Compared to the rest of Tsavo, Voi has received relatively little rainfall this year. We have a long dry season ahead of us, which hasn’t escaped the notice of the wildlife in the area: While the Voi water trough always receives a steady stream of wild visitors, an influx of elephants came through this month, eager to quench their thirst under the shade of the baobab tree.
The orphans had their milk bottles and then went to feed on the lucerne supplement grass. Arruba then wanted to play with Emoli and she kept holding and pulling his leg to get him to play with her, but Emoli showed no interest in playing and walked away. Arruba decided to go to her ‘old faithful’ friend who will always play with her, Ndotto, and engaged him in a sparring session. All this time Suswa enjoyed lying on the pile of loose soil, throwing soil on herself. Ndoria stood below the terrace wall collecting lucerne pellets and was joined by Panda who enjoyed scratching her bottom against the wall.
On the way out to the Park for the day, Arruba decided to take a detour and follow a path that led to some slippery rocks which she managed to navigate safely, before joining the rest of the herd for the morning browsing session.
The orphans visited the baobab tree waterhole at noon where they had a quick mud bath before resuming their browsing activities. This afternoon, while on the way to Manyani, some Kenya Wildlife Service rangers spotted an orphan elephant around 6 months old, which they reported to the Keepers at the Voi stockades. Unfortunately the calf ran into some thick bush which made it hard to find. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust helicopter came to help the search from the air, but the little calf just couldn’t be found and the search will continue tomorrow.
The morning was quiet as the orphans exited their stockades for their morning milk bottles, before heading to the lucerne pellet feeding area. A large pride of lions had been seen on a buffalo kill yesterday and the Keepers made sure that when the orphans headed out they steered clear of the pride, keeping the orphans away from the southern side of Msinga Hill.
The search continued for the calf that had been spotted yesterday but sadly there was no sign of it, dead or alive, and we can only hope that it joined up with a wild herd or rejoined its family.
In the afternoon, following the milk feed, Ndotto engaged Ivia the buffalo in a sparring session. Mbegu still seems interested in becoming involved in these games, and followed the two in an effort to join in on the fun, but neither Ndotto nor Ivia made room for her to join. The afternoon browsing session took place on the northern side of Msinga Hill, well away from the lions and the potential threat that they pose to the orphans.
It was a cold and cloudy morning as the orphans exited their stockades to begin their day. The milk dependent babies gathered at the milk feeding area where they downed their milk bottles before joining their older friends at the lucerne pellet feeding area.
Once the morning stockade activities were over, the orphans headed out to the Park ready to begin the days browsing session. Kenia, Ndii, and Ishaq-B spent the entire morning browsing alongside their adopted baby Pika Pika.
Upon arriving at the baobab tree waterhole following the milk feed, Ndii surprised everyone by heading to the water trough to wallow instead of the mud bath! She got into the water and lay down to cover her whole body. Araba and Pika Pika stopped to watch Ndii playing and they seemed amazed with what she was doing.
Mbegu teamed up with Emoli and the two enjoyed playing and dust bathing in a small eroded hole. When they were done Rorogoi came in to play as well before rejoining the orphan herd who were gathering to leave the waterhole and resume their browsing activities.
The morning was cool and clear with the sun rising clearly above the horizon, suggesting that it would be a warm day ahead. Ngilai came out of his stockade and walked right past the lucerne pellet feeding area and headed to where the loose red soil is heaped up for them to play on. He lay down there and soaked up the warmth from the sun. Once the rest of the group was done enjoying the lucerne pellets they headed out to the Park for the day, at which point Ngilai had to get up quickly and run to catch up with them.
Today Ndotto and Mbegu took each other to task in a wonderful sparring session soon after the orphan herd arrived out in the browsing grounds. The morning was spent browsing in single file with Ndotto taking the opportunity to play with Ivia, before the orphan herd headed to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed and mud bath. Once the milk feeding was over the group enjoyed a mud bath in the water hole, before resuming their browsing activities for the afternoon until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
Once the morning milk feed was over the orphan herd all settled to enjoy the lucerne pellet supplement feeding. Embu and Rorogoi enjoyed privately feeding on their pellets away from the rest of the group, while Pika Pika enjoyed rolling around on the loose soil as Ndii stood guard and watched over her. Sagala came to see what Pika Pika was doing but was prevented from getting too close by Ndii.
The orphans left the stockade for the browsing grounds and fed up until about 10:30, when they stopped for a rest and some games. Ngilai, Murit, Godoma and Emoli all teamed up for some pushing and strength testing games before joining their friends so that they could all make their way to the baobab tree waterhole for their noon milk feed.
The orphans only had a brief mud bath at noon as it was a chilly day. Once the mud bath was over, the group enjoyed playing on the loose soil to dry off, before heading off to resume their browsing activities for the afternoon.
It was a nice beginning to the day with the orphan elephants exiting their stockades, excited to begin the day. The milk-dependent orphans downed their milk bottles then joined their older friends for the supplement food, before they all enjoyed a game of hide and seek. This involves them running about the compound and chasing each other! Lasayen enjoyed scratching his bottom against the stockade terrace before all the orphans filed out of the compound to begin their day of browsing. It was funny to watch the orphans walk along and browse in single file!
After browsing for a while the orphans spread out a bit more, with Pika Pika, Ndii, Araba, Kenia and Ishaq-B sticking together as they browsed. When it was nearly time to head to the baobab tree waterhole, Mbegu gathered the whole group together starting with Godoma, and led them to the milk feeding area and then the mud bath. Once the mud bathing activities were over the orphan herd moved to the south of the waterhole to continue browsing there for the afternoon.
The orphan elephants exited their stockades excited to begin their day. The milk dependent orphans rushed to the milk feeding area for their morning milk bottles. Emoli, Sagala and Pika Pika were the first to finish their bottles, after which they joined their older friends for some supplement lucerne. Some of the orphans started some pushing games, like Emoli and Sagala, but their game didn’t last for long as Sagala wanted to hurry up and head out to the bush to browse. Shortly after their game came to an end, all the orphans walked out to begin their day.
After the noon milk feed the orphans enjoyed a mud bath at the baobab tree waterhole where they all enjoyed wallowing in the muddy water. When the other orphans left the waterhole, Pika Pika stayed in as she was not ready to get out just yet. Of course once Araba and Ndii realized that Pika Pika wasn’t finished and hadn’t left the water yet, they changed their plans and instead of following the rest of the group, they enjoyed a scratching session against the baobab tree as they waited for Pika Pika to finish wallowing so that they could escort her to the rest of the herd. Arruba, who also has a soft spot for Pika Pika, headed to the soil mound, making sure to keep an eye on Pika Pika and what she was up to.
In the evening Cheza the buffalo had a lovely time relaxing at the foot of Msinga Hill until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
After the morning milk feed, the stockade dependent orphan elephants hung around the stockade compound for some socializing games before heading out to the Park for the day. Arruba and Murit enjoyed playing on the piles of loose soil, after which the rejoined their friends.
This morning the orphans browsed slowly as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed and mud bath. The orphans had a wonderful mud bath today as they all enjoyed splashing and rolling around in the muddy water. Arruba seemed to be a little annoyed with Mudanda today and while Mudanda was wallowing Arruba pushed her with her tusks, which meant Mudanda quickly got to her feet and moved away so as not to annoy Arruba any further.
After the mud bath the orphans enjoyed drying themselves off on the loose soil. While dust bathing, a wild elephant herd arrived and headed to the water trough for a drink. Sagala, Tamiyoi, Mashariki and Rorogoi were fixated on a tiny calf and they couldn’t take their eyes off it. The calf was firmly kept sandwiched between her family members, making it impossible for the orphans to get anywhere near it. Once the wild herd was done drinking water they headed off, as did the orphans who returned to their browsing activities for the rest of the afternoon. This evening the orphans were given a dose of deworming medicine upon returning the stockades at night.
As soon as the gates of the stockade were opened this morning the orphans came running out, eager to being the day. Once Ngilai finished his milk bottles he went and stood behind his friends looking for an opportunity to steal some of their milk too, but he was prevented from doing so by the Keepers who could see what he was up to and what his intentions were.
The orphans left the stockades for the Park and spent the morning browsing peacefully before making their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon where they had their milk before wallowing in the water hole. Arruba stood watching Ndii and Pika Pika as they rolled around and swam in the water.
After the mud bath Rorogoi enjoyed playing in the small hole that has been eroded there from all the elephants playing in it, and here she enjoyed a small dust bath. When she was done Ishaq-B and Panda came to take a turn, after which the orphan herd headed back to their browsing activities for the rest of the afternoon.
It was a wonderful morning today with orphans enjoying strength testing games around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. Arruba engaged her friend Ndotto in a sparring game while Emoli took on Ngilai, but their games were cut short as the rest of their friends were ready to head out to the Park for the day.
Godoma and Sagala were the first to head out followed by the rest of their friends and they all settled for the morning milk feed until noon, when they headed to the baobab tree waterhole for their milk bottles. While waiting for the milk to arrive Arruba engaged Ndotto in a sparring session. These two have certainly become fast friends which has cheered Arruba up no end, following losing her favourite youngster Pika Pika to Kenia, Ndii and Ishaq-B.
After the mud bath Lasayen enjoyed sparring with Ngilai, who was sitting on the ground, and Ngilai was only too happy to play with Lasayen which seemed to make Ndotto a little jealous as he came in to separate the two.
The afternoon was spent browsing until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
For the early part of the morning the orphans played around the stockade compound following the milk and supplement feeding. The orphans were dewormed a couple of days ago and the deworming medicine had definitely worked as the Keepers noticed worms in the orphans dung this morning.
Later, the orphans left the stockade and headed out to the browsing grounds and settled to feed on the eastern side of Msinga Hill. At noon they headed to the baobab tree waterhole arriving in groups of five for their milk bottles which they finished before making their way to the waterhole for a drink and a mud bath. Ngilai had fun playing on top of the red earth piles before playing on the ground, while Murit had fun playing and relaxing in a trench.
The afternoon was uneventful with the orphans browsing until it was time to head back to the stockades for the night.
It was another lovely day for the orphans who began the day with their usual routine of an early morning milk bottle followed by the lucerne supplement feeding. There were some fun and games around the stockade compound after which the orphan herd took off for the browsing grounds where they spent the morning browsing peacefully.
At noon the orphans arrived at the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk feed before heading down to the mud bath. Ndotto avoided the mud bath to instead enjoy a sparring session with his good friend, the orphan buffalo Ivia. Rorogoi was having a lovely time in the mud bath where she got the opportunity to play with Pika Pika and the two then enjoyed playing in a small hole, while Ndii and Kenia were busy browsing nearby.
When Ndotto was done playing, Ngilai was happy to get the chance to play with Ivia too; he was the first one to begin playing with Ivia after all, but Ndotto has rather hijacked his friendship! Tagwa tried to separate the two but they moved away so as to be able to enjoy a private sparring game, and so they wouldn’t be disturbed by any of the other orphans.
The orphans exited their stockades this morning with the milk dependent babies making a bee line for the milk feeding area where they downed their milk bottles before joining their older friends at the supplement feeding area. Today the orphans were treated to copra cake derived from coconut, as well as lucerne pellets. Mashariki enjoyed a scratching session close to the stockade waterhole while Ndii went to Pika Pika and wouldn’t leave her side, preventing her from playing with any of the other orphans.
The morning was spent browsing slowly along Msinga Hill with the orphans grabbing as much vegetation as they could. There has been very little rain in this part of Tsavo which has seen the vegetation drying up quickly and earlier than usual. This means it’s going to be a very dry season for the orphans as the next rains are not expected until October time.
At the noon mud bath Ndotto enjoyed playing with his good friend Ivia the buffalo, while Mbegu stood by watching them. In the evening, before heading back to the stockades for the night, Ngilai enjoyed a pushing and strength testing game with Emoli.
The orphan elephants were in a happy and jovial mood this morning as the milk-dependent babies finished their milk bottles and all the orphans enjoyed their supplement food. Ndii was in a rather selfish mood today, wanting Pika Pika all to herself, and charging anyone who came close to them. Her bad mood meant all the others made sure to keep a safe distance so as not to upset Ndii.
Today the orphan herd left the stockade compound under the leadership of Sagala, Tagwa and Tamiyoi. They had a busy morning browsing, stopping when it was time to head to the waterhole for the noon milk feed.
It was a chilly day and as such there weren’t many games at the mud bath today. Emoli and Godoma enjoyed a dust bath together before rejoining their friends so that they could all begin the afternoon browsing session.
The orphans exited their stockades this morning ready to being their day and eager to head out to the Park to browse. This morning the herd settled to browse on the rocky side of Msinga Hill having left the stockade compound soon after the milk and supplement feeding was over.
Arruba and Suswa lagged behind the rest of the group today, browsing slowly as they followed their friends who were a short distance ahead of them on Msinga Hill. Mbegu teamed up with Emoli and the two stayed side by side as the group started making their way to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed. Emoli stuck right up against Mbegu, hiding his face behind Mbegu’s ear.
Once the milk dependent babies had finished their milk bottles, the herd headed to the waterhole for a drink and mud bath. To make sure she had a chance today, Mbegu immediately engaged Ivia in a sparring session before Ndotto could have a turn. Rorogoi and Ishaq-B had fun playing on the red earth piles and when they were done they joined the rest of the orphan herd for the afternoon browsing session.
The orphans are very intent on browsing as much as possible at the moment, so they left the stockade compound soon as the milk dependent babies had finished their bottles this morning.
Today Diria the zebra spent the morning feeding close to the Keepers while Ivia and Cheza the buffaloes stuck close to the orphan elephants for most of the morning browsing session.
Pika Pika, Emoli, Sagala, Godoma, Tagwa and Tamiyoi were the first to arrive for the noon milk feed. Once everyone had finished their share of milk, the orphan herd all walked down to the waterhole where they all enjoyed a mud bath and a wallow.
Ndotto engaged Ivia in one of their daily sparring sessions following the mud bath, while Mbegu tried to engage Cheza who wasn’t interested in playing and ran away from Mbegu. It’s interesting to note that only Ivia enjoys these games while Cheza has no interest!
This morning the orphans didn’t play any games in the stockade compound, choosing instead to head out to the Park as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over. Arruba was happy to have the opportunity to enjoy browsing alongside Pika Pika for a while, before Kenia came to take over. The orphan herd scattered across Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session in an effort to eat as much vegetation as they could.
A little before noon the orphan herd made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they had their milk feed before walking the short distance to the waterhole where they enjoyed a mud bath. Ngilai seemed to want to take centre stage at the mud bath today as he wallowed in front of Rorogoi and Pika Pika.
Mbegu left the mud bath to engage Ivia in a sparring game but Ivia was more interested in playing with Ndotto and snuck away from Mbegu to find Ndotto, who was busy dust bathing on the piles of loose earth. Ivia was so happy to play with Ndotto and he was jumping around as they had a lengthy game, which sort of resembles a wrestling come pushing match. He is so careful not to hurt Ndotto with his horns, and at the same time Ndotto is careful with his tusks. It is amazing to watch them play so vigorously and yet so carefully and they never hurt each other.
Instead of playing with his buffalo friend, Ngilai engaged Tagwa in a strength testing game, but Tagwa soon moved away as Ngiali started climbing on her. For the rest of the afternoon the orphans browsed to the west of the waterhole.
This morning the milk dependent babies were rumbling loudly as they exited their stockades, eager for their morning milk bottles. They ran to the milk feeding area where they downed their bottles in record time, before joining their older friends for the supplement feed. When everyone was done they all walked out to the Park for the day.
The morning was spent browsing slowly making sure everyone ate as much vegetation as they could. Kenia, Pika Pika, Ndii, Araba and Ishaq-B browsed in single file, a short distance from one another.
At noon the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where the milk dependent babies had their milk bottles after which the orphans had a lovely time wallowing in the mud bath. Suswa plunged into the water showcasing her wallowing skills before digging up blocks of mud with her tusks. This activity seemed to catch the attention of her friends and it wasn’t long before Tundani and Ngilai knelt down at the water’s edge and copied Suswa by digging at the soil. The rest of the days browsing activities took place to the south of the waterhole.
The milk dependent babies came rushing out of their stockades this morning eager for their morning milk bottles, after which they caught up with their older friends for the lucerne pellets at the feeding trough. There were no games played at the stockade compound today as the orphans were focused on getting to the browsing fields as early as possible to maximize on their browsing time.
Ndotto wasn’t in as much of a rush as the others however, and hung around the stockade compound a little longer than the rest so that he could enjoy scratching against a rock, and later he caught up with his friends who were already busy browsing by the time he reached them.
At noon the orphan herd had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games in the waterhole, where they were joined by a wild elephant herd. Ishaq-B didn’t seem at all interested in the wild elephants and turned her back to them before heading to the soil pile where she kept herself busy playing dust bathing games.
The Keepers spotted a wild teenage female elephant with a little calf about a week old, browsing around the baobab tree waterhole after the wild herd and the orphans had left. The female elephant didn’t seem to show any interest in any of the other wild elephants, nor did she join up with them. We believe the rest of her family must be nearby and she would join up with them again later.
It was a bright morning as the orphans exited their stockades for the milk and supplement feeding. Tundani was browsing along the electric fence while Tagwa stood by the soil pile for a dust bath before heading out to the Park for the day.
Today Sagala led the group away from the stockade compound towards the rocky side of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse. Towards noon the milk van arrived at the baobab tree waterhole and the milk dependent babies came running down for their milk bottles before heading to the waterhole. The orphans all quenched their thirst at the water trough before going to swim in the waterhole. Ndoria and Rorogoi were having such fun splashing around at the edge of the mud bath while Murit played nearby. Ndotto and Ivia had fun sparring out on the open grasslands with neither one showing any interest in wallowing in the water.
In the evening, as the orphans returned to the safety of the stockades for the night, Emoli stopped off at the water trough to have a drink before heading into his stockade. The orphans were all given a second dose of deworming medicine. This was done 12 days after the first dose had been given.
A sunny morning greeted the orphans as they exited their stockades this morning ready to begin the day. After the morning milk feed, Ndotto and Sagala were busy feeding on lucerne pellets while Mbegu and Emoli were having fun enjoying a dust bath. Tundani enjoyed scratching against a rock and when he was done, he continued with his favourite morning activity which is to head over to the electric fence and stretch his trunk carefully through to eat the vegetation which grows on the other side.
Tagwa stood on the soil pile throwing dirt around while Ngilai was busy rolling on the sides of the pile. Ishaq-B was enjoyed a scratching session and when she was done, Pika Pika came in to scratch against the same rock.
The orphans walked out to the Park when they were done with their morning activities in the compound and they concentrated on browsing. Just before noon they walked to the usual milk feeding area for their milk bottles.
Ndotto and Ivia had fun playing and sparring near the waterhole while Ishaq-B was splashing around in the mud bath and Ndii scratched her trunk at the water’s edge. Mbegu rolled around on the ground close to Ndii. Ngilai and Emoli were busy sparring while Panda, Araba and Mbegu all enjoyed a dust bath. Mbegu and Araba continued dust bathing for a while after the rest of the group had left to begin the afternoon browsing session, and the two caught up with everyone only when they were done playing.
Once the milk and lucerne pellet feeding was over this morning the orphans hurriedly made their way out of the stockade compound to the Park to begin the days browsing activities. Cheza, Ivia and Diria followed the orphan elephants and the entire orphan herd all enjoyed browsing together on the grasslands on the northern side of Msinga Hill.
The orphans started walking towards the baobab tree waterhole a little before noon, arriving there in time for the noon milk bottles, after which they had a lot of fun playing and wallowing in the mud bath. While in the water Mbegu enjoyed a quick sparring game with Rorogoi before exiting the water to compete with Ndotto over who was going to be the first to play with Ivia!
Embu enjoyed two mud baths today, entering the first time with the others before coming out for a scratching session against the baobab tree, after which she got back into the water again! It seems she only came out to relieve that itch, but she wasn’t fully done wallowing yet. When she was done scratching Araba and Tundani had a go as well. Godoma was busy rolling around in a small hole trumpeting loudly which caught Emoli’s attention, and the youngster went to play a strength testing game with Godoma. Ndoria rubbed her head against Arruba’s bottom. Worried about upsetting Ndoria, who used to be a tail-biter, Arruba made sure to stay very calm and still until Ndoria was finished and walked away, thankfully without biting Arruba’s tail!
We enjoyed a beautiful sun rise this morning as the milk dependent babies were finishing their morning milk bottles before joining their older friends at the lucerne pellet feeding area. Once the supplement feeding was over, Mbegu dug at the loose red earth and lay down on it to enjoy a dust bath. Ndotto came in to disrupt Mbegu’s game by climbing onto her head, which made her very quickly get to her feet to engage him in a pushing game.
Ngilai then came to the dust bath digging at the soil with his tusks and shoving his face into the ground while pushing his bottom into the air which made for a rather funny scene. This resulted in Emoli leaving Godoma, who he had been playing with, to come and engage Ngilai in a sparring session while Ngilai was on the ground.
Just before leaving for the browsing grounds Tundani knelt on the ground next to the fence line and slowly stretched his trunk through the fence to grab some fresh green grass on the other side. Tundani was very careful not to touch the electric fence wire while reaching for the green grass. Sagala enjoyed scratching her back against a fallen tree trunk before scratching her bottom against a nearby rock.
All the orphans enjoyed their day out in the Park browsing and they very much concentrated on this activity today, without any major distractions.
It was a bright morning today as the orphan elephants assembled at the lucerne pellet feeding after which Tagwa and Sagala led everyone out to browse. Suswa and Tundani brought up the rear while Mashariki headed towards Msinga Hill. The morning hours were spent browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill until it was time to head to the baobab tree waterhole.
At noon the milk dependent babies rushed to the milk feeding area near the waterhole before following behind the others to the mud wallow. Two wild elephants were standing under an acacia tree next to the waterhole watching the orphans as the enjoyed swimming and rolling around mud bathing. Tamiyoi very confidently walked up to the wild elephants to greet them and was joined a few minutes later by some of the orphans. Tundani was standing at the edge of the mud wallow splashing water over himself while Murit enjoyed dust bathing, where he was joined by Emoli and Embu.
Godoma loved having the mud bath to herself and was showcasing her wallowing skills. Emoli came to join her and the two quickly became engaged in a strength testing pushing game in the water. Godoma got so excited that she came charging out of the water, chasing away a wild zebra that was approaching the waterhole for a drink. The orphans resumed their afternoon browsing activities on the open grasslands to the south of the baobab tree.
It was a lovely beginning to the day with the stockade dependent orphan elephants exiting their night quarters for the dependent babies to have their morning milk bottle before joining the older members of the orphan herd for the supplement feeding. Ngilai was in a rush today, running all the way down from the upper stockade to the milk feeding area to catch up with Mbegu’s herd who had not yet finished their milk bottles.
The orphans headed out to the Park, settling to browse in single file before slowly making their way to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed, after which they had a drink of water and headed to the mud bath for a wallow. While playing in the water, a big wild bull and a teenage bull came to join them at the water hole. The older bull started charging at Ivia and Cheza, chasing the two orphan buffalos away from the orphan elephants. The orphans didn’t spend much time with the wild bulls, choosing instead to go and catch up with Ivia and Cheza just as other wild elephants were arriving at the waterhole for a drink of water.
Ishaq-B and Pika Pika had headed off to enjoy a private browsing session, hidden away from the rest of the group. Ndii was not happy about this and went in search of Pika Pika. Upon finding the youngster with Ishaq-B she grabbed Ishaq-B’s tail and bit it, not wanting to let go, despite the Keepers yelling at her to do so. She bit the tail so hard that Ishaq-B lost the tip of her tail, leaving everyone in complete disbelief as to what they had just witnessed! Clearly Ndii is very infatuated with little Pika Pika and wants to be the only one to spend any time with her, but the Keepers sent her away for her bad behaviour before tending to poor Ishaq-B.
This morning was beautifully calm with the birds singing in the trees overhead as the orphan elephants exited their stockades for the youngsters to have their milk bottles, surrounded by the lovely sounds of the bush and the birds around them. After the milk feed the orphans all enjoyed feeding on the lucerne pellets. Pika Pika had fun playing on the red earth pile where she was joined by Araba who stopped feeding on lucerne to keep an eye on the youngster. Pika Pika then went for a scratching session with Araba watching over her the entire time. Kenia came and joined the two, which apparently Ndii didn’t seem to mind, while Mbegu and Ndotto enjoyed a sparring session.
On the way out to the bush, Godoma and Panda stopped at the southern side of Msinga Hill for a scratching session against different rocks, before catching up with their friends. Godoma caught up with Murit who engaged her in a sparring game while Ndotto had fun sparring with Ivia for one of their daily games, with the second one taking place at the waterhole later on following the midday mud bath.
The sun was bright this morning and shone over Tsavo as the orphans headed out to the Park today under the leadership of Tagwa and Tamiyoi. The two elephants were closely followed by Diria, Cheza and Nzuki with the rest of the orphan herd following behind once they were finished with the supplement feeding.
After the noon milk feed, the orphans made their way to the baobab tree waterhole where they encountered five different herds of wild elephants who were coming to quench their thirst at the water trough. The orphans and wild herds all enjoyed drinking side by side. Tamiyoi was very interested in some small wild calves which did not sit well with their brothers and sisters, who tried to chase her away.
Ndoria dove into the mud bath wanting to showcase her wallowing skills to the wild elephants. She was soon joined in the water by Emoli, Godoma, Mashariki, Rorogoi and Murit. Ngilai stayed away from Ivia today not wanting to upset Ndotto and Mbegu who were playing with Ivia on the pile of loose earth. Panda, Mudanda and Lasayen ignored the presence of the wild elephants choosing instead to play in the in the small hole near the mud bath. Kenia, Ndii and Ishaq-B had sandwiched Pika Pika between them to make sure that their adopted baby did not get caught up within the wild herds who could sneak off with her.
Godoma and Rorogoi had fun playing with two teenage wild elephant boys, who were very excited to play with the orphans and wanted to leave with them, following them for a spell and charging at the Keepers who kept their distance to avoid upsetting the wild elephants and keep themselves safe. After a while the wild youngsters returned to their families and walked away.
Once the milk and lucerne pellet feeding was over, Sagala took the lead of the orphan herd out to the Park, stopping at the big upper stockade on the way out for a scratching session before leaving the stockade compound. Suswa remained in the stockade compound feeding on some green acacia branches before catching up with her friends for the morning browsing session.
Upon arriving at the baobab tree waterhole at noon we found numerous wild elephants and zebras coming to drink from the water trough and waterhole. It is becoming very dry in the area so we are seeing lots of animals come to enjoy the water at the mud bath.
Tamiyoi was busy greeting and socializing with the many wild elephants, while Ndii and Tundani enjoyed playing sparring games with some age appropriate wild friends. Ndotto kept himself busy playing with Ivia a short distance away from the orphans and the wild elephants. When Ndotto stopped playing to have a drink from the water trough, Ngilai was thrilled to have the opportunity to play with Ivia. Tamiyoi and Pika Pika tried to leave with the wild elephants but were prevented from doing so by the Keepers as the two are still milk dependent and too young to be part of a wild herd.
It was a wonderful morning for the orphans with Kenia’s herd and the milk dependent babies all meeting up at the feeding trough to enjoy the Lucerne pellet supplements. After the morning feeding was over Ndii went and embraced Pika Pika with her trunk letting the youngster know that she had been missed as Pika Pika has been spending the nights in Mbegu’s stockade. Ishaq-B passed by the two but did not approach them as she is still a little wary of Ndii following the tip of her tail being bitten off a few days ago, however there have been no further incidents and it seems as if Ndii is very sorry for what she did, and the two remain good friends. Ndoria enjoyed a dust bath on the loose soil but none of the other orphans chose to join her.
The orphans spent the morning browsing in single file before visiting the baobab tree waterhole at noon for the milk dependent babies’ milk feed and a wallow in the mud bath. There were five different wild elephant herds at the waterhole today who had come for a drink and the orphans enjoyed interacting with them. Tamiyoi and Sagala went around the wild herds to see how many calves were present that they could play with. Two very friendly wild bulls remained at the waterhole after the others had left as they were watching Mbegu and Ndotto enjoy a sparring session. The two wild bulls then also began sparring in an effort to teach the youngsters some new tactics.
It was the beginning of another day and the orphans followed the usual early morning stockade program of milk and supplement feeding followed by games around the stockade compound. The orphan herd then headed out to the Park for the day and then walked north around the hill for the mornings browsing session. Upon arriving there two lions were hiding in a trench in an effort to ambush the orphan buffalo and zebra but were prevented from doing so by the Keepers who also radioed the stockade for the pickup vehicle to come and help drive the lions away.
At noon the orphans arrived at the baobab tree water hole where they had their milk feed before walking down to the mud bath where Tamiyoi stretched her trunk in greeting towards some wild herds that were coming in for a drink.
After having a drink of water Ndotto and Mbegu engaged in a sparring session while Ngilai took the opportunity to play with Ivia, sitting on his bottom while doing so. Tamiyoi and Sagala enjoyed interacting with the many wild calves that were present at the waterhole today. Sagala even had the opportunity to play with a three week old calf. Tamiyoi tried to play with another young calf but she was pushed away by one of the siblings which caused her to cry out loudly. The Keepers came running to her assistance and this brought a swift end to the waterhole activities and the orphans walked off to continue browsing.
The stockade dependent orphan elephants exited their stockades this morning with the milk dependent babies heading straight to the milk feeding area for their morning milk bottles. Once the feeding was over the orphans enjoyed playing around the compound with Mbegu sitting down to play with Murit while Lasayen engaged Emoli in a sparring session, after which Murit engaged Emoli in a pushing game.
The orphans then left the stockades for the browsing grounds and spent the morning browsing peacefully until it was time to head to the baobab tree waterhole for the noon milk feed and mud bath.
It was a cloudy overcast day and the orphans were reluctant to wallow. Ishaq-B stepped into the water but found it too cold and quickly exited. Ndotto and Ivia enjoyed their usual waterhole sparring session and when the fun and games were over the orphans resumed their browsing activities until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.