Keepers' Diaries, October 2000
Voi Reintegration Unit
Following the tragic death of Malaika, our thoughts immediately turned to little Loisaba, who was only just beginning to become happy again after being orphaned in Northern Kenya, and who had adopted Malaika as her second mother. Although Lewa has always been Malaika’s favourite calf, he was beginning to join the Big Boys and travel with them into the wild herds, so Malaika was beginning to love Loisaba as well, who would have been the little Nannie for the calf, had things turned out differently. The night Malaika died, Loisaba slipped away from all the others up at the Stockades, and disappeared alone into the night, no doubt searching for Malaika. It is likely that she was patrolling the electric fence, looking for a way in to return to the place where she had last been with Malaika and where Malaika now lay dead. We were anxious because of the threat from lions, but eventually Loisaba returned to the Stockades at 8 p.m., much to everyone’s relief.
01 October 2000
Natumi’s group and Emily’s unit left together as usual with Edo and Uaso, Lewa being with Malaika and Loisaba in the fenced area. Soon afterwards Natumi’s group met a herd of 7 wild elephants. Salama befriended one little boy of his age group and remained amongst the wild elephants for 40 minutes. Meanwhile Emily’s group met up with 2 wild Elephants, of whom Edo seemed fearful. On the way to the wallow to join the babies, they met another wild elephant, who came along too and joined the babies at the wallow. However, because it was cold, they wallowed only half-heartedly today. At 4.30 p.m. Natumi’s group ran into a hyaena, and Natumi led the chase to see it off.
02 October 2000
All the elephants left together. Soon afterwards Emily and Aitong interacted with 7 wild elephants, spending half an hour with them, but then escorted Mweiga to join the babies for the 10 a.m. milk feed. Again it was too cold today to wallow. At 5.30 p.m. Emily and Aitong played with a wild elephant on the way back to the Stockades.
03 October 2000
All the elephants left the Stockades together with Dika, Ndume and Uaso in tow. Emily brought Mweiga to the milk lorry at 10 a.m. to take milk as usual with the others. On the way they met 2 wild elephants and spent half an hour with them. Edo and Uaso joined Emily’s group and Natumi’s eight at the mudbathg. In the afternoon at 2 p.m. Emily chased away a buffalo, and later met up with a wild bull elephant with whom she spent a short time.
04 October 2000
All the elephants left together. Salama enjoyed a game with Natumi and then Natumi played with Edie before being joined by Emily and Mweiga for the 10 a.m. milk feed. Later Emily led her group below the Research Centre where they met up with 6 wild elephants with whom them spent an hour feeding. In the afternoon they all met up with a wild bull, and they fed together for some time before returning to the Stockades.
05 October 2000
All the orphans left together as usual. Edo and Ndume were with Emily’s group with Lewa and Uaso as well as Loisaba, who had returned the previous night after being away until 8 p.m. The Big Boys left Emily’s group at 7.30 a.m. to head towards the airfield and Mweiga was escorted along by Emily to join the babies for the 10 a.m. milk feed. At the mudwallow Salama and Laikipia had a “dramatic” game before joining Emily’s group at 2 p.m. When the orphans returned to the Stockades, Dika, Ndume and Edo were already there.
06 October 2000
The orphans all left together and remained together until after the 10 a.m. milk session. Later Salama and Laikipia had a game that lasted 15 minutes. Emily and her group were with Natumi and the babies all day, but because it was cold, they did not wallow.
07 October 2000
The orphans left with Edo and Uaso but Lewa was absent today, having gone off with Dika. Edo and Uaso left the others at the Spring Gate, heading towards the Airfield, and Emily left Natumi’s group at 8 a.m. but joined them again so that Mweiga could have her milk at 10 a.m. when Emily and Imenti enjoyed a game. Dika and Ndume joined the babies at the wallow and spent l hour with them afterwards, but Lewa was not with them.. The babies returned to the Stockades at 5.30 p.m. and Emily’s group at 6.30 p.m. and again Lewa was not present.
08 October 2000
All the orphans left the Stockades together and at 9.20 a.m. met up with Lissa, Mpenzi and Lissa’s calf, “Lara”. Salama spent 10 minutes playing with Lara and stayed with Lissa’s group for a while afterwards before rejoining the others. At 10 a.m. Emily and Imenti again had a game whilst the babies all took milk. There was no wallow today because it was too cold, but the orphans took water instead. On the way back to the Stockades they met up with Edo who joined them for the return journey.
09 October 2000
All the orphans, including Edo and the two little boys, Uaso and Lewa, were together all day. Lewa returned during the previous night. Because it was cold, they did not wallow.
10 October 2000
All left together as usual, but Edo, Uaso and Lewa left the others at the Spring Gate, heading towards the Airfield. Emily was with Natumi’s group at the wallow where Ilingwezi and Salama had a wonderful time playing. Later at the dustbath Imenti lay down and Salama enjoyed climbing all over him and shoving him on the ground. The afternoon was spent together with Emily and her calves.
11 October 2000
All left as usual. At 9.30 a.m. Natumi and Ilingwezi enjoyed a chasing game. They had a wonderful wallow at 11.30 together with Emily’s group, and returned to the Stockades all together where Dika was waiting.
12 October 2000
They left together, and all were very playful this morning. Emily played with Imenti, and the younger set played with each other amongst themselves. They had a wonderful wallow “full of fun and games” today. Natumi arrived at the stockades half an hour ahead of Emily’s group. Dika was already there when the others returned.
13 October 2000
The day was spent with Emily’s group and Natumi’s group all together until after the wallow, when Emily took her group heading North. When the orphans returned to the Stockades, Dika, Lewa and Uaso were waiting there.
14 October 2000
Lewa and Uaso spent the day with Emily’s unit today. Emily separated from the Baby Group at 3 p.m. and returned to the Stockades along with Lewa and Uaso in the evening just after the babies had come in.
15 October 2000
Lewa and Uaso were again with Emily and her group today and all the orphans spent the afternoon together behind the hill.
16 October 2000
All the elephants left the Stockades together as usual. At the l0 a.m. milk feed, Emily, Aitong and Imenti kept watch over Mweiga as she took her bottles. At the wallow at 11.30 a.m. the babies played “immensely” and were joined by Emily’s group, who remained with them in the afternoon until 3 p.m. when Emily headed west. Lewa and Uaso returned with her at 6.30 p.m. shortly after the babies had come back.
17 October 2000
All the elephants left the Stockades together as usual. At the wallow Laikipia and Salama had a great time whilst Loisaba played withg Mweiga. At 1.15 p.m. they were joined by some wild elephants and Natumi played with a wild calf her size whilst Emily and Aitong played with wild calves their size for 15 minutes. They all came back to the Stockades together at 6 p.m.
18 October 2000
The orphans left the Stockades together as usual and remained together all day. They wallowed at 11.30 a.m. and returned for a second session at 3.30 p.m. because it was very hot. The babies returned to the Stockades at 5.30 p.m. shortly ahead of Emily and her group.
19 October 2000
Again, the orphans spent the whole day together and had a wonderful mudwallow. In the evening Natumi left the others to bring the babies back a little earlier.
20 October 2000
Another day spent all together. Salama played with Laikipia and then took on Ilingwezi whilst Emily enjoyed a game with Imenti, who is her best friend, with a similar relationship to her as Edo had with Malaika.
21 October 2000
Edo, Lewa and Uaso left with the others this morning, and joined Mweiga and the babies for the 10 a.m. milk feed. In the wallow Salama and Laikipia had a “spectacular” time and then Salama took on Ilingwezi. The babies remained with Emily and her group all afternoon, during which time Mweiga and Loisaba played together. On the way back the orphans chased 3 waterbucks around. Edo, Uaso, Lewa, Dika and Lissa and her calf arrived back at the Stockades at 5 p.m. ahead of all the others.
22 October 2000
Edo, Uaso and Lewa left the Stockades with the other orphans in the morning, and at the Spring Gate met up with Lissa and her baby who tagged along with them until 10 a.m. when the little ones and Mweiga went for their milk feed. Edo, Uaso and Lewa left the others after mudbath at 2 p.m. and returned to the Stockades together to find Dika already there. He came in alone at 5 p.m.
23 October 2000
Edie is not well today. She took just l bottle of milk at 10 a.m. We took the babies inside the electric fence today. Emily had Edo, Lewa and Uaso with her, and during the course of the day her group interacted with two separate wild herds. She joined the babies at the wallow. In the evening we gave Edie some worm medicine, having been advised to do so from Nairobi. Dika again returned to the Stockades alone at 5 p.m.
24 October 2000
The orphans left with Emily, but again we took Natumi’s group into the fenced area. Edo left Emily’s group with Lewa and Uaso at the Spring Gate, heading towards the airfield. At the mudbath, Salama played with Laikipia and Loisaba played with Mweiga. During the afternoon 3 wild elephants with 2 calves passed by Emily’s group, but they did not interact.
25 October 2000
The babies spent the morning in the fence again, but Edie seems better today. Emily and her group fed below the Research Centre when Emily and Imenti took a nap, leaving Aitong to look after Loisaba and Mweiga who continued feeding. On the way to the mudbath Emily met up with Mpenzi and spent some time playing with her. Today Edo, Dika, Lewa and Uaso were joined by Lissa, Lara and Mpenzi at the Stockades before the other orphans came in.
26 October 2000
Today Mweiga enjoyed a game with Ilingwezi in the mudbath. Emily remained with the babies until 4.30 p.m. when the little ones left for the Stockades. There Lissa, her calf and Mpenzi were already there with Dika, Edo, Lewa and Uaso.
27 October 2000
This morning, before the 10 a.m. milk feed, Salama played with Laikipia and then with Edie. Emily joined them at 10 a.m. and they were all together at the wallow and until 2 p.m. when Emily again headed westwards. In the evening Lissa and calf plus Mpenzi were with Dika, Edo, Lewa and Uaso at the Stockades.
28 October 2000
Emily’s group spent the day with Natumi’s group until 2 p.m. when Emily left them, heading North. Edo, Lewa, and Uaso left the others in the morning at the Spring Gate, heading towards the Airfield. They returned to the Stockades at 6 p.m. to find Catherine (Eleanor’s wild friend) there with Lissa and her calf, having come in with them at 5.15 p.m.
29 October 2000
Emily left the babies at 8.30 a.m. but met up again with them with Mweiga for the 10 a.m. milk feed. The mudwallow was very “jovial” with Natumi playing with Edie. Emily and her group spent the afternoon with the babies, and when they all returned to the Stockades in the evening, they found Dika, Edo, Lewa and Uaso already there.
30 October 2000
Emily and her group separated from the Baby Group at the Spring Gate. We took the babies inside the fence because today Icholta declined her milk. We saw a wild elephant inside the fenced area, but he did not join up with the babies. At the mudwallow Salama played with Edie and Laikipia played with Ilingwezi whilst Emily took on Imenti. In the evening Icholta seemed better.
31 October 2000
All the orphans left together as usual. The babies were very playful today. The mudbath was “dominated” by Salama who spent the time playing and pushing everyone around, including even the larger elephants. Emily remained with the babies until 3 p.m. in the afternoon, during which time Mweiga and Loisaba enjoyed a game. In the evening when the orphans returned to the Stockades, Lissa and her baby were already there with Mpenzi and Ndume.