they had fun in the water, while Suswa enjoyed splashing around at the water’s edge. The afternoon was spent browsing in a nearby wooded area.
The Voi dependent orphans left their stockades this morning for their milk and supplement feed. After enjoying the Lucerne pellets, Ndii had some fun along the terrace wall where she was joined by Panda. Ndoria climbed up the terrace wall and Rorogoi enjoyed an early morning dust bath.
The orphans left the stockade for a day out in the Park and followed Sagala and Emoli who led them all for the morning browsing session. At noon they made their way to the feeding area for their noon milk bottles and then walked the short distance further down to the baobab tree waterhole for a wallowing session.
The afternoon was spent browsing on the open grasslands before heading home in the evening. On the way back to the stockade Ngilai invited Emoli for a sparring session while Godoma engaged Murit in a play fighting game. Once back at the stockade compound they all had their evening milk bottles before settling in their stockades for the night.
It was a bright and sunny morning as the orphans exited their enclosures to begin their day with the usual morning milk bottle feed followed by the Lucerne pellet feeding. The orphans left the stockade for the Park and headed towards the eastern side of Msinga Hill before settling to browse and play in the open fields.
Ngilai invited his buffalo friend Ivia for a play fighting game in the open field overlooking Msinga Hill and the two played for a while until Ivia had enough and walked off, at which point Ngilai headed over to Emoli who was busy browsing, and engaged him in a sparring session. As the time for the noon milk feed approached the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole where Ndotto enjoyed sparring with Mbegu while they waited for their milk to arrive. Ndotto tried to ride on Mbegu’s back but struggled to do so as Mbegu is taller than he is.
After their milk bottles the orphans headed down to the mud bath with Mbegu making a bee line for the water trough for a drink before entering the water for some wallowing fun. Araba exited the mud bath to enjoy a scratching session against the baobab tree while Godoma had fun in the water playing a strength testing game with Mbegu. Mbegu and Rorogoi were the last to exit the mud bath to join the rest of the orphan herd who were busy browsing nearby.
It was a lovely day as the orphans left the stockade for the Park with Ngilai remaining at the stockade compound to ensure that no pellets were left uneaten, before catching up with his friends. Once out in the field Mbegu, Ishaq-B, Panda and Ndoria spread out across the grasslands beneath Msinga Hill. Pika Pika hung around the older orphans Kenia and Ndii, browsing alongside them, until it was time for the noon milk feed which took place near the baobab tree waterhole.
Once the milk feeding was over the orphans walked the few more meters down to the mud bath where Ishaq-B first visited the water trough for a drink before joining her friends in the mud wallow. Godoma and Murit were busy enjoying a sparring game while Arruba exited the mud bath to have a dust bath, and Lasayen enjoyed relaxing at the water’s edge. Once the wallowing games were over Mashariki led the orphan herd back out to browse for the rest of the afternoon.
It was a bright and sunny morning today and the orphans were banging on their stockade gates asking to be let out so that the babies could have their morning milk bottles before the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding. Godoma, Emoli and Tamiyoi came running for their milk bottles first, while Tagwa and Pika Pika followed at a slower pace. The orphans hung around the stockade compound enjoying the supplement food before heading out towards the eastern side of Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session.
After the noon milk feed the orphans headed to the baobab tree waterhole for a wallowing session. The buffalo Ivia joined the elephant orphans in the mud bath, while Murit enjoyed rolling around on the edge of the water hole. Mbegu seemed to be having the most fun in the water as she rolled around swimming, before exiting the wallow to join her friends for the afternoon browsing session.
The orphans spent the afternoon browsing on the foot of Msinga Hill, and didn’t return to the stockades until later in the evening. Once back at the stockade compound Emoli downed his milk before rushing to the water trough to splash his body with some water to cool off. He was joined at the water trough by Godoma and Mbegu who came to have a drink of water before entering their night stockades.
After the morning milk feed, the stockade dependent orphans spread out around the stockade compound to feed on Lucerne pellets. Mudanda went to the water trough for a drink of water after which she started to pick on Pika Pika, but she was chased away by Ndii. Ndoria was busy feeding on pellets alongside Sagala and Ndotto, after which she climbed the stockade terrace wall. Tundani was browsing over the fence while Panda stood alone enjoying a small private stash of pellets. Ndii headed to the soil pile for an early morning dust bath and got left behind in the stockade compound as the rest of the orphans headed out for the day.
Ndii rejoined the group who had settled along the foot of Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session. At noon they had their milk bottle and a mud bath before resuming their browsing activities - intent on eating as much vegetation as they could before it was time to head home. Once back at the stockade compound Lasayen and Ngilai stopped at the stockade water trough to quench their thirst before going into their stockade for the night.
The orphans hung around the stockade compound this morning following the milk feed. They spread out as they enjoyed the Lucerne pellets with some pairing up with their friends to share the supplement food that had been put out for them. Sagala paired up with Murit while Embu paired up with Arruba. Mudanda had fun scratching against the terrace wall. When it was time to head out for the day, Tamiyoi and Tagwa took the lead of the orphan herd and along the way Tundani stopped to wait for his friend Suswa to join him, with Murit also coming to join the two.
The orphans settled to browse on the open grassland before heading to the milk feeding area at noon. Once the milk bottles were finished, Suswa and Embu led the group to the baobab tree mud bath. After a few splashes, Ngilai spent time posing at the edge of the waterhole while Mudanda rolled around in the water, as did Ndotto who was busy splashing around displaying his wallowing tactics.
Ngilai and Emoli then engaged in a sparring session next to the water trough while Tamiyoi scratched her bottom next to them. When they were done with their game, Emoli put one foot in the water trough while Ngilai put both of his front legs in, in an effort to cool off.
Once back at the stockades for the night, Pika Pika and Lasayen had a drink from the stockade water trough before going into their stockades to settle down for the night.
This morning the orphans exited their stockades for the usual milk and supplement feeding. Ngilai came running out and made a bee line for the water trough before coming back for his milk bottle. Pika Pika, who is usually not in a rush to get her morning milk bottle, slowly sauntered to the milk feeding area swinging her trunk from side to side. Once the milk feed was over the orphans settled to feed on Lucerne pellets before heading out to the Park.
Out in the bush, Ngilai found his friend Ivia the buffalo and the two became engaged in a sparring session on the rocky side of Msinga Hill. While browsing, Ishaq-B tried to steal Pika Pika away from Kenia and Ndii, wanting to spend some time with the youngster, but was unsuccessful in doing so and as an alternative decided to join the three so that she could enjoy Pika Pika’s company.
At noon the orphans had their milk bottles then made their way down to the baobab tree waterhole where Murit splashed around for a bit before heading to the red earth piles for a dust bath. Tundani walked straight to the far end of the mud bath where he was joined by Mudanda, Mashariki and Arruba, while Pika Pika and Ndii enjoyed wallowing together. The afternoon was spent browsing on the grasslands to the south of the waterhole.
It was a good morning for the orphans who enjoyed playing around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. They then headed out to the Park under Ndoria’s leadership and they settled to browse on the eastern side of Msinga Hill.
In the afternoon the orphans headed to the waterhole following their noon milk feed. It had been a hot morning and they all enjoyed cooling off in the water. Godoma tried to engage Ivia in a sparring session but Ivia wasn’t interested and ran off. Cheza, the other buffalo, came to the water trough for a drink of water and joined Godoma who was having a drink. Godoma then went to the mud bath where she ran from one side to the other trumpeting loudly and splashing water all over the place.
Rorogoi and Ndotto were both dust bathing near the waterhole, while Embu climbed on Mbegu who was lying at the water’s edge digging the ground with her tusks. Ndotto then came to join Mbegu and the two shared a quick embrace while Lasayen lay in the shallow water bathing. Mashariki and Rorogoi went to the water trough for a drink where they were joined by Suswa. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing near the waterhole.
The orphans enjoyed feeding on Lucerne pellets following the morning milk bottles. Sagala and Tagwa had an early morning dust bath while Murit had fun scratching against the terrace walls. Mashariki ventured out into the Park with the others, while Ndotto and Ngilai remained at the stockade compound to polish off every tiny piece of Lucerne pellet that they could find.
Once out in the Park, Arruba and Embu headed up Msinga Hill leaving Pika Pika with Kenia and Ndii. The morning was spent browsing peacefully until it was time for the noon milk feed and a visit to the baobab tree waterhole.
At the waterhole only Pika Pika and Godoma went into the water while the rest of the group had a drink at the water trough before continuing with their browsing activities. Kenia enjoyed scratching against the baobab tree while she waited for Pika Pika to finish her mud bath. The afternoon was spent browsing peacefully with Emoli, Pika Pika and Sagala leading the orphan herd home for the night.
The Voi dependent elephants were out of their night stockades and ready to begin their day as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over. Arruba, Rorogoi and Ndotto had a drink at the stockade water trough before following the rest of the group out to the Park.
The orphan herd spent the morning browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill before making their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon. The milk dependent orphans had their milk bottles before the group headed to the mud bath. Godoma stood at the edge of the waterhole splashing herself while Ndotto enjoyed rolling around in the water before joining Emoli, Araba, Mbegu and Pika Pika, who were all wallowing together. Like Godoma, Suswa enjoyed splashing water over her body at the edge of the mud bath, while Ndotto had a dust bath nearby before playing in the water and Emoli and Pika Pika played a strength testing game in the water.
When the orphans arrived back at the stockade compound in the evening Emoli walked straight to the water trough to cool off, before joining his friends in the night stockades where they settled down for the night and browsed on fresh cut grewia branches.
The orphans left the stockades for their daily adventures in the Park following the milk and Lucerne pellet supplement feeding. This morning they were under Panda’s leadership and she led the group to the rocky side of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse. Godoma, Emoli, Kenia and Tagwa kept each other company during the browsing session.
At noon the orphans made their way to the milk feeding area where they waited patiently for their milk to arrive. After finishing their milk bottles the orphans ambled down to the baobab tree waterhole. Ivia joined the elephant orphans for a drink form the water trough while Murit enjoyed scratching against a tree. Suswa and Arruba left the water and had a dust bath nearby. Ngilai also enjoyed a dust bath while Godoma had fun rolling around in the shallow muddy water at the edge of the waterhole.
The orphan herd spent the afternoon browsing around the water hole and visited the baobab tree water trough for a drink of water several times before returning to the stockades for the night.
A bright and sunny day greeted the Voi dependent orphans as they exited their stockades this morning. The milk dependent babies had their milk bottles before joining the weaned friends at the pellet feeding area. Once the feeding was over, Ngilai engaged Emoli in a sparring session which was cut short by Mbegu who came in and interrupted the two. Ngilai then extended an invitation to Ndotto and the two enjoyed a strength testing game.
Mashariki set of to the Park together with Mudanda and Ndoria and the three of them headed into a wooded area for the morning browsing session. Mbegu browsed with her group while Kenia headed up Msinga Hill together with Ndii, Ishaq-B and Pika Pika.
After the noon milk feed and mud bath the orphans resumed their browsing activities which took place at the top of Msinga Hill. In the evening Kenia led the orphan herd back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a nice beginning to the day with the Voi orphan elephants sticking to their usual morning feeding routine before following Tagwa, Tamiyoi and Sagala out to browse.
The orphans headed up Msinga Hill under Tundani and Lasayen’s leadership and once there, they spread out around the hill to browse. The dry season has set in and there are only a few areas remaining that have enough green vegetation for the orphans to feed on. Arruba approached Pika Pika wanting to browse with her but was prevented from doing so by Kenia and Ndii who were both smothering the young girl.
At noon the orphans came downhill for their noon milk feed before heading to the baobab tree waterhole. After wallowing, Emoli headed to the red earth piles for a dust bath while Araba watched over him to ensure that none of the others bothered him. With all of Kenia and Ndii’s focus on Pika Pika, the little girl has been feeling left out recently and she has turned to Emoli for friendship and some attention.
This morning the orphans began their day with a wonderful sun rise which radiated warm rays over Tsavo. The milk-dependent orphans exited the stockades for their morning milk bottles after which they joined their older friends for the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding. While Mashariki was enjoying the Lucerne pellets Ndoria came and stood next to her and leant against her front leg which Mashariki was happy to allow and the two stayed like that for a while. Ndotto kept himself busy scratching against the terrace wall while feeding on pellets.
The orphan herd left the stockade compound for the Park and spent the morning browsing in single file along the north foot of Msinga Hill. Towards noon they visited the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk feed and a drink of water from the water trough, after which they enjoyed a mud bath.
Ngilai was quite naughty in the water today and decided to ride on Pika Pika’s back, bringing an end to her wallowing game. Pika Pika quickly got to her feet, wanting to retaliate against Ngilai, but ended up engaging him in a friendly sparring session. Godoma was having fun showcasing her wallowing tactics against the side of the water hole, before joining her friends for the afternoon browsing session.
This morning the orphans had a lovely time playing around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. Tagwa, Tamiyoi and Sagala shared the responsibility of leading their friends out to the Park today for the morning browsing session.
The orphans spent the morning browsing session along the western foot of Msinga Hill. At noon they made their way in groups of five to the milk feeding area, a short distance above the baobab tree waterhole. After the milk dependent orphans had finished their bottles, they all headed to the mud bath for a wallowing session.
A friendly teenage wild bull joined the orphans for a drink at the water trough and he was followed a short while later by some other family members; two females and their calves. The females were quite wary of the orphans and did not want them approaching their calves. Ndotto and Godoma quickly gave up any attempt at greeting the calves and instead decided to play in the shallow pit close to the baobab tree while Suswa and Ndoria enjoyed scratching against the baobab tree. The orphans then resumed with their browsing activities for the afternoon.
The morning began with the usual milk and supplement feeding at the stockade compound. Araba has come to terms with the fact that Pika Pika is now Kenia’s adopted baby as the two are always together so Araba has pretty much stopped trying to get close to the older girls and is looking for friendships elsewhere!
The orphan herd spent the morning hours browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill before making their way to the baobab tree for the noon milk feed and a wallow at the waterhole. Sagala and Pika Pika enjoyed a sparring game beside the mud bath while the rest of the orphans were busy either wallowing or having a refreshing drink from the water trough.
Once all the waterhole activities were over the orphans resumed their browsing activities spending the afternoon browsing on the southern side of the waterhole before returning back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
After the morning milk and supplement feeding, Tagwa immediately left the stockade compound for the Park. Mudanda and the others followed a few minutes later with Mudanda stopping to browse on an acacia tree on the way out. Ndotto and Suswa enjoyed browsing together on Msinga Hill where the entire group spent the morning feeding, with Mashariki and Arruba heading to the top of the hill before making their way down to the baobab tree area to join their friends.
Panda led her friends to the water trough for a drink of water where Ishaq-B and Tundani quenched their thirst, while Pika Pika enjoyed lying at the edge of the waterhole. Ndii and Godoma entered the water and stood in front of Pika Pika to wallow, after which Godoma then joined Kenia for a drink at the water trough where Godoma had fun splashing water on herself. The buffaloes Ivia and Cheza joined the orphan elephants at the water trough and had a drink alongside Ndoria.
The afternoon was spent browsing to the south of the waterhole where the orphans remained until the evening when it was time to head back to the safety of the stockades. Once back they had their evening milk bottles and settled down in their enclosures for the night.
The orphans’ milk bottles were ready and waiting for the milk dependent babies to exit their enclosures this morning. The babies came running out to the milk feeding area and downed the contents on the milk bottles in a matter of seconds, after which they joined their older friends at the Lucerne pellet feeding area.
Today Tundani broke the normal routine of the ladies leading and moved to the front of the herd to lead the orphans halfway up the western side of Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session. At noon, Mbegu and Rorogoi took the lead of the group down to the baobab tree waterhole area for the noon milk feed and a mud bath. When Ivia arrived at the waterhole Ngilai exited the water to engage him in a sparring session.
Once the mud bathing games and waterhole activities were over the orphans resumed their browsing activities and spent the afternoon browsing nearby before following Emoli and Godoma back to the stockades in the evening.
The morning began with the usual ritual of the Voi orphan elephants exiting their night stockades. The orphans were all in a joyful mood today and Lasayen was full of energy and kept trying to push Ngiali away from his milk bottle so that he could steal his share. The Keepers intervened and managed to get Lasayen to move away so that Ngilai could enjoy his milk in peace. The orphans then played around the stockade compound before heading out to the Park for the day.
On the way out, Emoli and Godoma stopped to enjoy a sparring session before catching up with the rest of their friends for the mornings browsing activities. At noon the orphan elephants visited the baobab tree waterhole where the milk-dependent babies had their milk feed before they all headed down to the waterhole for a mud bath.
After the mud bath, Kenia’s herd ventured up the hill as Mbegu remained with the others browsing on the grasslands. Soon, a lioness was spotted and the Keepers quickly realized she might be after the young zebras or buffaloes. The Keepers quickly called for reinforcements from the stockade and the pickup vehicle came to try and chase the lioness away. At the same time, Kenia’s herd saw what was happening and Tundani came running down the hill to assist in chasing the lioness away too. The combined effort was succeeding, when suddenly the lioness turned and rushed Nzuki the zebra and managed to catch and injure him to his head and hind quarters. Nzuki was immediately taken back to the stockades in the pickup to receive first aid assistance while awaiting the arrival of the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit for further treatment.
The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit Vet arrived early to treat and attend to Nzuki’s wounds, but had to make the sad decision to euthanize Nzuki as the Vet determined that he was in severe pain and would not be able to recover from his injuries which were actually very extensive, especially the head injury. We were very sorry to lose this little zebra.
In the meantime, the milk-dependent orphan elephants left their stockades and went for their milk bottles. Just as they were finishing they were joined by Kenia’s herd and they all walked to enjoy the Lucerne pellet supplement feeding.
The orphan elephants, buffalos and Diria the zebra, were quite jittery today following the attack on Nzuki by the lioness yesterday. The entire orphan herd chose instead to spend the morning browsing on Msinga Hill above the compound. At noon they descended for their milk bottles and a mud bath at the stockade waterhole.
We are confident that when the rains come these lions will move away. Often during the dry season they frequent the two waterholes in the area, perhaps as an opportunity to hunt prey, so we are assured by the knowledge that when the rains come, they will leave, and there are many clouds building!
It has been a hard few days for Diria who is still feeling the loss of his best friend Nzuki. When he comes out of his stable in the morning he often bites the Keepers dust coats in an effort to keep them close to him. Since the attack and while the lioness might be in the area, the Keepers have been keeping the orphan buffalos and zebras close to the stockade compound where they can be better protected.
The elephant orphans browsed happily throughout the day without many major distractions, and they mostly concentrated on browsing. Kenia’s herd is sticking to the youngsters at the moment.
In the late afternoon, while the Keepers were looking after the orphan elephants, they spotted a pride of lions on the western side of Msinga Hill. They were hiding in some caves waiting for prey that they could ambush. Just in case, the Keepers resorted to using the pickup to follow the orphan herd home and drive the pride of lions away.
Mbegu came out for her milk bottle this morning and greeted her friend Godoma, as the two walked to have their milk bottles. Lasayen and Emoli were just behind. When she was done with her milk bottle, Ndotto tried to initiate a pushing game with Mbegu but she wasn’t interested, and instead went for a scratch. When they were ready, Tagwa, Tamoiyoi and Sagala led all the orphans out to browse.
The orphan elephants continue to browse on at the peak of Msinga Hill above the stockade compound, so as to avoid the lions and any possible threat from them.
At noon they came downhill for their milk feed and a drink of water after which they enjoyed wallowing in the stockade waterhole. Ndoria splashed about in the water today, making quite the mess! Later the orphans resumed their browsing activities for the rest of the afternoon.
We are in the midst of the dry season and we feel the area becoming drier and drier; we are sure this is the reason behind there being more predators in the area too. Today more than fifteen wild dogs were seen chasing a large baboon and they passed by the stockades in their pursuit. There were a lot of screams from the other baboons which were sending out lots of warning signals when they saw their friend being chased by the wild dogs.
Because of the recent threat from lions the orphans have been browsing close to the stockade compound. Today the lions were seen near the baobab tree water hole where they were waiting for prey to come by that they could ambush. One lion had climbed an acacia tree by the waterhole in order to get a better view and lay of the land, with four other lions lying in wait around the waterhole. With the help of the stockade pick-up the lions were driven away from the waterhole and the general area and further into the Park where they would not be a threat to the orphans.
The orphan herd was thankfully oblivious to the lions today, as they were busy enjoying their browsing sessions and having their milk feed and noon mud bath at the stockade, as they have been doing for the past few days.
The morning began with the usual milk feed followed by the supplement feeding with Ndotto and Mashariki being the greediest eaters today. Ngilai invited Pika Pika to play a pushing game before the orphan herd headed out for the day. Today some baboons tried to join the orphans for the Lucerne pellet feeding but were promptly chased away by Araba, Ishaq-B and the Keepers.
Once out in the field there was browsing interspersed with fun and games for everyone, with Ndotto and Mbegu spending most of the morning browsing together before enjoying a sparring session. Ngilai and Pika Pika also enjoyed a strength testing game while Murit was busy climbing rocks on Msinga Hill. Tamiyoi was seen running downhill with Mbegu a very short distance behind her. Pika Pika and Emoli then joined forces to take on Murit and managed to pin him to the ground as the three enjoyed playing together.
Emoli then decided to play with Ngilai and the two were seen standing with their trunks intertwined before engaging in a pushing game. Murit seems to have felt jealous and came to disrupt their game with Ngilai immediately leaving Emoli to take on Murit. Sagala was busy browsing on the hill stretching her trunk to try and reach the greenest leaves, while Emoli teamed up with Godoma for the remainder of the mornings browsing activities.
At noon the orphan herd returned to the stockades for their noon milk bottles followed by a drink of water. Once they had quenched their thirst they all had a lovely time playing in the stockade waterhole where they all took a mud bath.
The milk-dependent orphan elephants were up and ready for their morning milk bottle with Mbegu’s group, made up of Emoli, Godoma, Sagala, Tamiyoi, Pika Pika and Tagwa being the first to arrive for the share, followed by Ndotto, Murit, Ngilai and Lasayen. Pika Pika finished her milk in a matter of seconds and headed straight to the dairy cube feeding area where she joined the older orphans.
Mudanda started pushing Mashariki and Araba who quickly moved from where they were feeding to a spot away from Mudanda. Lasayen, Murit and Ndotto were kept busy keeping the baboons away from the orphans supplement foods today, and managed to keep them to the lower side of the stockade terrace.
After the supplement feeding Ndotto tried to get the orphan herd interested in a dust bathing game but was unsuccessful in doing so, as they were intent on heading out for the days browsing activities due to the fact that the dry season is in full swing, and they wanted to find as much vegetation to browse on as possible. The mornings browsing session took place on Msinga Hill with the orphans returning to the stockade compound at noon for their milk bottle and a mud bath in the stockade waterhole.
It was a wonderful beginning to the day for the Voi orphans who all had fun playing around the stockade compound following the morning’s milk and supplement feeding. Once the fun and games were over the orphan herd made their way out to the Park to browse and settled on the eastern side of Msinga Hill for the mornings browsing session.
At 11am the orphans came down hill and headed back to the stockade for their noon milk feed a mud bath. Mbegu was the star of the day as she showcased her mud bathing tactics while she rolled around in the water. Emoli went to join Mbegu and enjoyed riding on her back while the two played. Ngilai soon followed suit and managed to push Emoli off Mbegu in order to engage his friend in a sparring session.
In the afternoon the orphans returned to the eastern side of Msinga Hill where they browsed until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was another wonderful beginning to the day with the stockade dependent orphans leaving the stockade compound as soon as the milk and Lucerne pellet supplement feeding was over. Mudanda and Ishaq-B took the lead of their friends out to the Park and they went straight up Msinga Hill in search of some green vegetation. Ndotto, Godoma and Lasayen all chose to stay at the foot of Msinga Hill for the morning’s browsing session.
At about 11am the orphans came downhill to return to the stockade compound for their noon milk feed followed by a mud bath. Mbegu and Rorogoi were in competition at the waterhole today as they sat in the water, rolling around and splashing water as they played. Panda and Araba came to stand guard over Pika Pika who was lying in the water playing, as they wanted to make sure that no one bothered her. Embu was having fun playing on the mound of soil, as she slid down the slope from the top to the bottom. Rorogoi enjoyed scratching against the orphans’ favourite rock. Tagwa went to play on the soil too with Mbegu, and the two had fun lying on one another while playing. When they were done they rejoined the rest of the herd who were ready to return to return to their browsing activities.
The orphans were in a happy mood as they exited their night quarters ready to begin the day. After the milk and supplement feeding the orphans lined up in a nearly perfect line to begin the walk out to the Park. They settled to browse in single file halfway up the eastern side of Msinga Hill where they remained until it was time to return to the stockade compound for the noon milk feed and some wallowing games.
Ngilai engaged Emoli in a sparring session but dropped his friend as soon as he saw the orphan buffalo Ivia, with whom Ngilai always enjoys sparring. Emoli went to the stockade water trough and climbed in before stirring the water with his trunk and foot, expressing his frustration over Ngilai leaving him for Ivia. Godoma stood watching what Emoli was doing, after which she approached him to find out more about what he was to.
After the stockade activities were over the orphan herd headed back out to the Park where they spent the afternoon browsing before returning to the safety of the stockades in the evening.