Keepers' Diaries, November 2017

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This month we continued to experience the rain showers that forgivingly broke through last month, but these were interspersed with very warm days as the weather would build up to the next rain storm. The orphans had gone some time without mud bathing but the weather couldn’t keep mud bath-lovers like Maktao, Enkesha and Esampu away for long. One day Esampu charged towards a natural pool that some warthogs were using to seek relief from the morning sun, only to occupy it herself for the next few hours with Kuishi and Enkesha. While the others decided it was still not quite warm enough for a mud bath, Maktau decided to jump in from the side and wallow to his heart’s content for the entire visiting hour one morning - he eventually had to be forced out by the Keepers in order to return to the forest! When it did rain the orphans had a very hard time attending the public visit. As they are usually in a hurry for their milk and run to the area holding their delicious meal, they cannot help but slip and slide on the clay soil that becomes a very slippery surface when wet. One day poor Ambo slipped right onto his bottom, but Godoma came to his rescue and they continued to walk down to the mud bath area together. When it begins to rain during the public visit it is a very funny sight to watch the younger orphans try and crowd under the keepers umbrellas, and sometimes those of the visitors as well! With the rain has come new fresh vegetation which the orphans have really been enjoying, after months of chewing on hard branches and stripping bark, they have new fresh, soft leaves to enjoy. Newcomers like Namalok, Sapalan, Maisha and Emoli are very happy with this change in weather, and sometimes partnered with Kauro, Ndotto, Pare, Ndiwa, Mundusi, and Maramoja to browse further afield, in the new grassy areas.

01 November 2017

This morning after the 9am milk bottle feed, lovely Kiasa happily came out of her stockade for the first time and was warmly welcomed by some of the other orphans like Godoma, Maramoja, Tagwa, Malkia, Esampu and Tamiyoi and Malima as well. All the girls were milling around Kiasa all trying to get as close as possible to touch and pat the new little girl. Kiasa walked out with them to the bush, sandwiched between the lovely caring and protective girls. The leader of the herd, Mbegu, could hardly get close, though at one stage she did come over and check on the little girl before she went back to browsing. Still, boys will be boys and when the herd has settled out in the forest Ngilai and Lasayen tried to chase poor Kiasa and climb on her, but they were not able to achieve their goal as the keepers kept a close eye on her and so did the other protective girls in the group. Both were very quickly warned and when Ngiali spent a few minutes browsing next to Kiasa he was quickly pushed away by Maramoja, Godoma and Malkia who drove him away far off into the bushes. Kiasa was very well behaved during the public visit and remained tucked between Godoma, Kuishi, Tamiyoi and Malima throughout.

02 November 2017

Out in the bush this morning all the orphans were browsing on the fresh green vegetation that has grown since the rains started. There were no games this morning, even from the boys who usually enjoy pushing games to test their strength against each other. There was chilly weather this morning with frequent showers which meant none of the orphans dared to go into the mud bath. Some were seen along the rope cordon trying to shelter under people’s umbrella’s! Youngsters like Musiara, Sattao, Emoli, Maisha and even Jotto ran to shelter under the Keepers’ umbrella’s when the rain got very hard. Emoli and Maisha then struggled to find shelter together with one visitor who had an umbrella. As some were searching for shelter from the rain, others like Tamiyoi, Malima, Esampu, Ambo, Murit, Godoma, Kuishi and Enkesha were playing on the soil pile; dusting, rolling and bumping into one another. In the afternoon we received a new young bull from the Tsavo Conservation Area, who had been found in a collapsed state. He was rescued and brought to the Nairobi Nursery by the DSWT helicopter and was immediately put on an IV drip to try and bring him back.

03 November 2017

The new baby has been named Mapia and spent his first day at the Nursery on an IV drip. They do the job though and by 10am Mapia was back on his feet, walking around his stockade and feeding on milk and greens. The weather was very chilly at the beginning of the day due to the heavy showers early in the morning. The orphans were walking through the forest and happily playing in the small streams and puddles they came across. Namalok, Sapalan, Sagalla, Kauro, Pare, Maramoja and Ndotto decided to chase the buffalos that were nearby. Namalok and Sapalan are the oldest orphans in the Nursery to be rescued and were the most courageous. They took charge and scared the buffalos away with their ears spread wide. Kiasa is still doing well and is really enjoying her milk.

04 November 2017

Mapia spent the night well and looked in good condition, enjoying his milk bottle and the greens as well; thus he began the new day looking pretty good. The orphans were in a very playful mood during the public visit and we watched Malima, Tamiyoi, Jotto and Esampu running and charging around, but at what we were not quite sure! As their game reached its climax, Malima and Esampu turned towards the rope cordon and bumped into the visitors standing there, who seemed to enjoy their game. The school children were more afraid and ran back shouting; having never seen an elephant before and now being face to face with one! Esampu then ran over to poor Enkesha and sat on her hard, causing Enkesha to yell out and the keepers came running over to help her.

05 November 2017

As the orphans were walking out to the forest this morning, we watched as Tagwa showed her love and affection for little Sattao. Sattao didn’t want to cross a stream of water and he started yelling as he saw all his friends cross to the other side. His yelling brought Tagwa running back and she carefully walked up beside him and kept close to him so that they could cross the water together. As they were reaching the other side, Tagwa stayed behind Sattao, gently nudging him forwards so that he could do the last bit. When he reached the other side he playfully ran towards his friends, with his adopted mother Tagwa following behind trumpeting with delight at seeing Sattao happy to rejoin his friends. During the public visit today Jotto and Malima were really challenging each other. The keepers tried to separate them but without success. Jotto just head butted the ground in defiance and when he got up Malima came running over to push him. When Jotto’s strength got too much for Malima she would run away from him towards the audience, who would step back and then she would turn and run back to Jotto again! It was very entertaining for all the visitors.

06 November 2017

In the morning around 6am, when the orphans were coming out of their stockades, it began raining really hard. Some of the orphans like Murit, Sana Sana, Emoli, Maisha, Kauro, Ngilai, Tamiyoi, Ambo, Rapa and Tagwa didn’t even want to come out of their stockades to go out into the bush! The keepers had a hard time getting some of the orphans out of their rooms, especially Murit, Kauro, Tagwa and Sana Sana because as soon as the keepers carried on to open more doors, these orphans ran back into their rooms again! It was like a game of hide and seek between the keepers and the orphans this morning. Only Namalok, Sapalan, Sagalla, Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen and a few others were happy to go out into the forest. As some of the orphans avoided the heavy showers, Maxwell on the other hand playfully ran about his stockade, enjoying the rain and rolling in the wet soil. Then he would get up and dig a chunk of soil out with his horn, throwing it up in the air and running around. Maktao is becoming a little trouble maker, especially during the public visiting time. After having his milk bottle he circles around the wheelbarrow holding the bottles and starts to pull them out and drop them on the ground whilst the keepers are busy trying to feed the others. When he was warned away today he began to yell and threaten to push over the wheelbarrow! The keepers then draw him away with an empty milk bottle which he duly follows; he is such a funny boy!

07 November 2017

Mapia woke up today in a state of collapse despite looking a lot better yesterday. He was then treated and put on several differing trips, and an hour later he was much recovered, looking a lot better and browsing on the greens in his stockade. Kauro, Namalok and Sapalan welcomed the new day today be engaging each other in a pushing game, with Kauro taking on Namalok and Sapalan play-charging alongside them, which made them take the game very seriously indeed. Namalok doesn’t hold back whilst Kauro is a gentle and polite boy, and he quietly conceded defeat after Namalok pushed him quite hard. Since both boys are around the same age and height, Namalok was really trying to assert his dominance over Kauro. Namalok is not a bully though and is actually quite shy; he is gentle until provoked. Kiasa is still doing well and loves her milk bottle, trying her hardest to reach the bottle feeding area first when it is her time to feed.

08 November 2017

As the rains continue the bushes are turning greener every day. The orphans are enjoying the soft browse which is a great relief from the dry spell and dry vegetation they have had for the past few months. Newcomers like Namalok, Sapalan, Maisha and Emoli are very happy with this change in weather, and sometimes partner with Kauro, Ndotto, Pare, Ndiwa, Mundusi and sometimes Maramoja to browse further afield, in the new grassy areas. Today the five big boys moved so further afield that Kauro, Sapalan and Namalok did not come back for their 11am milk bottle! Ndotto and Pare managed to have their bottles but Sapalan and Namalok arrived too late and their milk had already been returned to the mixing area. Kauro didn’t come at all, only to show up once the public visit was over!

09 November 2017

After their 6am milk feed the orphans moved off into the forest amid more rain showers this morning. This weather is not as good for the little ones and Maktao and Kiasa stayed in their stockades waiting for the rain to subside a little. The rain paused a few hours later for the 9am milk feed, which was easier for keepers and elephants alike. Kiko accompanied the elephants out into the forest as well and as they walked further in, so did Kiko, taking the lead with the keepers and the front runners like Tagwa, Maisha and Sattao. Suddenly, three giraffes emerged from the thicket. Kiko watched in apprehension as the wild giraffes stood still watching him, wondering who he was. One of the giraffe’s, seemingly a bit younger than Kiko, tried to approach him under the watchful eye of the bigger female. Kiko kept his eyes fixed on the approaching baby giraffe and all of a sudden retreated to where the keepers were standing. The baby giraffe then returned to the others but it didn’t end there. Kiko gathered some courage in the company of Ndotto, Lasayen, Mbegu, Ambo and Musiara, and moved closer to the wild giraffes. He approached slowly, but they did not seem to like the presence of the funny elephants, of which there are no others in Nairobi National Park, so they kept a safe distance away where they watched Kiko walking with his friends. Although Kiko and the wild giraffe’s did not meet properly this time, they exchanged a lot of body language which is very helpful for Kiko’s transition to the wild.

10 November 2017

Just before 6am it started to rain and as the orphans were due to come out it got even harder. Most of the like Murit, Tamyoi, Emoli, Maisha, Maktao, Musiara, Luggard, Enkesha, Sattao, Malima and their tall friend Kiko were reluctant to come out of their rooms. Murit came out of his and swiftly went and hid in Ambo’s stockade hoping the keepers hadn’t spotted him. Unluckily for him they had and he was moved out to join the other orphans who were on their way out to the forest. Malima moved from the back stockades to the front ones in another attempt to dodge the keepers but all in vain. Enkesha is the one who managed to trick the keepers in the end as she moved behind Maxwell’s stockade without being noticed and his in the far pens which are currently housing Ndiwa and Mundusi. As the orphans went deeper into the forest and the keepers warmed themselves with some hot tea, the naughty Enkesha hid herself from the rain in those rooms. When the keepers noticed they had not seen her for awhile they began searching and went back to the stockades to look, but they did not look in those two far rooms and thus thought she was not in the compound. When another keeper went to get an umbrella he eventually found Enkesha as she had begun to complain that she was on her own and not with her friends!

11 November 2017

Today Kiko unexpectedly made his way to the public visit at 11am. This was much to the amazement of the visitors and the amusement of the keepers as Kiko walked into the mud bath area, very majestically and cleverly avoiding slipping on the wet soil. Our tall orphan, despite his tendency to naughty behaviour, was well behaved with the public but made several rounds around the milk wheelbarrow as he attempted to steal a bottle. A keeper tried to lure him away from the mud bath area but without success. Eventually Kiko decided to leave of his own accord and seemingly wanted to make his presence even more known as he walked through the crowd, crossing the lines of visitors and forcing them to make way for him! He moved away into the bushes and fed on the nearby acacia trees.

12 November 2017

Since Mapia’s arrival, Ambo has been very happy with his new neighbour and enjoys the company of his new friend. When the orphans came back in the afternoon for their milk bottle, Ambo drank his in a hurry to quickly engage his neighbour in a game, by touching him through the bars that separated their stockade. Mapia was not happy with Ambo at first, but as the days passed he grew fonder of his neighbour and the two are now often spotted communicating between their rooms. The grass is always greener for our orphans and Ambo often takes advantage of this new friendship to steal greens from Mapia’s side as well. He does this secretly, pulling small branches through and piling them up on his side whilst Mapia is turned away feeding.

13 November 2017

Today was baby Mapia’s first day to join the orphans in the forest. This crucial moment for Mapia came after public visiting. A small group of orphans were brought back to the stockades to accompany Mapia for her first time out to browse. Godoma, Mbegu, Jotto, Ambo, Maisha, Malkia, Tagwa, Malima, Ngilai, Mteto, Tamiyoi, Enkesha, Maramoja, Sana Sana and Murit all came back for the occasion. Mapia was very calm and he joined the other orphans, and as expected the matriarch Mbegu was most receptive to him - hugging and patting him with her trunk. Malkia joined Mbegu in escorting Mapia into the forest. Godoma kept touching the new baby from behind, as Tamiyoi, Jotto and Ambo fought amongst themselves to touch the new baby as well. When this group met up with the other orphans, Ngilai raised his ears and trunk to smell the new one. Ndotto did the same and then all the others took turns in coming to meet their new friend. As the others babies continued to greet Mapia, Rapa as usual was naughty and came over pretending to greet the little one but instead pushed him, causing him to stumble and yell for help. This annoyed Kauro and the big boy pushed his tusks into Rapa, who ran away to avoid further discipline.

14 November 2017

The day started off well with beautiful blue azure skies and no wind. The babies walked happily into the forest, bumping into each other aimlessly with joy and excitement. This mood continued into the morning after the 9am milk feed. Playful boys like Ngilai moved from one place to another in search of a play-mate. Rapa was not interested in playing and pushed Ngilai hard into a nearby tree where he bumped into poor Murit. Ndotto intercepted Rapa as he was charging and squared up to him for some time until Lasayen moved in to back up his best friend. The cheeky boy Rapa backed out of the game, unable to face both of them, and moved into the thicket. All of a sudden, the weather changed, and it started raining heavily, forcing the orphans to seek shelter under the trees and the smaller babies under the keepers’ umbrellas. When it was time for the public visit it was quite tricky as all the paths leading there become very slippery in the rain, making it difficult for the elephants to stay upright and not slip! As the babies came running into the mud bath area for their milk they slipped and slid all over the place; poor Ambo slid and fell on his bottom with his legs in the air, but Godoma, the mini matriarch, came to his aid and the keepers as well, and between them they helped him to stand.

15 November 2017

With the ongoing drought across the whole country, ticks have become a real pest for the orphans and we work hard to control them. The application of coconut oil helps this, but new arrivals like Sapalan, Namalok, Sagalla and the little girl Kiasa are not yet used to this funny and unfamiliar procedure. Normally this application takes place on a Friday but to help control the ticks we decided to apply it today, a Wednesday, as well. The new arrivals were not at all pleased with the process and kept the keepers on their toes running all over the place to avoid the oil. In the end, they got the oil coating as well! Mapia joined the orphans later in the morning today as he is still not that well so he only joins them when they are not browsing too far away. After having his 9am milk feed with the rest of the orphans, he collapsed and was immediately set up on a drip. He got back to his feet later after a little rest and a few drips. Naughty girl Esampu is still being mean to new arrival Kiasa. Today she walked up to Kiasa as she was enjoying some green browse at the mud bath and head butted her heard without warning. It was a big push and Kiasa yelled loudly which brought the attention of Tamiyoi, Godoma, Malima and Jotto. They ran over to Kiasa to help her and find out what happened, but by the time they got there Esampu has already moved away to browse innocently. It was only the keepers who saw was happened and they told Esampu off and moved her away from the herd in punishment. Luggard decided on his own to return early to bed this afternoon around 4.30pm, and the keepers let him stay there before the others returned at 5pm.

16 November 2017

Kiasa hasn’t quite adapted to the daily routine of the Nursery just yet. She is always causing trouble by fighting to get home to the stockades from the forest. She does not seem to be settled out in the field within the herd and this makes it hard for them to make friends. This morning, like some other mornings, Tagwa was trying to keep Kiasa under her care, together with Malkia, but Kiasa kept running up and down dodging the keepers, wanting to go back home. After all the routes were blocked she managed to sneak through the bushes and went to the mud bath area. It is suspected that her love for the milk formula is also something to do with this! Boys will always be boys and it seems that Kauro and Ndotto are out to prove how grown up they are. Everything they go out into the forest they want to be independent. Today when the time for the 3pm milk bottle drew closer, all the orphans moved towards their keepers, but Kauro and Ndotto were nowhere to be seen. The keepers called their names but they did not come, and they decided to move the group towards the mud bath assuming that the two had already gone there. They were not there and both Ndotto and Kauro missed the session. When the others had already gone back to the forest, they showed up to the feeding area and found everyone had already gone. They traced the group and Mbegu saw them approaching from a distance. She walked to greet them and the three decided to browse where they were for the rest of the afternoon. We knew that Kauro was ready for Tsavo, as he had already moved down but had come back to the Nursery due to illness, but it appears Ndotto is growing ready for this next phase as well!

17 November 2017

It was a bright morning for the babies as they came out of their stockades and headed out to the forest. They were all in a happy mood and very playful. Luggard, who has looked a bit dull these past few days, was at his best this morning. He engaged Jotto in a wrestling game and then they enjoyed a game of hide and seek in the bushes. Today Tagwa went back to taking care of Sattao as well. When Tagwa moved away to take care of Maktao, Sattao didn’t seem to mind as he is not the jealous type, and just moved to spend time with Mbegu, when Ambo was not around that is. Whenever we found him with Mbegu he was suckling on her ears. But today he was back under Tagwa’s care which he seemed to be happy with. Back in the stockades, Maxwell was very happy playing with the warthogs in his stockade, chasing them around. Esampu, due to her behaviour recently, has graduated to the older herd during the public visiting time in the hope that the older females will teach her some manners, and discipline her whenever she is about to misbehave. It seemed to work and she was well behaved during visiting today. Whenever she moved around she bumped into the likes of Sapalan, and then Mteto, neither of whom would take any nonsense, so she was forced to comply and behave today. Today Kiko did not seem to want to stay out with the elephants. He kept going out to them, staying a few minutes and then back to the stockades and by the afternoon he decided just to stay in the stockade compound completely and not walk out to join the orphans again. He might have smelt lions around which made him behave like that and want to stay in the safety of the stockades.

18 November 2017

Before 6 o’clock in the morning, Kiko woke up and started pushing on the door of his stable, wanting to come out. The pushing became harder when he started to hear the orphans coming out and the keepers were forced to just let him out then. He went past Musiara’s door where Musiara was just standing waiting for Luggard. When he saw him pass he ran after him trying to charge at him, but Kiko just ignored the tiny elephant. Out in the field Kiko was very comfortable, browsing high in the trees surrounded by the elephants, but Musiara still seemed upset with his presence and kept on trying to charge at him. Kiko continued to ignore him as Musiara is so tiny to him, and so he went on paying him no attention and moving about amongst the herd. Maramoja and Malima took the responsibility of taking care of Kiasa today and made sure that she didn’t sneak away back to the stockades or towards the mud bath. When she attempted to leave, either Maramoja or Malima blocked her and pushed her back towards the herd.

19 November 2017

Ndiwa is one of the orphans that doesn’t like to stay in the same spot the keepers have chosen for them to browse in. She is part of a group that likes to decide when they arrive in the forest, where they will browse. She is mostly accompanied by Mundusi, Sagala, Sapalan, Rapa, Esampu and sometimes Lasayen as well. They usually moved further into the forest and further away from the keepers, looking for their own delicious greens. Today was different however as she woke up with a limp, by either standing on some kind of thorn or by twisting it in the night. Due to this limp in her hind right leg she was unable to accompany her friends and stayed behind with the rest of the herd. With the love and care that our orphans, a family, show for each other, Malkia and Sana Sana seemed to realise her problem and instead of allowing her to browse all on her own, they decided to keep her company the whole day.

20 November 2017

It was a happy day for old buddies Ambo and Jotto. Jotto was the first one out of his stockade this morning, and he proceeded to Maxwell’s gate. Max was still asleep at this stage because he had a long night of sharpening his horn and running around his stockade; since midnight the keepers had heard him doing this. Come 6am he was so exhausted he had decided to go for a nap in his bedroom. Jotto went to his gate to find him for some fun, but when he couldn’t find him there he settled to eat his left over lucerne spilling through the gate instead, whilst he waited for the others to come out. Sattao, Tamiyoi and Emoli came out of their rooms but didn’t join him. Sapalan came to join him but when he arrived, Jotto left. On his way Jotto saw Ambo standing by his door and he ran over to him shaking his head. There was a lot of welcoming and hugging and it appeared Ambo and Jotto were happy to see each other that morning! Sattao ran over to join them too and after their greetings, they decided to engage each other in a wrestling game as everyone else came out of their rooms. Out in the forest Mbegu, Malkia, Ndotto, Ambo, Maramoja and Sana Sana were all crowded around a small bush. Mbegu emerged with a long big branch and it seems to have been a special plant, as she walked away with it and only allowed Ambo to share it with her. Tagwa approached her to share it with them but Mbegu was having none of it! She charged at her and walked away with the branch, so it must have been special indeed for the motherly figure not to even want to share it. Just after 8 in the morning today, a very tiny baby arrived in a helicopter from the Masai Mara. She is very tiny and even smaller than Ndotto when he arrived at the Nursery, and she must be only 2 or 3 days old.

21 November 2017

There is always one remarkable rescue story every year, often more than one! But this little baby that arrived yesterday is truly memorable and she is the smallest baby we have ever seen, let alone rescued. The little girl spent most of her morning on a drip since she arrived, as she had been considered practically dead when she was found in the Masai Mara. Later in the night she seemed to recover from her almost coma like situation and regained some of her memory. She could smell the others orphans around and started calling out for her mother and family. Both Sattao and Emoli, who the little one had been placed between in the stables, were woken when she started yelling. They were very concerned and each one tried to climb their walls to get to her, and put their trunks through the bars to comfort her. She is still not very strong but is looking better this morning. This tiny elephant has a long road ahead full of obstacles and we just hope that she will make it. It has been awhile since the orphans have had a mud bath because of the weather and today was only slightly different. The first group of 15 babies was led by Godoma with Maktao being the youngest. Almost all of them settled to browse on the greens after their milk but then Enkesha and Malima decided to go into the mud pool. They went over to it and after stepping in and testing it with their trunks they decided it was too cold and they went back to browsing. Maktao on the other hand had other ideas and he just walked to the edge of the mud pool and jumped in, wallowing and having the most fun on his own in the mud. He stayed there right until the end of their time and he had to be forced out to leave. Godoma takes her responsibility of the younger group very seriously and when she saw Murit take a branch away from Enkesha that she was enjoying, she didn’t hesitate to go over and take it from him and give it back to Enkesha, before sending Murit away.

22 November 2017

Today Mapia joined the orphans right out in the forest. He interacted so well with the others, mostly with Kuishi, Kiasa, Maisha and Maktao, and he wasn’t bullied by any of the naughty ones either. He was always on Godoma’s mind as well, and she kept coming out of the thicket just to check on him. Sattao’s relationship with Mbegu is growing all the time, although he always faces a challenge with Ambo as he is very protective of Mbegu and her attentions. Today he kept following Mbegu and trying to suckle on her ear, so had to face Ambo several times. At one point, Mbegu had to intervene to control Ambo’s jealousy as he attempted to push Sattao away from Mbegu. Tagwa and Ndiwa are two girls you would not normally find paired up together but today these two decided to wonder off together into the thicket to browse. The keepers found them when they were scared by a herd of impalas and they came running out of the bushes shouting with fright, looking for their friends and the keepers. Malkia, Ndotto, Jotto, Malima and Tamiyoi came running over to ‘save’ them and the duo were very relieved to be back in their company.

23 November 2017

Today there was a pushing game between Kauro and Maramoja which lasted for some time before Kauro surrendered and headed into the bushes to browse. After the 9am feed as the orphans were moving out to browse, Esampu pushed poor Mapia and then ran away from the group as she knew what she had done was naughty. In the bushes, while the rest were busy feeding, Kauro, Mundusi, Rapa, Ndotto and Ndiwa sneaked away from the group and walked some distance away were they settled and started browsing peacefully. As the keepers were having their lunch this afternoon, Musiara charged at some warthogs whilst trumpeting and stamping his feet, attracting the attention of Kuishi and Godoma who came running over. The warthogs had a rough afternoon as the small group chased them around for a very long time.

24 November 2017

The orphans woke up in a happy mood this morning. When Tagwa came out of her room she ran over to the room where the tiny baby from the Mara was. Unfortunately, she found the door closed and she let out a loud rumble in protest. This sound attracted the attention of the other big girls like Mbegu, Malkia, Mteto, Sana Sana and Godoma. They all tried to squeeze through the narrow corridor close to the little babies stable while the other group, headed by the big boys, walked out to the forest. The girls scrambled to see the baby but the keepers escorted them out to the forest with the others. Out in the forest while the others were busy browsing, Enkesha came across a small pool of water and she seemed delighted with her find. She got in and happily splashed her legs with the water before she started wallowing. After some time Jotto joined her and they started fighting until Kusihi came over to separate them.

25 November 2017

The weather looked good when the orphans came out of their stables this morning as it was sunny and warm. The orphans showed their appreciation by enjoying different games; Ngilai and Jotto were busy sizing each other up, while Mbegu played on some loose soil whilst allowing the likes of Ambo, Malima, Tagwa, Kuishi and the big boy Ndotto to roll and slide down her. When the first group of orphans made their way to the mud bath led by Godoma, the weather changed suddenly and it clouded over and started drizzling. All of a sudden there was a thunder clap which sent the orphans running in all directions. They raised their ears in fright and each sought out a keeper for protection. It took the keepers awhile to help them settle again as they had been frightened by the sudden and unexpected sound of the thunder. When the second group came down for once it was Mbegu who we found tricky today! All the orphans know that it is her role to clean up all the spilt milk on the ground, and sometimes from the wheelbarrow as well. Although since Namalok has arrived however, he has never taken the milk from the bottle so his two bottles are poured into the wheelbarrow and he drinks it from there. Mbegu decided to take advantage of Namalok’s shy character and habit of drinking slowly. She pretended to help and drive away all the other naughty orphans who wanted Namalok’s milk, but it was she who ended up drinking almost half of Namalok’s share from the wheelbarrow!

26 November 2017

As usual in the morning some of the orphans went running over to Maxwell’s gate to feed on lucerne pellets. It was a group of young ones including Ambo, Jotto and Tamiyoi who were the first, before they were joined by Kauro. They made way for him because they are afraid of him due to his habit of disciplining them. He took advantage of that and stood across the gate so the others could not have any more, and then Namalok and Sapalan, the other two big elephants in the Nursery, joined him. Before it was public visiting time today, Mapia managed to sneak away to the mud bath area before the milk was there. He refused to return and was only convinced to rejoin his friends in the forest when a keeper used an empty milk bottle to entice him back. Even when he returned he remained very restless and pointed his trunk in the direction of the mud bath. He was only satisfied when it was eventually time for the milk feed!

27 November 2017

It has not been usual these days for the elephants to have a mud bath in the morning and especially before public visiting time, but today proved to be different. After the 9am milk feed and as the orphans were moving out deeper into the forest, Esampu came across some warthogs and charged over to them where they had been laying in a small pool. After the warthogs moved away Esampu got into the small pool and started wallowing, which then attracted the attention of Enkesha and Kusihi. The two girls joined her and stayed rolling around in the mud for some time. Esampu and Kuishi then decided to go and browse, leaving Enkesha enjoying the mud right up until it was visiting time! Ndiwa managed to sneak away from the second group, which is her speciality, and join the first group down at the visiting area, thus she had her milk bottles slightly earlier than usual.

28 November 2017

It was a warm and bright morning so the orphans woke up in a playful mood. Ambo and Jotto met outside their stables and started wrestling. Murit wanted to play with Mteto but she misunderstood and thought that he wanted to fight her. He approached her with a different style and she calmed down a bit and in the end they both enjoyed a pushing game. Maxwell appeared to be very restless this morning and was running up and down his stockade. This started when he heard funny noises coming from the warthogs who had started a fight by his gate. They had come in the early morning to eat the leftover lucerne pellets. Mbegu also heard the noise before she walked out to the forest and she charged over to the gate to chase them away.

29 November 2017

A group of boys including Kauro, Rapa. Ndotto, Lasayen, Sapalan, Namalok and their best friend Sagala spent their morning far away from the others this morning. Today after they had their 9am milk bottle, Kauro led them away and they went in a different direction from where the rest where browsing. As we were monitoring them to quietly see where they went, all of a sudden they came running back yelling as they had seen an eland running for safety. For the rest of the morning they browsed peacefully with the rest of the herd with the keepers as well.

30 November 2017

It was joy and excitement for Kiko this morning when he walked out with the orphans to the forest. He was running up and down and inviting the elephants to play with him, but unfortunately the orphans were not interested in playing with him. The keepers were worried that because he was in this over excitable mood that he would accidentally kick one of the young babies. One of the keepers eventually managed to entice him back to the stockade compound for him to calm down there for a bit! As the elephants were coming down for their milk, as usual Musiara was following behind Luggard who was walking down slowly with his limp. Musiara stopped running like the others and slowed down to walk with Luggard. They exchanged trunks and he put his trunk in Luggard’s mouth and they slowly walked down for their milk together.