Keepers' Diaries, November 2015

Voi Reintegration Unit

Although the Orphans’ Stockades at both Ithumba and Umani have experienced good rain, our Voi Stockades have yet to benefit from a good amount of rainfall, although there were a few scattered showers throughout the month. However, cloudy weather conditions presented favourable browsing conditions for the orphans, but sadly the few scattered showers proved insufficient to promote either much re-growth or fill the dried waterholes. Hence our Water Bowser continued to have to top up these drinking places, not only for our own orphans but also for the other wild elephants and resident wildlife as well. The orphans have continued to frequent the waterhole as part of their daily routine due to the lack of rain, and have thus had the opportunity to intermingle with a number of wild herds. Whilst emptying water one day the Bowser (Trailer) tipped over onto its side into a trench, and although it was not seriously damaged, its different position intrigued Lesanju who went over to inspect it, swiftly followed by Mzima who even tried to lift it with his tusks as if to assist the keepers in righting it!

01 November 2015

It was a wonderful morning at 6.30am when the orphan elephants were busy feeding on their share of the delicious copra cake supplement, when Ngulia the orphan zebra came running in as if she were warming up, running behind the feeding elephants. She got no attention from the orphan elephants though and came running back again, even faster and closer to the orphans this time. Layoni and Dabassa got very embarrassed and volunteered to sacrifice their delicious meal to deal with Ngulia by engaging her in a chase game, eliminating her nuisance behaviour once and for all from the elephant herd. However Ngulia counted this as a new game, whilst the two orphans were trying their best at very seriously scaring her away. Ngulia decided not to cross those two again in her running games until the elephants left the stockade compound for the browsing grounds. On arriving at the browsing grounds, Kenia and Ndii separated Taveta, Mzima, Layoni, Dabassa, Kivuko the middle aged orphans and browsed in a separate area from Lesanju, Wasessa, Sinya and Ndii who commanded the following of the young ones including Mudanda, Ndoria, and Bada among others. They all linked up on the way to the water hole at noon where they later browsed in single file after having a lot of fun in the noon mud bath.

02 November 2015

The orphans were in a happy mood, emptying their morning milk bottle and moving off towards the browsing grounds early in the morning. Today Panda followed by Naipoki and Mbirikani were given a nice opportunity to lead the others to the browsing grounds. They lined up in a nearly perfect straight line as they were heading to the field with Layoni nearly destroying their formation when he stopped on the way, wishing to move up the Msinga Hill to browse. Layoni got several head bumps on his buttocks from his friends, forcing him to drop his ambition and move on within the long straight train of the orphans following one another. The orphans visited the middle water hole at half past eleven, with Nelion and Lentili chasing off one another to reach the noon milk bottle first. Lentili produced the best running results as she reached the milk bottle ahead of all of the juniors.

03 November 2015

Ndii drank her morning milk bottle and then moved to demand Naipoki’s milk. She came in bravely and technically pushing away Naipoki from her milk bottle. Naipoki screamed with some milk in her mouth, producing a weird sound that attracted Sinya, Lesanju and Lempaute to come to her rescue, and the keepers came over to give Ndii a warning gesture to stop her mission too. The orphans carried on with their browsing half way up the Msinga Hill, under the direction of Mzima and Mbirikani. Then they came down hill in a sole mission of quenching their thirst, arriving at the water hole at 11:30am. They browsed for the rest of the day close to this middle water pool before Tundani took the lead of taking the milk dependant orphans back to the stockade for the evening.

04 November 2015

It was a cloudy morning with favorable weather for the orphans’ browsing journey. It was cool for all of them, with Wasessa consolidating her energy in embracing her two adopted babies Bada and Mudanda, trying as much as she could to give them equal love and affection. Today Bada felt in paradise when he was offered Wasessa’s ear to suckle soon after arriving at the browsing grounds in the morning. He enjoyed this so much his eyes were closed and it seemed like he was in paradise. Bada’s attachment with Wasessa grew further throughout the day, with him remaining back with Wasessa to return slowly with the seniors later after his friends had run for the noon milk bottle. Kenia took her milk bottle and noticed two remaining ones and went slowly and calmly to request them in a nice and polite manner. The keepers had to slowly move her off as Bada was arriving any minute to drink the milk which would resolve the whole problem of that milk lying around. A wild herd of three big elephants and their two calves came to drink water at the stockade water trough at 10.20am. They went to take a bath in the stockade water hole before moving off.

05 November 2015

Panda and Mbirikani accidentally collided head on in a milk bottle running encounter this morning. Each of them was satisfied that was only a normal accident hence there was no score to sort as a result of the collision. The orphans then engaged in some supplement feeding coupled with games of hide and seek that took a considerable amount of time in the stockade compound. It was nearly 7.30am and Mzima and Taveta had to break up the games as they were late leaving for the browsing grounds, upon noticing that none of the orphans were keen on breaking from their morning games. All the orphans had to stop their games to obey the decision of the two in leading the way for the beginning of the browsing morning. Lesanju and Lempaute then widened their strides to overtake the two boys in the browsing leadership that was welcomed and accepted. The orphans visited the middle water hole at 11.20am, quenching their thirst and only taking a brief bath as it was a fairly cold day. Kenia and Ndii enjoyed leading the orphans from the water hole to some close browsing grounds for a final browsing session of the day.

06 November 2015

The morning has come once again with Bada and Mudanda pitching their tents on either side of their adopted mother Wasessa for the copra cake feeding in the stockade. Ndoria was completely blocked by the two from accessing Wasessa at any point as they were fully in charge of the situation all around her. Lesanju took the lead of everyone towards the browsing grounds around 6.30am; arriving in the water hole a few minutes before 12pm. Ishaq B immediately took charge, taking Mudanda away from the water by softly pushing her out before Wasessa’s arrival. Mudanda mistakenly thought Ishaq B was being a bully and took refuge by going to soil dust with Tundani, Lentili and Nelion who were already out of the water. Lempaute then engaged in a huge campaign of forcefully pushing Sinya into the water for a bath today. Lempaute efforts were then supported by Wasessa who also came in pushing Sinya from the buttocks to drive her into the water for a bath as well. Wasessa made sure she stayed put close to Sinya to ensure she indeed took the intended bath. Kihari became a bathing star today, rolling in the water like a mud fish. Taveta went to hold her with his trunk to cheer her on. Tundani, Lentili and Nelion then took the lead of bringing the others out of the water pool for the final browsing session of the day.

07 November 2015

The morning started well with the orphans arriving in the field at 6.20am for the beginning of their busy routine of the day. Layoni and Dabassa tried a wrestling match to ascertain their position among the orphans bull hierarchy, but this came to an end fairly quickly when their friends moved further afield to browse. Kivuko was seen to have a soft spot for Ndoria, employing her for the better half of the day to browse in her company, solving her loneliness for missing Wasessa who was already occupied by Mudanda and Bada. Their friendship was nurtured even more at the water pool when Kivuko watched over Ndoria as she played games in the water, guarding her from being disturbed by their other playful bathing friends. Ndoria built her trust even more at noon following Kivuko for the rest of the browsing day. Panda and Naipoki enjoyed leading the orphans back to the stockade that afternoon.

08 November 2015

It was a lovely morning and Kivuko came in looking for Ndoria and attached herself to her under the watchful eye of Mudanda and Bada. Kivuko added more salt to the wounds of the two babies when she took Ndoria off to lead the others to the browsing grounds this morning. Kivuko strongly embraced Ndoria in some wonderful browsing ties that didn’t go down well with Mudanda and Bada. A mission for ambushing Ndoria by Bada and Mudanda was then immediately launched. It was at 11.10am when the juniors arrived to drink their noon milk bottle peacefully, and it was here the mission was launched before the arrival of Kivuko. Ndoria was on the receiving end, getting pushed by both Mudanda and Bada after drinking her milk, which made her run off. In the water hole an accident occurred today as two of the water bowzer wheels accidentally moved into a trench in the water hole when reversing to empty water. This caused the water bowzer to turn on its side but left the pulling tractor safe and intact. As the orphans arrived, Lesanju was surprised to see this new turn of events which were unusual to him, and went to the bowzer lying on the ground to inspect it. The next one was Mzima who tried to hold the water bowzer with his little tusks, trying to assist the keepers who were busy trying to get the water bowzer back on its side. Luckily there was no damage caused to the bowzer, but it was left with a few little dents!

09 November 2015

The morning was good with the orphans coming out of their stables as early as 6am, engaging in the normal eating routine before pairing up to play. Sinya was playing with Bada and they spent most of the morning together, both in supplement feeding and drinking water from the stockade water trough. Sinya technically held Bada hostage away from his other play mates in a mission to prevent him from being taken away, especially by Wasessa. The games today involved scratching on various rocky outcrops in the stockade compound. Nelion was scratching the itchy under part of his belly on a rock, with Tundani waiting patiently close by. Lentili came and she was not as patient, pushing Nelion away to take up that scratching position. Tundani peacefully gave way to avoid colliding with Lentili who was determined to stay put on that scratching post. On the other side, Lesanju went scratching her itchy bottom soon after Ndoria had finished scratching her back side. Lempaute then took the lead of taking the others to the browsing grounds thirty minutes later. Kenia got another injection today of her medication after a slight relapse having really improved over the last 2 weeks.

10 November 2015

This morning there was three hours of single file browsing, but Mzima decided to take his own solo browsing direction, leaving the others behind. Tundani attempted to follow him for some browsing company but by the time he was getting close to Mzima it was almost time to go to the water hole for their afternoon milk bottle. He found himself at a cross road between following Mzima and turning back and he resorted to turning back to join his other; making sure he got his fair share of milk was more important than anything else. Mzima went on alone on his browsing tours and joined the rest two hours later. At 4pm, in the evening, a teenage wild elephant bull who was alone came and joined the orphans in browsing. The wild boy was given a lot of attention as the orphans constantly surrounded him, tossing their trunks to tenderly touch and smell him. The wild bull elephant felt almost in paradise, and even followed the orphans for some miles while they were heading back to the stockades for safety that evening.

11 November 2015

A report of an orphan elephant calf that was all alone in a deep natural water hole in the Mzima –Mombasa water pipe line was reported to the KWS customer care staff just as he received a report of the same from a tour driver on a game drive along this site as well. The KWS staff called Joseph from the stockade and the rescue team was mobilized in the early morning together with the veterinary unit driver. On arriving on the rescue site, it was noticed that the orphan elephant calf had fallen into a totally different hole some eight hundred meters from the other one that elephant calves normally fell in. It was successfully rescued and handed to the keepers standing nearby. That water hole was fixed by a donation of fuel to a KWS excavator by the Trust and the sides were graded away so that it was no longer a threat to other elephant babies and wildlife. The desperate orphan elephant calf, who we later named Korongo, responded well on seeing the approaching keepers and moved closer to them for help. He was very tired and exhausted after staying in the hole for the whole night, and went into a deep sleep soon after being loaded onto the pickup. On arrival at the stockades, he was taken to greet Araba who extended a trunk out in greeting. Araba then stopped the greeting to request Korongo’s water bottle, mistaking it for milk. Korongo was air lifted to the Nairobi nursery later in the afternoon.

12 November 2015

It was a wonderful morning filled with the orphan elephant baby games after feeding on their milk and supplement food. Mzima took advantage of his height to bravely pick some very green branches on the other side of the electric fence without catching the electric wire. Naipoki was busy testing her strength against Rombo at that moment in time. Panda secured her best scratching place on an outcropping rock in the stockade. This attracted Lesanju who then came in for a scratch after Panda had moved away. Sinya had a soft spot for Bada today and stayed with him throughout when others were busy playing. She escorted Bada as they left the stockade for the field with Wasessa sticking bumper to bumper with her darling Mudanda. Araba, the orphan elephant in the stockade, is very well socialized with the keepers now but has to stay in for a few more days to completely know and trust them as there are many wild elephants around that could confuse her and she is still too young to be on her own. Ngulia the orphan zebra has become a bit jealous and is following the keepers around who are carrying a milk bottle for Kore, sometimes even attempting to block their entry into Kore’s stable for milk feeding. In the afternoon the orphans browsed in a single file and made their way to the mud bath. A teenage wild elephant boy, almost ten years old, left his herd to briefly join the orphans. Mzima, who was browsing closely with Nelion today, picked him up and they both followed the wild boy briefly but stopped and after awhile returned to join their friends.

13 November 2015

The orphans came running out this morning to take their milk bottles and join their senior friends to feed on copra cake. Today there were no games in the stockade as the orphans focused on leaving for the field to browse. Later the first group of the milk dependant orphans, under the leadership of Lentili and Ndoria, competed in reaching the milk bottle feeding area a few minutes before the arrival of the rest. Ndoria and Nelion plunged into the water afterwards, taking an early bath, and extracting themselves for some alternative soil dusting games when the rest of the orphans arrived. With the bathing activity done, the orphans then teamed up in groups of best friends. It began with Ishaq B in a mud rolling competition with Mudanda. Kihari and Ndii were close by and were competing as well. Ndii came up in a dramatic moment, sucking muddy water with her trunk and splashing it onto Kihari’s head catching her in the eyes, which made her shout. Mzima gave up his bathing games to guard Kihari’s bathing for the rest of the wonderful mud bathing time. The rest of the browsing for the better half of the day went on close to that middle water hole with Naipoki enjoying the lead of taking them back to the stockade that evening.

14 November 2015

Mzima took his recently forgotten friend Nelion together with Dabassa to spend some quality time and browse away from the others after mud bathing at noon today. Layoni also took the opportunity to browse together with Kivuko in a relaxing place. Both these two groups were browsing a considerable distance away and were not in a hurry to head back to the stockade that evening, even when their friends had already left. For their much needed night safety from predators the keepers had to follow them and remind them it was time to call it a day for browsing. Nelion then seemed to remember his evening milk bottle and started rumbling and leading the way back to the stockade. On the way they met and joined the other two, Kivuko and Layoni, and the five arrived at the stockade forty minutes later than the others. Nelion went to enjoy his milk bottle close to the stockade water trough, and later went to join his fellow junior friends in his stable.

15 November 2015

Early in the morning the young milk dependent babies walked out of their stables for their morning milk bottle. Mudanda and Ndoria gulped down their milk very quickly and hung around rumbling for some more as the others were slowly enjoying their delicious milk. They had no option, but join their older friends in the copra cake feeding. There were only brief games in the stockade before Panda and Mbirikani took the lead for the browsing grounds. Kenia ran down for her milk too this morning, and seems to be doing much better; recovering well from what has been ailing her for a couple of weeks. She seems to have responded well to all her prescribed injections that were sent from Nairobi. In a wonderful noon mud bath today, Bada lay down next to Sinya to enjoy some bathing games together. Sinya on the other hand, thought that Bada’s games were provoking and lifted her feet and almost trying to step on Bada’s face. Bada gave out a huge fake cry to attract the attention of Wasessa and Lempaute. Bada then surprisingly picked up a dry stick that was in the water, tossed it around and slapped Sinya on her feet. He went forward, keeping the stick for later and any eventuality that he might arise where he should need to guard himself. Mzima, who had promoted himself to peace keeper of the water pool, forced himself between the two ladies and instilled some peace. The rest of the browsing day went well.

16 November 2015

It was a cloudy and rainy morning as the orphans walked out of their stables for their milk bottle. Today Bada and Ndoria were the first to come out, and quickly took their rightful positions gulping down their delicious milk bottles. Mudanda and Lentili then followed, but Tundani and Nelion held themselves back in their stable before joining the others in feeding on copra cake. Mbirikani and Panda stood greeting Araba by trunk touching, before proceeding for milk bottle feeding, but not before Mbirikani stole a green grewia branch from Araba’s stable and feasted on it as she went to top it up with some milk. The orphans then gathered to all eat the lucerne grass before following behind Naipoki and Kihari towards the browsing grounds. Afternoon came fast and there was further action at the noon mud bath when Kivuko and Panda engaged each other in a very friendly bathing competition. Mzima and Taveta went to show case their test of strength in a pushing game. Mbirikani and Mudanda enjoyed some soil dusting games on the steep walls of the middle water pool. Later this afternoon, Nelion moved alone in browsing and got left behind when the others took off for the stockade. The keepers called him to join the rest in the much needed stockade safety that evening.

17 November 2015

After milk and supplement feeding, all the orphans walked fast and assembled around the stockade water trough to quench their thirst. Mbirikani and Tundani enjoyed buttock scratching games on the close by rocks. The journey to the bush then started in earnest under the careful leadership of Lempaute and they had a marvelous browsing session for the better half of the day. The milk dependant orphans went for milk feeding in three bunches with Nelion, Ndoria, Tundani, Lentili and Bada coming first with the others following in close intervals. Mbirikani afterwards plunged into the plentiful water and started swimming in sheer ecstasy. Her games attracted a huge crowd of spectators. Naipoki got very jealous and went into the water and hit Mbirikani in the back with her sharp little tusks. This saw Lesanju move in to her rescue and she safely escorted Mbirikani out of the water, saluting the beginning of a final browsing session of the day which was peaceful and carried on close to that water pool.

18 November 2015

There was a big blessing last night in the form of a heavy rainstorm, and the orphans came out of their respective stables in a happy playful mood. After all the milk and supplement feeding Ndoria, Nelion and Lempaute took a wise decision of leading the others to the browsing grounds when they noticed the games in the stockade were taking too long. After some four hours of undisturbed browsing, Tundani went down to warm himself up by digging some soil and throwing it on himself. Then came Bada and Nelion who engaged each other in a wonderful and friendly test of strength ‘pushing game’. Sinya mistakenly thought it was a fight and soon came over to stop that fight, but quickly noticed it was a friendly match and hence resolved to continue browsing not far away. Nelion became tired of that game and employed some funny tactics of kneeling on his front legs to scare off his opponent Bada but all in vain. He then surrendered to Bada who rewarded himself but trying to climb on Nelion’s back. The orphans went to the middle water hole at noon to drink milk and water, but decided not to take a bath that day. The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well with Lentili enjoying the lead of taking the milk dependant orphans back to the stockade that evening.

19 November 2015

It was a fantastic morning with the orphans teaming up in pairs of favorites and indulging in browsing as soon after they set foot in the browsing grounds. Sinya had decided to take on Ndoria for browsing company for most of the day. Wasessa took Mudanda to a private browsing place away from the rest, leaving Bada lifting his trunk skyward smelling and trying to locate them. He was finally successful and reunited with them in that great browsing event of that day. Lentili and Nelion paired up in the same way and Kihari enjoyed browsing with her long time friend Naipoki. Rombo chose Ishaq B for that much needed browsing company. The senior ladies Lesanju and Lempaute took the rest in a single file browsing session, rubbishing all those small groupings. The orphans then all went to the middle water pool to obey their thirst but didn’t take any meaningful bath as it was cold. They then marched off to browse towards the park air strip where they peacefully ended their browsing day before moving to the stockade that evening.

20 November 2015

It was a cold morning with the orphans only engaging in some brief games in the stockade before heading to the field. At the water hole at noon, after the milk dependent orphans had drunk their afternoon milk bottle, Ndoria and Nelion took a very bold decision of plunging into the cold water to sample the temperature of the water. They had watched their friends only move round and around the water pool, realizing that they might need to test the water to find its temperature in reality. Ndoria delivered these results to Taveta, who without wasting time marched away from the water pool to resume browsing. On the other side, Nelion delivered the same results to Ndii who was curiously waiting to plunge into the water to join her. Only Mzima did a different test by drawing water in his trunk and sampling it before pouring it back into the water. It was also very nice of him not to waste the water but to put it back into the water hole! The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well close to that water pool until evening when they followed behind Kihari to the stockades for grewia branches, other supplements food and safety.

21 November 2015

Tundani was left behind by the others moving out the stockade towards the field as he remained back to rub his itchy behind on the outcropping rock builder. He later marched to join his friends at the foot of Msinga Hill in that crucial browsing session of the day. Tundani blew in a trumpet blast to announce his arrival in the elephant herd, where he was received rather casually, but the most imperative thing is that he was among them in that crucial browsing journey even if they ignored his entry into the orphan herd. The rest of the day’s routine was followed to the letter.

22 November 2015

The orphans walked out of the stockade in the morning amid light rain showers. Kenia seemed to have made a full recovery when she accepted to lead the other orphans to move towards the browsing grounds. On arriving in the field, it was serious browsing business away from games for the better half of the day. The main activity of the day was in the mud bathing game, when Mbirikani took the advantage of others not going into the cold water to swim along and shine in the event. This matter became of a particularly grave concern to Ndii who ignored the cold temperature of the water and moved in to bully Mbirikani from enjoying all the attention and fun, and expel her from the water, even after some tough intervention from the keeper’s. Mbirikani got Lempaute as security as she went to stand guard next to her for her dusting games, which was quite an embarrassment for Ndii. On another occasion, Nelion also tried to expel Ndoria from shinning in a dusting spree. Panda and Lesanju stood guard next to Bada who was bathing and proving to be the most famous and best performer of the day. The rest of the browsing went on in a peaceful way throughout the remaining half of the day.

23 November 2015

Wasessa picked up her favorite adopted babies Mudanda and Bada and led them towards the browsing grounds at 6.45am. She kept a close browsing tie with her adopted babies until the afternoon when they left her behind to head for their milk bottle, where she joined them at the main water pool a short while later. The weather was fairly cold and the orphans were not willing to move into the water for a bath. Kihari went and stood with great curiosity and take on some crucial dusting tips from Panda who was lying and rolling in the dust. Lesanju went on the opposite side and attracted the attention of Lentili and Ishaq B who were also busy taking in some dusting tips. Lentili secured enough tips and went to roll behind Lesanju, perfecting the new techniques she had just learnt. The final browsing session of this day kicked off there before they walked back to the stockade for the evening.

24 November 2015

It was a wonderful morning today with Ngulia, the orphan Zebra, dropping her usual jealousy of Kore the orphan eland and instead deciding to befriend her; she happily took her around the stockade compound exploring and grazing together. Kore also appreciated her new resident friend’s approach and felt very happy running and jumping around with her. The two returned back to the stable at noon, with Ngulia forcing her way into Kore’s stable where they peacefully shared some nice green branches together, brought in by the keepers. Kore, who gets milk every three hours, was brought a milk bottle with Ngulia coming in and demanding for the same. The keepers blocked Ngulia to give Kore a peaceful opportunity to enjoy her milk bottle.

25 November 2015

The morning has come once again with the orphans welcoming it in a happy mood and carrying on with their usual milk and supplement feeding before moving towards the northern side of Msinga Hill to browse. Today Mzima was the lead who took everyone uphill in browsing, while the rest of the orphans stopped half way on the hill to enjoy their greens. After an hour of browsing in those early hours of the morning, an unusually big herd of elephants was seen approaching from the northern side of Msinga Hill from the Voi River. After the herd got closer it was apparent it was the famous ‘Emily herd’ that had gone missing for more than six months. We are sure this is one of the biggest herds in the whole Tsavo conservation area. After a careful inspection of the herd, a sweet tiny, male calf of nearly two weeks old was noticed with its mother being Sweet Sally, who used to be a nanny of Emily’s calf Emma. This was the greatest Christmas present and the fact that all the ex-orphans were healthy and without injuries even after being out of the stockade surrounding for several months. Today they did not link up with the stockade dependant orphans as they were already uphill browsing.

26 November 2015

Another morning has come and Lesanju had some elephant instincts that something was happening, and only held her herd briefly in the stockade before leading them out to the bush for browsing. After one hour in came the whole of Emily’s herd, with three wild elephant bulls of their age among them. It was noticed that one wild boy was guarding Sweet Sally’s baby with Seraa, Mweya and Thoma still guarding Emma and Eden. One wild boy had his trunk cut half way up, probably by a wire snare, but the wound had completely healed up leaving him with the look of a half trunk. They all enjoyed gulping down clean water in the stockade trough, and left half an hour later after feeding on the copra cake as well. On careful follow up of that herd in the wild, the story remained the same; the same wild elephant boy was the nanny to Sally’s calf with the tiny one trusting the bull very much and occasionally following him. They never linked up with Lesanju’s herd for today, as they left the stockade in totally different browsing directions.

27 November 2015

It was fairly cold this morning when the orphans came out of their respective stables in happy mood, carrying on with their milk and copra cake feeding. Soon after, Lesanju was surprised to see Emily’s herd coming into the stockade, and tried to leave on the opposite side to avoid them without a greeting. Kivuko went to greet them briefly, before moving ahead to play a wrestling match with ex-orphan Seraa. Eve went behind Kivuko, closing her from behind to make sure she didn’t escape or surrender from the pushing game. Kivuko left the game to join her friends on the far southern side of Msinga Hill, travelling all round the hill to arrive at the big water hole at 1pm. This was all in an effort to avoid Emily’s herd, and not minding the distance travelled to avoid this meeting with such a large herd of elephants. Back in the stockade, Sweet Sally got a very rare chance to breast feed her little calf we have called Safi, as the wild elephant bull guarding him was busy drinking water. The ex-orphans were still in company of the two wild bulls, including the one with the chopped trunk. Upon following the ex-orphan herd in the field, it was noticed that the same wild elephant bull with thin long tusks was the main guard for little Safi, while the other bull with a chopped trunk was in love and guarding Emma. They had recruited a third wild elephant bull, but he didn’t have any main role or responsibility for the little ones in Emily’s herd.

28 November 2015

It was a wonderful morning once again with the orphans coming out and engaging in their daily routine of milk feeding for the milk dependant orphans, before they join their senior friends in feeding on the supplements of copra cake and lucerne grass. Lesanju then sensed the possible arrival of the ex-orphan herd and hence marched out of the stockade. Half an hour after their departure, Lesanju’s instincts played right as two ex-orphan boys Morani and Laikipia arrived at the stockade. The two assembled behind the electric wire fence and requested for a share of the sweet copra cake, which was given to them with great honor. The rest of the Emily’s herd did not turn up to the stockade today, and the two bulls left out of the northern side of the stockade where other members of Emily’s herd were believed to be browsing. Lesanju’s herd carried on with their usual daily routine without meeting with the ex-orphan herd for the whole of the day.

29 November 2015

It was a nice morning with the orphans coming out of their stable as early as 6am, downloading their milk bottle and settling upon the copra cake. Lesanju became extra excited to find out that the ex-orphan herd had not come thus safeguarding her leadership role of her orphan fraternity. Lesanju could obviously not hide her joy as she went rolling in some dusting games. Mzima could not believe his eyes that Lesanju was so happy, and joyfully went down to play with her. They later came up heading to the browsing grounds under the careful leadership of Ndii and Kenia. The orphans had a perfect browsing moment for the better half of the day and went for the first time to visit the big water hole that had plenty of water for a bath. Kenia enjoyed the bath a lot, submerging her whole body in water, leaving just her small eyes and her trunk out of the water as a snorkel. Nelion took a quick bath and came to stand on the water’s edge, engaging others in a pushing game. He first took on Tundani, and then after Ishaq B for the same game. Rombo tossed his trunk skyward in shear happiness with the bathing game. Mbirikani secured her small water pool after coming out of the main water hole, with Lempaute moving in to join her in bathing. Later in the day an orphan baby Coke’s Hartebeest (that was named Kasigau) of almost one week old was brought in to the stockade by the KWS rangers. The orphan came into a village in Kasigau and was taken in by a resident who stayed with her for two days before calling the KWS rangers who picked her up and brought her to the keepers in the Voi stockade.

30 November 2015

It was a nice moment for Ngulia and Kore who were peeping between the chain link fence watching the new arrival Kasigau in her stable, as she was taking her milk bottle and her routine injection. This new little family in the stables complex are happy and healthy – looking quite fat due to their fair share of milk and green branches. Ngulia, the orphan zebra, likes coming back to the stables for lucerne grass which she favors the most, and chews on it for nearly the whole day, pulling Kore the orphan eland back to the stables as well. Kore’s hair that was falling out around her abdomen area has started regenerating after a veterinary injection and she is happy and growing up fast. The orphan elephants today went up Msinga Hill above Malaika House to browse for the better half of the day. The juniors came down at noon, taking their milk bottle right in the stockade area. For the first time today, Araba came out of her taming stable to take her milk with the others and mix freely among them. Ndii was seen to have a soft spot for Araba, taking her and introducing her to the stockade water hole for a bath. Ndii constantly followed Araba, giving her some protection from Mudanda who became a little jealous and was occasionally pushing her. They then left for browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill with Ishaq B seen embracing Araba in browsing. The senior members of Lesanju’s herd didn’t really interact with Araba as they browsed in a different area for the remaining half of the day.