Keepers' Diaries, October 2017
Voi Reintegration Unit
It was a rather sombre month at the Voi stockades as we continued to rescue young babies that have succumb to the biting drought that has gripped southern areas of Tsavo. We could not always get there in time to save all of the victims, despite racing to the scene after every report. Elephants are sensitive creatures and consume a large amount of vegetation every day to survive; without this nourishment they quickly succumb to the harsh environment. These sad incidents were punctuated by moments of happiness however, like rays of hope, when mothers were reunited with their calves trapped in thick mud, or when we could reach an orphan in time to save it’s life, or even watching our healthy orphans, the lucky ones, frolic around in water holes knowing they were safe and that we would do everything to keep it that way. Providing daily supplements for our dependent orphans and the four Ex Orphans who chose to stay close to the stockades this month as well, Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni, has been a must. The lucerne grass and pellets provided in the morning ensure the orphans have a good start to the day, and enough energy to forage on the vegetation found in this dry area. Towards the end of the month the first few showers of the short rains broke through and we hope this is just the start of a sufficient rainy season to come. Apart from caring for the elephant orphans we have an eclectic herd of other animals at the Voi stockades including Ngulia, a feisty zebra and leader of the ‘pack’ and two eland calves called Tawi and Kore. This month there was an addition to their group in the shape of Oltukai, a male buffalo brought to the stockades on the 9th by the DSWT/KWS Amboseli Veterinary Unit. It was very unsettled and traumatized and took awhile to settle into its new surroundings.
01 October 2017
It was a sad beginning to the day as orphan Chedi collapsed at midnight and needed to be put on drips. Despite being attended to quickly and the keepers doing all they could, Chedi sadly died at about 5am.
Kenia’s herd welcomed Lempaute, Dabassa, Layoni and Kivuko in the morning when the four Ex Orphans joined them to feed on lucerne. They remained with them for a while before the stockade dependent herd left for the browsing fields leaving their older friends at the stockades where they remained for about two hours before heading back to the Park.
Kihari wanted to join up with Pasaka for some browsing activities but Ajali was not happy about this as Ajali wanted Pasaka for himself. Kihari did not want to get into a fight with Ajali and surrendered Pasaka to him.
The orphans visited the baobab water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games following their milk and supplement feeding. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
02 October 2017
This morning Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni arrived at the stockade compound after the babies had left and settled to enjoy some Lucerne grass. After about two hours, Dabassa and Layoni headed to the browsing fields leaving Lempaute and Kivuko behind at the stockades.
When the stockade dependent group arrived at the browsing grounds Embu and Ishaq-B separated themselves from the rest of the group and headed off for a private browsing session. The two rejoined their friends as they were making their way to the baobab waterhole where they had a lot of fun playing mudbathing games after which they enjoyed some Lucerne grass, before returning to their browsing activities.
03 October 2017
The earliest callers to the stockade today were Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni. They were already enjoying the supplements when the stockade dependent orphans came and joined them following their morning milk bottle. They fed together for a short while before Kenia, Ndii, Kihari and Naipoki consolidated their junior orphan herd and led them towards the browsing grounds leaving the four Ex Orphans behind.
The two boys Dabassa and Layoni left a little later, leaving Lempaute and Kivuko behind. The two ladies remained at the stockade compound for more than five hours before they headed back to the park.
Out in the field Ajali separated Nguvu and Pasaka from the rest of the group and enjoyed having leadership of his small orphan herd before rejoining the main group as they made their way to the waterhole.
Mbirikani, who had been browsing high up Msinga Hill, came down and joined the group at the waterhole, arriving 10 minutes after them. She had her milk bottle and then joined the group at the mudbath where they were all enjoying mudbathing games.
04 October 2017
The morning started with the collapse of the orphan elephant that was rescued close to the Aruba air strip (Unnamed) on the 29th of October. This orphan was a drought victim and was again put on a drip. It was kept on a drip for more than two hours but sadly it did not survive, dying a couple of hours after its collapse.
Lempaute, Kivuko, Layoni and Dabassa came to the stockade a few minutes after the dependant orphans had left. They had a wonderful time eating the supplement food after which Layoni and Dabassa left and headed towards the Voi River, leaving Lempaute and Kivuko at the stockade.
A report of a collapsed elephant calf being watched over by its mother was reported to the Voi stockades. The calf was close to the Voi airstrip and was very thin and dehydrated. When the vet and the keepers arrived they found that the calf had already died and there was sadly nothing they could have done as the report came in too late for them to have been help.
The orphans browsed on the northern side of the Msinga Hill before coming down at noon and heading in groups of four for their afternoon milk bottle. Mashariki, Rorogoi, Bada and Pasaka who came with the first group returned with the second group composed of Mudanda, Nguvu, Lentili and Ishaq-B, in the hopes of getting a second bottle. The keepers were able to move them away thus allowing their friends to enjoy their share. The orphan group enjoyed feeding on Lucerne grass and range cubes after which they had a brief wallow before starting the afternoons browsing session.
05 October 2017
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the orphan elephants downed a morning milk bottle before settling to enjoy the Lucerne grass and range cubes that had been put out for them. Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni shared those supplements with them as they had arrived at the stockade early in the morning. The juniors then enjoyed playing games around the stockade compound before heading to the browsing fields leaving the four Ex Orphans behind.
The stockade dependant orphan elephants settled to browse halfway up the western side of Msinga Hill, before descending and making their way to the baobab water hole where they enjoyed their midday milk bottle and some more Lucerne grass, after which they had a lot of fun in the mud wallow.
The afternoons browsing activities started at the far northern side of the stockade where the orphans joined up with a wild herd. They browsed peacefully with their wild friends with Ajali, Pasaka and Nguvu remaining with the wild group when the rest of the orphans headed to the middle waterhole. The keepers called the three to rejoin the orphan herd but they did not want to listen and ran off with the wild group to the northern side of Msinga Hill.
The Trust air craft was called to come and assist the keepers in locating the runaway orphans the wild herd.
06 October 2017
The three orphans, Ajali, Pasaka and Nguvu have not yet returned to the orphan herd following their disappearance with the wild her yesterday. Several searches were conducted for them during the course of the day with Ajali being seen among a different wild herd than the one he had ran off with. He heard the keepers calling him and lifted his trunk in greeting but did not follow them. The wild herd he was with had congregated to assist a wild female that had just given birth and there was a lot of activity around her making it difficult for the keepers to try and separate Ajali from the wild group.
In the afternoon a report came in of an orphan elephant that had been seen continuously over the last two days. The calf had gone into Jipe Primary School who reported the incident to KWS who came to capture the calf. The Voi rescue team was then mobilized and air lifted to the school by the Trust’s aircraft to look after the calf until it could be flown to the Nairobi Nursery. The plane carrying the calf (Lumi) and the Nairobi keepers landed in the evening.
07 October 2017
In the afternoon while the Voi stockade team continued their search for Ajali, Pasaka and Nguvu, they came across a buffalo stuck in mud along the Mombasa-Mzima water pipe line in the afternoon. The team rescued the buffalo using long ropes to get her out of the mud.
As they made their way towards Manyani along the same water pipe line, about four miles from the Voi safari lodge, the team found a lonely male orphan elephant calf (Sola) with no other wild elephant herds close by. The orphan elephant calf (about four years old) was monitored for an hour after which the decision to rescue the calf was made together with the vet and the KWS senior warden. This orphan elephant calf was very thin, dehydrated and showed signs of collapsing if it was not attended to as soon as possible. Sola was brought into a stockade neighboring Tahri which helped him calm down as Tahri touched him in greeting, reassuring him that he was in a safe place.
Lempaute, who was in the stockade compound enjoying Lucerne grass came up to Sola's stockade and rumbled gently to him communicating the fact that he was in safe and caring hands.
08 October 2017
This morning the stockade dependant orphan elephants were joined by Dabassa, Lempaute, Kivuko and Layoni at the Lucerne and range cubes feeding area after which Kenia and Ndii quickly led their herd away from the stockades leaving the four Ex Orphans behind.
In the afternoon, a collapsed orphan elephant calf (about one month old) was reported to the Voi stockades by the Burra de-snaring team who were patrolling around the Aruba wind pump water trough. A big wild elephant cow that had collapsed and died close to the area had been seen and was believed to be the orphan calf’s mother.
In a separate incident, another wild elephant calf Kiangazi (about one month old) that a badly injured and swollen left leg which prevented him from keeping up with his herd was also rescued as he kept getting left behind making him a target for predators in the area. The collapsed orphan elephant calf was resuscitated but was badly dehydrated and very thin. The two babies were rescued by the Voi stockade keepers working with the Burra de-snaring team and the Mobile veterinary Unit. The two claves were flown to Nairobi from the Aruba airstrip.
At 7pm the Mobile veterinary unit received a report of a collapsed and dead elephant cow close to the Lion Hill camp. When the team arrived in the area to recover the tusks they found that she had two calves which were now orphans. The younger one, two years old, was whisked away by its older sibling who was about 14 years old.
09 October 2017
The morning began with the keepers following the usual routine of feeding the babies their milk bottle after which they joined up with the four Ex Orphans for some supplement feeding around the Msinga Hill area before concentrating on the days browsing activities.
The Voi keepers separated into teams today. Some are looking after the orphans while others look for the three lost orphans Ajali, Nguvu and Pasaka, while a couple look for the 2 year old orphan calf that was taken away by its sister yesterday following their mothers death. Sadly none of the searches were successful.
In the evening preparations were made by the team who were about to receive an orphan male baby buffalo. The baby was brought to the stockades at about 6pm by the Amboseli Veterinary unit. It was quite aggressive and unsettled and it would probably take a while before it would calm down.
10 October 2017
The morning began with the stockade dependant orphan elephants downing their delicious milk bottle in a hurry before making their way to the supplement feeding area. The four Ex Orphans in Lempaute’s herd arrived and joined them for some lucerne grass.
While enjoying the supplements Layoni engaged Nelion in a strength testing game which seemed to disturb Kenia’s herd who made the decision to leave for the browsing fields.
Kore and Tawi the orphan elands, together with Ngulia the orphan zebra were aware of the new orphan buffalo calf that had come in the night before. The three seemed to think that this calf was an orphan buffalo Jamuhuri who had sadly been killed lions. They were all excited to greet the buffalo and congregated outside his stockade in order to do so. The baby buffalo is still quite aggressive and was not very welcoming towards Kore, Tawi and Ngulia who simply wanted to become his friend. He hammered at the door chasing Kore, Tawi and Ngulia away.
11 October 2017
The stockade orphans were again joined by their Ex Orphan friends at the supplement feeding area this morning after their milk bottles. The Lucerne and range cubes were put out by the keepers close to Msinga Hill. Bada took half a bale of Lucerne grass and moved away on the group so that he could enjoy it on his own.
Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni enjoyed some lovely games around the stockade compound. Kihari went and enjoyed a dustbath in the red soil pile. She lay in the soil and seemed to be having so much fun that both Layoni and Dabassa went and joined her. Kihari felt that the two Ex Orphans had mischievous intentions and decided to get away from them and went for a scratching session instead.
The babies left for the browsing fields without the four Ex Orphans who remained at the compound for a further half an hour before heading back to the Park.
12 October 2017
The morning started with Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni coming to the stockade where they stood waiting for the juniors to finish drinking their milk before they joined them for the supplement feeding.
Lempaute went to greet Araba who thought that Lempaute wanted to steal his milk and he started screaming loudly in protest which brought Ndii, Kihari, Naipoki and Ishaq-B charging up to see what the problem was. When Lempaute saw them coming she quickly moved away as she did not want any trouble.
After the supplement feeding, Layoni and Dabassa went and rolled around in the red soil pile. Their game caught the attention of Ishaq-B, Mudanda, Rorogoi, Mbirikani and Panda who came up and stood in a line watching their older friends. Dabassa got up from the soil and engaged Panda in a strength testing game scattering the rest of the spectators in the process.
After the babies had left the stockade compound a report was received from a tour guide of an elephant calf stuck in water in the pipeline area. Both the stockade keepers and the Veterinary team were mobilized and upon arrival we found the calf’s mother doing her best to free her calf which she was finally successful in doing, and the team was able to watch the calf being reunited with its mother.
13 October 2017
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the stockade dependant orphan elephants interacted with Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni following the milk and supplement feeding. There were some brief games with Dabassa and Nelion engaged in a strength testing game which lasted a while. Lentili came over to see if she could help Nelion win but instead managed to put an end to their game and they all followed the rest of the orphan herd who were going out to the browsing grounds. Dabassa and Layoni stopped to browse on the foot of Msinga Hill while the juniors headed to their browsing grounds.
In the afternoon, during a monitoring patrol the keepers saw Ajali and Nguvu who had left with a wild group of about 8 elephants on the 5th of the month. The two were looking thinner and the team was able to separate them from the wild elephants and get them to rejoin the orphan herd. They were welcomed back with loud trumpeting as their friends kept touching them with their trunks greeting them warmly.
14 October 2017
Last night Nguvu and Ajali seemed happy to be back in the fold and enjoyed feeding on the Lucerne grass and pellets which they had missed in their absence. The two were seen communicating with their friends relaying their adventures while living wild and what their time had been like among the wild herd.
Today Ishaq-B, Arruba, and Suswa seemed fixated on Nguvu and were seen following him around all day wanting to find out everything about his experience. The orphan herd were also interested in asking Nguvu and Ajali where Pasaka was as he did not return with them and was not among the wild herd whose company they were in.
Later in the morning a report of a female orphan elephant calf, about one and a half years old, in the Aruba area was reported to the Veterinary unit by a tour operator. The stockade rescue team was mobilized and found the calf lying on the ground in a state of collapse. The team was able to quickly and easily rescue her and put her on a drip. While they waited for the rescue plane to come from Nairobi they received a report of a second collapsed female orphan elephant calf close to the Satao water hole. This second calf aged about eight months old was rescued and brought to the Aruba airstrip from where the two were airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery.
15 October 2017
It was a wonderful beginning to the day with the stockade dependant orphan elephants downing a delicious morning milk bottle. They were then joined by Lempaute and Kivuko for some supplement feeding after which there were socializing games with Panda beginning a wonderful game of rolling around in the red soil pile in the stockade compound while Kivuko approached Tundani for a for a pushing game. Ndii noticed Kivuko's advances towards Tundani and went to push Tundani away preventing the two from playing together.
Kivuko and Lempaute followed the stockade dependant orphan elephants to the browsing grounds, a situation that Kenia, Kihari and Ndii were not very comfortable with as they always worry that the older girls will try and steal the babies away from them. The two Ex Orphans remained with the juniors for a short while before leaving near the Mzima spring-Mombasa water pipeline area.
Nguvu and Ajali enjoyed interacting and browsing with the others making sure to stay as close to them as possible so that they would not be left behind at any time.
16 October 2017
It was a lovely beginning to the day with the earliest callers at the stockade being Lempaute, Kivuko, Dabassa and Layoni who all came to join the stockade dependant orphan elephants for the supplement feeding. Kenia and Naipoki then consolidated their junior orphan herd and headed to the browsing grounds leaving Lempaute and Kivuko drinking water at the stockade water tough, while Dabassa and Layoni continued to feed on Lucerne.
The juniors browsed in single file as they slowly made their way to the baobab water hole at noon where they had a lot of fun playing a mud bathing game. Half way through their wallow they were joined by Lempaute and Kivuko, who spent the afternoon browsing with Kenia’s herd before accompanying them back to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
17 October 2017
It was a good beginning to the day as the stockade dependant orphan elephants ran out of their night pens, emptying a morning milk bottle before settling to feed on the supplements that had been put out for them by their keepers.
The stockade dependant orphan elephants browsed their way to the eastern side of Msinga Hill under the stewardship of Mbirikani and Nelion. They slowly made their way down hill arriving at the baobab water hole at noon where they enjoyed their afternoon milk bottle, range cubes and Lucerne grass.
Ndii had fun playing a wonderful game of sliding down from the walls of the mud bath into the waterhole then coming out of the water and doing the same thing over again. Arruba was rolling around in the water which seemed to make Mbirikani jealous and resulted in her chasing Arruba out of the wallow. While Nguvu was lying down at the dustbath Mashariki went over and sat on his stomach preventing him from further enjoying any dust bathing games. The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
18 October 2017
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as Lempaute, Dabassa, Layoni, and Kivuko assembled behind the stockade dependant orphan elephants, watching them enjoy their morning milk bottle waiting for them to finish so that they could all enjoy the supplements together. Dabassa became a little impatient and attempted to break through the juniors to demand their milk. Suswa and Mudanda did a good job of blocking him, with their bottoms, preventing him from doing so.
Following the Lucerne grass pellet and range cube feeding they enjoyed playing some brief games around the stockade compound. Ndii took Panda to task in a tough wrestling match, with Layoni, who had not been invited to join them, finding his way into the game. He took over from Ndii and engaged Panda in a wrestling match.
The four Ex Orphans followed Kenia's herd to the browsing grounds, leaving them a short while later for the middle waterhole where they enjoyed a mudbath before making their way to the Voi River area.
Kenia’s herd visited the baobab water hole and had a wonderful drinking and bathing moment after which they spent the afternoon browsing around the area.
19 October 2017
It was a nice and bright morning with the four Ex Orphans arriving at 8.20am, after the stockade dependant orphans had left for the browsing grounds. They enjoyed a drink from the stockade water trough before feeding on supplement foods. Two hours later, Dabassa and Layoni left for the Park, leaving Lempaute and Kivuko at the stockade. The two girls enjoyed a scratching session against the rock boulders before having a lovely dustbath in the red soil piles that had been brought in for them.
Out in the browsing fields, at the foot of Msinga Hill, Kenia, Ndii and Ishaq-B found themselves all trying to get Araba’s attention. The four decided that they could all enjoy the little orphans company and stretched their trunks towards him giving him lots of love, care and affection which the youngster thoroughly enjoyed.
20 October 2017
The morning started well with the stockade dependant orphan elephants joining the four Ex Orphans from Lempaute’s herd for some supplement feeding following their morning milk bottle. There were then some socializing games of rock scratching and soil dusting before Kenia's herd left for the browsing grounds leaving the Ex Orphans behind.
The orphans browsed in single file before making their way to the baobab water hole where they drank from the water trough. Ndii plunged into the water trough and ran from one side to the other, kicking up the water with her feet. The other orphans surrounded her watching her games. When they saw that she was in no hurry to get out, some of them spread out for scratching games against the big baobab tree and soil dusting area, leaving Kenia, Araba, Rorogoi and Ishaq-B watching Ndii who sprayed them all with, now muddy, water. The four then left her to join the rest of the orphan elephants followed by Ndii and once the group was reassembled they headed off fort eh afternoon’s browsing activities.
21 October 2017
It was a cloudy and windy morning with dark clouds spattering the sky leaving us hopeful that we would soon be getting some rain.
Arruba, Suswa, Naipoki and Lentil led the other orphan elephants towards the browsing grounds where they fed in single file on the lower flat grounds of Msinga Hill before making their way to the baobab waterhole at noon. Following their milk bottle the orphan herd assembled around the water trough for a drink before going for a wallow.
Ndii was in a naughty mood again and climbed into the water trough, with her front legs swirling the water around turning the clean water dirty; Arruba, Mbirikani, Embu and Rorogoi decided against having a drink. Arruba went to scratch her bottom on the top of the water trough while waiting for the dirt to settle so that she and her friends could quench their thirst before the orphan herd continued with days browsing activities.
22 October 2017
It was a beautiful beginning to the day with Lempaute and Kivuko coming to join the stockade dependant orphan elephants at the stockades in the morning. Soon after their arrival Kenia, Ndii, Kihari and Naipoki led the juniors away to begin the day’s browsing activities. The orphans spent the day browsing peacefully stopping only to visit the baobab waterhole for their noon milk bottle and then the middle waterhole which they visited before returning to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
At 6pm, Dabassa and Layoni came to the stockade with a teenage wild elephant bull friend who enjoyed a drink at the stockade water trough, after which they relaxed around the stockade compound for a while before following the wild bull into the oncoming darkness.
23 October 2017
This morning the four Ex Orphans arrived at the stockades a few minutes after the juniors had left for the browsing grounds. Under Bada, Nelion and Mbirikani’s leadership the orphans settled to browse on the western side of Msinga Hill. At noon the group made their way to the baobab waterhole where they enjoyed their milk bottles. Mbirikani stayed browsing a little longer than the rest, joining them about 10 minutes later.
In the afternoon the Voi keepers received a report of a male orphan elephant (Kavu) at Punda Mulia near Aruba. The name Kavu means severe drought in Swahili. This orphan elephant was very thin and dehydrated and seemed to have an infection which resulted in his skin peeling away. The orphan, another drought related victim aged about 4 years old, was brought to the stockade compound and put in a taming stable neighboring Tahri and Sola. The two made sure to come and greet Kavu, touching the new orphan and giving him some much needed reassurance which would help in settle down and be accepting of the keepers.
On their return to the stockades in the evening Suswa, Arruba and Mudanda rumbled a greeting to Tahri, Sola and Kavu from their night quarters.
24 October 2017
The morning was cloudy and some light rain fell, registering four millimeters of water. The orphans played happily around the stockade compound before heading to the browsing grounds. On arriving at the foot of Msinga Hill, Kenia and Ndii found themselves at a cross roads when Ndii wanted to lead the orphan herd towards the northern side of the hill, whereas Kenia was heading towards the southern side. Lentili and Naipoki resolved the by taking control and leading the entire group to the western side of the hill.
Layoni and Dabassa arrived at the stockade at 10am followed closely by Kivuko and Lempaute who arrived five minutes later. After supplement feeding for more than an hour, Lempaute explored the stockade compound, making her way to the taming stockades where she greeted Sola, Kavu and Tahri. The three orphans rumbled in response after which Lempaute made her way to the lower stockade where she met the new orphan baby buffalo (Oltukai), before leading the rest of her group to the browsing grounds.
25 October 2017
The morning started with the stockade dependant orphan elephants joining the four Ex Orphans for the supplement feeding after emptying their morning milk bottle. There was some brief rock scratching games around the compound with Nguvu thoroughly enjoying a scratch against a rock boulder.
Light rain fell as the orphans made their way to the browsing fields and they all enjoyed browsing on the wet grass they found there. Once at the foot of Msinga Hill, Lentili and Embu seemed to be in consultation as to the best place to spend the morning feeding. Once reaching an agreement the two led the group to the top of Msinga Hill where they feasted on the green grass and branches that they found there.
Kenia, Suswa and Panda seemed to be in a lazy mood today as they moved slowly up the hill, falling behind the rest of the group. Panda tried to take a short cut to her friends passing through a trench while Kenia and Suswa took the longer way around, avoiding the slippery area that Panda had passed through.
The orphans did not come down for their noon milk bottle, choosing to continue with their browsing activities until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night. Once back they enjoyed their evening milk bottle, supplements and grewia branches.
26 October 2017
It was a wonderful beginning of the day with the stockade dependant orphan elephants joining their four friends Lempaute, Dabassa, Kivuko and Layoni for the Lucerne grass feeding on the upper grounds of the stockade compound.
This morning Ngulia got exited as she exited her stable engaging both Kore and Tawi in some wonderful running and chasing games. Their impromptu running game reached the orphan elephants Lucerne grass feeding grounds, giving the orphans a fright, scattering them around the area. When the orphans realized that there was nothing to worry about, they reassembled and continued with their supplement feeding together with a friendly resident herd of impalas.
When the orphans left for the browsing fields they did so without the four Ex Orphans who continued feeding on the supplements as the keepers headed off to round up Ngulia, Kore and Tawi, and return them to the stockades where they would be safe from prides of lions.
27 October 2017
The orphans were in a jovial mood this morning and following their milk and supplement feeding enjoyed playing some hide and seek games around the stockade compound. When they left for the browsing fields they passed the four Ex Orphans who were busy browsing on the southern side of Msinga Hill.
At 8am, a report was received of an orphan elephant calf close to the Ndii area. The report came from Taru Carr-Hartley, who was with a keeper on a morning air patrol in search of Pasaka. The keeper and Taru initially thought that this female orphan elephant might be Pasaka. On getting closer to the calf
they noticed that calf could not be Pasaka as it was female. A rescue team was mounted consisting of keepers and members of the desnaring team and the four year old calf (Luna), another drought victim, was rescued.
In the evening a report came in from the sisal estate management of a sighting of Emily's herd in their sanctuary near Mugeno ranch. The keepers sent to identify the group were happy to find Emily, Eve, Emma, Edie and her calf Ella, Sweet Sally and her calf Safi, Laikipia, Lolokwe, Mweya and Rombo. Other members of Emily’s herd Thoma and her baby Thor, Seraa, Wasessa, Irima, Mzima and Siria were not among the group and the keepers believe that they may be together with Ndara and her baby Neptune, Lesanju, Sinya and Tassia who had been in the same sanctuary up until a week ago. The members of Emily’s herd were all in good shape despite the ongoing drought.
28 October 2017
This morning the stockade dependant orphan elephants quickly emptied their morning milk bottle before heading to the browsing grounds. Lempaute, Dabassa, Kivuko and Layoni arrived at the stockade compound just as the juniors were leaving. The Ex Orphans decided not to follow them as they wanted to enjoy some supplement feeding before returning to the park.
Today Tawi, the male orphan eland, decided to try and mate with Kore. Ngulia the zebra was not happy about this and tried to bite Kore to separate her from Tawi. This caused there to be some hostility between the two females resulting in Ngulia keeping Kore away from Tawi for the rest of the day.
29 October 2017
The morning began with both the stockade dependant orphan elephants and the four Ex Orphans in Lempaute ‘s herd joining up to enjoy some Lucerne grass and range cubes. They then spent some time playing around the stockade compound before the juniors left for the browsing fields.
The orphans spent the morning browsing on the western side of Msinga Hill when they saw a wild herd at the foot of the hill. Nelion, Suswa and Mashariki led the others downhill to see if they could join up with the wild herd. Upon arriving at the foot of the hill they found that the wild elephant herd had moved away towards the middle waterhole.
At noon Naipoki and Bada took the lead of the group towards the baobab water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games following the milk feed.
Sola, the orphan elephant that was rescued on the 7th, was looking a little dull and was not very active although he was browsing well. He has a swelling on his abdomen and was treated and monitored closely, showing some improvement by the afternoon.
We received a report of an orphan baby water buck born in the Voi community farms neighboring the southern boundary of the park was left by its mother who, upon seeing some approaching farmers, ran into the Park leaving her baby behind. The famers reported the incident to the Kenya Wildlife Service Community rangers who called the Voi stockade to rescue the male baby water buck that was about two days old. The orphan waterbuck was airlifted to Kaluku the following day.
30 October 2017
This morning the stockade dependant orphan elephants were once again joined by the four Ex Orphans from Lempaute’s herd for supplement feeding following their morning milk bottle. Dabassa and Layoni introduced the juniors to a game of playing on the red earth piles, and after Kihari and Kenia led the way to the browsing grounds. The two Ex Orphan boys followed the stockade dependant orphans towards the field but were left on the southern foot of Msinga Hill as the juniors proceeded to the northern side. Lempaute and Kivuko remained around stockade compound for two more hours enjoying the Lucerne grass.
Bada, Nelion and Mbirikani led the juniors halfway up the hill for the mornings browsing activities. Ndii grabbed a stick from Ishaq-B’s mouth wanting to feed on it but as it was dry she quickly dropped it to the ground.
At noon the orphans visited the baobab water hole for their milk and a mudbath after which the afternoon was spent browsing around the area. Mashariki, Mudanda and Arruba enjoyed leading the orphan group back to the stockade in the evening. Lempaute was at the stockade when the juniors arrived and followed them into their night quarters grabbing some grewia branches which she took outside so that she could feast on them.
31 October 2017
This morning Sola, who was rescued on the 7th October, collapsed at 6am as the other stockade dependant orphan elephants were leaving their night quarters to begin their day. The swolling under his abdomen had become worse and had extended to the whole abdominal area. He was put on a drip and assisted to his feet at about 10am. He browsed slowly for some hours before again collapsing at 4pm. Sadly despite all of our best efforts he died at about 6pm, becoming another victim of the severe drought that has hit Tsavo.
Today Tawi again tried to mate with Kore but was prevented from doing so by Ngulia who Tawi’s saw intentions and chased him away.