Keepers' Diaries, May 2019

Nairobi Nursery Unit

On the very last day of May, after a whole month of preparation, we bid farewell to Malima, Kuishi and Mapia as they made the transition to our Ithumba Reintegration Unit in Tsavo East National Park. This trio were selected for the first move as soon as we had sufficient rains, as Malima and Kuishi are good friends and they had also started to test the Keepers, no longer willing to listen to them and unafraid of being chastised; it was time for them to receive some discipline from some older elephants that would be hard to ignore! 

01 May 2019

We are starting to realise that Mukkoka has a similar character to Mapia. He is known to yell as he comes down for his milk feed, just like Mapia, and he did exactly that as he came for his milk during the public visiting hour today. He can also be a bit of a bully like Mapia can be as well. Dololo is his friend, having arrived at the Nursery around the same time, and his neighbour too. They automatically became friends as they settled into the Nursery together, but Mukkoka doesn’t like Dololo to share his greens and will push the wooden posts between them if Dololo tries. However, Mukkoka is happy to stretch his trunk through and take as many of Dololo’s branches as he can! This is the same thing that Mapia does with Ambo, as they are neighbours too and share a partition. 

During the public visit today, Mukkoka kept taking every branch that Dololo was trying to eat, bullying him when he tried to defend the branches he was going for. Back in the forest, he was giving Kiombo a hard time as well, to the extent that Jotto finally decided to instil some discipline after he pushed Kiombo whole he was watching. This is the responsibility of the older orphans around the younger ones; it is important they try and teach them some elephant manners!

02 May 2019

It was a new day for all the elephant orphans and Maxwell the blind rhino today as they all played around the stockade compound. Ambo and Mapia were tackling one another and sizing each other up, while Jotto, Tagwa, Malima and Maisha were keeping Maxwell entertained with a game. It was all about pushing and pulling on his gates, and then running up and down on either side of his stockade. He enjoyed playing this game with the elephant babies, until they all walked out to the forest for the day, and Maxwell went to lie down for a nap after all the activity. 

It is interesting for us to watch and learn from the elephant babies. Some of them keep the same character as they grow up and never seem to change, while some of them grow and develop as they get older. Sattao has been a good and gentle boy, loved by almost all of the other elephants in the Nursery, but he seems to be developing a bit more of a bullish nature recently. On several occasions he has tried to push some of the other youngsters, and even some of the visitors who come to the Nursery, and you cannot kneel in front of him anymore or he will try to push you. He is turning into a ‘pusher’, just like our Ngilai! 

When Larro is out in the forest, she is everyone’s baby, though it is Malima who loves her very much. When it comes to her being around strangers, then Sagala is always the most protective; she doesn’t like anyone she doesn’t know being around the little girl!

03 May 2019

Emoli is still being a naughty bully boy towards his friends. Musiara used to be one of his play mates but not really anymore. Musiara has remained such a polite boy that every member of the family likes to hang out with, but Emoli is a very demanding one. He always wants things done his way, which means that Musiara isn’t as close to him anymore. Emoli tried to make Musiara play with him today and when Musiara declined he forced him into the mud bath. Among the young ones it’s only Maktao who can hold himself against Emoli. After pushing Musiara into the mud, Maktao came running over to Emoli and the two started playing a wrestling game.

04 May 2019

What a day full of games for Maktao and Sattao. Since the start of the day, they have been engaging one another in different games. Before heading out into the forest, when they were still in the stockade compound, they were chasing one another around all the rooms. As they proceeded to the forest, they didn’t pay any attention to browsing and stayed behind the rest of the group wrestling one another. While the two bulls were playing and holding the Keepers attention, Luggard took the opportunity to sneak away from the rest of the herd with Kiombo and Larro. It took the Keepers sometime to locate the trio as it has rained and all the bushes are nice and green and thick now! 

Down at the mud bath, Maktao and Sattao carried on with their games. The Keepers had to stay alert and keep their eyes on the two as they wrestled close up to the rope cordon. It was funny to watch them as they went to the water trough and seemed to drink from each other’s trunks! Maktao feeding Sattao water and the other way around as well – they were being very funny indeed.

05 May 2019

Actions sometimes speak louder than words and because our orphans obviously can’t speak, they often tell us how they are feeling with their body language, or actions. Maxwell know how to tell visitors to move away from his stockade if he doesn’t want them there, he just sprays that area and very swiftly anyone who is standing there will move away!

Enkesha was also very funny today during the public visit. She is a very quiet and gentle girl, and there were a lot of people who touched her back as she chose to stand close to the rope cordon. It seemed at some stage she had enough however, as she turned with her hind facing towards them a released a stinky fart (having just finished her milk) and they all moved away pretty swiftly. Emoli was misbehaving at the public visit and pushed Dololo so he fell over, but the Keepers were very quick to move towards Emoli and send him away for his bad behaviour. 

06 May 2019

Three elephants have started the process of becoming accustomed to the moving/translocation lorry, for the move to Tsavo at the end of this month. The elephants chosen to move to Ithumba are Malima, Mapia and Kuishi. Even though they are not quite the oldest, they are the right age, and most of all we feel they will benefit from the presence of the older orphans in Tsavo, as they are becoming quite unruly and not listening to the Keepers very well these days either. Malima can be very naughty around visitors, and so can Kuishi, but Kuishi is also a bit of a bully to the youngsters sometimes as well. During their first training session of having their milk bottles inside the lorry compartments, Mapia just walked straight on as he followed his bottle, Kuishi got about half way in but Malima didn’t want to get onto the lorry at all. She flatly refused and decided instead to walk back to the forest without having any of her milk at all!

Maktao doesn’t seem to like Kiko the giraffe at all. He seems very afraid of him, and whenever he sees him he runs away either towards the Keepers or towards the older orphans for protection. Sometimes Kiko doesn’t like to listen to the Keepers and likes do his own thing, and then the intervention from some of the older elephant orphans is much appreciated. Tagwa, Jotto and Ambo took it upon themselves to intervene today. When Maktao spotted Kiko approaching, he started rumbling and ran towards the Keepers. Jotto realized what had disturbed Maktao and responded by trying to warn Kiko from a distance. Kiko kept walking towards them however, and it took Tagwa and Ambo charging towards him to send him away back towards the forest.

07 May 2019

Little Ziwadi was taken out of her stockade today to join the other orphans in the forest for the first time. She had a fabulous reception from the others in the herd, but that didn’t seem to matter to her as she was a bit overwhelmed and kept running away from the others, wanting to spend her time alone. Maisha and Kiasa have been trying to be by her side, but Malima was watching over her as well and would not tolerate any bullying from the naughty little ones. She disciplined Emoli immediately when he decided to get a bit rough with the new arrival and push her around. Tagwa and Sagala might decide to walk any victims away from the naughty perpetrator but Malima goes straight for disciplining any bullies. 

The orphans haven’t chosen to have a mud bath for some time as it has been quite chilly and rainy. With the recent rainfall there are so many natural pools and puddles out in the forest as well. In the afternoon, after their 3pm milk bottle, all the orphans decided to cool down in these natural puddles out in the forest as it became a bit warmer. We don’t make the orphans have a mud bath if they don’t want to, but rather we allow them to make that decision for themselves depending on how they are feeling. If their skin looks a little dry, we might put a bit of mud on them if we feel the need to.

Sagala is becoming closer to Larro and always wants to be around her. Larro has also realized that Sagala likes to mother and protect her, so often looks for her as well. Sometimes Larro will forget and will even try and follow Sagala into her room in the evenings as well, until she realizes she has to go to her own room and she will follow the Keeper there to where she has her evening milk bottle too.

08 May 2019

The elephant babies were very happy today when they came running down to the mud bath area for their milk at 11am, and found lots of freshly heaped loose soil for them to play on. They had lots of fun, especially Dololo and Maktao who seemed to appreciate the soil the most. Dololo was much more active than usual, and went rolling on one heap of soil to the next, running away and then back again to roll on the next pile. Maktao had fun trying to climb on top of anyone else who tried to roll on the ground.

Emoli is still being a naughty boy and this might mean he is moved to Tsavo sooner than expected if he keeps up that kind of behaviour, just like Esampu and Mteto! He doesn’t seem to like poor little Larro very much, he keeps head-butting and pushing her, and is so bullish with the others. When he pushed Larro today it was Enkesha and Larro who ran to help the little girl.

Today the rain came out of nowhere and it rained quite hard for a short time. Larro decided to go and play in a stream away from the others later on, but Sagala walked away from the herd and came to stand by her side. Kuishi followed her and for a while the duo watched over the little one until she was done with her bath, and then they escorted her back to the stockades, as the others had already gone.

09 May 2019

Ziwadi has started settling down in the herd. This morning when she reached the forest she was much more relaxed compared to previous days, and spent some time in the company of Luggard, Musiara, Dololo and Jotto. Jotto is a gentle young patriarch, full of affection for the younger ones and he enjoys protecting them. He enjoys holding Larro close to him and allows her to see what he is eating most of the time as well, as she stretches her trunk to his mouth to investigate. 

Malima is still not fully entering the translocation lorry. Mapia and Kuishi are walking on board without any hesitation for their milk bottles, but Malima is still very wary. It is going to take her some time to get used to it.

10 May 2019

The orphans seemed to be a bit quieter this morning as they left the stockade compound, this could have been due to the cloudy weather. Maxwell, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying the cooler temperatures as he can often be seen charging around his stockade and on occasion even playfully chasing the warthogs that are trying to eat some of his Lucerne pellets. 

Once out in the field, Ambo and Mapia began a strength testing game. Ambo is the more tactical of the two, whilst Mapia uses his size, weight and longer tusks to his advantage. The two have become such good friends and end up playing for so long that the rest of the herd have already moved off to browse in another location.

Not so far from the duo Tagwa and Jotto had also started a strength testing game of their own. Contrary to the two young and boisterous bulls, Tagwa and Jotto are always calm and gentle during their games. 

During their midday mud bath, Tamiyoi was enjoying herself with some of the younger orphans. As she was rolling around in some loose soil, Maktao, Musiara, Sattao and Mukkoka were all rolling about near her and trying to climb on her back as she lay on the floor. Emoli, who can sometimes be very naughty, came running over and started poking some of the younger orphans with his tusks. Tamiyoi, seemingly unimpressed by Emoli’s actions, got up and quickly chased him away before returning to continue playing with the others.

11 May 2019

As the training continues for the three orphans that are becoming accustomed to the translocation/moving lorry, Malima continues to be as reluctant as ever to enter the lorry. The Keepers enjoyed watching her today as she stretched her entire body as far as possible trying to reach her milk bottle without entering the trunk. She stretched so far that she even came down on her knees and reaching forward with her trunk trying to grab her bottle from her Keeper. All her efforts were in vain as she had to stand back up and enter the truck to eventually enjoy her milk bottle. 

Mapia and Kuishi, who seemed to take no notice of Malima’s antics, enjoyed their bottles of milk happily within the truck. Mapia guzzled his milk and then tried to steal some of Kuishi’s through the bars but fortunately couldn’t reach. Kuishi seemed to get annoyed by Mapia and began to rumble at him, so the Keepers chose to move the young bull away allowing her to finish her milk in peace. 

12 May 2019

Some of the orphans can be quite skittish when they are out in the field; one such orphan is Maktao. Maktao, who has become good friends with Emoli, will react to the smallest noise when he is in the field and will cause such a stir with the herd that all the orphans get a fright and charge off in different directions. 

Today, when the orphans were enjoying their afternoon mud bath, Kiko decided to join them. Maktao got the biggest fright when Kiko made his way down to the waterhole. He trumpeted loudly and darted off away from Kiko. This frightened all the orphans who began to trumpet loudly and run for safety. Jotto and Musiara seemed to be the first to realise that it was only Kiko as they started to rumble at him. Tagwa, Kuishi, Malima and Ambo appeared to notice Jotto and Musiara calmly rumbling at Kiko, so they calmed down too and moved closer to where he was standing. With all the orphans now resuming their normal activities, Kiko appeared to lose interest in the herd and decided to move off to another area and see what was happening there. 

13 May 2019

Maktao and Ziwadi, who are neighbors, seem to be getting along well as they have often been seen greeting each other with their trunks through the gaps in the dividing wall. More recently, however, Maktao has been naughtily trying to steal some of Ziwadi’s branches through the gaps. 

This evening, when Maktao had finished his evening bottle of milk, he moved over to the wall dividing his stable from Ziwadi’s and pretended to greet her. Ziwadi, unsuspecting of the young bull, came over to greet him and as she did so the he sneakily grabbed some of her branches and began to pull them through. Maktao managed to pull through two branches before the Keepers intervened and stopped him. The pair then moved to the opposite sides of their stables and enjoyed their own greens. 

14 May 2019

After a couple of days of rain, the Nursery and the Nairobi National Park have become so lush and green and the orphans now have an abundance of greenery to feast on. Orphans with larger appetites, such as Mapia, have been taking full advantage of all this vegetation. Whilst in the field, the Keepers enjoyed watching Mapia using his strength to break some branches and enjoy the bark and leaves, all of which play an important role in an elephant’s diet. 

Musiara has recently become more social and has been seen enjoying some strength testing games with some of the other orphans. He can now be seen starting his own pushing games as well as joining in on games with some of the older boys. Sattao, one of his good friends, enjoys these strength testing games but has learnt that Musiara can be quite sneaky and will at times sneak up on him to start such a game. 

15 May 2019

This bright day started with all the orphans full of excitement as they walked out to the forest. As the herd browsed Tagwa, the matriarch of the herd, walked them deeper and further into the forest, with her friend Sagala gently encouraging the little baby Larro along towards Tagwa as well. After a while Kuishi came over and took over from Sagala to guard over baby Larro, together with Maisha as well. Actions like this show us how loved baby Larro is by all the females in the herd. As the day went on the two big bulls Mapia and Ambo began their usual ‘sizing up’ of one another, play-fighting and trying to prove to one another who is the strongest.

16 May 2019

We woke to another chilly day this morning as all the elephants walked to the forest as usual to browse, little Larro stayed behind to keep out of the drizzle. She stayed behind in one of the big stockades with Luggard and Ziwadi until the rain stopped later in the morning.

As the 11am milk feed approached, the Keepers realized Malima, Kuishi and Mapia were missing from the group. The Keepers looked in the bushes for them everywhere, only to discover that they had walked by themselves back to the stockades to the translocation lorry where we have been practicing their feeding, where they were feeding on the lucerne pellets on the truck which we have put there to encourage them on! Since they have been having their milk feed in that lorry, and after have been given some of the tasty pellets, they just decided to take themselves there a bit early and without their Keepers having to escort them; this is just another example of how clever elephants are, even our young babies.

17 May 2019

While all the orphans were browsing today, the two bulls Mapia and Jotto started their play fighting out in the open rocky area. They played for some time, and it was so interesting to watch the head matriarch Tagwa walk over to separate their fight, as if to stamp her authority as leader.

Usually Luggard comes home earlier than the others in the evenings, as all the orphans like to run in for their milk and he cannot run as fast as them. Today as he was coming home he stopped by Maxwell’s stockade. Maxwell was close to his gate so the two decided to say hello to one another. Luggard stretched his trunk through the bars of the gate and rubbed Maxwell on the head, during which Maxwell stayed completely calm and still, as he loves being touched and scratched, but we have never seen the elephants do this before! For some time Maxwell stayed completely still while Luggard patted him with his trunk, and it was most both unusual and amazing to see. 

18 May 2019

It was a beautiful sunny morning as the orphans made their way out to the forest. Mapia and Ambo, and Jotto and Tagwa respectively started their own wrestling matches. The bulls were so busy with their games that they only stopped for a brief interim during their 9am milk feeding time. 

A few minutes before their midday mud bath the weather began to change, and some very heavy clouds began to roll in. The younger group managed to finish their milk and make their way back to the forest before the heavy rains began, but the older group wasn’t so lucky. With all the thunder Kuishi and Sagala were very apprehensive about coming down and kept trying to turn back to the forest. However, once they saw Malima calmly walking down, unbothered by the weather, they decided to follow her down and have their milk. Once Tagwa, Ambo, Kuishi and Malima had finished their milk, they suddenly became extremely playful and started to charge around the mud bath area in all directions. 

19 May 2019

Maxwell had a very busy evening and morning. Throughout the night he enjoyed a very long mud bath thanks to the heavy rains and in the morning, he was having fun charging around his stockade as the orphans came out their stables. Ambo, Jotto and Musiara decided to join in on Maxwell’s games. They began pulling at the one gate of his stockade and as he would approach, they would charge off to his other gate and he would chase them. The four continued this game for a good few minutes, all enjoying running up and down after one another. When the orphans made their way out to the forest, Maxwell decided to have a little nap and fell asleep at the top of his stockade. 

During their midday mud bath, Tamiyoi was enjoying rolling around in the dust as Maktao ad Musiara began to climb on her back. The three played like this for the entire half hour, and when it was time to make their way back to the forest they happily got up and walked away. 

Malima has become used to the transportation lorry and she happily takes her milk within the vehicle these days. All three orphans, Mapia, Kuishi and Malima are now completely used to the lorry. 

20 May 2019

As soon as the orphans made their way out into the forest Maktao and Musiara began their games. The two were spotted charging around in a game of hide and seek before they started a strength testing match, keeping the two busy for the entire morning. 

The three graduate orphans, Mapia, Malima, and Kuishi have become so used to taking their milk in the translocation lorry that they seem to have formed their own little herd and know that they will always receive their milk separate to the other orphans. The three have started to receive supplement Lucerne pellets after their bottles, which keeps them busy in the truck for a few minutes before they make their way back to the forest. Once back in the forest they are quite happy to stand back whilst the rest of the herd finish their milk bottles. 

Today, however, once Mapia, Kuishi, and Malima had finished their midday bottles of milk they went off further into the forest and the Keepers had to go look for them to get them to go down for their midday mud bath. When Tagwa and Jotto eventually saw the three running down to the mud bath, they trumpeted in excitement and went to greet them. 

The three went off on their own adventure again at 5pm and were found browsing some distance away with Ambo. The Keepers quickly ushered them back to the stockade compound where they all happily entered their stables for the evening. 

21 May 2019

Recently, Emoli has been trying to test his strength against some of the larger boys such as Ambo. Ambo, who appears to know that he is bigger, enjoys playing with the young bull simply playing along with the game and standing his ground when Emoli charges or pushes. Young boisterous bulls such as Emoli and Mapia need strong matriarchs to teach them to respect their peers and be gentle with the younger smaller orphans. 

Recently Mapia has been enjoying chasing some of the younger smaller orphans such as Dololo, Kiombo and Larro. Today, however, he went a little too far with his game when he accidentally knocked over little Larro. Malima, who had heard little Larro trumpeting, came running over and chased Mapia away from the younger orphans. Once Mapia was far enough, Malima came back and appeared to console Larro. 

Jotto is a very gentle bull, who is always calm and knows how to handle the younger or smaller orphans with care. He is often seen caring for and waiting for Luggard when out in the field. This morning, after their 9am bottled of milk, the orphans moved off further into the forest looking for the thicker bushes. Whilst on their way, Jotto seemed to look for Luggard and when he didn’t find him amongst the herd, he went running back for him. On his way, he came across little Larro who he then decided to take with him and the two were then seen accompanying Luggard all the way back to where the other orphans were busy browsing. 

22 May 2019

It has been one month since Ziwadi was rescued, and she is slowly adapting to Nursery life and can still be quite shy when greeting the other orphans. This morning as the all the orphans were getting ready to head out to the forest Maktao and Kiasa, her neighbours, were trying to greet her but she kept shying away and running to the front of the group. 

Whilst in the field, the Keepers and orphans saw two lionesses chasing a warthog. This caused a huge stir as one of the warthogs ran towards the orphans, and they all ran off in fear, Ziwadi included. The poor young calf ran off so far that it took the Keepers some time to find her. The Keepers eventually found her, lying on the ground as she appeared to have a sore tummy and was bloated. She was given some medication that helped with her tummy and she appears to have perked up since. 

During their midday mud bath, as the older group made their way down to the water hole, they came across two wild geese on the path. The geese have been around the last few days as they seem to have found some food near the water hole. Ambo and Kuishi came across the geese first and started to trumpet and ran back towards the forest. Meanwhile, Enkesha, seemingly worried about Ambo and Kuishi, came barreling up towards the geese scaring them off and clearing the way for the second group to come down. 

23 May 2019

Tagwa didn’t seem to be in the best of moods this morning. Mukkoka, who can also be quite naughty and push some of the other boys around such as Dololo and Kiombo, was particularly mischievous whilst in the field and appeared to be upsetting Tagwa. He was continuously pushing Kiombo away from the herd before making his way to browse near Tagwa. As soon as he got near her, she turned and pushed him away; she was seemingly so annoyed that the Keepers had to intervene and help little Mukkoka. From that point onwards, she charged and rumbled at anyone who came near her, including her friend Sattao. Even Emoli got charged, but he had just been naughty and shoved Musiara. 

24 May 2019

Before she had fully become used to the milk formula Nabulu was a shy and calm girl who never caused any problems at milk feeding times. Now that she is fully accustomed to the formula she finds it delicious, but this also means she has started causing trouble around the wheelbarrow at feeding times now. Today was one such example, as she chose to fight the Keepers around the wheelbarrow, demanding more milk. The same can be said for Dololo too. He used to be calm and gentle but not as much anymore. Today he had a fight with the Keepers and Sattao as well as he tried to grab Sattao’s milk bottle. The babies love the milk so much! Musiara however seems to have the same attitude towards feeding times however. He is unique when it comes to the milk bottles, and never fights with anyone over them.

Just as with humans, sometimes some of the elephants just don’t like each other, but for no particular reason really. This seems to be the case between Maisha and Musiara, and the problem might lie with Maisha as Musiara seems to get on and interact with everyone else. Today Musiara was enjoying dusting himself when for no reason Maisha came running over and started pushing him. It was not long before the Keepers intervened and sent them in separate directions.

25 May 2019

Mapia and Kuishi have never been particularly close or shown much interest in each other, but now that they have begun their training together to enter the relocation lorry this seems to have changed somewhat. Now you will find that Mapia, Kuishi and even Malima sometimes can all be browsing separately from the others, and Mapia and Kuishi are spending more and more time together. Mapia used to preoccupy himself with wrestling with Ambo, but now he prefers to spend his time in the company of these two girls.

Enkesha has always been a predictable baby, and we mean that in a good way. She has never caused any trouble and is a gentle little girl. Sometimes she can be happy and playful and interactive with the others, like today and how she was playing with Maktao, and sometimes she prefers to be on her own and browses quietly away from the herd.

26 May 2019

Ziwadi has been so good today and has spent the whole day with the herd, without once sneaking off like she normally does. One reason she sometimes chooses to stray from the herd is because Nabulu bully’s her a bit. Her deciding to stay with the herd today is probably because Jotto, Sagala and Malima decided to protect the little one for the whole day today. They took it in turns, so that if one of them wasn’t beside her then one of the other three would be there for her. One Nabulu tried to push her when Malima was standing there and Malima acted right away and put Nabulu in her place.

27 May 2019

Maxwell was full of energy this morning. He was going round and round and it seemed like there might have been another rhino nearby in the Park as he was sniffing everywhere and spraying as if to mark his territory. It began to rain, which Maxwell always enjoys, and he decided to play at length down in the mud rolling around and covering himself in the wet soil. After a while he got up and went to go and enjoy some of his Lucerne pellets, when all of a sudden some uninvited guests in the form of some warthogs. The warthogs are regular visitors and sometimes Maxwell doesn’t mind their company, but today they caught him mid-lunch and Maxwell didn’t feel like sharing at all. He chased them around his stockade, even right down to his bedroom, but it secretly looked like he was having a lot of fun as well. 

28 May 2019

After the orphans arrived in the forest this morning, most of them began browsing. Jotto and Kuishi decided to start playing together however, and they enjoyed some pushing and hide and seek games, running about in the bushes for quite some time. Tagwa and Ambo must have envied their game as they are the ones who enjoy playing with Jotto the most. Before approaching Kuishi and Jotto, they entwined their trunks together as if in conversation, before marching together over to where the other two were playing with the intention of interrupting their game. Ambo took on Jotto while Tagwa approached Kuishi. She drove her off into the bushes to concentrate on browsing and make her forget her game, and as soon as Kuishi began browsing, Tagwa left her and went to find Jotto to begin playing with him.

Tagwa still loves Sattao over all the other babies in the Nursery however. Sattao had pushed Maisha by mistake, but Maisha turned and shoved Sattao away. He shouted out and because Tagwa was standing just close by she came running over. When she found Maisha standing close to Sattao she knew she was the reason Sattao had yelled, and she drove her away from the herd by poking her with her tusks.

29 May 2019

When Luggard and Musiara came out of their rooms this morning before any of the other elephants, they decided to have some fun all alone before the others came out of their rooms as well. They engaged in a pushing game, before Musiara started what can only be described as a ‘you can’t catch me’ game. This went on until Jotto and Ambo came out, and interrupted their games.

Nabulu is still not being very nice towards Ziwadi. It is difficult when you see Nabulu running over and pushing Ziwadi for no reason at all, but we are always quick to reprimand her and tell her that is wrong. She was lucky that none of the other older girls like Tagwa or Kuishi saw her as they were leading the herd at the front, or she would have been in even more trouble. Tagwa, Sagala and Malima are very disciplinary older females and they don’t like any of the others picking on each other. 

Kiko was so naughty today. He usually comes out of his boma to go and join the elephants in the forest after the main visiting time, and today was no different. He knows that most of the elephants don’t enjoy his company so now he has decided to make a game out of it. Mukkoka, Maktao, Dololo, Larro and even Sattao keep running away from him and they did the same today. He kept coming back towards the elephants and the babies kept running away so there was no peace to be had. Kuishi, Malima and some of the other older ones, as well as some of the Keepers, kept driving him away as he was disrupting the younger ones from browsing, but he never listens to anyone! Eventually he decided to follow his own Keeper and they walked back to the stockade compound where Kiko started to browse.

30 May 2019

Kiombo keeps trying to make friends with Nabulu but Nabulu does not seem to be interested from some reason. They have very different characters – Kiombo is quite shy and gentle and Nabulu is a bit of a bully and can be very greedy too, giving the Keepers some problems beside the wheelbarrow during milk feeds. 

It has been raining for the last couple of weeks now, at last, which means the Park is full of lovely soft, fresh greens for the orphans to browse on. When they get to the forest they all want to walk further and deeper into the forest to find all the lovely vegetation there is to browse on, and when they do this Luggard opts to stay behind. Sometimes Ziwadi or some of the others stay behind too to keep him company, and we leave this up to them and it seems as if they like to rotate this role. Today it was Ambo who decided to stay back and browse with Luggard.

These days it is sweet little baby Larro who seems to lead the herd out to the forest and wherever they walk, followed by the matriarch Tagwa and Sagala, and then the whole herd follow behind. They kept walking out to the forest today so Luggard peeled off to browse on some bushes, followed by Ziwadi and Ambo joined them too. A few minutes later Ambo walked off with Luggard in their own direction.

31 May 2019

There was a lot of activity early in the morning today as everyone was up by 2:30am preparing for the move of Malima, Kuishi and Mapia to Ithumba. The day was finally here where we would bid goodbye to these babies, as they prepare for the next stage of their long journey back to the wild, in the fullness of time. All the babies noticed the activity however; Maktao and Kiasa were the first to notice that all the Keepers were up, and they alerted the others by rumbling, and eventually yelling. Kiasa would not settle down at all and was wondering up and down her room. By 3am everything was ready and the chosen three were brought out of their night stockades and followed their Keepers to the lorry where they knew their bottles would be, just like they had practiced. It was a very quick and smooth boarding of the three babies without any hiccups. Malima, who at first had been apprehensive about the lorry, was even ahead of the other two to board first and have her bottle. The door was closed behind her and still she showed no sign of concern. At 3:20am we bid goodbye to our Malima, Kuishi and Mapia as the wheels of the lorry began to roll away bound for Ithumba.

In the morning when the orphans came out of their stockades, they seemed crowded together out in the forest as if having conversations. All that time Larro was squeezed between Tagwa and Sagala. The whole herd was calm and peaceful and they carried on with their day browsing quietly in small groups.