This month at the height of the dry season the orphans have been preoccupied for much of the day with feeding. Every morning they head out into the bush around Msinga hill where much of the dry season browse remains. Each day they opt to head in a different direction, something dictated to by the Keepers sometimes, but more often than not by the orphans themselves. Early mornings are punctuated with exuberant games in between enjoying the dry season supplements of both Lucerne and copra cake (Coconut) One of the most enjoyable pastimes in the early mornings is to charge the baboons, as this is always guaranteed a good reaction. They enjoy nothing more than dispersing the baboon troop amidst trumpets, screams and yells. Sorka and Bada are firm friends having arrived at the Voi stockades a couple of months back and tamed in adjoining stables. They are both of a similar age too. However as the weeks past this month one thing was evident, Bada was becoming more robust that Sorka. Sorka fed well, and even played, and seemed settled, only she remained definitely weaker. Tragically this all came to a head on the 24th of the month when Sorka unexpectedly collapsed at the midday mudbath and was returned to the stockades in the back of the tractor trailer. She was placed on drips and medicated with the help of Dr. Poghon but that night passed away. An autopsy revealed that she had died of hemorrhagic enteritis.
The Voi Unit missed their friend, but none more so than Bada. Wasessa has been treating Bada as her own, and definitely ensuring he gets preferential treatment which is causing Mudanda to get extremely jealous. Mudanda has been use to that privileged position ever since she first arrived at the Voi stockades last year. There are many other Mums in the making who are generous with their love and attention, including Lesanju, Lempaute, Sinya, Kenia, Ishaq-B, Ndii and Naipoki, so there is no shortage of attention for either. Mbirikani has become very greedy and around food can be rather uncompromising.
This month has been filled with some lovely encounters with the wild elephant herds, both out in the bush, at the mudwallows out in the bush and also back at the stockades. A couple of tiny wild calves have been among the wild herds, and our orphans cannot resist paying these adorable babies. Often their excessive attention has been perceived as overstepping the acceptable boundaries with their mothers. Kenia one day chose to go trailing after the herd in the hope of having more baby time with a tiny calf that had captivated her. She then became torn as she quickly became separated from the Voi orphans and made the decision to turn around and return to her friends. Mzima is another bull who has enjoyed a couple of hours in the company of the wild herds away from his orphaned friends, but choosing to return once the wild herd moves further afield.
The naughty boys in the Voi group have enjoyed sparring with their wild counterparts, and each other. Strength testing games happen most days, between Mzima, Dabassa, Rombo, Tassia and Taveta Exuberant wallowing has sometimes ended up in fight requiring the Keepers intervention to break things up.