Keepers' Diaries, October 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
This month saw our Ex Orphans in the spotlight at Ithumba as three wild born babies were born first to Yatta, who had her second calf Yoyo on the 7th. Her entry into the stockade compound at dawn to show off her new baby to her human family was the cause of much excitement amongst the Ex Orphans and wild elephants present. Yetu, Yatta’s first born girl, couldn’t even get close to her baby brother as he was surrounded by all the females wanting to greet him. This was followed by Nasalot who had her first born on the 14th, a little bull called Nusu, and finally Sunyei who had a gorgeous girl called Siku on the 22nd, her name meaning ‘day’, as she was born just as dawn broke over Tsavo. Loijuk appeared to be Siku’s chief nanny and as Sunyei walked little Siku through the stockade compound the excitement from the other elephants seemed to prove a little too much for the new mum, and she decided to steer her baby to the western side of the stockade so she could introduce her baby to the keepers there.
01 October 2017
Shortly before dawn, Laragai managed to open the gate and let Kithaka and Barsilinga out. Outside Kilaguni and Chaimu accompanied them until dawn broke. The orphans settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade and were shortly joined by Narok, Orwa, Vuria and Bomani. Shukuru and Oltaiyoni scratched on the nearby rocks as the rest of the group enjoyed feeding on the fresh lucerne.
Out in the bush Kithaka briefly played with Lemoyian while Olsekki played with Sokotei. The rest of the morning was quiet as the orphans mostly concentrated on browsing. On the way to the mud bath, Oltaiyoni led the way and when they arrived they were joined by fifteen wild bulls. Dupotto and Tusuja opted for a scratching exercise soon after mud bath while Kamok and Naseku dusted themselves with the loose soil. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Kithaka and Garzi spent some time wrestling with each other. They tussle came to an end when Garzi emerged as the winner. In the evening, the sun was still hot and the orphans visited the mud bath for a second time to cool off before heading back to the stockade.
02 October 2017
Chaimu and Kilaguni spent the night just outside the stockade. When the gates were opened for the juniors to come out, Chaimu walked in to check whether there were any leftovers. Shortly later, Olare group in the company of the wild orphan checked in and joined the juniors to feed on the fresh lucerne. The sky was clear and this was an indication of a hot day a head. The orphans settled to browse up the Hyenas Hill up to eleven o'clock in the morning when Ukame led the first group to the mud bath.
On the way, Kithaka and Garzi had a disagreement that resulted in a pushing game. At mud bath, although the sun was hot, all was quiet without any single wild elephant or Ex Orphan showing up. The orphans had the venue to themselves and returned to the browsing field when they felt that they had finished wallowing. In the afternoon, Lemoyian, who loves pushing games, engaged Tusuja in a strength testing exercise and later moved to play with Boromoko. In the evening on their way back to the stockade, the orphans passed by the mud bath where they met Orok, Half Trunk and several wild elephants. Late in the evening, thirty five wild elephants showed up at the stockade water troughs for water.
03 October 2017
Five wild bulls and a buffalo were drinking water at the stockade when the orphans were let out. Mutara and her group joined the orphans for lucerne shortly after they were let out and Kanjoro briefly engaged Garzi in a pushing game.
Out in the bush the ever playful Lemoyian engaged Enkikwe in a strength testing exercise but he lost the game to him. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by the senior Ex Orphans who were with some wild bulls. In the end, a total of eighty elephants were at mud bath and they all wallowed to their satisfaction. Later, the orphans headed to Kanziku area where they settled to browse while the senior Ex Orphans headed west of the Ithumba Hill. The orphans had a quiet afternoon as they concentrated on browsing without any major observation. In the evening, Galana, who is forming her group, reported to the stockade with Loijuk, Lualeni, Ololoo, Chyulu, her baby Gawa and Nasalot. They later walked off back into the Park.
04 October 2017
Kibo, Naisula, Kitirua and Murka, who are part of Olare’s group, joined the juniors for lucerne in the morning. After having enough lucerne, Shukuru walked to the water trough and shortly later welcomed Dad and his six friends who had reported for water. Shukuru then walked away giving space for Dad and his friends to drink water. After they had enough they walked off back into the bush, giving the orphans the opportunity to come and drink water before heading to the browsing field. Siangiki and Kamok briefly entwined their trunks in morning greetings while Garzi settled to scratch his belly on a termite hill. Lemoyian engaged Boromoko in a pushing game and later, as a show of dominance, attempted to ride on him. Later the playful Lemoyian engaged Tusuja in a strength testing game that ended when Lemoyian attempted to ride on him. Shortly before mud bath time , Kithaka engaged Sirimon in a similar pushing game while Wanjala settled to dust himself with soil.
Only Boromoko wanted to wallow in the mud bath as the rest of his friends concentrated on drinking water. Later, Boromoko played with Olsekki and their game ended in a draw. In the evening, the orphans passed by mud bath where they were joined by seven wild bulls to cool off. Late in the evening, thirty wild elephants reported for water at the stockade water troughs.
05 October 2017
The senior Ex Orphans were present at the stockade compound ready to share lucerne with the orphans once they were let out. Shortly later, Mutara brought her group to the stockade compound and joined in feasting on the lucerne. Suguta briefly played with Wiva while Turkwel entwined her trunk with Ishanga in morning greeting. When they finished eating lucerne, the herd scattered in different directions. The orphans headed east of stockade while the Ex Orphans headed west of the stockade.
Out in the Park, the orphans had a quiet morning as they concentrated on browsing without playing any games apart from Sokotei and Enkikwe, who briefly enjoyed a pushing game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, only six wild bulls showed up. Galla had fun in the water and from time to time enjoyed riding on Boromoko. Later Bongo, Loijuk and Orok showed up for water. After wallowing, the orphans headed south of the mud bath. In the afternoon, the heat from the sun became unbearable making the orphans seek refuge under a tree that had nice shade. The orphans resumed browsing again later when is was cooler. In the evening, as is custom these days, the orphans passed by the mud bath to cool off, before being led back to the stockade by Kamok.
06 October 2017
Fifteen wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. Tusuja left with a branch in his mouth that he continued to chew on as he waited for the lucerne. The orphans were then joined by Olare’s group. Kalama headed straight to the water trough where she joined two bulls that were still drinking water. After the orphans had enough lucerne, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. It was a quiet and hot day but the orphans were not deterred by the heat of sun and mainly concentrated on browsing. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Half Trunk in the company of twenty wild bulls. Only Olsekki, Boromoko, Laragai and Enkikwe wallowed with the wild elephants. Later the orphans, led by Shukuru, headed back to the browsing field where Garzi, Karisa, Ukame and Laragai relaxed under a tree. In evening, the temperature was still high and the orphans passed by the mud bath again where they wallowed to cool down before heading back to the stockade for the night.
07 October 2017
At dawn there was so much excitement amongst the Ex Orphans and wild elephants following Yatta's grant entry into the stockade compound with a new baby! There was trumpeting and bellowing as almost all the young girls wanted to be associated with the baby. Yetu, who is Yatta’s first born, didn’t even get a chance to be close to her younger brother Yoyo. The big nannies were making it almost impossible for her to get close, but she followed from a distance. Yoyo's main nannies included Sidai, Loijuk, Lenana, a wild female, Chyulu and Ithumbah. Shortly later, five wild dogs that tried to access the water trough at the stockade compound where chased away by the elephants who were on high guard. Yatta and her group headed west of the stockade while the juniors headed east. Kanjoro and Garzi briefly had a strength testing exercise before parting ways.
The orphans mainly concentrated on browsing so there was no fun and games out in the bush. At mud bath, only Kinna, Gawa, Yetu, Wendi, Wiva, Lualeni, Sunyei, Orok, Ishanga, Makena, Ololoo, Nasalot and six wild bulls joined the juniors at the venue. After wallowing, Dupotto scratched against the acacia trees and later in the afternoon, settled to browse with Lemoyian. Barsilinga dodged his friends and joined Mutara’s group up until evening when he returned to join his friends in the stockade for the night.
08 October 2017
The Ex Orphans joined the orphans for lucerne in the morning. Kama was in a playful mood and kept charging at the orphans from time to time. She played with Naseku, Olare and Boromoko. Later Kama briefly sniffed at baby Yoyo and walked to her mother. The herd parted ways an hour later with the orphans heading east as the Ex Orphans headed west. Kamok made a mistake of leaving with the Ex Orphans but moments later, she was escorted back to her group by Sidai. Seven buffaloes came for water at the stockade water troughs and then left. A wild herd with a new born baby checked in at the stockade compound and left soon after having water; the nannies were heavily guarding the baby.
Out in the bush, Roi settled to browse with Olsekki while Barsilinga engaged Kithaka in a pushing game. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans where Yatta brought Yoyo for his first mud bath. After mud bathing, Galla, Barsilinga and Ukame spent some time soil dusting. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The sun was still hot and the orphans spent a lot of time relaxing under a tree. In the evening, they passed by the mud bath again to cool off.
09 October 2017
Shukuru left with a branch in her mouth and enjoyed feeding on it for sometime before dropping it so she could enjoy some lucerne. A wild mum with her two calves joined the orphans together with Mutara’s group to feed on lucerne. Later, the orphans were joined by Yatta’s group and later six wild bulls reported for water. Laragai joined Challa for a drink at the water trough before she rumbled, alerting her friends that it was time to get moving. Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to the browsing field and an hour later, parted with the orphans. Galla and Naseku took a break from feeding and briefly engaged in a chat that ended when Lemoyian passed by and pushed them away. Karisa settled to browse with Boromoko as Sirimon and Dupotto settled for a soil dusting exercise. Lemoyian engaged Enkikwe in a pushing game that ended when Enkikwe surrendered. On their way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Yatta’s group where Boromoko played with little Kama.
At mud bath, the orphans and Ex Orphans were joined by ten wild elephants. Yoyo got into the mud bathing water sending all the nannies and the mum into a panic as they tried to guide him out to avoid him drowning. At last Yatta backed by Kinna, Chyulu, Makena, Sidai, Lenana, Ithumbah, Mwende and Mulika managed to get Yoyo out. In the afternoon it was fairly cool and the orphans settled to browse on the western slopes of Ithumba Hill where they browsed calmly up until the evening, when Kamok led the way back to the stockade.
10 October 2017
The orphans were joined by Makireti and Olare’s groups in the morning. Karisa and Galla carried their little piles of lucerne and moved away from their friends. Galla finished his pile first and tried to force Karisa to share his pile with him but Karisa refused, and moved away with his pile which annoyed Galla. Galla pushed Karisa from behind then turned to go and look for more lucerne. Shortly later, the orphans left for browsing. Barsilinga, Garzi and Laragai lagged behind enjoying the company of the junior Ex Orphans. They later joined their friends in the Kanziku area where they had settled to browse. Ten wild elephants reported for water two hours after the orphans had left for browsing. Noticeable was a three day old baby elephant that was in the company of the wild elephants. The group left after drinking enough water.
Tusuja settled to browse with Dupotto while Sokotei was very busy digging the roots of a certain shrub. Wanjala took a break from feeding and relaxed under tree as it became fairly hot. Kamok and Enkikwe had lightly friendly pushing game that didn't go on for long. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Yatta’s group. Missing were Kinna, Galana and their babies. The sun was so hot, causing Yoyo to fall into the water trough as he tried to touch the water. It took Yatta and her friends sometime to rescue him from the water trough. After getting him out, Yatta walked Yoyo away from the scene simply because it was obvious that Yoyo would fall in again. Tusuja joined Lenana who was peeling bark of an acacia tree and Tusuja tried to beg a piece from her, but Lenana wouldn’t give in. Tusuja then waited until she had left and then he got the chance to take some bark Lenana had left behind. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Challa and converged under a tree as they waited for the temperature to drop before they resumed browsing. Oltaiyoni had brief light strength testing exercise with Tusuja. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath again where they wallowed before heading home.
11 October 2017
There was drama around the compound early before six o'clock in morning when a herd of twenty six wild elephants tried to chase away four wild dogs that had tried to access the stockade water trough. Eventually the wild dogs were overpowered and ran away to look for water elsewhere. The wild elephants drank water to their satisfaction and left after. A wild mum briefly joined the orphans for lucerne before following her friends. Yatta’s group showed up moments after the orphans had left for browsing. Ukame settled to browse with Karisa as Naseku took a break from feeding to scratch her itchy neck against a nearby tree. Sokotei settled to browse with Enkikwe and at eleven o'clock in the morning, Kamok led the way to the mud bath.
The orphans were joined by twelve wild bulls including Dad and One Tusk. Tusuja engaged Boromoko in a light strength testing exercise as Shukuru rumbled informing her friends that it was time to leave. The orphans then settled for a soil dusting exercise before heading back to the browsing field. The sun became hot and unbearable making the orphans relax under a tree. In the evening, the temperature was still high so the orphans passed by the mud bath again to cool off.
12 October 2017
It was a quiet morning with only Tomboi and Nasalot joining the orphans for lucerne. Out in the bush Naseku teamed up with Ukame and Tusuja to browse while Sirimon soil dusted. Later, Enkikwe engaged Boromoko in a pushing game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by One Tusk and his three friends. Olsekki and Boromoko played a pushing game while enjoying cooling off in the water. Sirimon rode on Enkikwe while Lemoyian tried to block Galla from coming out of the mud. In the afternoon it was very hot still and the orphans relaxed under a tree for some time before resuming browsing. They cooled off in the water hole on the way back to the stockades in the evening again.
13 October 2017
The sky was clear in the morning as the orphans strolled out of their stockades which signaled a hot day ahead. Soon after having lucerne, Laragai led the way to the water trough where the orphans armed themselves with enough water to take them through the entire morning. Later the orphans were joined by Mutara and Narok’s groups. Kanjoro had a brief strength testing exercise with Garzi while Mutara greeted Shukuru before settling to feed. Sities settled to browse close to Naseku while Ukame browsed with Roi.
At eleven o'clock in the morning, Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to the mud bath where Half Trunk was with thirteen other wild bulls who were enjoying cooling off in the water. More bulls and the senior Ex Orphans continued to trickle into the mud bath area. Yatta and Yoyo were not present. After the orphans had milk, some water and finished mud bathing, Oltaiyoni and Siangiki led the way up the slopes of the Ithumba Hill where they all settled to browse. The sun was still hot and the orphans converged under a tree for some time before browsing again, with Naseku dusting herself from time to time. In the evening, on their way back to the stockades, the orphans passed by the mud bath to cool off again in this warm weather.
14 October 2017
The sky was partly covered by clouds in the morning, as a wild herd with a four day old baby were busy drinking water at the stockade water troughs. It appears that the day was meant as a ‘baby show’ as just before 6am a wild female, who visits from time to time to share lucerne with the juniors, reported with her baby that seemed just a few hours old. The wild female was also in the company of her two other grown up calves. When the orphans were let out, the wild female joined them to feed on lucerne. There was a slight drama when the baby tried to follow Boromoko into the stockade. One of the other wild calves followed the baby trying to block it from getting into the stockade and finally succeeded; after that the herd left. Shortly later, Yatta and her group reported with all their babies and settled for lucerne. Kama had a brief chat with Naseku as Enkikwe tried to reach Yoyo. Laragai led the way to the browsing field and Kama decided to accompany them. Fifty metres away, Kama started trumpeting and charging thus attracted her mother Kinna, who came running over to pick her up and take her back to her herd.
At around ten forty-five in the morning, Nasalot arriving bringing her own baby Nusu with her to the stockade. There was so much excitement as all Yoyo's nannies shifted their attention to Nasalot's baby. The nannies Sidai, Chyulu, Naserian, Loijuk and Makena all lined up trying to woo Nusu to shelter under them.
At mud bath time, Olsekki and Boromoko had a game of riding on each other as One Tusk and Half Trunk with two other friends continued to wallow on the opposite side. The orphans spent most of the afternoon relaxing under a tree due to the hot weather. In the evening, the orphans headed for an evening cool-off before heading back to the stockade.
15 October 2017
Twelve wild elephants led by One Tusk were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. Karisa left the stockade with a branch in his mouth that he continued to enjoy while waiting for lucerne. Narok appears to have spent the night with Olare’s group just outside the stockade, and walked into the stockade to find out whether there were any leftovers. Yatta and her group joined the juniors when they were eating lucerne. Nasalot was missing with her baby Nusu. When it was time to leave, Barsilinga was left behind with the Ex Orphans and followed his friends later, after he had spent enough time with the others.
Tusuja and Boromoko were enjoying a pushing game when Garzi intervened by pushing the two boys away. Naseku spent some time playing on a termite hill as Lemoyian played with Wanjala. Ukame used a nearby rock to scratch her belly as Kithaka attempted to ride on Tusuja. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to touch the water. Barsilinga briefly played with Kithaka before Narok, who had joined the juniors in the morning, led the way back to the browsing field. The orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. Siangiki settled to browse with Enkikwe while Sirimon settled to browse with Wanjala and Galla. In the evening, the orphans headed to the mud bath for an evening cool-off before heading back to the stockade.
16 October 2017
Early in the morning a group of wild elephants totaling twenty in number reported for water at the stockade water troughs. A wild mother with her three calves had come to join the orphans to feed on lucerne. Nasalot, who was missing the previous day with Lenana, showed up in the morning looking good. Nasalot walked the baby Nusu up to the stockade escorted by Chyulu and Lenana. Once the juniors were let out, Tusuja had the opportunity to familiarize himself with Nusu as Sidai stood guard. Shortly later, there was a scuffle when two wild elephants tried to chase away some wild dogs and buffaloes that had come for water at the stockade. Yatta and her group reported and joined the juniors for lucerne. Kamok briefly chatted with Kama as Boromoko played with Galla.
Out in the bush, the orphans were joined by Yatta and her group and at eleven o'clock, they escorted them to the mud bath. At mud bath time the herd was joined by fifteen wild bulls. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western slopes of Ithumba Hill while Yatta’s group settled to browse in the Imenti area. It was a hot afternoon, and the orphans had to rest under a tree for sometime before resuming browsing. In the evening the orphans as usual passed by the mud bath again for an evening wallow.
17 October 2017
Olare and her group in the company of the wild orphan joined the juniors for lucerne in the morning. Galla briefly settled into a scratching exercise as he waited for lucerne. Shortly later, Yatta and her group showed up and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Chemi Chemi and Ololoo engaged each other in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. After finishing the lucerne, the orphans headed straight out where they settled to browse without any major observation.
At mud bath time, only Boromoko decided to go into the water. The rest drank their milk and then some water before heading back to the browsing field. In the evening, the sun was still hot and the orphans headed to the mud bath where they joined five wild bulls that had arrived earlier to wallow. After enjoying the evening cool-off exercise, the orphans settled for a soil dusting exercise and after, Ukame led the first group back to the stockade for the night.
18 October 2017
Fifteen wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. Olare and her group were patiently waiting for lucerne in the usual place. Shortly later, Nasalot, her baby Nusu, Naserian, Chyulu, Loijuk, Ololoo and Lualeni joined the herd for lucerne. Tusuja briefly engaged Kamok in a pushing game that ended when Kamok decided to back down. When the orphans had enough of the lucerne, Kithaka led the way to the water trough where the orphans had some water before heading out to browse.
Siangiki settled to browse with Olsekki while Garzi rolled on the ground on his own. At mud bath time, Shukuru led the way as the rest of the herd followed behind her. The sun was hot but only Boromoko, Olsekki, Enkikwe, Siangiki, Naseku and Karisa decided to wallow. Kamok opted to relax under the nearby tree as the rest of the herd walked up to the water trough where Dad and eighteen wild bulls were drinking water. The orphans then headed back out to browse.
In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where all of them wallowed under the supervision of a wild elephant that was standing some distance away. After wallowing, Barsilinga, Boromoko, Galla and Naseku dusted themselves with soil and shortly later, Roi led the first group back to the stockades.
19 October 2017
It was a quiet morning as the orphans settled for lucerne without any outsiders showing up for the lucerne feeding session. Kamok took a break from feeding to scratch on a nearby rock. Half an hour later, the senior Ex Orphans showed up and joined the juniors. Yoyo spent some time familiarizing himself with Galla and Naseku and later had a playful game with Naseku.
Out in the bush, Olsekki had a brief strength testing exercise with Lemoyian as Garzi had some exercise by climbing some rocks in search of better pasture. Barsilinga settled to browse with Laragai as Boromoko teamed up with Sirimon. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by eight wild bulls and later in the afternoon Sokotei, Enkikwe, Siangiki, Shukuru and Tusuja spent some time soil dusting. Later, the herd converged under a tree and relaxed before resuming browsing later on. Boromoko played with Kamok as Sirimon played with Enkikwe. In evening as usual, the orphans went via the mud bath for an evening cool-off before heading back to the stockades.
20 October 2017
Olare and her group arrived early before dawn at the stockade and decided to wait for the juniors to join them to feed on lucerne. Soon after the juniors had their morning milk, Shukuru and Ukame left with branches in their mouths that they continued to feed on while waiting for lucerne. Shukuru, who has befriended Dupotto because of how they come back to the stockade early for their treatment of some blood parasite, walked to where Dupotto was standing and started scratching against her. Shortly later Yatta and her group showed up for some lucerne too. When it was time to leave, Barsilinga and Garzi were left with the Ex Orphans and followed their friends later. The orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Laragai, Siangiki, Tusuja and Kithaka came across a branch that had been felled by a wild elephant which they shared amongst themselves without any problems.
There were eight wild bulls at the mud bath today. Garzi and Lemoyian had a brief strength testing exercise that ended when Lemoyian surrendered. In the afternoon, the orphans converged under a tree to relax since the sun was still hot and they only went back to browsing when it became a bit cooler. In the evening Karisa and Lemoyian led the way to the mud bath where all the orphans participated in wallowing. After the evening wallowing, Garzi and Barsilinga led the group for some soil dusting shortly before heading back to the stockade for another night.
21 October 2017
Soon after having her morning milk, Roi, armed with a branch in her mouth, led the way out from the stockade. Once the orphans were outside, Kamok requested Roi to share the branch with her. Roi resisted by walking away from Kamok. This prompted Kamok to catch up with Roi and forcefully take the branch from her. Later, Kamok settled against a nearby rock where she spent some time scratching her belly. Sokotei inadvertently blocked Lemoyian as he walked up to Kamok's stockade to get his milk. Lemoyian, who spends his night with Barsilinga, Garzi, Laragai and Kithaka, is the only remaining member in that group that is still having milk. To avoid being pushed by his friends, Lemoyian has to go to another stockade to have his milk whenever his gate is opened in the morning. Sokotei realized quite late that he was standing in Lemoyian's way when Lemoyian bumped into him. Shukuru, who has been diagnosed with an infection and still getting her medicine together with Dupotto, lightly pushed Kamok from the rock she was scratching on and used the same rock to scratch her belly. Shortly later, Shukuru had a morning stretch by stretching her forelegs forward, and then walked to the water trough where she settled for water. Galla, who is junior to Boromoko, picked on Boromoko for a strength testing exercise in anticipation of acquiring new pushing tactics that he could use to defend himself against his age mates. Mutara and her group, Nasalot, baby Nusu, the wild orphan, Chyulu, Ithumbah, Ishanga, Wendi, Lualeni and Ololoo reported at the stockade in the morning hours. The wild orphan was escorting and acting as nanny for Nusu this morning. Nasalot took Nusu on a tour of one of the stockades before joining her friends to feed on lucerne. Later in the day, Tusuja tested his strength against Olsekki, Kithaka and Barsilinga but ended up losing all the games to his seniors.
22 October 2017
There was a drama in the morning shortly before the orphans were let out when a hyena tried to access water at the stockade water hole. One Tusk with his two friends stood on guard and one of them opted to chase the hyena away. Boromoko, who is always trying to challenge his male friends, was one of the first to leave the stockade. Once Boromoko was outside, he stood at the exit point and tried to block his friends from coming out. First was Galla who tried to fight his way out but was defeated. Second was Olsekki who volunteered to clear the way for his friends. Olsekki tackled Boromoko and pushed him back, thus creating way for others to pass. Roi and Shukuru carried branches in their mouths that they continued to feed on. Shortly later, the orphans were joined by Olare’s group, Yatta’s group and Mutara’s group. The naughty Kithaka tried to pick a pile of lucerne close to Ithumbah, thinking that Ithumbah wasn't looking. Kithaka got a rude shock when Ithumbah threw a back kick that landed on his trunk though! He then decided to leave and try his luck somewhere else. Kamok walked over to baby Nusu where she familiarized herself with the one week old boy, before her mother moved to the water trough to get some water.
As all this was going on, Sunyei's slipped quietly into the stockade and we were shocked and amazed to see that she had a baby that was only a few hours old, with Loijuk who appeared to be the main nanny. The excitement that rocked the whole area as Sunyei walked the baby towards the water trough was euphoric. As some trumpeted with excitement it drew the attention of the other elephants and they all ran towards Sunyei rumbling and trumpeting. The commotion was too much for Sunyei however, and she decided to steer her baby west of the stockade. We decided to call her little girl Siku, meaning ‘day’ after she was born as dawn broke across Tsavo.
Enkikwe had a strength testing exercise with Lemoyian that was cut short by Kithaka who came to ride on Lemoyian. At mud bath time sixty wild bulls and forty Ex Orphans joined the twenty two dependent orphans at mud bath. Shortly later, a new bull to the area who appeared to be a dominant one brought all activities to a standstill when he tackled one of the other big bulls head on. The shout from the wild bull prompted all the other bulls to clear from the water hole. The dominant male then settled for water as the rest of the bulls stood a distance away. The other bulls were only able to access the water after the dominant one left.
23 October 2017
Nasalot, baby Nusu and the wild orphan spent the night just outside the stockade and joined the juniors for lucerne once the orphans were let out in the morning. Kamok, who is an independent girl and never bothers the other orphans, left with a branch in her mouth that she continued to chew before settling for lucerne. Olsekki tried to block the gentle Dupotto but the keepers told him off and Olsekki stopped and hurried away, shaking his head in protest at the keepers intervening on his fun. Shortly later, Mutara’s group checked and Kanjoro approached Sirimon as if to ask if he could share his pile of lucerne, which Sirimon obliged. The feeding came to an abrupt end when herds of wild elephants up to about sixty in number invaded the water trough and lucerne feeding venue. The orphans saw it wise to pave way for their seniors to avoid being bossed around. Noticeable amongst the wild group were two wild babies that were less than a week old.
Later in the day, the ever playful Lemoyian engaged Sokotei in a strength testing game that ended when Lemoyian realized that there was no chance of winning. Lemoyian pretended to have seen something and charged as he ran towards the bushes. Enkikwe settled to browse close to Olsekki and then for some reason they had an argument but we were not sure what about. This ended up in a pushing game that went on for quite some time. Kamok came across a big branch that had been felled by a wild elephant. This made her happy and she picked it up and moved away from her friends to avoid being pestered by her age mates to share, or face it being confiscated by her seniors! In the evening, the orphans attended a soil dusting exercise soon after cooling off in the mud bath before walking home.
24 October 2017
It was a busy morning today as we had a large group of elephants and Ex Orphans visit the stockades with wild bulls amongst them. Yatta with Yetu and Yoyo, Nasalot with Nusu, Kinna with Kama, and Mulika with Mwende were amongst them. They joined orphans in the lucerne feeding area with the youngest wild-born babies, Kama, Yoyo and Nusu looking so active and healthy. There was also a wild mother there with her baby. The orphans later walked out to the Park to browse. It is still so dry and everyone concentrated on finding enough to eat; no one played any games and they all browsed up until it was time to go to the mud bath for milk.
Once there the orphans relaxed a bit and enjoyed some funs and games. The orphans played in the water with some wild bulls and later headed back out to the bush to browse again. Wild bulls and Ex Orphans stayed at the mud bath and Sunyei went to the water trough to drink water. Baby Siku fell inside but the trough was only a quarter full. Sunyei tried to pull her out but was unable, and the keepers had to go in and help her out with her mother’s support. She pulled from behind and helped us get her out. Nusu was being very clever and was playing along the edge of the mudbath with his mother, Nasalot, next to him. They later went to dust bath and Nusu started rolling around and playing as Olare, the nanny, looked on. They later walked away to the bush.
The orphans were very busy browsing in the afternoon to make sure they got enough to eat, despite the hot and dry weather. The group later walked back to the mud bath in the evening to cool off and then Kamok led the group back home in the evening.
25 October 2017
The weather this morning was cloudy and chilly following light showers received over night. This is an indication that the rainy season is on its way! After feeding on lucerne, Laragai, who at one time had left to be in the wild with her friends, but then later opted to return to the stockade, led the way to the browsing field. The no-nonsense girl who is feared by the boys because of her harshness, only has respect for Shukuru and Garzi. Laragai considers herself a grown-up and likes her privacy. She feeds a short distance away from her friends most of the time. She came across some rain water that had collected on a rock which she enjoyed drinking from before browsing again. Ukame briefly dusted herself with soil as the tuskless Lemoyian spent time trying to reach leaves high in the trees. Murka, Naisula and Kitirua joined the orphans out in the bush. Barsilinga briefly engaged Naisula in a play fight but Barsilinga bowed out when the going got tough for him. Six bulls attended mud bath and were calm enough to allow the orphans to share water with them.
26 October 2017
The sky was partly covered by clouds when the orphans settled to feed on lucerne when they were joined by Buchuma, Kenze, Nasalot, baby Nusu, the wild orphan and three wild bulls. Shortly later Olsekki, Sokotei, Galla, Ukame and Tusuja walked down to the water trough where they joined a wild bull to drink water. Olsekki, who likes getting involved in pushing games with his fellow male friends, played with the wild bull by stepping on the wall of the water trough to try and make himself look bigger. The wild bull wasn't amused by Olsekki's antics but he knows how these little boys behave!
Shukuru led the orphans south east of the stockade where the herd encountered three buffaloes. With her ears out, Shukuru charged at the buffaloes to see if they would make way for the elephants. The buffaloes stepped out of way allowing the orphans to have pass peacefully. The weather was still chilly and only Half Trunk with a wild friend attended mud bath. Lemoyian and Enkikwe had a disagreement that led Lemoyian to chase Enkikwe as he tried to grab his tail to stop him for running away from a proper disciplining. Enkikwe tried as much as possible to free himself from Lemoyian and at last he succeeded. Olsekki engaged Tusuja in pushing game that didn't last for long as Tusuja gave up when he felt that he had no chance of either winning or obtaining a draw. Sirimon and Kithaka briefly participated in soil dusting exercise. In the evening, the cloudy sky gave way to light showers that lasted for only a short while.
27 October 2017
It was a quiet and peaceful morning when the orphans left and settled for lucerne where they were joined by several Ex Orphans. Lemoyian started his day's activities by scratching on the nearby rocks while Boromoko and Tusuja settled for a strength testing exercise that came to an abrupt end when Kithaka intervened by pushing the two boys away. Kithaka is one amongst four orphans that are off milk and considering themselves as grownups; anytime they might quit the human family and join their friends in the wild. It's not clear whether Lemoyian, who came down at the same time with Barsilinga and Kithaka, will be willing to join them or remain behind to enjoy the pushing games he really loves playing with his fellow boys. Only time will tell what will happen. After their game was disrupted by Lemoyian, Boromoko moved to play with Olsekki as Lemoyian went to try his luck with Enkikwe. Enkikwe was not willing to participate in a pushing game with Lemoyian since he knew he would lose. Naisula joined the orphan herd out in the bush and had a great time with Ukame. They browsed together and soil dusted before Naisula escorted the juniors to mud bath. As the orphans were drinking water at the mud bath water trough, Karisa was forced to have a cold bath when without warning, Lemoyian came up from behind and pushed him into the water. The weather was chilly and the orphans returned back to the browsing field soon after having their milk and water.
28 October 2017
Mutara, Kanjoro, Kainuk, Turkwel, Sities, Suguta, Chaimu and Kilaguni spent the night just outside the stockade. As soon as the gates were opened for orphans to leave in the morning, Kainuk, Chaimu and Suguta made their way into the stockade to check if there were any leftovers. Shukuru had a brief conversation with Barsilinga when they settled for lucerne as Orwa, Narok, Bomani and Vuria emerged from the eastern side of the stockade. Shortly later, Yatta and her group checked in and settled to share lucerne with the juniors. Kamok took some time to familiarize herself with Nusu as Garzi engaged Mutara in a pushing game, a game that saw Mutara emerge victorious. Boromoko, the gentle boy who loves engaging his fellow boys in pushing games, settled for a soil dusting exercise and later moved to a nearby termite hill where he gauged his own strength by trying to push the termite hill. Sokotei and Enkikwe had fun rolling on the ground with Sokotei attempting to ride on Enkikwe. Naseku picked an acacia branch that had probably been dropped by a wild elephant and stopped to have a taste of it when Tusuja came by and pulled it from her mouth. Naseku just let it go hoping that she would find another as the day went on. The temperature was moderate and only Lemoyian, Olsekki, Naseku, Shukuru, Oltaiyoni and Siangiki decided to wallow. But in the afternoon, the temperature skyrocketed making the orphans take a break from feeding and converge under a tree to hide from the scorching sun. The orphans resumed browsing later when the temperature had dropped slightly.
29 October 2017
After leaving the stockade early in the morning, the orphans were joined by Rapsu to feed on lucerne as six bulls kept themselves busy drinking water at the stockade water troughs. Shortly later, one of the wild bulls joined the juniors for some lucerne. When the orphans were through with the lucerne, Shukuru led the way out followed by Kithaka as the rest of the herd followed behind. The weather was cool following light showers overnight. Lemoyian and Kithaka had a warm up exercise by pushing each other. Sokotei tackled Enkikwe, a game that didn't last for long as Kithaka withdrew playing with Lemoyian and came to disrupt their game by attempting to ride on Enkikwe. The no nonsense and quiet Siangiki spent some time scratching her belly on a fallen tree. Siangiki is both feared and respected by the other junior boys as she can hold her own in their company. Like Laragai, who is very quick in action and stings like a bee whenever she is fighting the boys, Siangiki is very brave.
Later Sokotei gauged his strength by engaging Garzi in a pushing game that soon ended when Sokotei surrendered. At eleven o'clock in the morning, Oltaiyoni, the most disciplined orphan when it comes to milk feeding, stood to the side waiting for her friends to finish their milk before stepping forward for hers. Unlike the other orphans who can't wait in line when it comes to milk, Oltaiyoni always waits for the area to clear and the keeper to signal before stepping forward for her bottle. Five bulls attended the mud bath as the orphans drank their milk and then some water before going back out to browse. In the afternoon, Kithaka played with Barsilinga while Boromoko played with Tusuja.
30 October 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, Shukuru and Kamok kept themselves busy by scratching on nearby rocks while Sirimon played with Sokotei as they waited for the distribution of lucerne. Half Trunk with a group of five wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when one of the bulls grew curious and came to see what the orphans were up to; he must have been new in the area as he seemed to want to understand why these young elephants, all of difference sizes, had converged in one place and were picking things from the ground. The bull joined the orphans and to his surprise the orphans were enjoying feeding on something very nice. The bull stayed with the orphans until everything was finished and only then the bull returned to his friends and probably boasted about his delicious heavy breakfast. The orphans headed to Kanziku area where they had a quiet morning browsing without any major observation.
After mud bath time, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area where Karisa had a brief chat with Enkikwe. The conversation went on for quite some time. This was unusual as Karisa always tries to keep distance from the big boys for fear of being bullied. Later the keepers discovered that Karisa was planning to escape with Enkikwe, but Enkikwe had declined. Karisa had decided to wonder off alone when the keepers that Karisa was missing. Karisa had already disappeared with Dupotto and Kelelari in the past and a search was mounted immediately. To the keepers’ surprise, Karisa was found nearly a kilometer away from his friends, heading east!
31 October 2017
Boromoko, the gentle boy, left his stockade with a branch in his mouth that was quickly taken away by Kanjoro who, together with the Ex Orphans, were relaxing outside the stockade waiting for lucerne. Unfortunately the remaining lucerne was not enough for the orphans, Ex Orphans and wild elephants present. To avoid a chaotic scenario, the orphans were left to intermingle with the Ex Orphans and wild elephants before making their way to the browsing field. Enkikwe had a great time with Gawa as they chatted for quite some time while Garzi settled for a strength testing exercise with Kibo. Tusuja played with Murka as Lemoyian tackled Sokotei, a game that Sokotei ended up surrendering to Lemoyian.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by more Ex Orphans. Naseku, Siangiki, Lemoyian and Sirimon had a great time wallowing. After enough wallowing, Naseku left the mud bath with so much excitement, charging out of the water whilst trumpeting and swinging her trunk. She soon disappeared into the thickets. Naseku loves her milk and always makes sure she is at the front of the line in her group when heading for milk. She is also the fastest in the group and lives a happy life without confrontation with anyone. In the afternoon, the sun was hot prompting Tusuja, Roi and Oltaiyoni to relax under some trees and only resume browsing when it became a bit cooler.