Keepers' Diaries, November 2019

Ithumba Reintegration Unit

The arrival of the weaver birds shrieking and busily making their nests is always a good barometer that the rains are on their way – they have never failed being nature’s reliable messenger in this regard and sure enough the short rains arrived early in October and continued throughout November too. Soon the main mud bath area where the orphans have their noon milk feed was overflowing with crystal water, a change from the heavily mudded soup of the dry season. On very hot days, in between the showers when the skys were clear, this huge dam has made for the perfect swimming pool for the Ithumba dependent orphans who relished a proper ‘swim’ submerged with just their trunks as snorkels, playing, slapping and rolling around in the water whilst also trying to climb on one another, using the advantage of their friends floating along in the water to do so.  

01 November 2019

Soon after leaving the stockade, the orphans briefly settled for some Lucerne pellets before being led away out to browse by Karisa. Mid-way, an unidentified sound scared the orphans. They all turned back to their Keepers but Karisa remained undeterred and continued with his journey. The Keepers assured the orphans all was well and turned back again to follow the street wise boy Karisa. Kauro lagged behind scratching and later followed his friends. Mteto took a break from browsing to have fun rolling on the ground. Her game attracted Roi, Namalok, Tusuja, Sapalan and Mundusi. 

At mud bath time, Naseku led the first group while Ukame led the second one. The sun was hot and as soon as the orphans had their milk and some water too, it was their time to enjoy a cooling-off exercise by jumping into the now full to the brim mud-bath, thanks to all the good rain we have received over the last few days that has filled up the mud bath. In the afternoon, Maramoja took a break from feeding to relax under a tree and at the same time, decided to scratch against it. Siangiki teamed up with Oltaiyoni to browse as Enkikwe settled to browse with Kamok. In the evening, the orphans returned back safely to the stockades with Barsilinga and Garzi showing up an hour after their friends had returned home. 

02 November 2019

Kauro and Wanjala decided to have a warm-up exercise in the morning by having a pushing game as they waited for their milk bottles. Soon after having her milk, Sana Sana settled to scratch on the stockade water trough as she waited for the Keepers to open the gates. Mundusi wasn't left behind either as he decided to lie down in a morning stretch exercise. The orphans settled for Lucerne pellets soon after the gates opened and shortly later Karisa led the way out to browse. Sapalan had a brief strength testing exercise with Galla that ended soon when Galla decided to quit. 

It's slowly turning green and the rains appear to have taken a break. The orphans enjoyed feeding on soft vegetation as Namalok and Esampu climbed on rocks to make themselves taller in order to reach the high soft leaves on the tall trees. Later Esampu and Ambo came across a small pool of water and had an early mud bath. Naseku led the first group to the main mud bath while Tusuja led the second one. The temperature was high and so the orphans had a spectacular wallow soon after having their milk. In the afternoon, the Ithumba orphans settled to browse west of the Ithumba Hill and mostly concentrated on browsing throughout the remaining part of the day. 

03 November 2019

Soon after having her morning milk, Esampu decided to have a morning stretch exercise by sitting down and stretching her trunk up. The gates were opened and the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from stockades, settled for Lucerne pellets and shortly after, left for browsing. The orphans settled on hilly terrain behind the stockade where Galla had fun by rolling on the ground. His game attracted Kuishi, Malima and Mapia. Zurura showed up at mud bath minutes before the orphans arrived and waited. He decided to keep himself busy by wallowing. As soon as the orphans arrived, Zurura welcomed them into the mud bath and they all had fun together before parting ways. In the afternoon, Turkwel, Garzi, Kithaka and Lemoyian parted ways with their friends for nearly three hours then joined them on the way back to the stockade. 

04 November 2019

Zurura visited the stockade in the morning. Soon when the orphans were let out, he joined them to feed on lucerne pellets. The orphans surrounded Zurura as they admired his size and his tusks. When they had finished the pellets, the orphans headed to Kone area, a place they have not been for a while. Namalok, Olsekki, Maramoja and Malima came across a small pool of rain water and decided to have a drink. Sana Sana started a soil dusting exercise that attracted Wanjala and Kuishi. In the afternoon, the sun was getting hot and this prompted Kuishi and Malima to seek shelter under some trees that had good shade. Ambo remained unbothered as he continued to browse under the hot sun. In the evening on the way back to the stockade, the temperature was still high and orphans passed Kone dam which is full of water and had spectacular evening wallow. Later, when they felt that they had done enough, the orphans then walked back to the stockade. 

05 November 2019

Sapalan led the way out soon after having his milk. He was followed by Sana Sana and Malima. The orphans settled to have their pellets and shortly later, Sana Sana rumbled informing her friends that they should be on their way out to browse. The orphans started browsing close to the stockade as they headed towards Kone area. Ambo teamed up with Galla to feed on the same shrub while Malima found a suitable rock that she used to scratch her belly on. 

As the day progressed, the orphans arrived at Kone dam where they helped themselves to some water before resuming browsing. Kauro and Olsekki settled for soil bathing while Galla stretched out on the ground. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill. The sun was getting hot and the orphans decided to take break from feeding to relax under a tree. 

In the evening when the Keepers where gathering the orphans to take them back to the stockade, Maramoja, Wanjala and Kauro were missing. The rest of the group headed back to the stockade by going via the mud bath for an evening cooling-off exercise while some of the other Keepers searched for the missing three. After half an hour search, the trio were found a kilometre away from where the rest were feeding. Wanjala, Maramoja and Kauro turned quickly and started walking back to the stockade when they saw the Keepers looking for them.

06 November 2019

The sky was clear in the morning. Mundusi and Esampu had a light strength testing exercise soon after having their morning milk. The gates were opened and the orphans settled for lucerne pellets before heading out for the day. Galla found a suitable rock that he used to scratch his neck on as Ndiwa stood close by waiting to use the same rock. Olsekki passed by Kone dam and helped himself to some rain water. The orphans concentrated on browsing up to mud bath time when Kuishi led Esampu and Jotto in the first group for their midday milk feed. The sun was hot and immediately after taking their milk, the orphans jumped into the water for a cooling-off exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled west of Ithumba Hill and browsed calmly for the rest of the day. In the evening, the sun was still hot and the orphans passed by the mud bath again, followed by soil dusting. Tomboi passed by and had some water before walking away. 

07 November 2019

It was a chilly morning when the orphans left the stockade. Mist covered half of Ithumba Hill as the orphans briefly settled for lucerne pellets. Shortly later, Karisa led the way out. Kamok had a private time feeding away from the others while Roi settled to browse with Enkikwe. Shortly later, it started drizzling and the orphans were happy to play on the damp soil. Sana Sana, Wanjala, Malkia, Mapia and Ndiwa had a good time rolling on the ground. When they were through with their rolling games, Wanjala attempted to bully Ambo but was cautioned by the Keepers to stop his bad behaviour. 

Ndiwa led the first group to the mud bath for the midday milk. Soon after the babies had their milk, Mapia led the team to have a swim. Mapia led them all the way through and was the first one to come out the other side. The afternoon temperature was moderate and the orphans browsed calmly up to evening when they passed by the mud bath for another evening cool-off. 

08 November 2019

Lemoyian and Garzi kept themselves busy by having a pushing game in the stockade while waiting for the gates to be opened. Mundusi rolled on the ground as Mteto took an advantage of leaning and scratching on Mundusi. Shortly before the gates were opened for the orphans to come out, a teenager wild bull passed by heading east. The teenager wild bull stopped some four hundred metres from the stockade and appeared to be communicating with the orphans, requesting their company for the day. 

Kamok lagged behind and followed her friends out later. The teenager wild bull joined the orphans at Kone area and spent the entire morning feeding with them. Sapalan settled to feed with Siangiki while Barsilinga teamed up with Turkwel. The wild bull browsed with the orphans until mud bath time when he left them. In the afternoon, the sun was getting hot and this prompted the orphans to take a break from feeding and relax under a tree. In the evening, Mundusi had a strength testing exercise with Tusuja but ended up losing. Late in the evening when the orphans had already returned back to the stockades, Galana, Gawa, Loijuk, baby Lili, Lenana, Makireti, Kilabasi, Teleki, Makena, Sunyei and Siku and Ithumbah showed up after being away for some time and it was lovely to see them. 

09 November 2019

The sky was clear with no cloud cover when the orphans were let out this morning. The orphans briefly settled for their morning pellets as they were in a hurry to get out to the bush for the fresh vegetation. Though the sun kept beating down, the orphans weren't bothered by the heat and kept on enjoying the fresh vegetation. Mundusi, who likes challenging his friends, engaged Roi in a strength testing exercise but lost the game to Roi. Tusuja and Kauro who were feeding together came across a small pool of rain water and decided to help themselves before going back to browsing. At mud bath time, the sun was still hot and this prompted all the orphans to take a bath with the exception of Enkikwe who opted to go straight back to the bush. 

In the afternoon, the orphans settled west of Ithumba Hill where they browsed until evening when the weather changed and it started drizzling. The drizzle activated the orphans playing mood. They rolled on the ground smearing themselves with red mud. Olsekki and his friend Siangiki just watched from a distance at how their friends were enjoying playing on the ground. These two great friends never leave each other no matter what, and they are always together for better or worse; it is a very nice friendship indeed. 

10 November 2019

Soon after having their milk, Mteto and Sana Sana decided to keep themselves busy by rolling on the ground as they waited for the gates to be opened. Ndiwa held a brief chat with Kuishi while Malima scratched her buttocks on the edge of the water trough before getting out. After the gates were opened, Esampu led the way out. 

Later, Mteto teamed up with Enkikwe to feed while Lemoyian browsed with Turkwel. Olsekki felt that he needed to have a drink and carried a branch with him which he fed on until he reached Kone dam where he helped himself to some rain water. Mapia and Sana Sana took a break from feeding and had a soil bath for sometime before going back to browsing. At mud bath time, soon after finishing her share of milk, Esampu stood close to the crate containing the milk bottles and started salivating over the remaining milk. The Keepers reminded her that she had already had her share and what remained in the crate was meant for her friends who had not yet arrived. Esampu left unwillingly wishing that she had just grabbed a bottle and ran off with it but her deliberations meant that she was too late and the Keepers knew what she was up to. The orphans jumped into the water to wallow soon after they had all finished their milk. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans mostly concentrated on browsing. Garzi and Barsilinga who parted ways with their friends in the morning, reported back to the stockade shortly before midnight. 

11 November 2019

Mundusi was the first one to leave the stockade followed by Mapia, Sana Sana and Malima. Sana Sana, Malima and Mapia settled for scratching along the stockade wall. Barsilinga was limping. This is the second time his limping has recurred. Some time back he stepped on a stick that pierced his front right foot and after sometime it healed. We opened the spot underneath his foot and there some pus came out. We cleaned the area and applied green clay. Garzi, who was waiting for him, then took off with Barsilinga to browse. The two boys took a different route to the rest. 

Out in the bush, Olsekki teamed up with Kamok to browse while Malkia settled to browse with Kuishi. Mundusi decided to have a pushing game with Sapalan but ended up losing that game. He later tried Tusuja but still he was overpowered. Mundusi, who is the kind who never gives up, left hoping to try and challenge those boys another time. 

At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans had their milk and some water and then walked away. In the afternoon, Kithaka took off with Karisa without the Keepers knowledge. In the evening, the Keepers realized Karisa was missing only they didn't know whose company he was in. One group took the other orphans back to the stockade while some others remained behind looking for Karisa. At last they found Karisa with Kithaka and they herded them back to the stockade for the night. Barsilinga and Garzi reported back late at midnight.

12 November 2019

Kamok decided to scratch her belly on the rocks inside the stockade as she waited for her milk. Sapalan was the first one to come out when the gates were opened. Only Jotto, Kuishi, Sana Sana and Malima settled for some pellets. The rest of their friends headed straight out to browse. Mapia loves scratching and didn't want to leave without enjoying a scratch against the stockade wall as Malkia left with a branch in her mouth. 

Garzi and Kithaka started their day by having a morning strength testing exercise. Ndiwa and Maramoja came across some suitable rocks that they settled to scratch against as Esampu headed to Kone dam where she had some water. Pare settled for soil dusting and shortly later was joined by Ambo, Malkia and Kauro to roll on the ground. Mundusi, the challenger, kept going around tackling whoever was interested in a pushing game. He tackled Roi then Naseku and Tusuja but lost the games to all of them. Malima teamed up with Mapia to browse. At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate and the orphans boycotted wallowing in the big dam. Wanjala opted to mud bath in a small water hole and enjoyed wallowing in the water for quite some time, and was later joined by a few of his friends. Tusuja and Kuishi enjoyed a game of rolling on the ground but Garzi cut short Kuishi’s game when he came and tried to push her to stand up. Kuishi wasn't happy about the disruption but had no other option since Garzi is more senior to her. The orphans had a quiet afternoon and later in the evening passed by the main mud bath to cool off. 

13 November 2019

It was drizzling in the morning when the orphans were let out. They relaxed under the acacia tree sheltering themselves from the rain. The rain continued and the orphans decided not to wait until it stopped. Karisa bravely led the way out where Sana Sana, Wanjala, Kithaka and Garzi had fun rolling on the wet soil. Later Enkikwe, who has showed much improvement recently, had a light strength testing exercise with Tusuja. At mud bath time the orphans decided to go for a swim after their milk bottles. After mud bath, Galla, Mteto, Enkikwe and Sana Sana had fun rolling on the ground. In the afternoon, Karisa settled to browse with Pare while Namalok teamed up with Maramoja. 

14 November 2019

Kuishi and Malima were the first ones to leave the stockade this morning. The girls settled to scratch along the wall at the stockade compound. Ambo joined them later. It was still wet following the rain which fell overnight. The orphans didn't stay for long at the stockade compound as Mundusi led the way out. On the way, Mundusi came across a nice rock that he used to scratch on and later enjoyed rolling on a heap of loose red soil. Vegetation was plenty and the orphans embraced the spirit of sharing. Later, they took a break from feeding to have fun of rolling on the ground. Galla took advantage of those who were lying on the ground to climb on them. The orphans saw no need for a mud bath today. At noon they had their milk and some water from the water troughs before going straight back out to the bush to browse. They settled east of Ithumba Hill where they browsed until evening.

15 November 2019

The orphans left the stockade early as usual and since we have all this fresh vegetation in the bush since the rains started, the herd went straight out to browse. The Ithumba orphans settled north west of the stockades in between two hills where they enjoyed plenty of fresh grass and shoots. Olsekki passed close to Kuishi and saw a nice twig in her mouth and decided he wanted it instead. Kuishi couldn't understand why Olsekki didn't just break his own branch given that there was so much around to choose from among the many shrubs surrounding them. Kuishi turned quickly when Olsekki stretched his trunk out towards the branch and he missed snatching it from her. Mapia loves scratching and came across a bent tree that he used to scratch his buttocks on. Sana Sana started a game of rolling on the ground which attracted Kuishi, Mundusi, Pare and Mteto. At mud bath time, the orphans had their milk at the stockade compound then headed east to the lower Kalovoto area where they settled to browse for the remaining part of the day. In the evening shortly before going back to the stockade, Olsekki had fun rolling on the ground. 

16 November 2019

The orphans settled for Lucerne pellets immediately after leaving their night stockades. They didn’t stay for long, as has become their new custom, and Naseku led the way out today, whereupon she soon came across a heap of loose soil that she enjoyed rolling on top of. Mundusi emerged from nowhere and tried to push Naseku away to play on the heap of soil himself. Naseku took this as an act of disrespect for a young boy like Mundusi to come and challenge her. Naseku composed herself quickly to teach this little rascal boy a lesson. Mundusi was also ready to tackle Naseku but as the going got tough, he had no other option than to surrender and run away from the charging Naseku. The orphans settled in Kone area and had a quiet morning. On the way to the mud bath, the orphans came across a small pool of water that they used to cool themselves down in, such that when they arrived for their noon bottle feeds, they saw no need of having a mud bath again. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill until evening when they passed by mud bath on their way back to the stockades. The orphans had an evening cool-off before proceeding back to the stockades. 

17 November 2019

It was a lovely morning today with the Ithumba orphans walking out of their night stockades to feed on some Lucerne pellets. As usual only some of the orphans decided to have some pellets as the others walked straight past them to the bush to browse on the lovely fresh greens instead. Enkikwe and Barsilinga were treated for their bad legs and joined their friends in the bush.

Roi started a play fight with Mundusi while Barsilinga was playing with some dust. Wanjala was very active and busy playing here and there as the others all concentrated on browsing. Galla started play fighting with Mundusi. They all walk to the dam near the stockades with some playing there and others just deciding to drink. Wanjala was the most playful here and was really enjoying a good swim. They had their milk bottles and then continued browsing.

Rapa walked towards another water pool and started playing too. He attracted the rest of the group to join him. Barsilinga was with them the whole day today and he was not naughty like the day before. Sapalan found a big rock and started scratching on it. Later they made their way back home this evening for their milk again. On the way the dependent orphans met with ex-orphan Wendi who is heavily pregnant, her baby Wiva, Kinna and her baby Kama. They interacted for a short time but later they proceeded back home.

18 November 2019

The orphans hurried out this morning as they knew what fresh, green vegetation awaited them out in the Park. They looked very happy and we watched as Namalok enjoyed browsing on specifically the grass; all the orphans can decide what to feed on and what they like the best as there is so much food around. Wanjala and Mundusi started play fighting as their friends crossed a small dam all in a line. Just before 11am the orphans made their way to the mud bath to have their milk.

At mud bath Karisa walked in last and appeared weak. He wasn’t walking properly and refused his bottle of milk. The other orphans carried on browsing. Enkikwe and Maramoja started playing in the mud with Enkikwe applying mud on his wounded leg. Sapalan and Namalok started hugging each other while Mapia and Oltaiyoni browsed together. The group later walk to the mud bath to cool down as it was a bit hot. All of them walked in and then swam through right to the other side where they got out and went to the dust bath piles. Malkia, Mteto, Sana Sana, Wanjala and Esampu really enjoyed playing there. 

Barsilinga is improving and walking much better than before but Karisa still looks weak and is not eating very well but has started his treatment.

19 November 2019

This morning was like one of those we pray for when we were visited by Wendi with her new born baby girl in the stockade compound. She was accompanied by her other baby Wiva and ex-orphans Kinna and Yatta with their babies Kama, Yoyo and Yetu, Lenana, Naserian, Zurura, Vuria, Challa and Makena. Challa was hugging baby Wema and protecting her when the orphans walked down next to the baby after having their milk. We have decided to call Wendi’s baby Wema. After a short time and with all the immediate introductions over, the ex-orphans walk away leaving the dependent orphans behind feeding on the Lucerne pellets. 

The orphans are so happy out in the bush at the moment. Some choose to browse and others to play in or drink from the water puddles that have sprung up all over the place. Sana Sana was playing this morning and digging into the ground with her tusks to dig up the wet soil.

At the mud bath today, it was hot and the orphans had their bottles of milk and walked straight to the main mud hole and started wallowing. They played peacefully from one end to the other and walked straight out to the bush again. Wanjala and Mundusi started play fighting, with Wanjala pushing Mundusi back in the mud bath as he tried to get out. They later followed their friends into the bush to browse. While they were browsing it started raining. Most of the orphans are happy playing when it’s raining. Kauro was rolling on the ground while Roi scratched her bottom. Ambo on the other side was scratching his trunk and sharpening his tusks on the rocks. Namalok and Wanjala started play fighting while Kuishi scratched her bottom. Karisa still hasn’t regained his strength but is improving a little bit. Tusuja started playing in the mud but later accompanied his friends. Today we recorded 18mm of rainfall and we expect more soon.

20 November 2019

The Ithumba dependent orphans had their milk as usual and walked down to have some Lucerne. Today they didn't even stay 10 minutes before walking out to the bush to browse. It started drizzling but most of the orphans seemed to like it and started playing. Tusuja and Mundusi started play fighting and later on Tusuja went to greet Kamok with Mundusi at the same time. Kamok walked ahead and started browsing with Enkikwe. 

Later the group walked to the mud bath for their milk where each took his or her bottle and walked straight to the mud hole and started wallowing. Mundusi, Wanjala and Tusuja were the most playful. Later we saw Naseku and Enkikwe busy playing, diving down into soft soil on the ground and playing with it. The others were all busy browsing until Kauro started rolling on the ground playing as well. The herd later passed close to the waterhole with Sana Sana, Ambo and Jotto choosing to drink water there while the others just continued on their way back home. Karisa did not come home with the others as we think he was scared of being injected again following his treatment. He kept hiding but eventually his nerves got the better of him and he came in late at night around 11:05pm. He looks quite weak and he refused his share of milk so we reported his condition to Angela. We received a bit of rainfall today but only a couple of millimeters. 

21 November 2019

Today Turkwel was sharing Lucerne cubes with Ukame in the morning while Mapia scratched his neck on the wall. Out in the bush while the orphans were browsing, Mteto was scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air and some on her back. Then Siangiki, Olsekki and Mteto started playing with soil too. The rest walked to the small waterhole in the bush and started wallowing there. Later Ukame and Roi led the group to the main mud bath for their milk.

At the mud bath the orphans had their milk bottles as usual and then walked to the waterhole where they chose to have another swim. Wendi’s herd arrived with her two babies Wiva and Wema with also Yetu, Yoyo, Kama and Mwende with their mums too. Kinna got into the water too and joined the orphans wallowing there. Yatta and her babies Yetu and Yoyo along with Kama also played in the water for a short time. We spotted that Wendi was trying to breastfeed her two babies at the same time when we would expect her to reject Wiva from breastfeeding because Wema is the one who needs her milk. We are sure she will put a stop to that soon as Wema is in more need of milk than Wiva, being entirely milk dependent. At one point Zurura tried to stop Kinna from getting out of the mud hole and although he might have been playing Kinna got very upset about that, probably because of all their babies around, and she chased Zurura right into the bushes. There was a big commotion and lots of trumpeting. Mulika and Mwende protected Wema the whole time they were all at the mud bath. Mwende seems to love Wema very much. The herd then all walked out to the bush to browse, following the path the dependent orphans had taken.

Back out in the bush, all the orphans were busy browsing on the fresh vegetation. Karisa was led back to the stockade for treatment by a one of the KWS/SWT vets and the others wondered where he had gone. Rapa, Pare and Wanjala were the first ones to greet Karisa when they found him already in the stockade when they got home. They were very happy to see him and already looks better, eating branches and finishing his milk bottle. 

22 November 2019

There was a light drizzle this morning. The elephant babies had their milk as usual and walked out to browse. Karisa looked much better this morning but he stayed close the stockade area the whole day and browsed there because he is limping slightly. The other orphans walked out in the bush and feed on the lovely green vegetation that can be found everywhere now. Kamok and Malkia were browsing together while Enkikwe was next to them watching them. They came across a small dam of water and started playing in it. Sana Sana was rolling down in the mud with Olsekki and Esampu. Later the herd walked to the mud bath for their milk.

Wendi’s herd arrived with their babies again - Wiva and Wema together with Kinna, Yatta, Mulika, Zurura, Yetu, Yoyo, Mwende and Lenana. Challa and Tomboi came in separately but Challa joined Kinna Yetu, Yatta and Yoyo in the mud bath and they started wallowing. Baby Kama came out and started scratching on the bench seat near the mud bath. Yoyo was trying to play-fight with Mundusi but all from the comfort of having his mother close by and hiding under her belly most of the time! Wendi’s herd later disappeared into the bush. The orphans didn't play in the water but had their milk bottles and walked straight back out to the bush. It was later in the afternoon when it was warmer that they decided to walk back to the mud bath and have a quick swim that they decided to miss at lunch time. They all walked into the water voluntarily and started wallowing. 

23 November 2019

Karisa joined the orphans to eat Lucerne in the morning and looked much more active today, happy to rejoin his friends for the day. When they were done eating the Lucerne they all walked out to the bush for the day, and Garzi and Enkikwe started playing some mud. The two attracted the other and soon they were all playing in the mud in different styles. 

After their noon milk bottles, the orphans were back browsing in the bush and many of them were happy playing in the mud. They had decided not to swim in the waterhole because it was so full of water and they preferred the shallower muddy pools. Galla was the most playful while Kamok was walking carefully across the slippery road trying to avoid falling. Karisa was with the group most of the time but as they neared the stockade on their way home he disappeared from the herd and walked off into the thick bush. We looked for him until dark and it started raining. The rest were already locked in for the night. We kept on waiting for him and calling him and just after 11pm we were on top of the new water tank looking and waiting for him when we heard a loud elephant yell out. We all rushed to the scene where we found three lions already attacking him, but we managed to rescue him by shining sharp torches at the lions and scaring them away and getting him back to the stockade. He suffered a few injuries on the neck and on his back and left ear. We locked him in although he was still resisting to go back into the stockade for the night as now he was very scared. It was a very hard night as we realized we managed to rescue him from the mouths of three lions.

24 November 2019

The orphans were a bit nervous after what happened to Karisa but they seemed fairly relaxed and even Karisa looked okay this morning, happily drinking his milk bottle. They had some Lucerne cubes as the Keepers watched all of them. They walked out to the bush and stayed close to the stockade, hugging the hill behind and eating all the tasty vegetation to be found there. To make the orphans feel more comfortable, the Keepers called for two of our de-snaring who came to help. The Keepers walked along with the dependent babies together in two herds with the de-snaring teams, and walked with them to the mud bath. The orphans browsed for the whole day until evening when they returned to the safety of the stockades for the night.

Back in the stockade today, Karisa was treated by the vet and the vet said that he was not badly injured and he will heal fast, thanks to the quick reactions of the Keepers. He took his share of milk as usual and he's feeding well now as we continue to monitor him. 

25 November 2019

It was a much quieter morning today as the orphans had their milk and walked down to feed on Lucerne cubes. It was muddy all over and they didn't stay for long there but walked directly out to the bush. Today the orphans were very happy and Karisa is improving and taking his milk very well. He is active and his walking, which we were treating before his attack, has improved as well as his leg looks much better.

In the bush we worked alongside the de-snaring team to make sure the dependent Ithumba orphans were well looked after and did not feel scared. The herd later walked to the mud bath for their milk. Olsekki was scooping and tossing soil in the air and some on his back. Malima scratched her trunk on the tree and Namalok was drinking tasty rain water from a rock. It was very hot and some of the orphans hid in the shade. Nowadays, Kithaka's rebel herd stays with the babies the whole day and walks back home in the evening for their milk with them, now they know that the lions are about again.

26 November 2019

We had some rain last night of 35mm. It was very wet everywhere and the orphans had their milk when it was still raining this morning. They walked out and had some Lucerne cubes, though they didn't stay long and walked to the bush.

It was still wet everywhere but the orphans weren’t bothered by it and continued to walk into the thick, green bushes to browse.

The mud bath is still very full and the orphans had their 11am milk bottle before walking straight back out to the bush. Karisa is improving as he takes his bottle of milk as usual and has started eating well, but he does not like staying back without the others during the day. Mundusi and Pare were playing by scooping and tossing chunks of soil on their heads while Ndiwa and Jotto were browsing together. Kithaka's herd with Garzi, Barsilinga, Lemoyian and Turkwel stayed with the babies and the Keepers again for the whole day as they are still scared of the lions, and returned with them to the stockades in the evening as well. 

27 November 2019

The sky was clear in the morning and the orphans settled for Lucerne pellets soon after leaving the stockades. Rapa, who appears to have a sore muscle, was dragging his left foreleg. Maramoja led the way out today. All over sudden, the weather changed. Clouds gathered quickly and gave way to rain. The rain made the orphans very playful and they started rolling around on the wet grounds. Namalok, Wanjala, Garzi and Kamok enjoyed the game the most. After all this rain, every water hole has turned into a lake, the vegetation is green and the orphans are really enjoying it. Namalok had a brief strength testing exercise with Galla and at eleven o'clock in the morning the orphans had their midday milk feeds at the stockade compound before heading back out to browse. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing.

28 November 2019

The sky was clear in the morning as the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockades. After a brief stop at the stockade compound to have some Lucerne pellets, Sana Sana took over the lead of the team and headed east of the stockade. The orphans enjoyed the lush vegetation until they came across a small pool of water and after helping themselves, they continued walking slowly whilst heading to the mud bath. 

Roi caused some drama during the milk feed when she got to the crate and picked up a bottle full of milk and ran off with it. By the time the Keepers realized Roi had almost finished all the milk. Luckily there was extra bottle so no one missed out on his or her own share which would have been another headache for the Keepers! The mud bath is now practically overflowing which meant the young orphans chose to have fun just along the edge since they were scared of venturing into the deep water. After mud bath time, Garzi and Kithaka had a brief strength testing exercise. Later in the afternoon Galla and Mteto took a break from feeding to enjoy a game of rolling on the ground. In the evening on the way back to the stockade, the orphans panicked about something and ran all the way home! It appears the lion incident is still fresh in their minds and it will take some time before they relax completely. 

29 November 2019

Mist totally covered the Ithumba Hill today, and beyond. The orphans left the stockade and briefly settled for Lucerne pellets before venturing into the bush. The orphans didn't want to venture very far from the Keepers for some time. They visited a nearby swamp where they had some water before browsing again. Malkia teamed up with Lemoyian to browse while Sapalan settled to feed with Mapia. Later, Mundusi had a small fight with Pare when he tried to take food from Pare's mouth. Turkwel, who was feeding close by, intervened by separating the two boys. 

At mud bath time the mist had burnt off and the sun was hot, and the orphans had fun in the water as they enjoyed cooling themselves down by wallowing. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill and had a quiet afternoon. Later in the evening Mundusi, who loves pushing games, engaged Maramoja in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. Later Mteto led the way back to the stockade for another night. 

30 November 2019

Olsekki and Garzi lagged behind feeding on the pellets as their friends proceeded straight to the browsing field. Ndiwa performed a morning stretching exercise before following her friends. After a couple of hours, the orphans took a break from feeding to have fun rolling on the ground. Tusuja took advantage of scratching on Naseku who was lying on the ground while Namalok climbed on his playmate Sapalan. As soon as the orphans had enough fun, the herd resumed browsing. 

At mud bath time, the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise before heading back out to browse. On the way, the orphans met with ex-orphan Challa who didn't show any interest in them today and carried on walking in the direction of the stockade. In the evening the rebel’s Turkwel, Kithaka, Barsilinga, Garzi and Lemoyian dodged the Keepers and disappeared into the bush. Barsilinga and Garzi then showed up later before dark and joined their friends in the stockades and didn't say where they had left Turkwel, Kithaka and Lemoyian.