Keepers' Diaries, October 2015
Umani Springs Reintegration Unit
There have been some short rain showers in Kibwezi Forest early this month and with it some humid temperatures which have taken their toll on the babies, necessitating afternoon siestas sometimes. The mudwallow has of course been a great attraction on those hot days, which has unsettled the resident terrapins enormously. Lima Lima has led the Terrapin teasing games, sometimes sensing their presence at the bottom of the pond and forcing them to surface by thrashing her trunk on the water. They are long suffering and desperately stay put, but turbulence sometimes forces them to leave. One day this month Murera intercepted a troop of baboons on the pathway and took great delight in scaring them with charges and trumpets so that they scattered screaming in all directions- some took to the trees, babies fell of their mothers’ back, young timid baboon youths bolted every which way, and since there was a general baboon retreat the other orphans were happy to partake in the chase.
01 October 2015
A good day began with the all babies looking so happy in the early morning. Sonje walked to the now smooth huge lava rock boulder that they use as their scratching rock, trying to scratch off some of the ticks clinging on her body. We spray them regularly but they know too how to help themselves. Wherever the orphans walked Lima lima was walking this way and that exploring the forest, getting her baring’s and being sure she knows the smells of all who were there before he. She is an extremely alert and clever girl. The hot weather changed very quickly, today and soon we were blessed with much needed rain. Nothing significant just enough to clean the leaves and cool the day down. While us Keepers welcomed the cooler weather this put the orphans off any mud bathing today and instead they went to the red soil pile and dusted after their milk feed.
02 October 2015
When all the babies came out from their stockades to begin their day, they enjoyed their normal appetizer in the morning of the Lucerne handout which they have during the driest months of the year. Jasiri found Sonje lying down on the ground on top of the lucerne and tried to push her off but Sonje was too heavy so he resorted to a different tactic and instead tried to mount her!. Jasiri’s plan backfired however as Sonje appeared to be enjoying the new game and was not bothered by any of it. Jasiri then began grapping what he could from beneath her bulking body.
The orphans then took off moving very fast towards the Chyulu Hills National Park, to look for some fresher vegetation there on the hills, with their keepers following them from behind trying to see their movements and also study which were their favourite branches as they headed into new areas. Ngasha and Faraja rumbled very low and to the other babies, communicating as they do on very low sounds through the ground, then all the babies stopped abruptly, waiting for Murera and Sonje who were lagging behind together with their baby boy Ziwa. Ngasha and Faraja realised that they had walked too fast and Murera and Sonje could not catch up with them, so they waited for the two limping girls together with the young baby Ziwa before proceeding. They loved their day feeding, resting under shade and exploring new territories, safe in the knowledge that their Keepers were with them.
03 October 2015
Every baby elephant was struggling to get something to put in their mouths in the morning, despite having masses of greens cut for them to satisfy them throughout the night. Quanza came across a nice foraging area and all the other orphans followed her there to where there was especially green vegetation. Quanza noticed it first but Jasiri brought all the other babies there to forage with her. She thought she could keep this for herself so wasn’t happy to find the whole herd invading her green patch. Ziwa got satisfied quickly and began walking to Murera and Sonje who had left headed to the waterhole for clean drinking water. From the rain some fresh some fresh lilies were beginning to shoot out around the waterhole and Lima Lima and Zongoloni enjoyed this wet season delicacy ripping the heads off the beautiful flowers and devouring them, then they would reach for the stem and flatten that too.
04 October 2015
Today was cloudy yet extremely humid and the elephants were reluctant to walk any distance. It had rained in the early hours, and some of the babies were tempted to return to their stockades but Murera tried to block them at the gate. They were trying to go back to the shelter of the stockades so they would not get rained on! Murera together with Sonje declined and pushed everyone back towards the gate to go and stand under the shade from the big Newtonia trees. Jasiri got it very rough when he thought he was the big boy there in front of the females. He tried forcing his way back and Murera with the help of Sonje resisted him very powerfully, Murera using her strong tusks and prodding Jasiri’s back so that he would move in the right direction and listen to his instructions. He got the message and they all did what the big girls wanted. The day was spent close to home browsing as new food was shooting everywhere and the forest is beginning to green up. The mud bathing was subdued today despite the humid temperatures, but I guess there was enough mud everywhere to satisfy their needs.
05 October 2015
Today, after the babies had taken their food in the morning as usual, Zongoloni teamed up with Quanza, leaving the cheeky Lima lima on her own waiting for the keepers to follow from behind. When Lima lima crossed over to the join the other babies, she was confused where everyone had gone and she started running all over the place trying to look for them, trumpeting and rumbling. The other elephants heard her shouting and the group all split up into smaller groups running in the forest looking for each other as some had spread too far and were lost. It took some time for the keepers to call their names to reunite them all back together in one group.
Zongoloni was left leading the boys to the waterhole to take their midday bottles after long morning walks encountering some small wildlife, bushbuck, dikdik and klipspringers which scattered upon hearing the loud trumpets of the elephants. Faraja followed Ziwa who had already gone down to his knees in readiness to wallow in the thick mud; and the two of them slumped into the cool mud with a blissful look on their faces.
The playful Lima lima changed her game and went to stand deep in the water pool to start swimming. She began by putting her trunk in the waterhole to the bottom knowing that some terrapins must be in there, then she got their smell and started to chase them from the water, but the terrapins are now wise to the tactics and were not ready to vacate and managed to avoid her long enough to remain.
06 October 2015
It was a very long day of patrols for the babies today. When the orphans came out of their stockades in the morning Murera, Sonje together with the cheeky Lima lima took to lead all of the baby elephants towards the Umani Hills one of the tallest hills found within the Kibwezi forest. There they climbed and enjoyed plentifut browse. But when on one elephant path climbing ever higher up the hill they found a big herd of buffalo blocking the path today so no one could pass between them. When the keepers saw them they called their quick baby girl Sonje who responded immediately to the keepers and turned the babies around to go for a mud bath instead. Some of the orphans began looking very tired and their eyes looked very sleepy; Lima lima especially had very sleepy eyes as she was tired after the long day’s walk through the hills.
When Sonje and Ziwa came down to grasslands area and immediately after finishing their bottle, they turned around looking for some soft grass to pluck, using their feet to kick and cut the grass at the roots. Lima lima then walked to the fields taking her time and lay down on the soft grass to have an afternoon sleep. She relaxed for a good long time until Faraja came and decided to clamber all over her.
07 October 2015
Sonje was very busy patrolling the foothills of Umani hill following Murera who was walking slowly. Murera stopped after seeing a troop of baboons scattered all the way down the path. She enjoyed spending time scattering them by charging with her ears spread wide with trumpets. Her loud trumpets prompted the others to join her and in no time at all the Umani babies were enjoying a favourite game scattering baboons in all directions, treeing some, and screaming baboon youngsters running in all directions.
The keepers tried pushing Murera the way they wanted to go but she turned and was very rude to them. She was not listening and this forced the keepers to leave her to come at her own pace, slowly. Sometimes she is not in the mood and can be very rude to all her human mothers and her herd. Ziwa seems to be able to read her, the best of all the babies.
Today the babies finished their bottles quickly and walked spent timing licking the salt laid there particularly for the wild elephant herds. She was placing very big particles in her mouth breaking it down with her molars. Sonje was having fun lying down and giving the young boys Faraja, Jasiri and Ngasha an opportunity to mount her back; Sonje was enjoying the game and did not want to get up and push them away as she was having fun too so she provided the entertainment for a good long time.
08 October 2015
Ziwa is growing up to be a very humble, soft and happy friendly boy. He is not like the other pushing boys always testing their strength the whole night in the stockades and leaving their room in a dirty state with scattered dung, scattering branches, bark, leaves. Today Ziwa walked with his adopted mothers Sonje and Murera who were going to the Chyulu Hills National Park for greens and to see some wild friends that were still browsing in that area. Quanza found a big fallen tree and scratched her head on the rough bark before returning down the mountain to the mudbath.
When the orphans assembled at the waterhole ready to drink, Lima lima stood firm at the water side, with her trunk facing the opposite direction. She was smelling some wild elephants behind her who were still in the thick forest waiting for the orphans to drink and leave so that they could get their chance, they were still not used to the presence of this funny baby family with their keepers. The wild elephants waited for quite a long time, hiding in order for the keepers not find them because they still don’t understand this relationship and how the orphans walk together with keepers all the time day and night.
09 October 2015
It was one of the busiest days for the orphans in the forest today as they walked all the way to the Kenze hill. It was a very long walk compared to other days when they do not walk as far. The day turned very hot and Ngasha missed the direction where the other babies walked through the thickest bushes. He could only smell them and hear them rumbling. When Ngasha realised that he had missed the directions he began his routine behaviour of screaming in order for the keepers to hear him. He turned back trumpeting very loudly running towards his keepers who were calling him “Ngasha, Ngasha, kwata, kwata” and their other normal calls. A keeper continued shouting and when Ngasha appeared he seemed very tired. The other babies followed and everyone went to the water hole after the long walk and to get a break from the heat of the hot sun; they flapped their ears and went to the waterhole to wallow and spent a good long time having a siesta in the mud bath. Today they were all too tied for terrapin hunting games.
10 October 2015
Quanza and Ziwa spent some nice time together today, taking their time browsing together. This was not normal for Ziwa who normally likes to browse with Sonje. Faraja and Jasiri kept pushing Ziwa making sure he moved away or else go to his two mothers. Murera and Sonje were digging at the ground trying to get some acacia roots to feed on because the area is still so dry and these tubes of tree roots help their diet so much.
Lima lima then led all the babies to the waterhole and as soon as she arrived at the waterhole she began preparing it with her feet so that she was sure it was mixed well and very soft. Then she began rolling in the mixed mud bath which changes their colour from the normal grey to very dark grey!
Faraja was very funny, instead of drinking water when he went to the water trough - he began washing his feet using his trunk. Zongoloni went together with Murera straight to the waterhole as the sun began to burn and they wanted to roll in the muddy mud bath. Murera almost got stuck because of the slippery walls of the waterhole and she struggled to get out smoothly. When all of the orphans came out from the waterhole after good wallowing, it was time to get under the shade. They all crowded under the only shade around that was big enough for all of them; a huge Newtonia tree, but on top of the same tree there was a big leopard with her young cubs relaxing. None of the orphans were aware until Lima lima smelt it. When the keepers realised having been made aware by Lima Lima they slowly moved away to allow the leopard space to escape should she wish.
11 October 2015
Murera came to the bottle feeding ground walking very slowly and looking very tired. They had walked quite a long way looking for vegetation to browse on. When Murera arrived at the waterhole she hung her trunk on her head and then used it to scratch her head which was itchy from some of the ticks that were bothering her. After she had done this she could start drinking and enjoy taking the clean water from the water trough.
As Murera was still busy scratching her head, Ziwa with other babies jumped in the muddy mudbath, rolling their whole bodies around to cool down from the hot sun. Later on they all started walking back to the forest, where they found another wild waterhole dug by the wild elephants, so the wallowing continued again before they started to make their way back to the stockades led by Quanza and Lima lima.
12 October 2015
Faraja and Zongoloni had a very difficult time walking freely in the bushes, trying to follow their other friends who had gone very far into the forest charging and trumpeting. As Faraja and Zongoloni were running behind them trying to catch up, they came across numerous barriers such as logs blocking their way. They tried to step over but it was not easy for them and the only solution was to change direction and choose paths used by the wild elephants, up to where their keepers were seated watching them. Zongoloni turned very joyful and playful glee realising the keepers watching them. After a long and energetic morning they walked back to the milk feeding spot. Sonje didn’t want to walk without Murera and Ziwa so she stopped and waited for the two to catch up as they headed to the natural waterhole. There were some crane birds at the water hole together with a few bushbucks drinking water; the crane birds were following some grasshoppers near the waterhole and naughty Ngasha and Jasiri started to charge at them to make them leave.
13 October 2015
This morning Lima lima applied some of her different, cheeky tricks; when she realised all the orphans were heading to the hills, she knew it would be hard to get enough to eat when they were all crowded in one area, so she decided to go her own separate way to the grassland area, where there was plenty of food to browse on. The other orphans were very busy on top of the hills filling up their empty stomachs when Ziwa got some stronger branches and tried to break them to chew quickly as their mudbath time was drawing closer and they would start to walk to the feeding point soon. Lima Lima went her way followed by her Keeper to ensure she remained safe. She is a very independent girl.
Quanza started to move away slowly, leaving Zongoloni and Lima lima at the muddy waterhole looking dark and not light grey in colour any more. Ngasha had a good time at the waterhole rubbing his belly on the muddy water, while on the other side the orphans who had been rolling in the mud and were very wet, went to the tall grass to roll there and dry their wet bodies.
14 October 2015
The season is coming to an end for the delicious food appetizer, the favourite of favourites for our orphans the acacia pods. These are their dry season treats, and amidst Kibwezi forest we are lucky to have so many acacia tortilis trees with plentiful pods. From now until next dry season it will be hard to find them. Lima lima could not believe this problem was occurring, and she spends long periods of time searching for the few remaining together with her friends like Zongoloni and Ngasha who had it on their minds too.
The hot weather has begun and all the orphans were flapping their ears trying to cool down their hot bodies. The flapping was not enough though and instead they started to look around for where they might be able to go wallowing in a waterhole and swim. Ngasha and Sonje decided to go for the waterhole, but upon arriving they diverted to the milk bottle first, before making a run to the waterhole for clean drinking water and wallowing in the thick and muddy water, prepared earlier by the wild elephants who came in overnight . Ngasha and Sonje found Murera already preparing the waterhole trying to make a good mixture of mud before she began throwing some on her back.
The wallowing went a notch higher when all the babies teamed up together to roll around and on Sonje’s back to carry them, but Sonje was very happy to play with them because all the babies like Sonje; she is very welcoming to all orphans unlike Murera who remains selective and gets impatient with their games.
15 October 2015
Zongoloni was surprised this morning while walking alone in the forest a good distance from the rest of the group when she came across a young baby wild elephant standing next to her mother trying to suckle; they were standing under the shade of big tree. She had obviously been born in the Kibwezi Forest.
The other orphans teamed up with Sonje and Ziwa looking for some soft browsing branches in the thick bush, not far from the wild elephant with her baby. Even if the mother and baby were not seeing the orphans directly, they would surely be communicating regardless, infrasound that we Keepers cannot hear.
While bathing there was a slight drama when a terrapin floated up on the surface of the water pool trying to avoid the babies who had arrived for wallowing. It began to swim and struggled when the waves the babies were making got bigger and stronger, forcing more to float to the surface from the depths of the pond. When their bobbing heads were sighted by Lima Lima it was fair game, she thrashed the water with her trunk making it even more turbulent until some were forced to take evasive action and vacate, leaping out and rushing along the grass to safety.
16 October 2015
Ngasha and Jasiri decided to follow their own path today and not follow the other babies. Sonje, Murera and their baby boy Ziwa could not separate and they remained together.
Quanza did not like the company of the two naughty boys and their plan so she walked away to avoid them, taking exception when Jasiri (who is a known tail biter) tried to grab her tail.
The orphans enjoyed two bottles of milk each at their midday feed, after which they left for the mud bath and this is where the fun really started. They wallowed extensively.
17 October 2015
Quanza was struggling to find browse to satisfy her today, while the others milled around their Keepers waiting for them to direct them to the milk bottle feeding grounds sensing the time. When everyone moved in that direction Quanza lagged behind still trying to located tasty treats.
Zongoloni was following Quanza but got stuck when she was blocked by some fallen logs across the path. She used the sticks to her advantage and used them as convenient scratching logs. Zongoloni rushed to catch up with the herd who were already at the water pool ready to swim. Sonje was showing off while sitting down on the water pool, and the boys decided to take themselves off to the dusting soil, blowing dust on their backs using their trunks. Some of the babies then got in a happy mood and started charging and trumpeting around, chasing other wildlife around them such as bushbucks and some waterbucks that had appeared for the show near the orphans. Later on the babies left the water hole area for the shade provided by the big forest canopy and to browsed contentedly for the rest of the afternoon.
18 October 2015
Before it became too hot, every elephant was struggling to get an equal opportunity to fill up their empty stomachs in the early morning hours after having their morning breakfast feed of milk. Jasiri and Quanza were in the forefront leading the whole group of older females, walking up to the hills of the Kibwezi forest.
Murera failed to go up to the top and decided to remain on the hillside and browse there instead. Quanza is one of the more fearful orphans and even if a branch falls down she runs away from the area. Today dikdik ran near her feet and because she didn’t know what it was she ran away far into the bushes, leaving Jasiri and Sonje wondering why Quanza was running and leaving them alone.
19 October 2015
It was very good morning with the orphans eagerly heading out with a bounce in their step following their Keepers and the wheelbarrow full of milk in front of them as they all headed to the feeding corner. Lima lima was so fast and was not keeping enough distance for the keepers to push the wheelbarrows properly. She was almost clambering into the wheel barrow!
As the babies fed on the lucernes, Sonje was quickly satisfied so went to lie on the ground waiting for one of the boys to go come and play a game. However the naughty baby that came was Murera and Sonje turned to look who was on her back when she felt such a heavy weight; Murera left after some complaints from Sonje who was taking strain under the weight. Quanza moved over to Sonje when she thought she might be having a problem and started to pat her with her trunk to see what was wrong, but she found her to be fine. When the orphans went to the waterhole for wallowing they all had a very wild mud bathing time together in the muddy pool of water; when the keepers looked at Ngasha it was hard recognise him as an elephant he was so fully caked in mud.
20 October 2015
The second Matriarch female elephant Sonje with her beloved baby boy Ziwa had a very good playful time in the early morning hours. A few days ago Sonje did something to her left ear has flopped forward. She was twisting and turning it playing with her ear but it went back to normal, today however she seems to have folded it and it has stayed that way! We have tried to straighten it back but it won’t go back to normal to rest on her shoulders like the others. It looks very funny compared to the other babies with their ears in the normal shapes. When flapping it is very much okay and she seems happy folding it back to normal, but she just doesn’t? Sometimes we see wild elephants with such ears walking in the forests so we are not that worried about it.
At the wallowing waterhole all the babies went on pushing their bottoms and bellies on Sonje the most welcoming mother to all the orphans. All the babies saw Sonje in the waterhole rolling around in the mud. They all walked over to her including Murera but she decided not to lean on her because she is a heavier weight than the other babies and she might hurt Sonje on the ground, even getting up would not be easy for her.
21 October 2015
After Murera felt satisfied with the lucerne she was browsing on she found that she had been left behind by the other babies who had walked away. She decided to go on a different path to the other young orphans who had left with Sonje and Lima lima in the company of their beloved keepers. Murera knew she was old enough and didn’t have anything to worry about in the forest. She kept going until her keepers began to follow her to know where she was heading to. When the keepers continued calling her name she would respond with very big rumbles, showing that she was not happy to go the way the keepers wanted her to go.
Near Murera was Ngasha who was also very busy eating some greens, stuffing his mouth full; he was chewing fast so that he would get more from where they were heading to. Suddenly he found they were already at the waterhole and it was bottle feeding time. All the elephants headed to the mud bath to wallow very quickly after finishing their bottle feed, because the weather had turned very hot. After the orphans went back with their keepers but Jasiri and Quanza tried to follow the path used by wild elephants, following their scent along the path and smelling in their dung what plants they ate.
22 October 2015
The leading Lima lima led the orphans out on this very quiet and chilly day, even the birds were only whisperings on the air. Quanza followed Lima lima knowing in her mind that Lima lima was more tactical and knew how to get more fresher greens to forage on than just following the big group; most of the babies decided to go with Lima lima and Quanza. Zongoloni followed them very slowly, trying to know how far they were going and if they would get anything better than the others who went their own way. Lima lima and Quanza celebrated the hanging soft greens they found, stretching their trunks much longer so that they could reach them.
When the orphans arrived at the waterhole, Murera had a very good time rolling in the muddy waterhole in style, after Sonje left with the baby boy Ziwa. All the elephants turned up to the loose dusting soil to dust themselves and avoid the strong sunshine on their backs, as well as dry up their wet bodies.
23 October 2015
To the side of the water springs area there was very loud trumpeting of wild elephants; The orphans headed to the side where the wild elephants were after listening very keenly and eager to join in the game. Murera did not want to go to that side fearing the big elephants might cause more harm to her legs. The orphans were not very lucky to join the wild bulls as they were charged at and forced to turn around, even the keepers were running trying to avoid them they were so worked up.
The keepers called the babies out to the more safer side to relax and browse after a long run to avoid their charging wild friends who left heading towards the Chyulu Hills National Park. Most of the babies stayed near the Umani water springs area, feeding on the green branches like the palms trees that were looking very green and sweet to the babies. Zongoloni put more palms in her mouth than she could chew, behaving like the greedy Lima lima!
24 October 2015
The time for mud bath was approaching fast. Zongoloni in the company of Quanza and Lima lima teamed up together and just started walking towards the waterhole and the bottle feeding area. Murera was left behind breaking branches, practising what she saw the wild bulls doing the previous day. Then she realised she had been left alone and the other babies were taking their bottle of milk already, some had even finished and had gone to the water pool before Murera arrive late. After wallowing, Sonje had a problem with her itchy backside. She looked around for anything that would support her bottom so that she could scratch it, but the tree she found was falling down. Sonje was very heavy and could not scratch nicely on it but she struggled away and eventually satisfied the itch and left to join the others in the forest, as the keepers ate their lunch under some shade.
25 October 2015
It was the hottest day ever within the Kibwezi forest today, forcing everyone to head for shade provided by the bigger trees within the Umani Hills and walk around the water springs area for cooler temperatures found along the springs there. The shade was especially helpful to the elephants like Jasiri and Faraja who have lighter skin because of their albinism; the Kibwezi forest provides them a good refuge and the big trees help a lot to keep out the harsh sunshine; all our orphans here at Kibwezi look so healthy and happy.
Quanza brought in Jasiri and Faraja to the water pool in the springs themselves so that they would try and swim and cool down their bodies and also quench their thirst. All the orphans enjoyed a wallow like hippos only with their heads showing above the water. The keepers were melting today as well and were very tempted to join them, but the resident crocodiles provided a deterrent!
26 October 2015
In the night the leopards were making a lot of noise, a number of them were calling, and this freaked the baboons who started barking out in the night. The forest was alive with noise and this caused the babies to become quite fearful. Lima lima was the first one to start rumbling and she also let out a bellow, so that the keepers and the other babies would also know that all was not well in the bushes out there. The keepers responded and came out of their night duty tent and calmed the orphans down, calling their names, and just their presence settled things. Their human mothers kept watch around the stockades to keep them happy until midnight and when the leopards left, everything went back to normal. The babies fully believe in their keepers. Lima lima and the boys Ngasha, Faraja and Ziwa on their side slept very well; the naughty boys Faraja and Ngasha did not and kept pushing on their gate and walking around their room as they so often do.
27 October 2015
Very recently, Sonje began developing a new style with her one side of her ears, sometimes it folds normally and sometimes it goes back to normal and the way it should be. Sometimes this happens with elephants and not only Sonje so we are not too worried about it, but hopefully one day the ear will go back to normal.
In the forest Murera and Jasiri were together which the keepers don’t normally see happening as she is usually with baby Ziwa. Jasiri fixed himself in between Murera after seeing Ziwa was comfortably enjoying the company of Sonje trying to give him some soft branches. Today again the orphan babies went rushing to Sonje for some scratching activities near the water hole after wallowing; their bodies were very itchy and mostly their feet! However all the trees around that area had a problem trying to sustain the heavy weights of the babies scratching on them and some were pushed down to the ground.
28 October 2015
Due to the very dry season that we experience now in the Kibwezi forest, the greedy Lima lima feels like she doesn’t get enough greens to satisfy her empty stomach. When she comes back home she seems to be even more greedy than usual, and now Quanza is being very tough with her when the babies come back from the bushes after long day’s walk. Quanza tends to be very pushy to Lima lima at the time they finish up the bottle feeding in the evening and go for pellets and some lucerne. Sometimes Quanza kicks them to her side, at the same time Lima lima on the other side is finishing the pellets and seed pods that we collect for them sometimes.
After the fun waterhole games, Jasiri started to feel his body getting itchy and looked around to see if there was anything that would help him scratch but found nothing; the smaller trees could not sustain his body weight even though he tried on after the other, all trees were just falling down. When he looked around for other trees there were none left without any elephants relaxing underneath or using them already; all were occupied by an elephant trying to scratch!
29 October 2015
Lima lima today was the controller of the whole herd after being given the responsibility by the two matriarchs Murera and Sonje. Lima lima took the responsibility with ease and was so happy to lead the babies together with Murera. Lima lima took off leading the orphans to the rocky area which was good with Murera because Murera would not be happy walking on the sharp lava rocks; instead she stayed away while the other young babies jumped over the rocks so steadily, leaving Murera and Sonje with their baby boy Ziwa to forage on their own.
Sometimes the keepers are very surprised with Sonje’s ear and that it folds back and flaps well, but sometimes it looks very funny when she keeps on twisting it all the way around and going straight again like it should be.
The naughty tail grabber Jasiri began his bad character trait of grabbing his friend’s tails today. Today he got Zongoloni in a corner when Zongoloni was busy scratching her bottom and Jasiri started to hold her tail which she didn’t like. She turned around so fast trying to get Jasiri but Jasiri just missed the trunk flap from Zongoloni who turned around with full force to target whoever was holding her tail. Zongoloni pushed him down to the ground in the hope that he wound learn a lesson about tail grabbing.
30 October 2015
It was Lima lima again who took on the lead of taking the orphans around the rocky forests today, trying to find what would fill up their empty stomachs in the early morning. They actually managed to find some fresh forage to enjoy.
When Murera arrived near Lima lima, she heard some wild elephants rumbling and trumpeting a few kilometres away from where they were. She got scared and raised up her big ears trying to look around to see if she could find any danger. The keepers were also nervous but Murera was brave and did not run away because she knew she was the only big elephant around. She responded with big rumbles trying to stop the wild family from walking to their side, as the keepers brought the babies together so they would not be separate should they decide to run away.
31 October 2015
Sonje with her new designed ear which folds in the opposite direction is still showing good health so we are not worried about it. She responded very quickly to Ziwa today who she heard screaming in the bushes after being pushed away by Ngasha. After collecting Ziwa, together Zongoloni, Sonje and these two joined the other orphans who were already filling up their stomachs in the early morning. They were walking to the side of the Chyulu Hills where they encountered some wild buffaloes nearby where they were foraging.
There was a lot of fresh vegetation and a few seedpods that were being dropped by the baboons; a few antelopes waited eagerly below for the seed pods to drop down on the ground, much like the eager elephant babies who love this tasty treat.