Keepers' Diaries, May 2018
Nairobi Nursery Unit
Big changes were afoot in the Nursery this month as nine of the orphans were translocated to the reintroduction units in Tsavo, to begin the next phase of their lives and move one step closer to becoming wild elephants once more. First Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen, followed by Murit, Godoma and Ngilai were moved to the Voi unit to join the herd of predominantly females there, and on the 1st of June naughty girls Esampu and Mteto, as well as their friend Mundusi were moved to the Ithumba Unit.
01 May 2018
In the morning the stockade gates were opened for the babies to come out but none of them wanted to, because it had been raining since dawn and everywhere was very wet and it was cold too. Even Shukuru, Mbegu, Ndotto, Ngilai, Ndiwa, Lasayen, Mundusi, Mteto and Sagala who are always basically knocking on their gates to come out in the morning, where quiet and standing at the back of their rooms with no intention of walking out into the rain anytime soon. When the keepers tried to force them out as it was becoming quite late for them to stay in their rooms, many of them like Emoli, Murit, Mapia, Sattao, Tamiyoi and Malima yelled in protest as they didn’t want to walk out into the cold water! The little ones Kiasa, Maktao, Musiara and Luggard firmly refused to come out until the rain had stopped and it was a bit warmer.
02 May 2018
As the orphans settled to browse out in the grassy field area this morning, Ndiwa, Ndotto, Sagala, Mteto, Mundusi and Lasayen came across a lone male buffalo that was busy grazing in the tall grass which almost fully covered it! It was only partially visible. It movement in the tall grass frightened Ndiwa and Sagala who were leading the group. They turned back yelling which prompted Ndotto, Lasayen and Mundusi to run as well, bumping and crashing into each other as they ran through the tall grass with no one wanting to be left behind. Their bumping caused poor Sagala to slip and fall over as the ground was very muddy. She rolled several times before landing up in a thicket which supported her and helped her stand again. When she got up she looked a bit confused and accidentally starting ran back towards the direction she had come from! The keepers tried calling her but she was already running fast. When she stopped she started yelling and trumpeting for her friends, which Mbegu, Godoma, Tagwa, Malkia and Sana Sana responded to by running in her direction and trumpeting as well, and then helped her reunite with the group again. Such a lot of fuss over one lone buffalo grazing in the grass!
03 May 2018
Poor Enkesha is having a bit of trouble with her trunk these days as she has a little wound on one side of her partially closed wound from the snare. She is very restless as it obviously very itchy and annoying and she blows out of it very hard to relieve the itching and is always seen putting it in mud and water to relieve the itching. This detracts from her time browsing as well. We gave her a few injections to help treat the wounded area as well as smearing anti-itch cream onto the site to help relieve it a little. Her distress means that little Tagwa has been extra caring towards her and is often seen placing her trunk on Enkesha’s back in sympathy. We will keep an eye on her trunk and do all we can to relieve her of discomfort.
04 May 2018
The orphans were busy browsing this morning. All except Jotto and Murit, who have become such good playmates recently, and they were playing a wrestling game that neither one seemed to want to give in to. Jotto is younger and smaller than Murit and he has the chance to learn a lot of tactics from the older boy, just like Murit learnt from the older boys who have been moved to Tsavo now. He has experience and a gentle character, which is probably why Jotto picked him as his teacher over Ngilai, Ndotto and Lasayen who can all play rough! Gentle and polite Murit you can even find sometimes play pushing with little boys like Sattao, Emoli, Ambo and even tiny Musiara! He has a character that is most unusual for bulls his age who are generally very pushy.
05 May 2018
Ndotto and Ngilai are certainly becoming very big boys in the Nursery now and shoving their weight around. These days they are not listening to the keepers as much and especially at bottle feeding times. They feel more dominant in the orphan group, being the oldest males at the moment, and bully some of the younger ones they come across in order to show off that dominance. When they are done with their bottles during milk feeding, they turn and demand more bottles and also bully those still in the process of drinking. They force their way through to the wheelbarrow and when warned to move away they don’t listen and act as if they are going to charge or push the keepers. Before it was playful but these days it is as if they really mean it. They are very proud to show off during the public visiting time and when it is time to leave sometimes they like to force their way back to the mud bath! Both are proving to grow up into big bulls willing to assert their dominance in the group.
06 May 2018
Mapia is usually a gentle boy who does not tend to show off in any way since he is not so fond of pushing games, neither of playing in mud baths, especially at the big mud wallow. Out in the bush he is most often seen busy browsing, even if the other orphans are playing pushing games or rolling around in the wet soil. Today this sweet little boy finished his milk bottle and then did a few walks around where the public were standing, enjoying feeding on the green branches provided. Then he chose to settle in one spot where he could stretch his trunk to the public and enjoy touching them. He sat on the ground and enjoyed spinning his trunk around in the air which the visiting public thought was so funny to watch. This also drew the attention of several visiting school children who love to come close to him and watch his funny antics when he is near the rope cordon. They marveled at how funny and clever elephants are.
07 May 2018
Maktao is a quiet boy but a tough little one who always stands firm by his decisions and never loses once he has decided! Today when the orphans were on their way out to the bush, at one point along the path there was a lot of water that Maktao was avoiding walking in. Maisha and Kiasa were walking behind him and pushing him on as they wanted him to walk faster so they could keep up with the others in front! Kiasa saw that Maisha was not willing to push Maktao out of the way, so she took over and tried to push Maktao into the water. This annoyed Maktao who turned to confront her and push her back, but he accidentally slipped in the water. This allowed Kiasa to walk by before he stood up, but when he got to his feet he ran after her to fight her. He knew Kiasa was a tough girl though so he picked the other option, her favourite, of biting her tail. He bit her tail and she ran away from him yelling with Maktao chasing after her. The whole day Kiasa avoided Maktao and he hoped she had learnt her lesson about respecting other elephant’s wishes.
08 May 2018
Heavy downpour once again welcomed the start of the new day, which meant Maxwell was running around his stockade in excitement and rolling in the water that was running through his stockade. At one point he was seen rolling on the ground in the mud and jumping up and turning in circles, making sharp u-turns. His restlessness made the orphans come running out in excitement. Mbegu went running over to one of Maxwell’s gates and knocked on it in protest as she wanted Maxwell to settle down and stop running around. Maxwell ran up to his gate and bumped on it in response to Mbegu’s reaction. Mbegu found it hard to make the playful Maxwell calm down so she just left, leaving Maxwell to enjoy his games.
09 May 2018
Today just after noon Shukuru decided to wander off like a truly wild elephant. She sneaked away from the other orphans and walked far, deep into the forest and the heavy downpour made it difficult for the keepers to follow her. The Keepers thought she would make her way back for the 3pm milk bottles but she didn’t, she kept herself out in the forest busy browsing. She decided to stay out the whole day and the rain continued to make it difficult for the Keepers to find her. It was not until the evening that she decided to make her way back home and she walked into her stockade happy as Larry.
10 May 2018
Maisha is a lovely polite girl that never likes to get bumped by any of the other orphans when they are out walking anywhere or especially during bottle feeding times. When any of the other elephants happen to bump into her when they are walking she yells out loud as a warning. During the public visit when the orphans are having their bottles, she always pushes her keeper to feed her away from the others so they don’t bother her. If she sees another orphan approaching while she is feeding she yells out, which has led to the keepers giving her the nickname ‘bell’; she often seems to yell out for no good reason! Sometimes her yelling causes the naughty Kiasa to run after and chase her in order to stop her yelling!
11 May 2018
Tiny Musiara has a unique character that isn’t shared with any of the other orphans in the Nursery at the moment. He is an orphan that never seems to be very greedy for his milk, unlike many of the others who do not like to waste a second getting to the milk, and then never like to waste a drop while they are drinking! When it comes time for their milk, he acts as if he has no idea what time it is or how delicious the formula is. Sometimes when he is released by the keepers in the forest to run down for his milk feed, he just turns back to his keepers as if wondering what to do next! When he arrives at the feeding area he just saunters in, patiently waiting for a keeper to approach him with a bottle. This is very different behaviour to so many of the other orphans in the Nursery, especially those like Esampu who come running in so fast for their bottles shouting and yelling.
12 May 2018
Little Luggard is looking so much better and healthier than he has in previous months. Now he is strong and happy and demanding to accompany the other orphans out like he used to. Before he did not even push the matter, as he felt so bad and he leg was so swollen. Today when the orphans had finished their 9am milk feed and started walking off into the forest, he tried to walk with them. When his keeper tried to keep him back he yelled out and ran after his friend Musiara who was walking slowly away. Due to his strong reaction, the keepers allowed him to join the others and he was seen to be so happy in their company. This kind of thing is so good for his moral. When the orphans settled to feed we watched Luggard happily engage his friend Murit to a pushing game, just like he used to.
13 May 2018
After the lucerne pellets were introduced back to the orphans a few days ago, once again these tasty treats have driven some of the orphan’s crazy for them! As soon as the orphans were let out of their stockades this morning to go into the forest, it was funny to watch the likes of Mbegu, Godoma, Ngilai, Murit, Sana Sana, and mainly Ndotto, all crazy coming out of their rooms and running into some of the stables of the little ones like Sattao, Emoli, Musiara, Maisha and Luggard to inspect and check that they had finished all their pellets; usually the younger ones don’t manage to finish theirs. Ndotto in particular is so funny as he sneaks back into the stockade compound soon after the public visit at noon and after any private visit at 3pm as he knows the lucerne pellets are available all day in their rooms. First he feeds on any that have been put in his own room, then, he goes around feeding on the pellets that have been put in the other rooms! It is the way he sneaks away from the others that the keepers find most impressive, as he pretends to browse ahead of the group then suddenly turns away and sneaks into the bushes and makes his way back to the compound and into the stockades to find the pellets. It’s almost routine for him as he manages to sneak away every day at least once.
14 May 2018
Shukuru is still not staying with the other orphans these days. Once they are all out in the forest she prefers to browse further away, or sometimes she is accompanied by Sagala or Ndiwa. When she does sneak away with these two girls, the latter are clever enough to walk back at feeding times as they are particularly greedy. Shukuru remains mostly uninterested in the milk. Today out in the field once they had finished their milk bottles, Shukuru and Sagala walked quickly away into the dense forest giving the keepers a hard time trying to find them. Sagala showed up before the 11am feeding, leaving Shukuru browsing in the forest. Later Shukuru was found on the grassy plain area enjoying the thick lush grass that has grown there with all the rain we have been having, and followed the keepers back for her afternoon milk bottle.
15 May 2018
Today Kiko didn’t want to leave the elephants. Sometimes he likes to wonder off and browse elsewhere, but today he stuck to their side. He walked out with them in the early morning and had milk at the same time as them. He stayed with them wherever they went this morning, not wanting to run back to the stockade area like he sometimes does. When it came time for the group to split into two for the noon milk feed, he forced his way into the first group and since he was clever enough to know where they were going, he challenged his keeper and ran down to the orphan mud bath area where the feeding goes on. This is where the baby elephants found him when they came down for their milk! He too had his milk bottles there and then milled around as if he was saying he wanted to enjoy what the elephants do there as well. He remained unperturbed by the visiting public until the first group of orphans left to go back to the forest and he accompanied them. Kiko is such a funny giraffe who always just does exactly as he pleases.
16 May 2018
The translocation training has started today for those orphans that are ready to make the transition to Tsavo and take their first step to go back to the wild. The orphans who are old enough now are Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen, Ngilai, Mundusi, Murit, Sana Sana, Godoma, Ndiwa and perhaps some others we are not sure yet. Although this is their first time elephants like Ndotto, Lasayen, Ndiwa, Sana Sana, Ngilai and Murit are doing so well and getting into the lorry and having their milk bottles with no problem. Godoma, Mbegu, Ndiwa and Sagala are not doing very well however and are a little nervous. They are not willing to even go near the lorry and stand some distance away watching the others enjoy their milk bottles on the big lorry. Mbegu has watched so many of her friends trained in this lorry who are then translocated but to her they just never come back, so we think this is why she does not want to go near the vehicle. She doesn’t even want to go in for her precious milk. When the keepers try to persuade her she just refuses and forces her way off the lorry. This is quite normal for some orphans during the first few attempts and we are sure after several daily rehearsals she will get used to it and be happy to walk into the vehicle, once she realizes there is nothing to be afraid of.
17 May 2018
The training continues for the older orphans and we are aware that this will soon mean that the younger babies in the Nursery will lose their ‘motherly’ role model in Mbegu. Mbegu, Ndotto, Ngilai, Lasayen, Ndiwa and Murit will soon be on their way to Tsavo to begin the next phase of their lives. Sattao, Musiara and Maktao have been trying to accompany Mbegu as she goes through the training of entering the lorry but the Keepers have to keep them back. Sattao attempted to follow her today and the Keepers efforts to keep him back made him yell out in protest. This drew the attention of Sana Sana who came rushing over to comfort him.
Today Ndotto and Lasayen responded very well to the training and got on the lorry without any problems, but Mbegu still presents some problems and is very reluctant. She stretches her trunk towards her milk bottle instead of boarding the lorry in order to drink it properly.
18 May 2018
Shukuru’s health is improving and she is growing stronger and stronger. As her health improves she is also showing stronger signs of becoming independent. Although Ndotto, Ndiwa and Mundusi sometimes accompany on her forays deep into the forest, most of the time she likes to browse alone. Although the oldest herd members will be moving to Tsavo in the coming days and Shukuru is doing much better, she still needs time to recuperate at the Nursery so she does not just relapse in Tsavo. Today she almost missed the 3pm milk feed because she was enjoying herself so much in the forest.
Play-fights never seem to end in a herd of elephants whether between mature elephants or the small little babies in the Nursery; today Musiara was a good example of this. As the babies were warming themselves in the warming sun, we spotted Musiara playing with his new friend and play-mate, Emoli. Despite Musiara’s small stature, the little ‘Masai Mara’ born boy is relatively strong compared to the lanky Emoli. As the game gained momentum, Musiara pushed his opponent harder and eventually pushed him into a nearby tree. What started out as play fight almost turned into a full-on real fight, as Emoli responded by pushing Musiara back hard, before Godoma stepped in and separated the boys.
19 May 2018
We have decided that ‘naughtiness’ is almost like an untreated disease amongst the orphans, in that if it is not addressed it can certainly get worse! Esampu’s degree of arrogance and mischievous behavior is certainly maturing with time. This was also witnessed this morning when the orphans were walking out to the forest for the day. As soon as her gate was opened, the cheeky girl rushed over to Maxwell’s gate where Sagala, Tamiyoi and Malima where enjoying some left over Lucerne pellets. Without warning Esampu pushed Malima hard into the gate to clear the way for her to have some of the pellets too. She then bit Tamiyoi’s tail which made her cry out. The trio ran off to avoid the naughty girl, leaving Esampu to enjoy the Lucerne pellets all to herself. We are wondering if perhaps she would benefit from the discipline of the older orphans in Tsavo than some of the others currently planned for the move!
As the rest of the orphans made their way out to the forest, Luggard followed slowly behind them with him keeper. The poor limping boy made several stops before catching up with his friends who were dusting themselves in a clearing in the forest.
20 May 2018
The training for the translocation is going well and most of the elephants are boarding the lorry with ease now; even Mbegu although she still looks a bit nervous. The keepers take some of her favourite Lucerne pellets on board, which she can hardly resist! Ndotto comfortably drinks both his bottles on the lorry and almost as if to prove how much he enjoys it on the lorry, he tried to reach his next-door neighbour and friend Lasayen, who was enjoying his last few drops of milk.
The public visit was slightly different today as the second group of orphans who came down to the mud bath did not have their milk bottle, as they had just had it on the lorry in the training process. This attracted a lot of questions from the audience as they wondered if they were past the age of needing milk or what had happened, but when the head keeper explained they were satisfied with the reason. Ngilai’s playful antics this morning were characterised by spraying the visitors with mud as he moved along the rope cordon, but much to their delight he also allowed them to touch him. At one point however he removed one visitors hat and threw it to the ground, which caused an uproar of laughter.
21 May 2018
The exercise of loading the three orphans Mbegu, Ndotto and Lasayen began just after 2am and the two boys responded really well. Mbegu was hesitant for some time before the keepers managed to lure her in with Lucerne pellets and she finally got into the lorry. Just a few minutes after 3am, the journey to Tsavo began for these three orphans.
The orphans woke up in a dull mood this morning as their matriarch and two boys had gone. They were quite restless and the two little boys Sattao and Ambo turned to Tagwa for comfort, which she was very happy to give. Godoma, who had always been Mbegu’s deputy-matriarch took on her full responsibilities. She led the orphans out to browse in the forest and down for the public visit as well. Shukuru took the opportunity to sneak off into the forest with Mundusi where they stayed for most of the day until the keepers went to get them.
22 May 2018
Today Ngilai, Murit and Godoma woke up in a jovial mood but unbeknownst to them this was their last day of browsing within the Nairobi National Park and their last day at the Nursery. As was expected Godoma led her charges out to browse with assistance from Tagwa who is poised to take over the leadership of the Nursery from Godoma when she goes; she has always naturally been a leader and very motherly of all the little babies. Maktao and Kiasa stayed close to the two big girls and Maktao could be seen touching Tagwa with his little trunk.
Ambo and Tamiyoi were enjoying a little pushing game before the public visiting time today and at one stage it was clear that Ambo was stronger than the little girl. The game continued even throughout the visiting time much to the delight of the public who enjoyed watching them play. Ambo even managed to play at the same time as dusting himself!
The last lorry-training session of the day went well for the trio who are expected to make the journey tonight to Tsavo.
23 May 2018
It was time for Murit, Godoma and Ngilai to begin the process of boarding the translocation lorry just after 2am this morning. They had all had ample time to become used to the vehicle and the process of feeding inside it. Murit is a very easy-going and calm boy and entered the lorry with no problem, and Ngilai was fine as he accompanied his keeper onto the lorry. Godoma however was very agitated as soon as she saw all the keepers standing around the stockades at that strange time of the morning. When her gate opened she came running out and the keepers had to work hard to persuade her to come back. After a few minutes it worked and she followed a keeper with a bottle to the lorry, at which time Ngilai and Murit were already comfortably loaded and chewing on the greens that had been placed inside. After a few minutes she was in, after seeing the other two on board and after being offered another bottle of milk inside. Just after 2:30am the journey to Tsavo begun and we heard that all the way to Voi their journey was fine.
Some of the orphans in the Nursery seemed somewhat confused with the last two moves. Mteto, Mapia and Mundusi were misbehaving and bullying some of the other members of the herd. During the public visit it seemed as if Jotto, as usual, wanted to put a smile of some of the others’ faces and he engaged Tamiyoi and Malima in a ‘sizing up’ game. At least Shukuru also behaved today by staying close to the herd; at least she knew what was going on having gone through the moving process twice already herself!
24 May 2018
Ambo has always been slightly unfair towards Mapia, bullying him and generally being rather unfriendly. In the afternoon when they are next to each other in their stockades, Ambo always steals Mapia’s greens through the partition. Whenever Mapia tries to take some from Ambo’s side, Ambo charges at him! The herd dynamics are readjusting with the relocation of the older orphans recently. Today Ambo decided to pick on Mapia again out in the forest. He was chasing him around until Mapia decided to stand his ground. He pushed Ambo back as hard as he could, and Ambo came to realize Mapia has a place in the family too, and is strong too! The fight when on however until Tagwa stepped in to separate them. Tagwa understands Ambo’s character and drove him away from the herd so as to discipline him and let him know he cannot always pick on the others, especially Mapia. This was also a good sign that Tagwa is ready to take over the leadership of the herd since Mbegu and Godoma’s departure.
Musiara decided to mess around during the public visit today. Just before his group was about to leave and they had about 10 minutes left, he decided to join Maktao in the mud bath. He rolled and played around and when his group was called to leave the area he declined and stayed in the mud. When the second group came running in for their milk he got out and joined them, staying under the protection of Sana Sana until the end of the visit.
25 May 2018
The little naughty girl Kiasa was taught some manners today. She had been causing lots of trouble during the milk feeding time and went on fighting everyone in front of her, both the other orphans and the keepers too. She had finished her milk and the keepers were warning her away, but she would just shove them to the side to be allowed access to the wheelbarrow holding the milk bottles. At one point when she was fighting Emoli for his milk bottle she almost pushed a keeper into the mud pool! Emoli was standing strong in order to defend his milk from her, and she has tried without success with Malima too. Malima was moving in circles to prevent Kiasa from reaching her bottle. As soon as she had finished her bottle she went after the little girl, and unfortunately because of her character, there was no one else to protect her in the herd. She ran towards Mapia, hopefully for some relief, but Mapia just pushed her back towards Malima. Malima managed to catch her and push her down to teach her a lesson, but unfortunately it did not last long. Later she provoked Maisha by head-butting her for no reason when they were in the mud bath. It was then the quiet girl Tamiyoi’s turn to deal with her!
26 May 2018
We are watching as the dynamics of the herd are shifting with the recent move of the older orphans. Mapia is still not very friendly to the little ones and Kuishi has no interest in mothering them, or at least she doesn’t pay them any attention. This meant these two were promoted to the older group, leaving two groups of 11 each going down for their milk at the public visiting time. Tamiyoi would be leading the first group of 11, considered to be the younger group and which before was Godoma’s herd. It seems like Tagwa will be the overall matriarch of a group, a position that Mbegu held for such a long time. Tagwa might have to work to assert this position, as Sana Sana and Malkia might also be interested in leading. Sana Sana generally maintains a low profile and is a very disciplined girl, though does not take great interest in the little ones although she can be fond of them. The advantage that Tagwa has is that her leadership qualities surpass those of the rest.
Shukuru is starting to become more friendly and bond with Sagala we have noticed. They spent most of the day together today, although they did not stray far from the others. These past few days Shukuru has been so good and has not wandered far; perhaps she understands that she needs to stay and guide the herd since the departure of Mbegu and her team.
27 May 2018
Musiara still loves his friend Luggard and dotes on him. Every morning when he comes out of his room, he will never leave until Luggard comes out of his door as well. This morning Musiara came out of his room somewhat earlier than usual and before most of his friends including Luggard. He then proceeded to push Luggard’s door a few times in vain, wanting him to come out and join him too. When this failed he ended up just hanging around Luggard’s stable waiting for him. The keepers nor any of the others orphans could convince him to follow them when it was time to go into the forest. When Luggard eventually came out, they embraced trunks and slowly walked out to meet the others who were already in the forest.
Ambo is turning into a little boy who loves to play, even more than Malima within the young group. Malima has always been known to be a playful girl, one never to sit idle but at least start a pushing game with someone whenever she can. Ambo has been very active and playful today, wanting to play with everyone in the group. He started by inviting the little naughty girl Kiasa to a pushing game, but Tamiyoi wasn’t very pleased about that and went over to separate them so she could take him on. From a distance Malima saw Tamiyoi playing with Ambo and she then came over to push Tamiyoi away. But Ambo had chosen to play with Tamiyoi, so Malima was driven away. The game became bigger however when Jotto and Malima decided to force their way in to the game with the other two! The keepers just had to keep extra eyes on them to make sure they didn’t hurt any of the little ones.
28 May 2018
Today was a brighter day compared to the last few days, which meant all the orphans were active and playful. Musiara and Maisha were within the first group of orphans who came down for the 11am milk feed, and they set about having a fun dust bath after finishing their milk bottles. Later after all the orphans in the first group had finished their bottles, Enkesha led them into the mud bath for a swim. Out of the eleven orphans in the group, only Sattao wasn’t interested in swimming. Tamiyoi was on vigilant guard duty, driving all the warthogs away from the area. At one point she was assisted by Maisha as well. Their vigilance however left some of the visitors uncomfortable as they drove the warthogs away through the feet of those standing nearby.
Malima and Emoli have become protective of the young ones it seems. Today there was a lady touching Maktao who was standing near the rope cordon, but Malima didn’t like this and kept charging at the lady whenever she went to pet the young boy. The keeper sent her away but she threw a little back kick just to show her displeasure! There was another man holding a big camera taking photos, and Emoli didn’t seem to like this either and kept charging towards it, trying to head butt the camera whenever the man pointed it at the orphans.
29 May 2018
Mteto and Esampu are naughty girls and such bullies at times. It doesn’t even matter if it is one of the small babies involved, Mteto will have her way no matter what. Esampu is a bit different in that is will depend on her mood whether or not she is concerned with the younger ones. Sometimes she can be very caring of them, but sometimes her naughty character gets in the way. Today a fight ensued between the two just because they were fighting over the spilt milk on the ground. Esampu had got there first and was sucking up the milk from the ground using her trunk, but then Mteto saw her doing it and started pushing everyone out of the way so she could reach Esampu and do the same. She tried to shove Esampu out of the way, but she pushed her back. It ended up in a fight with Mteto almost overpowering Esampu who nearly fell into the keepers trying to break up the fight.
Jotto on the other hand can be so sweet to his peers. When he was browsing little Luggard was following behind, because he wanted to share the vegetation Jotto was eating. Jotto was tearing grass and putting it in his mouth and Luggard was just standing and waiting to see if there was any he could take from Jotto’s mouth. Jotto just let him carry on and even ripped up more grass so he and Luggard could share.
30 May 2018
Lions have been roaming around in the area over the past few days, which meant Kiko has been unable to join the elephants out in the forest. Having not seen or heard then last night and this morning, Kiko was taken out to spend some time with the elephant babies. But Kiko is very stubborn! Having been kept back in the stockade area over the last few days, now he thinks he can only be in the stockade area. When he was taken out to the forest, it didn’t take him long to come running back. When he arrived back he decided to walk around the elephant rooms, eating their leftover lucerne pellets.
Malima has her own way of approaching the keepers to have her milk bottle. Sometimes she is spotted going down on her front knees to request her milk! When she has had her first bottle she walks backwards, then forwards and then down on her knees for the second one.
31 May 2018
Sana Sana has not been wandering away from the herd like she used to. Since Mbegu left Sattao has liked staying with her or with Tagwa for comfort and protection from the other older ones. It is said that elephants are very intelligent creatures and we find this so, even with these young elephants. Sana Sana knows that Mbegu has gone and she, as one of the oldest girls in the Nursery now, has to help look after the younger ones. For the past two days Sattao has been hooked on her and today she has been with the younger boy as well, slightly away from the rest of the group. She seems to have taken on this new responsibility really well. Sattao seems to want to bond with her because just like he would spend time with Tagwa when Mbegu was not around, he wants to make sure he has someone else to look up to when Tagwa is not around either.
In the morning we watched Maxwell having a lot of fun playing with his friends the warthogs in the ‘you can’t catch me’ game.