Keepers' Diaries, May 2020

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This month we bid farewell to a number of our Nursery residents, and the first to head to Tsavo was our mini matriarch Tagwa and her friend Tamiyoi who both graduated to our Voi Reintegration Unit situated in the southern sector of Tsavo East National Park.  On the 17th, it was the turn of three bulls Musiara, Sattao and Dololo to graduate to our Ithumba Reintegration Unit situated in the northern sector of Tsavo East National Park. At the end of the month we bid farewell to Luggard and Enkesha who graduated to our Umani Unit situated within the Kibwezi Forest and Chyulu Hills National Park. One always feels such an immense sense of pride and accomplishment at these times. Naturally there is some sadness seeing them move on from daily Nursery life, having raised the babies through their most vulnerable moments and been a part of their everyday, but these feelings are always tempered by the joy that they have come this far, and are now about to begin the next crucial stage in their lives, as they move one step closer to finally living the wild life each one deserves, the greatest gift one could ever grant them.  

01 May 2020

It was a very wet morning as there had been rain throughout the evening. As it was quite cold, some of the orphans weren’t as eager to leave their rooms including Ziwadi and Luggard. The duo often browse near one another and keeping each other company as they walk around the forest and when it is cold they both prefer to stay closer to their stables. As the morning warmed up, they both began to venture further out in the forest. 

Naboishu seems to be developing new friendships and is becoming more and more confident amongst the Nursery herd as the days pass. He appears to want to spend more and more time with little Naleku and Roho, whom are often in the company of the older girls such as Kiasa. After the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, Naboishu walked over and joined the two youngsters who were browsing in the company of Kiasa. He happily joined them and began to browse right by them.

The orphans had a lovely afternoon browsing before making their way back to the stockade compound in the evening. 

02 May 2020

This morning as the orphans came out their stables, they walked over to see Maxwell the rhino. Maxwell had already come out of his bedroom and was busy enjoying his greens. He was too busy munching away to notice the elephant orphans walking by, heading off to the forest. Maxwell gets a variety of greens, and he can sometimes be seen knocking different branches about to get to the ones he wants to eat most. 

Once Maxwell had his fill of greens he walked up to his top stockade to enjoy his morning Lucerne pellets that had been freshly laid out for him by his Keepers. The warthogs were nowhere to be seen this morning so Maxwell didn’t have to share his pellets with anyone. 

03 May 2020

This morning the orphans were all happily out browsing in the forest, enjoying all the different variety of greens. They all seemed to be pretty calm and relaxed apart from two. Sattao and Musiara suddenly began to chase each other around the forest and began their own strength testing game. They could be seen pushing each other all around and were both quite evenly matched, with neither of them giving in. their game continued for quite some time and ended when they both appeared to be too tired to carry on. None of the other orphans showed any interest in joining their game or starting their own, and they all continued to happily munch away on their greens. 

This afternoon, the orphans enjoyed their 3pm bottles of milk down at the mud bath. As it was not that warm an afternoon, none of them were eager to have a mud bath and they were either eating more greens or having a dust bath. It wasn’t long before they made their way back to the forest to resume their afternoon browsing activities.

04 May 2020

The orphans started their day as normal, leaving the stockade compound around 6am and making their way out to the forest. A number of the orphans have recently begun their training to be translocated to one of our Reintegration Units in Tsavo National Park. Musiara, Luggard, Tamiyoi, Tagwa, Dololo and Enkesha had their first training session this morning, during their 9am feeding time. 

With every training session some of the orphans will enter the translocation lorry immediately and without hesitation whereas other will be more reluctant. Tagwa, who knows all too well how the training goes, was amongst the first to refuse to step onto the translocation lorry and she was soon followed Musiara who refused to even come near the lorry. The rest of the orphans were all too happy to receive their milk bottles that they took very little notice of the lorry especially Tamiyoi and Enkesha. 

As this was day one, the Keepers are confident that the orphans will get used to the translocation lorry and will eventually easily walk into it. 

05 May 2020

As the orphans continue to be trained on the translocation lorry, they have been coming back to the stockade compound several times a day to have their milk bottles at the translocation lorry, teaching them how to get onto the lorry and be comfortable with it. Most days when the orphans make their way down to the lorry, they will walk past Maxwell’s stockade and this seems to always catch his attention. As the orphans walk past, Maxwell can be seen standing at his gate smelling and listening to what is happening and when he appears to notice that it is some of the orphans, he returns to his pellets or greens. 

Tagwa was a bit more relaxed today, and happily walked up to the lorry but was still apprehensive about stepping into the lorry. She quickly finished her milk at the edge of the lorry and then started walking back to the forest. Musiara, however, still had no interest in getting anywhere near the lorry and stayed far away, waiting for his Keeper to eventually come over and give him his milk. Enkesha, Dololo, and Tamiyoi all happily walked onto the lorry to have their milk and when they were done, they calmly walked back to the forest, joining Tagwa and Musiara who were already on their way. 

06 May 2020

It was a chilly morning as the orphans were let out of their stables. As soon as Ziwadi, Maktao and Larro were let out they all started making their way to the forest. When Naboishu was let out of his stockade he appeared a little agitated. He saw Larro, Ziwadi and Maktao munching away on the bushes at the top of the stockade compound and relaxed, and decided to join them. 

As the rest of the orphans were let out of their stables, they seemed excited to make their way out to the forest as they began trumpeting and running in excitement. As they got to the forest, Kiombo and Maktao began a strength testing match, pulling and pushing at one another and chasing each other around. Naboishu seemed rather confused by their game and he decided to take a step back and remain closer to the younger, smaller orphans in the Nursery herd. 

Sattao and Musiara weren’t too happy with their training this morning and they both stayed far away from the translocation lorry, waiting for their Keepers to give them their milk away from the lorry. It is always normal for the orphans to be cautious of the lorry at first which is why the training is so important as the orphans will only be moved once they are comfortable with the lorry. 

07 May 2020

This morning the Keepers were very excited as Musiara, for the first time, went onto the translocation lorry without any hesitation. He thoroughly enjoyed his milk bottles and remained on the lorry until he was finished. In the neighbouring stable compartments Sattao and Tagwa also enjoyed their milk bottles before walking off the lorry. As they all came off the lorry they all charged off back to the forest. 

It is very special to see Sattao and Musiara take this next step together as they arrived at the Nairobi Nursery around the same age, under three months old, and have been together every step of the way. Once they arrived back in the forest, Sattao and Musiara were full of energy and began a wrestling match. Sattao is often the instigator of these games, and Musiara can sometimes be very reluctant to take part but today he was just as excited for their game. 

This afternoon, the orphans enjoyed their 3pm bottles of milk down at the mud bath. While the orphans were down at the mud bath, they were all excited and began pushing against one another and having fun on the dust mounds. They were all so busy for a good 30 minutes before then making their way back to the forest for the remainder of the afternoon. 

08 May 2020

The training has been going so well and Musiara is no longer so reluctant to get onto the translocation lorry. This morning as he came around the corner, he walked straight up to the Keeper who was holding his two bottles of milk. As he started to gulp down his milk, his Keeper slowly walked him onto the lorry and then finished giving him his milk. Sattao was already having his milk inside the lorry. 

After they both finished their milk bottles, they remained on the lorry for a couple of minutes longer sucking on the end of their trunks, and then walked off to give space to some of the other orphans. Tagwa and Tamiyoi were next on the lorry and since Tamiyoi is so relaxed when walking on Tagwa seems to have relaxed as well. This morning they both happily followed their Keepers onto the lorry and when they finished their milk bottles, they quickly walked off to join the others. 

09 May 2020

This morning, as some of the orphans were busy with their training, the other orphans enjoyed their 9am bottles right near the top of Maxwell’s stockade waiting for Dololo, Sattao, Musiara, Tagwa, and Tamiyoi to join them again. With all the commotion, Maxwell was very unsure what was going on and he seemed to get a little worried and came rushing over to see what all the noise was about. As he got to the top of his stockade he began to smell around and pace up and down. Once he realised it was just his friendly elephant neighbours, he went back to enjoying his Lucerne pellets. After enjoying his pellets, he walked over to a sunny spot and lay down for his mid-morning siesta. The orphans had a great day browsing playing out in the forest.

10 May 2020

The orphans were all excited this morning as they were let out their night stockades, and all began to charge out to the forest. As Sattao and Musiara got further into the forest, they began a wrestling match, testing each other’s strength. Most of the other orphans such as Mukkoka and Larro were not interested in taking part in their game and were quick to move out of the way. They, like most of the Nursery herd, were very eager to start having some of the fresh greens they could find in the forest. Sattao and Musiara’s game continued for quite some time before they both got tired and then joined the others to browse browsing. 

11 May 2020

It was a big day for all the orphans as Tagwa and Tamiyoi started their journey to the Voi Reintegration Unit in Tsavo East National Park. It was a very early start with the Keepers getting the translocation lorry ready at 2:30 in the morning and once everything was prepared, they got Tagwa and Tamiyoi out of their stockades. Tagwa was leading, with Tamiyoi close behind, but when she turned the corner to where the translocation lorry was parked, she became a bit more hesitant. Tamiyoi proceeded with caution as she seemed apprehensive to continue without Tagwa but with her Keepers nearby and her milk bottles waiting for her, eventually Tamiyoi proceeded without any hesitation. 

Once Tamiyoi was safely in the lorry, the Keepers could now assist Tagwa on. Tagwa was far more hesitant and she took quite a bit more encouragement from her Keepers but after a couple of minutes she was safely on the lorry within her compartment too. 

Later that morning as the rest of the Nursery herd made their way to the forest, Roho Larro, Naboishu and Mukkoka kept looking for Tagwa and Tamiyoi. This is normal, especially when the older girls leave, as the Nursery herd must readjust to a new order. By 11am however, the orphans were back to their normal routine and Kiasa, Maisha and Dololo happily lead the orphans back to the forest after their midday bottles of milk. 

12 May 2020

As the orphans re-adjust to a new herd without Tagwa and Tamiyoi, Maisha seems to be taking over as new matriarch even though Enkesha could also assume this role. When the older orphans graduate to one of our Reintegration Units, the orphans know that the herds dynamic will now change and that the role of some of the younger orphan will change too, as they assume the roles of the older orphans. In addition, some of the orphans graduate from the smaller stables to the larger stockades. 

As Dololo is now older and getting ready for his translocation to one of the Reintegration Units he has been moved to one of the larger stockades and Maktao was moved to Dololo’s old stable. Dololo showed no protest to his new room and settled quite quickly but Maktao was not so happy with the change. In the middle of the night he became quite restless and kept trying to get to Mukkoka so the Keepers felt it be best he move back to his old room. 

Enkesha continues to be independent and she has formed her own little group with Mukkoka, Naboishu, and Naleku. She is often happy to do her own thing and is always happy to have some of the orphans from the Nursery herd with her. 

13 May 2020

As Maisha continues to learn about being the matriarch with the support of Kiasa and Nabulu, the younger orphans will now look to them for help and protection. When the orphans are out in the forest, as soon as something frightens them the orphans all charge to Maisha’s side, and often she and Kiasa will go to have a look what is wrong and what has scared them. Enkesha, however, seems to be in her own little bubble and doesn’t always notice when the younger orphans are in a panic. 

Musiara has become very protective of the herd, which is an important role of the bulls when they are living wild and following a herd. This morning, once the orphans had all calmed down, Musiara could be seen checking the parameters and chasing the baboons away that had frightened the herd.

This afternoon Luggard didn’t seem to be in the best of moods and didn’t really want much company. At one point he even began pushing Ziwadi and Naboishu away. As he has long sharp tusks, Enkesha quickly ran over to help them, but the Keepers were nearby as well and managed to calm Luggard down before Enkesha arrived. The orphans then all resume their browsing activities. 

14 May 2020

Musiara has always been a calm and friendly bull and he has recently taken on the role of protector of the Nursery herd. He has never been a greedy orphan and one to push the younger orphans for more milk. Having begun his training to follow a milk bottle into the translocation lorry, at first he was very hesitant to even get near the translocation lorry, but nowadays he will quite happily follow Sattao and Dololo to the lorry. 

He is, however, only happy to enter one specific room on the lorry and doesn’t accept to get in to just any of the rooms. As he is now easily getting into his preferred room on the lorry, he is now ready for his graduation and the Keepers are confident it will go well. 

Naleku still enjoys Mukkoka’s company even though the young bull isn’t always so welcoming. Today, he seemed to want to be on his own with the bulls and he kept pushing at the little girl. Naleku, however, knows all too well how to stand her ground and will often push back at him, forcing him to move away. This afternoon, she did just that and Mukkoka eventually gave up trying to chase her off. 

15 May 2020

Most mornings, Maxwell can be seen waiting to greet the orphans at his lower gate. Some mornings if it is cold or he is still sleeping, he will remain in his bedroom and won’t come out to see the orphans head off into the forest. This morning, Maxwell was up well before the orphans eating his greens, when he heard the orphans starting to move around and come out of their stables. As soon as he heard the orphans he walked straight over to his gate to greet them. As soon as Enkesha saw him, she came running over to say hello. As soon as they had greeted each other, they started to play a game where Enkesha would charge up to his gate, and then slow down as she got closer to him. It was so nice for the Keepers to watch them both have fun with one another. As soon as the elephant orphans were all out of their stables Enkesha ended her game and ran over to join them as they all walked out to the forest together. 

In the afternoon, as the orphans were busy browsing, Sattao was walking around looking for some long and soft grass. When he eventually found some, he began to grab the grass to eat. As he was busy cutting the grass, he came across a tortoise that was well hidden in the long grass. This gave him a huge fright and he let out a loud trumpet which alerted Maisha and Kiasa. They both came running over to see what had given him such a fright but when they could not find anything they returned to their browsing. 

Naleku spent most of her day in the company of Enkesha, and is really making great strides in the Nursery, growing so much confidence amongst the Nursery herd.

16 May 2020

It rained overnight last night and Maxwell decided to have a mud bath first thing this morning, covering his entire body in mud. Once he was finished with his mud bath, he walked over to his pile of Lucerne pellets and began to enjoy his morning feast before settling to lie down in the morning sun. 

We continue to learn from elephants and the dynamic of the herd. The orphans always seem to know when a move is about to happen and the three boys Dololo, Sattao and Musiara appeared to know that their big journey back to the wild would commence tomorrow. All three were in an exceptionally friendly mood and they could be seen spending most of their day with their friends. Sattao and Musiara remained close to Maktao and Dololo spent his entire day with Mukkoka. They could also be seen all together sizing each other up and playing some wrestling games but for the most part, they were just keeping each other company. 

17 May 2020

Today was the big day for Dololo, Sattao and Musiara as they began their journey to the Ithumba Reintegration Unit in Tsavo East National Park. The Keepers were up early preparing the lorry and their rooms for the journey. As soon as Musiara heard the lorry start he seemed to alert the others and they all began to rumble at each other and their Keepers; they even caught the attention of Mukkoka who could also be heard rumbling. At about 2:30am, the Keepers were now ready to lead each of the boys to the translocation lorry. 

Sattao was the first to get on the lorry without any hesitation; he happily followed his Keepers and enjoyed his bottles of milk on the lorry within his room. Once Sattao was on, the Keepers turned their attention to Musiara who was a little hesitant as he stopped and the door of the lorry unsure about whether or not to get on. With his milk bottle in front of him and his Keepers encouraging him on, he eventually took that last step and entered his room. Dololo, however, was apprehensive from the beginning and he needed the help of his Keepers to get on. After a couple of minutes, the Keepers managed to get him safely onto the lorry and the boys were now ready for their journey. 

The orphans had a quiet day in the forest, adjusting to the new dynamics and spending most of their day very close to their Keepers. Mukkoka, Naleku, and Naboishu seemed to be oblivious to the three boys not being around and they carried on with their day as normal. 

18 May 2020

As the orphans continue to adjust to their new herd, they seem to be spending their days very close to their Keepers, getting lots of scratches and cuddles. For most of the morning, if even one of the Keepers would walk off in a specific direction, they would have a trail of orphans behind them checking out where they are going. It is always common for the orphans to take a few days to adjust to their new dynamics. 

In the afternoon, however, the orphans seemed to relax and Maktao was even trying to engage Kiombo in a strength testing match. Before long, Mukkoka came charging over to join them and he eventually took over from Maktao and began his own game with Kiombo. 

Nabulu and Enkesha were happily leading the orphans through the forest today. With all the rains, there are several small mud baths throughout the forest and the two girls were eager to lead the orphans to one. Enkesha was the first to find the perfect mud bath and as she was busy wallowing, Nabulu and the rest of the herd came over to join her. Naleku, Maktao, Larro and all the orphans could be seen having the best time in the mud before resuming their browsing activities. 

19 May 2020

Sunshine is also important to the orphans, just as the mud and dust baths are too. With the current cold brisk mornings, the orphans are just as eager to get out into the forest looking for their fresh greens and warmth. This morning, the orphans were led by Enkesha who walked them straight into the forest to look for some greens. As they arrived in the forest, Maisha, Enkesha, and Nabulu began to grab at the freshest of greens right at the top of the branches. The smaller orphans would then grab what they dropped down, however Nabulu was not so eager to share and kept trying to keep her branches to herself.

As the orphans were busy eating their greens, Enkesha seemed to notice the sun coming up and she immediately started to make her way to the open fields to catch some Vitamin D. She was soon followed by the rest of the Nursery herd and they could all be seen enjoying the warmth of the sun for a few minutes. Once they were warm enough, the orphans resumed their browsing activities, Larro amongst the first. 

The Nursery herd has now begun to settle and Ziwadi has returned to her normal way of remaining with the herd some days and then wandering off on others. Nabulu and Maisha have started playing their own wrestling games as well as Kiombo and Mukkoka. The orphans had a fun day out in the forest before heading home in the evening. 

20 May 2020

With all the rains we have been having, Luggard and Ziwadi have not been so eager to wander far into the forest as they both least enjoy the cold. The last two days however have been much warmer, and the two have been venturing further into the forest. Although they still enjoy spending time together, Kiasa has been trying to get them both to spend more time with the entire herd. As Kiasa sees them she quickly walks over to usher them forward. This morning she tried to usher Ziwadi forward but when she failed, she decided to browse with them both and wait for them to follow her. Her plan seemed to work as Luggard began to follow her and as he followed so too did Ziwadi. It wasn’t long before all three of them re-joined the rest of the herd. 

Larro has always been so fond of Kiasa and she recently seems to be adopting her naughty ways. With Naboishu being the same size as her, she seems to want to always challenge the young bull and push him around, especially when he is having his milk. Much like Kiasa, Larro is also greedy. This afternoon as Naboishu was finishing his milk, she quickly came running over trying to steal his bottle from him. Both Naboishu and his Keeper kept doing circles trying to get away from her and as soon as Naboishu finished his bottle he turned and pushed Larro away before running off. Larro seemingly unimpressed that she had been pushed and that there was no milk left walked off in a huff.

21 May 2020

After their midday bottles of milk, the orphans happily settled back in the forest to continue with their afternoon browsing activities. Maktao was in a great mood this afternoon and he was very eager to start a strength testing match with one of the other orphans. Since Dololo has gone Maktao seems to have gained confidence as he no longer must challenge larger bulls and is now the big boy in the nursery herd. He could be seen trumpeting and charging from one side of the forest to the other. He was so excited that he managed to persuade Kiasa, Maisha, Larro, Naboishu, Roho and Mukkoka to start running around with him. They were having the best time charging through the forest. 

In all the excitement Roho accidentally bumped into Mukkoka and slightly stumbled. This seemed to have caused some panic as Roho yelled out and as soon as Maisha heard him, she, Kiasa, and Larro came running over to see what had happened to the young little boy. When they realised that everything was okay, they seemed to no longer be as playful and chose to rather browse. 

22 May 2020

Since Tagwa and Tamiyoi were translocated to the Voi Reintegration Unit Maisha has fully assumed the role of matriarch and she appears to be enjoying it. She gets assistance from all the older girls in the Nursery such as Kiasa, Enkesha and Nabulu, although Nabulu is not always so eager to watch over the younger orphans. Even younger girl Larro has assumed her role as nanny and can often be seen assisting Maisha with little Roho and Naleku. 

Roho completely adores Maisha and is always by her side, following her as if he was her shadow. Kiasa will often assume the role of nanny should Maisha be away browsing and little Naleku will often be in the company of Enkesha, Larro, and even Naboishu. Naboishu seems to have also bonded with Enkesha, Larro and Naleku and will often be by their side, browsing near them. The Keepers are confident that when Enkesha and Luggard graduate, Naleku, Ziwadi, and Naboishu will be happy to spend time with Larro. 

Today, Luggard and Enkesha resumed their training in the translocation lorry. Both showed tremendous courage and very little hesitation when approaching the lorry and both walked onto the lorry to have their milk. 

23 May 2020

Roho still enjoys his play mounting games and will take every opportunity to climb up onto Maisha and Kiasa’s backs, especially now that Tagwa isn’t around. This was a game he picked up when watching and interacting with Musiara whom also enjoyed climbing on Tagwa, Tamiyoi and Maisha. 

Larro has recently learnt how to perfect drinking water using her trunk. Like Ziwadi, she used to dunk her head in the water in order to have a drink but over the last few days she has been sucking water up using her trunk and then releasing it into her mouth. This is a skill she will continue to master as she gets older. 

Ziwadi continues to drink water through her mouth, but the Keepers hope that through time she too will learn how to drink with the use of her trunk just as Larro has. 

24 May 2020

Kiasa is quite a curious character and she is often eager to have a walk around to check her surroundings when she arrives in the forest. This morning, as the orphans were getting settled, Kiasa decided to go off on a little adventure and see what was happening in the surrounding bushes. She could hear a troop of baboons and was very curious to find out where they were and as such she walked from tree to tree until she came across the baboons. When she found them, she quickly charged at them, to scare them off and keep the Nursery herd safe. Contrary to their normal behaviour the baboons were not too phased by Kiasa and continued to hop between trees shouting at one another. This appeared to scare Kiasa and she quickly came running back to the Nursery herd. 

Naboishu and Roho are becoming very greedy with their milk and they too have now learnt the different hand signals of their Keepers, knowing exactly when it is milk feeding time. When they hear the Keepers radios going that the milk bottles are on their way, they both become restless and they keep yelling out to be let loose to run down for their milk. All character traits they seemed to have learnt from speedy Mukkoka. 

25 May 2020

As the orphans were waiting for their 9am bottles of milk this morning, Enkesha, Kiombo, Maktao and Nabulu all kept themselves busy with a small game of rolling in the mud. As they were all busy rolling around, they could be seen bumping into one another, and pushing each other all around. Nabulu was even getting involved in the fun and could be seen bumping against Maktao, having the best time. Enkesha and Kiombo were even having their own game, which was a rare sight as Kiombo was always shy to play with the girls and would more likely choose a male opponent. Today, however, he seemed full of confidence and was happily bumping against Enkesha. 

As they were busy playing, little Naleku could be seen watching them from the side-lines, amused by their games. Funnily enough, when Roho saw them all rolling around, especially Enkesha, he quickly came running over to try and climb on their backs. Little Naleku at this point took it upon herself to protect Enkesha from Roho and she kept chasing him away when he tried to climb on her back. Eventually Roho gave up and walk back to Maisha, and not long after, the orphans were called to go and get their milk bottles. 

26 May 2020

As the orphans settled back in the forest after their midday bottles of milk, some of them, namely the older bulls, were eager to play some games. Mukkoka and Maktao began their own game of chasing each other around the forest. Maktao was eagerly chasing Mukkoka around the forest, trying to start a wrestling match but Mukkoka was too fast and kept getting away. They seemed to be having so much fun that even Kiombo decided to take part and challenge them both. Mukkoka took this opportunity to run off and let Kiombo challenge Maktao and they could be wrestling each other in the distance. 

Kiasa attempted to join their game but they took no notice and charged straight past her. She then returned to Naboishu, Roho, Larro, and Luggard where she tried to have her own game with them. She began rolling around on the floor and as soon as Roho saw her lying down he ran over to try and climb on her back and the two were having such fun together. Luggard came and stood near them and began to have dust bath; he seemed to be enjoying watching over their game. Kiasa and Roho, showing the utmost respect for Luggard, were careful not to bump into him. 

27 May 2020

Luggard and Enkesha are still going through their translocation training and the Keepers were happy to see that it was going well. Both orphans easily walked onto the translocation lorry without any hesitation and eager to have their milk. Enkesha seems to be a very relaxed little elephant, as she is often unperturbed by any changes to her environment and is happy to be on her own in the forest. She is always calm and collected. 

Luggard too is a gentle young elephant, but he does like to have a good look around the lorry after he finishes his milk. He seems to be curious about what the large object is and about the hay bales in his room, placed there to help support him when the move comes. 

Ziwadi has become so accustomed to following Luggard wherever he is going, that she has even started following him down to the translocation lorry. Like Enkesha, she too does not mind the lorry and will happily have her milk outside the lorry as Enkesha and Luggard finish their training. When they are all done, they happily walk back to the forest together, Ziwadi grabbing greens from every bush that she can reach. 

Kiasa seems to be constantly changing her moods recently, from one day to the next she can change from a caring nanny to a greedy and naughty girl. This morning, as she was finishing her bottle of milk she suddenly decided to chase after Naboishu’s bottle, pushing at him and his Keeper trying to get any extra bit of milk. The Keepers had to chase her away and move her from the group. As they told her off, she pretended as if she was moving away and then quickly headed towards Naleku who was coming down for her milk, trying to steal her bottle now. She then got a stern warning from her Keepers which caused her to quickly run away before she got into more trouble, leaving all the orphans still drinking in peace.  

28 May 2020

This morning the orphans seemed to be very calm and relaxed and none seemed interested in playing games or charging off through the forest. This was different to most mornings, as normally Kiombo, Maktao and Mukkoka are charging after one another trying to start their own wrestling matches. Today, however, they seemed to be more interested in browsing and relaxing. 

It was a very hot afternoon and before the orphans had their 3pm bottles of milk they were all enjoying a long mud wallow in one of the mud baths out in the forest. Most of them were rolling over one another and pushing against each other as they cooled off. Luggard and Ziwadi, however, were not so keen in getting pushed around, so they found their own little spot where they could roll around and cool off peacefully. Ziwadi didn’t wallow for very long and quickly returned to browsing as she loves her greens so much. 

29 May 2020

Throughout most of the morning, the orphans were all busy browsing and weren’t playing any games. However, later in the afternoon after their 3pm bottles of milk, Maktao and Kiombo began their own wrestling match and could be seen sizing each other up, trying to determine who was stronger. As their game continued, they appeared to be getting a little rough with each other, both eager to win, and this seemed to concern Kiasa. She quickly ran over and stood in between the boys preventing them from pushing at each other and causing them to lose interest. After a few seconds the two bulls amazingly calmed down and walked away from their game joining the others who were busy browsing. Kiasa once again was proving how she can be a caring girl and doesn’t want to always cause mischief amongst the Nursery herd. 

30 May 2020

This morning, the orphans seemed to divide into two groups. On the one side was Maisha with Kiombo, Roho, Maktao, Luggard, Ziwadi, and Nabulu and on the other side was Kiasa with Mukkoka, Naleku, Larro, Enkesha, and Naboishu. Maisha remained with her group close to the Keepers whereas Kiasa led her group further afield to find some other shrubs to browse on. It is common to see the orphans sometimes split up like this as they often have different ideas of what they would like to do. However, they all came back together when it was time for them to have their midday bottles of milk. 

Maxwell seemed to be rather tired today and wasn’t very eager to eat his greens. He did, however, spend most of his day in the long grass on the other side of his stockade, walking slowly through the small bushed and enjoying the sun, taking a nap every now and again. 

31 May 2020

Today was a big day for Luggard and Enkesha as they graduated to the Umani Reintegration Unit, within the Kibwezi forest. As expected, they both walked onto the lorry smoothly and were ready to begin their journey around 3am. They had a safe journey and arrived at the Umani Reintegration Unit early in the morning, with all the Umani orphans and Keepers awaiting their arrival. They were warmly welcomed by all the orphans, and were dotted upon by the older girls Murera, Sonje, Lima Lima and even Mwashoti was excited to meet the new arrivals. 

It was a beautiful moment to see Luggard being followed and cared for by Murera and Sonje and him excitedly walking around and inspecting his new environment. Enkesha was so happy that she immediately went off on her own adventure, greeting all the older Umani orphans and leading them out to the forest. It was great to see Luggard and Enkesha in such high spirits walking through the Kibwezi forest and being followed and watched over by all the older orphans who just could not get enough of their new herd members. The Keepers from the Nursery could not have been happier for them, and those at Umani were so excited to have two new babies join the herd.