Keepers' Diaries, November 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
The rains continue in this part of Tsavo which means a few things for our herds of orphans here. The dependent orphans prefer to mud bath in the shallower natural puddles that form in the bush and along the dirt tracks, as opposed to the main mud wallow, which is now brimming with water. They still visit this area every day for their noon milk bottle but do not necessarily choose to swim in the main mud bath. The warm damp earth after a drizzle of rain is a delight for the orphans to roll around in, and Lemoyian and Shukuru especially enjoying doing so during the month. It also means the Ex Orphans frequent the stockades and mud bath area less often, as there is ample water to be found elsewhere, as well as more vegetation so they are less reliant on the supplements we have provided for all our orphans at the stockades these past few months. It will take a while for the vegetation to recover in the area, and the orphans still spent the majority of their day in search of food to fill their tummies, browsing high in the trees to reach fresh new leaves. We found Dupotto kneeling on the ground one morning collecting up lucerne cubes with her mouth as fast as she could, and both Mutara and Narok’s (Narok, Orwa and Bomani) Ex Orphan herds continued to visit in the morning for lucerne, so these extras still remain a necessary requirement and we will continue to provide them for our dependent orphans and any other visiting elephants.
We did see more of the senior Ex Orphans at the beginning of the month however, including Sunyei and little Siku, Nasalot with Nusu, Kinna and her baby Kama, Galana and Gawa, Wendi and Wiva and all the others, Lualeni, Madiba, Loijuk, Sidai, Ololoo, Kasigau, Challa, Meibai, Naisula, Murka and Kitirua. All the wild born babies looked in excellent health, including new borns Siku and Nusu. The babies stuck close to their mothers and Sunyei was proving to be an especially attentive mother, choosing to bathe her little one outside of the mud bath using her trunk, and so not risk a swim where there was potential for danger, including getting stuck in the thick mud surrounding the pool. Even Ukame one morning chose to try and get out on the wrong, the steep side, and was unsuccessful for some time until she swam to the other side.
Laragai was certainly sending us a message this month as often we would find she had opened the gate for her and her friends Kithaka, Barsilinga, Lemoyian and Garzi, during the night and they would be waiting outside in the compound in the morning. Laragai, Kithaka, Barsilinga and Garzi have been off their milk for some time and are showing signs of wanting to become more independent. We are sure this is why Mutara and Narok’s herds also frequently visit as they want to check up on the orphans and see if any are ready to join them in the bush. Karisa is still too young but because he has tasted life in the wild he thinks he is ready too, and sometimes is very restless, dashing here and there, so the Keepers are kept on their toes keeping an eye on him and making sure he stays with the herd. Shukuru has been with the dependent herd a long time and even she is showing signs of wanting to join up with Narok, sometimes going to look for her herd during the day and leaving the other orphans behind. Olsekki and Enkikwe are their usual bullish selves and play pushing games all day to their hearts content. They are delighted when the Ex Orphans come around and those like Murka accept in teaching them some light wrestling tactics. Olsekki and Boromoko were wrestling one day but this soon turned into a real fight and the Keepers had to intervene so they did not hurt each other. This is all part of the growing up process for our orphans, but our Keepers still have to play ‘Mum’ sometimes and step in when things get out of hand!
On the 14th we found a wild bull limping near the stockades and alerted the DSWT/KWS Tsavo Veterinary Unit to come and attend to him. After the treatment he got up and walked away and we will continue to monitor his progress should he choose to recuperate in the area.
01 November 2017
Wendi, Wiva, Lualeni, Madiba, Loijuk, Sidai, Ololoo, Challa, Meibai, Naisula, Murka and Kitirua joined the juniors for lucerne in the morning. First Lualeni welcomed the juniors out, before rushing in the stockade to check whether there were any leftovers. Shortly later, Naisula, Murka and Kitirua escorted the juniors to the browsing field. Galla had a lone game of rolling on the ground as Olsekki played a pushing game with Sokotei. Olsekki lost the game to Sokotei and decided to approach Murka for a training session. Murka accepted to teach Olsekki some pushing techniques that Olsekki later used on Enkikwe. The playful Lemoyian tried his pushing skills on Kithaka but ended up losing to the naughty Kithaka. Shortly after mud bath time, Sirimon engaged Enkikwe in a strength testing exercise that saw Enkikwe surrender by walking away from Sirimon. Olsekki, who was watching from a distance, stepped forward and challenged Sirimon. Their game ended in a draw.
02 November 2017
Olare’s group in the company of a wild elephant joined the orphans for lucerne in the morning. Soon after sharing lucerne, Olare and her group left while the orphans headed to Kanziku where they settled to browse. It was a morning without much fun as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing and looking forward to the start of rains. Kamok started her day by scratching on nearby rocks while the gentle boy Boromoko engaged Tusuja in a light pushing game that ended abruptly when the naughty Kithaka came and pushed the two boys away. The weather was cloudy and the orphans only drank milk and then some water, and then walked back out to the bush to browse. In the afternoon and part of evening the cloudy sky gave way to 6mm of rain. The cooling effect of the rain made the orphans want to play. Tusuja, Roi, Boromoko, Sirimon, Galla, Naseku, Dupotto, Oltaiyoni and Shukuru had great fun rolling on the ground and smearing themselves with mud.
03 November 2017
The orphans walked down to the lucerne feeding area and met with Madiba and some of the Ex Orphans where they started sharing lucerne. Kamok was scratching on a rock while Lemoyian and Enkikwe enjoyed a play fight. Olsekki and Sirimon, Madiba and Kithaka were also play-fighting. Later the group walked to the bush to browse.
Out in the bush, Lemoyian was playing and rolling on the ground as we enjoyed some drizzle last night and the earth was wet and fun to roll in. The weather was very cool today. After a few minutes, it started raining again and the elephants were very happy and active, with everyone trying to play in the rain. Kamok scratched on a rock for a bit and then all the orphans decided to walk to the mud bath area for their milk. During their usual mud bath time it was raining and no one wanted to play in the mud wallow, but instead they drank milk and then returned to the bush.
It was very wet but the orphans continued to feed to fill up their tummies before they returned home for the night. We recorded 8mm of rainfall today and we still expect more. As it is raining the Ex Orphans appear to have disappeared for the time being, as they usually do when the rains come and they have more access to food and water in the area.
04 November 2017
After the rain last night it was a quiet morning this morning. The orphans are very happy about the weather and are so playful and active. They came straight to the lucerne feeding area after their milk and started feasting straight away. After they were done they all walked out to the bush to browse. Lemoyian and Laragai were climbing on top of the rock in search of fresh vegetation. It was very cool and all the orphans were feeding comfortably in the weather. Kithaka came across a small mud pool all to himself and was busy enjoying it. His other friends, led by Naseku, were playing on the ground as they rolled in the soil. The group later walked towards mud bath for their milk.
As it was so cool no one bothered to play in the mud bath. Some walked to the water trough, drank some water and then walked straight back out to browse. It was cool with a slight wind, which made the orphans not want to play. As they were browsing it began drizzling again and later they made their way back to the stockades in the evening for their milk. Today we recorded only 5mm of rain. It’s cold and wet and no Ex Orphans or wild elephants appeared at the stockade or mud bath today.
05 November 2017
The Ex Orphans from Mutara's group came in the morning to visit. The orphans had finished up with their milk and walked out to enjoy eating their lucerne cubes. The orphans later walked to the bush to browse, leaving the Ex Orphans behind to clear up the cubes.
The orphans were busy browsing in the bush with Karisa and Tusuja enjoying the cold morning. Shukuru was more active and was walking here and there. They came across a small water pool and started playing in it. Enkikwe was splashing water on his back and as he did so it reached all the way back to his friend Boromoko who was standing behind him. Ukame and Sirimon were resting under a tree. Occasionally Sokotei would raise his trunk up to reach the green leaves in the tree. Later on the group walked towards the mud bath.
It was still not very warm at this point but the orphans decided to try the mud hole and swam from one side to the other. The whole group really enjoyed the swimming with Shukuru and Dupotto not being left out. Ukame struggled to get out the wrong side which was very steep and she was unable to get out at first. Boromoko later led the group back out to the bush. Once there we enjoyed watching a play fight between Olsekki and Enkikwe. Enkikwe was being really funny as he was jumping high in the air and fighting almost like a fighting goat. They went on for a dust bath before going back to the bush.
Back in the bush, all the orphans looked happy and active as they browsed. It was quite hot by this stage and they came across a small mud bath and started playing in it. Shukuru was very active and rolled around in the water several times. Laragai led them back home in the evening.
06 November 2017
Mutara’s group visited the stockade again this morning. We think their main intention was to check on the juniors. The juniors had their milk as usual and walked out to the field with no lucerne. Sokotei scratched on a tree before he left for the bush.
Mutara’s group accompanied the orphans out and they stayed with them the whole morning up until mud bath time when the Ex Orphans didn’t join them. The orphans swam vigorously with Boromoko climbing on Naseku. Then they came out and went back to the bush. There were no other wild elephants or animals around this morning. Although we have had rain now it takes time for the vegetation to grow of course, and all the orphans were busy looking for something to eat. Kamok was browsing on the leaves high in a tree, and Galla was busy browsing on some grass. They later came across a small pool of rain water and started playing in it, before walking back to the stockades for the night. Mutara's group came and stayed for a few minutes and then walked back to the bush. There were no other animals and no rain today.
07 November 2017
The orphans happily enjoyed their lucerne cubes this morning without being disturbed by their fellow Ex Orphans. In the bush they were all busy finding food and Tusuja was spotted sipping rain water from a rock with his trunk. Shukuru was busy walking in search of fresh leaves and was being very picky. They came across a pool of water in the bush and started playing. Kithaka browsed high in search of fresh leaves.
At the mud bath, after they had their milk, they were apparently still thirsty and walked straight to the water trough to drink water. Then the orphans went to the mud bath and started swimming. When they were done they all walked back into the trees with Olsekki and Enkikwe enjoying a play fight as they walked along. It was hot and they were standing under some shade. Kithaka scratched his trunk on the trunk of a tree. Kamok and Ukame browsed together. The group later came across a small pool of water again and started playing; Shukuru was the most playful of all. They then walked back to the stockades in the later afternoon. We had no more rain today.
08 November 2017
The orphans had their milk this morning and then feasted on the lucerne cubes laid out before them. Dupotto was kneeling down to collect up all the cubes as fast as she could! Shukuru was busy scratching her bottom. They drank some water from the water trough and then left to browse in the bush.
All the orphans were busy browsing this morning despite the cold weather. Enkikwe started play fighting with Sirimon and mounting on him. Shukuru was searching for some fresh pasture. The group later headed to the mud bath. They drank water and Sunyei came in with her baby Siku, Zurura and Kenze. They only drank water and left. Siku was very active and in good condition. The juniors were very excited and happy to see the baby. They later walked to the bush to browse. After some time browsing they started playing in a puddle they found. Lemoyian was the most playful elephant and was vigorously playing and rolling in the dust in different styles.
There were no Ex Orphans around today and no wild elephants.
09 November 2017
Early in the morning two groups of Ex Orphans, Mutara’s and Narok’s, arrived. They waited for the orphans to have their milk and come out to join them. They all joined together and walked out to the bush. Shukuru was very busy finding some fresh food to eat. After awhile browsing Wendi's group came in with Sunyei with her baby Siku. They were heading to the mud bath and the orphans later joined them to walk there for their noon milk bottle.
At mud bath Rapsu arrived first and Wendi's group came in with Yatta, Yoyo and Yetu, Sunyei and Siku, Nasalot and Nusu, Kinna and Kama, Galana and Gawa, and finally Mulika and Mwende. It was a very big group with only two wild elephants among them. Challa and a wild bull were playing inside the mud bath. Sunyei washed her baby with water outside the mud bath. Rapsu was scratching against a tree. Later the Ex Orphans left whilst the juniors waited for the keepers to have lunch and join them in the bush. It was a very hot and dry afternoon and when the juniors came across a small pool of rain water they started to play and roll in it. They later started their journey back home in the evening.
Mutara's group visited us in the evening. They stayed in some time and later walked back out into the bush. It is still very dry and we are waiting for more rain.
10 November 2017
Early this morning, Yatta’s group came in with Wendi, Kinna, Nasalot, Galana, Mulika and Sunyei with all their babies. Siku stuck to her mum Sunyei whilst Gawa and Kama were also next to their mums. The orphans drank their milk and didn't stay long with the Ex Orphans but walked out to the bush.
Galla was struggling to browse high in the trees in search of food. Olsekki was climbing on Tusuja while Galla and Boromoko enjoyed a play fight. Naseku started leading the group to mud bath with Tusuja. All the juniors walked in and started swimming, with Shukuru in the lead. After they came out and went back to browsing. We saw Lemoyian scratching his trunk on a tree.
Sirimon, Olsekki and Enkikwe were standing under some shade from the hot sun whilst the others browsed. It was very hot and all the orphans went to play in a small water hole in the bush. Shukuru was the most playful and Lemoyian was playing on the ground along the road. Karisa tried to a tree to ground level to reach the leaves to eat. Barsilinga was busy browsing from the tallest branches in the trees. Later the orphans walked back home in the evening for their milk.
11 November 2017
Mutara’s group visited early in the morning and waited for the orphans to come out and join them. They ate the lucerne cubes together and interacted for awhile before walking out to the bush. In the bush, all the orphans were busy browsing despite the dry, hot weather. Olsekki and Siangiki browsed together and Shukuru went to play in the mud before scratching on a tree. Kamok later led the group to the mud bath for their milk.
All the orphans enjoyed playing in the mud bath after their milk. They were all swimming in a line with Dupotto and Kamok leading. Then they came out and slowly walked off into the bush to browse again. Kithaka and Garzi started play fighting and later joined their friends who were already browsing. Roi was playing with some soil whilst Shukuru was searching for fresh food. Olsekki ran towards a water hole and started playing in it. He called all his friends to join him. They all played vigorously with Shukuru rolling around in the mud like a young baby elephant! The group then made their way back home in the evening for their milk. There was no rain today.
12 November 2017
Mutara’s group of Ex Orphans visited the orphans again in the morning to share lucerne with them. Between the Ex Orphans and the dependent, they made sure all the lucerne cubes were collected up between them.
The orphans were all very busy browsing with Garzi and Kithaka browsing high in the trees for the little green leaves. Lemoyian on the other side was scratching on a rock. Other elephants were spread out throughout the bush to browse. Olsekki and Sirimon browsed together while Karisa walked here and there in search of fresh leaves. Ukame looked tired and rested her head on a tree. Dupotto later led the group to mud bath.
The orphans had their milk but did not go in the mud bath. Instead they came across a small water pool from the rain which was a bit warmer, and started playing in it. After, they were all busy browsing again with all of the orphans concentrating on filling their stomachs. Later they found another small pool of rain water and some started playing in it. Later they walked back home in the evening for their milk; Barsilinga, Kithaka, Garzi and Laragai were reluctant to walk at the same pace as others while heading home as they have been weaned off their milk.
Back in the stockade, we had all the Ex Orphans from Yatta’s herd and their babies, except Nasalot and her baby Nusu. They visited the stockade, drank water and hung around for a little while before going back into the Park. There was no rain today.
13 November 2017
The orphans walked down to the lucerne area and started feasting on the lucerne cubes without any interruption from the Ex Orphans today. It was very quiet and they later walked to the water trough to drink water before going out to browse.
Enkikwe and Sokotei started play fighting while Dupotto scratched her belly. Shukuru and Kamok were busy browsing separately. Galla scratched his feet on a bent tree while Karisa was browsing as he scratched his bottom at the same time. Later on, they walked to the mud bath for their milk.
Today the orphans chose to swim in the mud wallow after they had their milk and some water from the water trough. They all enjoyed the bath and then Sunyei’s group arrived with her baby Siku too. They only drank some water before walking out to the bush again, but then Challa came in with a wild bull.
In the bush the orphans met with Ex Orphans from Galana’s herd and they interacted together for some time. Enkikwe left his group and went out in search of water for them to play in. Unfortunately he couldn’t find any small pools today. The orphans continued browsing and later in the evening, they walked back to the stockades. Mutara’s herd arrived at the stockade in the evening and stayed for a short time.
14 November 2017
In the morning Mutara’s group of Ex Orphans visited the stockade to share the lucerne cubes with the dependent orphans. We watched as the orphans had a relaxing morning and Kamok scratched her bottom while Kauro scratched his neck. They all interacted and ate lucerne cubes together. Later the orphans walked out to the bush to browse leaving the Ex Orphans behind.
Sokotei scratched on a termite mound while Lemoyian threw soil in the air. The other orphans were busy browsing and later, Mutara’s herd came to join them again. Karisa seemed rather overexcited for no reason and the other elephants steered clear of him! Kithaka was very busy browsing while Kamok and Boromoko were busy play-fighting.
It was not very hot when the orphans went to the mud bath to have their noon milk bottle, and the elephants went straight to the water trough after their milk and then out to the bush to browse again. They chose not to wallow today. They all browsed until evening.
Today we found a wild bull limping near the stockade and the DSWT/KWS Tsavo vet unit came to treat him. After the treatment he got up and walked away.
15 November 2017
This morning the orphans enjoyed their lucerne cubes without the presence of Ex Orphans. Galla and Olsekki started play fighting while Kamok scratched her bottom. After the cubes, the orphans walked into the bush for browsing.
All the orphans were browsing while Barsilinga browsed and scratched his legs at the same time. Dupotto and Oltaiyoni were busy browsing separately in the bush as they all searched for fresh leaves after some light rain. The group later walked towards the mud bath for their milk. More independent orphans like Barsilinga, Laragai, Kithaka and Garzi stayed behind with a reluctant Karisa as well joining their group; he had already experienced life in the wild and thought that he did not have to go for his milk either. It was not a very hot day as the clouds still lingered in the sky, so the orphans just had their milk, drank some water and then wandered back into the bush.
Lemoyian started play fighting with Sokotei while Kithaka stretched high to reach the fresh green leaves. Lemoyian and Galla were hiding under some shade as they thought it was too hot. Later on, Galla and Barsilinga went to browse together and Mutara's group of Ex Orphans joined them. Ex Orphan Turkwel greeted Siangiki and later the two groups walked back home in the evening. Mutara’s group hung around the stockade for awhile and later walked back to the bush.
16 November 2017
Laragai’s group were in the stockade compound early this morning having opened their gate. Last night, Laragai had attempted to open the gate but she didn't manage. She did succeed this morning though and all her group were outside. She was with Kithaka, Barsilinga, Lemoyian and Garzi. She has done this several times now and it is as if she is saying she wants this group to stay out now! The other orphans came out to feast on the lucerne cubes and independent orphans Orwa, Bomani and Narok came to join them.
In the bush, all the orphans were busy browsing. Barsilinga and Ukame browsed together on the rocks. Whilst the others were busy finding food, Roi was tossing chunks of soil chunks on her back and in the air. Later the group, led by Wanjala, walked to the mud bath. First the orphans went for a drink and then a swim in the water. It was funny to watch them all swim in a line today like soldiers! Then they all came out and Kamok started dust bathing. The group later walked back to the bush to browse. They only managed for a short time until they had to go and seek refuge under some shade from the intense heat. They came out later when it was a little cooler and browsed on their way back to the stockades.
17 November 2017
The orphans ate their lucerne this morning in a hurry. Despite being on their own, they didn’t even finish their supplements before walking out into the bush browse. Barsilinga browsed high in the trees to reach the fresh green leaves. The other orphans were busy browsing on top of the rocks while Shukuru walked further down in search of fresh vegetation. Enkikwe and Olsekki started play fighting and later the herd walked to the mud bath for their milk. Today they had their milk and water and again chose to swim in the mud pool. Kamok and Galla led the group in and they walked straight through and out the other side to walk into the bush to browse, as if walking through a little dip with no time for games! Everyone was busy browsing in the bush and later on, Sokotei and Boromoko started play fighting just as the herd prepared to go back home to the stockades for their milk. Laragai’s group wanted to stay behind and were reluctant to return as they had been off milk for some time, but they still accompanied the dependent orphans home this time.
18 November 2017
Early in the morning around 5am, the Keepers found that Laragai had opened her gate again and let out all of her group including Kithaka, Lemoyian, Garzi, and Barsilinga. They were outside waiting for the other orphans to come out after their milk and join them. They met with Orwa, Bomani, Kilaguni and Chaimu as well who were also outside. Kilaguni started playing and climbing on Orwa. They were all given some lucerne cubes and later the dependent orphans walked out to browse.
Olsekki was playing with his trunk as he walked. Laragai was playing with chunks of soil and threw some in the air. Olsekki went on to play fight with Enkikwe while Kamok scratched on the rocks. Galla browsed together with Dupotto as the group started walking to the mud bath for their milk.
It was slightly over cast today so the orphans had their milk and drank some water and then went back into the bush without swimming today. It started to rain in the afternoon and Kamok was spotted happily playing in the mud with Sokotei. The rest of the orphans were busy browsing except for Tusuja and Lemoyian who were busy playing and rolling in a small mud bath they found. The herd later walked back to the stockade for their bottles and to go to sleep. We recorded only 3mm of rain today.
19 November 2017
The orphans walked down for some lucerne this morning before heading out into the Park. Some walked to the water trough to drink water and later they followed the rest of the herd and the keepers into the bush. Whilst the orphans browsed up and down the hill it started raining again. Orwa, Narok and Bomani joined the group in the bush whilst they searched for food. Kithaka then led the group to the mud bath despite that fact that he doesn't get a milk bottle these days.
After those that have milk finished their bottles, the orphans walked back to the bush because it was still over cast and they did not feel like wallowing. Lemoyian browsed in the trees while Laragai scratched her tummy.
It started to rain again in the afternoon and the orphans became very active, rolling in the wet soil. Sirimon was busy rolling in the mud with his friends, Lemoyian, Sokotei, Kithaka, Tusuja, Olsekki and later Boromoko. Orwa, Narok and Bomani were still with the group. Karisa was running about and was very impatient but we were not sure why. The herd later walked back home in the evening for their milk. We recorded 25mm of rain today. This is the highest amount of rain recorded since the rainy season began.
20 November 2017
It was a very cool morning after we had 30mm of heavy rain last night. The orphans were quietly walking to the lucerne field after their milk as it was very slippery. Barsilinga and Olsekki were sniffing the lucerne cubes when the keepers were walking down to give it to them. They joined up with Kilaguni, Narok and Bomani and they all shared the lucerne together before heading out to the bush.
It was very wet everywhere and all the keepers were getting rained on alongside the elephants. Galla was seen playing in a natural mud pool with Tusuja, rolling around in the mud. Karisa was running here and there again trying to run off into the bush and the keepers were kept on their toes trying to keep him with the herd. Other orphans were busy playing and rolling in the wet soil. Sirimon was play fighting with Galla and later the herd walked to the mud bath for their milk.
At mud bath it was very wet and slippery everywhere. The orphans has their milk and walked straight back to the bush. Narok, Orwa and Bomani were still with the dependent herd. Orwa browsed with Galla while Barsilinga rolled around in some mud close by; later he kneeled down on the ground to reach some fresh grass with his teeth. Later the herd walked back home in the evening. We recorded a total of 35mm of rain today and we did not see any other Ex Orphans around.
21 November 2017
The orphans walked down to the field and met their friends already waiting for them, including Orwa, Narok, Kilaguni, Bomani and Chaimu. They interacted over lucerne cubes and later the dependent orphans started walking out to the bush to browse.
Whilst everyone was busy browsing, Tusuja was rolling on the ground. Sokotei browsed high to reach the fresh green leaves in the tree. Kamok and Ukame later led the group to the mud bath for milk. They didn't stay long as it was cold and no one was interested in swimming. They had some water and walked back to the bush. All the orphans looked happy and active but still rather restless as they searched for enough food. They all stayed together with the Ex Orphans in Narok’s herd and later they all walked back to the stockade compound in the evening.
22 November 2017
In the early morning Laragai was knocking on her stockade gate and eventually she managed to let her group out. By 5 am we found them out with Kilaguni, Chaimu, Narok, Orwa and Bomani, who don’t stay inside as they no longer receive milk. The other orphans later came out after their milk and joined them to feed on lucerne cubes.
When the orphans walked put to browse, Galla was browsing high in the trees while the other elephants were all browsing separately. Some of the orphans later walked towards a small pool of water and started drinking from it. Sokotei was busy browsing separately from all the others. The group later walked towards the mud bath for their milk.
At mud bath it was very hot and the orphans drank water and walked into the mud pool for a swim. It was Ukame who led them out about an hour later to continue browsing. All of them appeared happy and busy in the bush with Olsekki browsing high. He later decided to bend the tree he was browsing from and step on it to bring it closer to the ground and thus easier to feed from! We watched as the other orphans came to join him browse on the same tree. Lemoyian and Wanjala were browsing together in the bush with Barsilinga and other Ex Orphans from Narok’s herd who were still with the group. They later came across a pool of water and started playing in it, rolling and splashing around. Later the dependent herd walked back home in the evening for their milk, and Narok’s group of Ex Orphans accompanied them, where they stayed hanging around the compound. We had no rain today and no other Ex Orphans
23 November 2017
The orphans woke up to heavy rainfall this morning which made the orphans reluctant to leave their stockades even after their milk. They met with Kilaguni, Chaimu, Bomani, Orwa and Narok and they all left for the bush to browse.
In the bush, the keepers tried to make them more active and fully interacted with them in the bush. Olsekki was playing and splashed mud on his body while was Galla busy rolling on the ground. Keepers could interact with eles and makes them more active. Enkikwe was rolling on Naseku while playing. The orphans were much happy with the interaction and they become more active. Shukuru later led the group to the mudbath.
In the mudbath, they drunk water and left back to the bush. They came across a small water hole along the road and started playing in. The group later walked back home in the evening for their milk. We recorded 28mm of rain today and we expect more.
24 November 2017
The orphans came out of their stockades this morning and joined the Ex Orphans to walk out into the bush. Sirimon was enjoying browsing on top of the rocks. Others were browsing very high in the trees for green leaves. Barsilinga, Orwa and Kilaguni were browsing together and Shukuru was very busy and active.
At mud bath it was hot and they all walked to the mud wallow and started wallowing. They all looked active and came out of mud bath straight to the bush to browse again. They all looked busy and active as some played and some browsed. Later they all walked back to the bush to browse with the Ex Orphans Kilaguni, Chaimu and Orwa. There was no rain today.
25 November 2017
The orphans came out of their stockades this morning into the field and were given their lucerne cubes. Lemoyian and Tusuja were communicating in low rumbles and kissing each other as they waited for the cubes.
Out in the bush the orphans were browsing and Galla was sharpening his tusks on a tree before going to sharpen his tusks on a rock. They came across a small pool of water and Siangiki and Roi went to drink from it. Some other orphans came to join them. Siangiki and Sirimon were very playful today. They were running here and there while Enkikwe and Sokotei had a play fight. Later the orphans walked to the mud bath for their milk. It was very cold today with some rain drizzles so no one could be bothered to swim; they walked back to the bush after their milk. They continued to browse while the rain went on and later walked back to the stockades for their milk. We recorded 9mm of rainfall today and no Ex Orphans showed up.
26 November 2017
Today the orphans drank fresh rain water from the rocks they came across in the bush. Tusuja was stretching high to reach fresh food from the trees whilst the other orphans concentrated on the bushes. Oltaiyoni was busy on the other side rolling in the mud! The group started walking towards the mud bath but on the way they came across a water pool and started playing in it.
They eventually made their way to the mud bath but only had their milk. They thought the main mud bath looked very cold so no one played in it.
The orphans went back out to the bush and came across another water pool along the road. This one looked a lot warmer and more inviting so they started playing in this water. They were very active and happy and then went back to browsing right up until they walked back home in the evening for their milk. There were no Ex Orphans in the area again today.
27 November 2017
Enkikwe enjoyed a bottom-scratch whilst eating the lucerne before heading out to the bush this morning with his friends. Later, Bomani, Orwa and Narok came in running for some lucerne cubes too. They were late and found the orphans had already finished most of them.
In the bush, Barsilinga was scratching his neck and behind his ears. Other orphans were busy browsing and sharing food in one place. Roi and Ukame were also browsing together in one area with their trunks touching each other. Others came across a small pool of water and drank from it. Kamok later led the group towards mud bath. On their way, they came across another pool of water again and started playing in it before they reached the main mud wallow.
When the orphans arrived for their milk, Enkikwe ran away with his bottle, holding it by himself. The orphans then had some water and chose to wallow in the main mud pool today. They swam in a straight line which was quite a funny sight, and then all came out in a straight line to walk to the bush for browsing again!
They were all busy browsing in one group, but Shukuru was searching for Narok's group so she could join them, as they had been with them for part of that morning. She was restless, looking for Narok and leaving the rest of the dependent herd behind. She later came back after being unsuccessful in finding the Ex Orphan herd, and joined the orphans and the keepers on their way back to the stockades.
Galana’s herd visited us in the stockade today and drank water her baby Gawa; later they walked off back into the Park. Very late in the evening, Sunyei's herd with baby Siku came and they too drank water before going back into the bush. We were lucky to see these groups of Ex Orphans today as usually when it rains they do not come back to the stockades as much for water.
28 November 2017
Lemoyian and Boromoko were play fighting as the rest watched on this morning. Mutara’s herd visited and Mutara was playing in the compound before they headed back out to the Park. Garzi and Sities started play fighting and then all the orphans walked out to browse.
Tusuja scratched his neck on a tree while Shukuru was very active and playing in the mud. It was so interesting to see them playing and interacting with the Ex Orphans together. Later on, they made their way to the mud bath for their milk.
It was not very hot today and the orphans just had their noon milk bottle before going back out to browse without wallowing. They played for a short while in a small pool they came across, but they were most concerned with browsing and filling up their stomachs. Sirimon was chatting with Lemoyian after their browse. They started playing in the mud again before they made their way back home in the evening.
We were visited by Wendi, Kinna and Mulika with their babies Kama, Wiva and Mwende in the stockades today. They visited this evening, drank some water and left back to the bush.
29 November 2017
This morning we were visited by Galana’s group and her baby Gawa, Nasalot with her baby Nusu and other Ex Orphans. They drank water and left. The dependent orphans came out of their stockades after their milk and interacted with Narok, Orwa and Bomani. A few minutes later, they all walked out to the bush to browse.
Shukuru was the most busy browsing as they interacted with the Ex Orphans from Mutara’s group, who had just joined them. Turkwel, Kasigau and Sities were browsing together in the bush. Kasigau started playing and climbing on Suguta but Suguta started her own game of rolling on the ground. Gala was browsing alone to the side. Some of the orphans visited a small pool and drank water from there, and later the herd walked towards the mud bath for their milk.
They all chose to wallow in the main pool today and then again, formed a line to come straight out and head back out to browse. Everyone was busy browsing and interacting with Ex Orphans. Suguta and Mutara were very happy to stay with the orphans the whole day. Wanjala was kissing Tusuja and later Kamok and Boromoko led the group back home in the evening for their milk. We had no rain today and saw no other Ex Orphans.
30 November 2017
It was a rainy morning today but Ex Orphans Ololoo and Kasigau visited the stockade early this morning and started play fighting. Just as the rain came to an end the orphans came out and joined the Ex Orphans.
Just after the dependent orphans left, Galana and her group with baby Gawa came to drink water and then left again.
It was still drizzling at noon so the orphans did not go in the mud bath after their milk. We did have a strength demonstration however through Olsekki and Boromoko who started play fighting, which then turned into a real fight. The keepers went to intervene when it appeared it was becoming more serious. Then Yatta, Kinna and their babies arrived at the mud bath from the other side. Baby Kama was playing and running here and there trying to charge at the keepers. Yatta and Kinna walked their babies off into the bush however and visited the stockade later on as well.
The orphans went on browsing while Garzi was busy rolling in the mud along the road. Later on, the orphans made their way back home in the evening for their milk. We recorded 8mm of rainfall today.