Keepers' Diaries, October 2018

Ithumba Reintegration Unit

This month with the area around Ithumba base so dry we saw a lot of wild elephants making their way to our water sources with many large elephant bulls frequenting water troughs both at the mud bath area and at the stockades. 

01 October 2018

As the day dawned and the orphans settled for their lucerne pellets, Lualeni and Baby Lulu arrived at the stockades escorted by Yatta and Galana’s groups.  

Little playful Kama thought it would be a good idea to share Pare’s pellets, the young boy warned her not to, but Kama did not take the warning too seriously. Pare, angered by Kama’s nonchalance, decided to show the little girl how serious he really was and pushed her away. Kama, a little startled, decided that it was better to go play with Rapa instead. The ex-orphans left a short while after to allow the orphans to start their browsing activities. Maramoja walked off with the ex-orphans not realizing that her group had already gone in a different direction. As soon as she did, she ran back to join her friends. Today the orphans settled to browse in the Kone area and as the temperature started to rise, they decided to take a break from browsing and rest under the shade of a large tree. At the mud bath the orphans enjoyed cooling off in the water and wallowing; they returned to browse soon after.

In the afternoon, Lualeni, Chyulu, Lulu and Lenana, joined the orphans. Ukame took this opportunity to say hello to baby Lulu and got some lessons from Chyulu and Lenana on how to be a good nanny. Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Kandecha and Kibo joined the orphans on their slow walk back to the stockades in the evening.

02 October 2018

Seven wild bulls had already arrived at the stockade compound when the orphans came out this morning. Buchuma arrived soon after and joined the orphans as they fed on lucerne pellets. Once out in the browsing field, Mteto started the day’s activities by dusting herself, a game that soon had Dupotto, Kauro and Esampu joining in. The boys, Tusuja, Wanjala, Karisa and Namalok decided they would kill time while browsing by engaging each other in strength testing games. Slow and independent Sapalan teamed up with Enkikwe, but after a while went their separate ways. On the way to the mud bath, Kauro found a piece of stick and put it in his mouth holding it with his trunk and sucking it as he would his milk bottle. Buchuma, Zurura and Taita showed up at mud bath with fourteen wild bulls. Zurura walked down and greeted the orphans before engaging Taita in a strength testing exercise. The afternoon was peaceful and cool and the orphans were happy to browse without having to stop to take a break from the heat. 

03 October 2018

Just as the orphans started on their lucerne pellets, ex-orphans Yatta and Galana arrived with their groups. Esampu was nice to Siku and let her share her lucerne but poor little Kama wasn’t so lucky. Maramoja, by the use of her trunk, pointed Kama away from her lucerne. Kama not wanting to repeat the same mistake after getting a knock from Esampu decided to take Maramoja’s advice and scampered off.

Ithumbah and Naserian tried to woo Lulu to nurse on them. Lulu did settle on Ithumbah but stopped when she realized Ithumbah had no milk. Lulu walked away in disappointment to look for Lualeni. Shortly after, the ex-orphans parted ways with the juniors. The orphans settled to browse at the Kone area again, whilst the ex-orphans headed east of Ithumba Hill. Ukame and Pare browsed together as Tusuja and Dupotto chatted. Later Pare joined Karisa and for a short while and engaged each other in strength testing games, this came to an abrupt end when Tusuja interrupted them.  

On the way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Kibo, Naisula, Kitirua, Kalama and Murka. Dupotto and Naseku were seen sucking their trunks soon after having their milk, possibly trying to taste whatever milk remained in their trunks. Ten wild bulls were also present at the mud bath. The heat today was not as bad so the orphans enjoyed their mud bath, briefly participated in a soil dusting exercise and returned to the browsing field. In the afternoon the orphans converged under a tree to relax and resumed browsing an hour later when they felt that they had enough of a break. Kauro at one point, on his own, decided to have fun by kneeling and rolling on the ground.

04 October 2018

A wild herd of thirty elephants were at the stockade compound early this morning. As soon as these elephants had enough water, they left the compound, leaving the ex-orphans feeding on the lucerne pellets. Shortly after, a lone wild bull with a swollen front left leg arrived at the stockade to drink water. He was obviously in pain from the way he was dragging his leg.  The DSWT/KWS veterinarian on duty was immediately informed and the elephant received prompt treatment. 

The orphans settled to browse in the Kalovoto area. With not a cloud in the sky, Kauro, who does not participate in mud baths, was one of the first orphans to seek refuge under a tree to escape the heat. At the 11am mud bath, fifteen wild bulls were present and interacted with the orphans briefly before the orphans left them and returned to browse. Kibo, Chaimu, Kandecha, Kalama, Naisula, Mutara, Sities, Kanjoro, Tumaren and Melia joined the orphans in the afternoon. Galla engaged Kanjoro in a light pushing game that ended when Galla felt that Kanjoro was being unfair by pushing him from the side instead of face-on according to the well-established rules of pushing games. 

05 October 2018

It was a quiet start to the morning without any wild elephants or ex-orphans visiting the stockades. The orphans quickly settled for their lucerne, feeding peacefully without having to contend with pushing from their seniors. As the orphans concentrated on the pellets, a pack of seven wild dogs walked by and disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.  

Once the orphans were done with their pellets, Ukame, our hot tempered girl, led them to the browsing field. The temperature continued to rise but the orphans browsed undeterred. Sapalan and Enkikwe, as usual trailed behind the rest of their friends to ensure they got the best out of all the drying vegetation.  

Twenty wild bulls showed up at mud bath and later in the evening also passed by the stockades to top up whatever water they had drank at the mud bath. The orphans decided to keep to one side of the mud bath, allowing the wild elephants to use the other side. Taita, who was amongst the wild bulls, joined the orphans for a brief chat with the boys before going to re-join his wild friends. Later that afternoon, the orphans made their way to the western slopes of Ithumba Hill and settled to browse there. The sun continued to climb high in the sky and this time round, the orphans opted to take a break from the heat and relaxed under a tree for almost two hours. Galla, Sapalan and Enkikwe chose a separate tree to rest under. The orphans finally resumed browsing when the temperatures dropped to a favorable level and then slowly made their way back to the stockades in the evening. 

06 October 2018

The orphans woke up to find twelve bulls already present at the stockade water troughs. As the wild bulls had their fill of water, the orphans settled for their lucerne. Kithaka and Oltaiyoni had a slight disagreement, which resulted in Kithaka pushing Oltaiyoni away and refusing to share the lucerne with her. After feeding on lucerne pellets, brave Laragai encouraged Barsilinga to join the two wild bulls that were still at the water troughs. Out in the browsing field, Galla and Karisa took a break from feeding to engage each other in a strength testing game that ended all too quickly as they both tired of the game. Shortly after, the orphans were joined by Naisula, Kitirua, Kibo, Murka, Kalama and Tumaren. Garzi and Naisula entwined trunks in morning greetings but this soon turned into a pushing game.  

Yatta and Galana’s groups checked in at the stockade compound briefly before leaving into the Park again. On the way to have their milk, Naseku competed with Wanjala by racing. Naseku emerge as winner while the competition between Karisa and Mundusi saw Mundusi beat Karisa again. The temperature was moderate and the orphans participated fully in the wallowing exercise. Kauro was not happy boy when he was pushed by Kitirua. The Keepers intervened by warning Kitirua to stop her bullying behaviour.  

After the orphans had enough wallowing, thirty two wild bulls reported for water and stayed at mud bath as long as they wished as they enjoyed drinking and a cooling off exercise. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans settled to browse at upper Kalovoto area. The rebel group led by Laragai group returned back to the stockade early before five and were not allowed entry until the rest of the group reported back at the normal time.

07 October 2018

Chemi Chemi and Kilaguni, who arrived in the morning at the stockade compound in the company of six wild bulls, abandoned the wild bulls at the water trough and joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Out in the bush, the orphans were joined by Mutara’s group. Garzi, who had missed playing with Kanjoro, got the opportunity when Kanjoro walked straight to him and immediately the pushing game started. The duo tussled for a while before realizing that they were wasting a lot of time and it's in the dry season, and they are supposed to concentrate on browsing. The two boys reached a consensus that what they had done was enough and they should continue another day. At mud bath time, the orphans were briefly joined by Tomboi and Zurura. Olsekki emerged as the star of wallowing as he had a prolonged wallowing and he was the last one to quit. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at the western side of the Ithumba hill. The sun was still hot and the orphans converged under an acacia tree while continuously flapping their ears for nearly two hours. 

08 October 2018

Seven wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. The juniors settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. Twenty minutes later, the senior ex orphans emerged from the eastern side of the stockade compound. The ex-orphans joined the orphans to feed on lucerne. Siku walked to where Esampu was feeding on her pellets but this time was cautious, leaving room for escape if Esampu reacted and tried to attack her. Esampu understood the behaviour of Siku and so continued to pick on the pellets since Siku didn't come so close and at least she was showing some respect.

After the pellets breakfast was over, the senior ex-orphans parted ways with the juniors. At the browsing field, Karisa engaged Galla in a strength testing exercise that saw Galla emerge as the winner after Karisa surrendered and walked away. 

The sun was really hot and at mud bath time we had unusual visitors come to cool off too. Seventeen wild dogs were relaxing under a nearby tree totally unfazed by the presence of humans and elephants. The wild bulls broke a record of attendance of this season. Forty two wild bulls were present and had to take bath and water in turns since they could not fit in at the same time. The orphans used one end for mud bath while the wild dogs used another end as the bulls occupied the centre. Namalok had fun riding on Pare while Karisa enjoyed riding on Mteto. Olsekki and Enkikwe charged at a wild dog that came too close to them. The two boys only quit when the wild dog stood its ground and just watched them. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill. In the evening Sapalan, who never gets tired of feeding, took a break this time and spent some time in a lone soil dusting exercise.

09 October 2018

Bomani, Orwa, Narok, Kandecha and Kibo joined the juniors for lucerne pellets in the morning. Ten wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water trough and in the group there was a mother with her two calves. The wild herd left immediately after drinking enough water. 

The orphans settled to browse along ‘hyenas hill’. Esampu spent the better part of the morning trying to put her small tusks into use by trying to peel bark from trees. The tusks were too small still, so she had to surrender and concentrate on what she could easily manage to feed on. Namalok, who is very active these days, tried to entice Pare into joining him for a strength testing exercise but Pare declined. Namalok then proceeded to take on Karisa who responded positively but their game came to an abrupt end when Turkwel passed by and separated the two boys. 

At mud bath time, twelve wild bulls were present and as usual, used one side of the mud bath while the orphans used the other side. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where they were joined by Mutara’s group and enjoyed peaceful quiet browsing. Later, the group took a break from feeding to relax under a tree following the rise in temperature in the afternoon. Two hours later, the group resumed browsing on their way back to the stockade. 

10 October 2018

Tomboi, Melia, Chemi Chemi, Kalama and three wild elephants were the only guests in the morning and they joined the orphans for Lucerne. Two of the wild females became rough with the juniors as they tried to get all the pellets for themselves. Mundusi and Maramoja were the ones that fell victim to the pushing by the wild females. Mundusi who was passing behind one of the females, received a back kick and trunk lashing from one of them; however this didn't deter the tough boy from picking the pellets he wanted. Kauro left with two branches in his mouth and when he saw Turkwel approaching, he did a clever trick of dropping one down so as to avoid losing both of them to Turkwel. The trick worked as Turkwel went for the dropped branch, thus allowing Kauro to carry on without any trouble. 

Out in the Park, Pare, Maramoja and Rapa teamed up to browse while Kamok settled to browse with Tusuja. Chemi Chemi followed the orphans for the better part of the morning before disappearing with the ‘rebel group’. At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate as the orphans enjoyed wallowing and moving about freely without any restriction since no single wild elephant showed up at this particular time of the day. 

Shortly after mud bath, Naseku, who loves both mud bathing and soil dusting, led her friends for a soil bathing exercise before heading back out to browse. The orphans took a break from feeding and relaxed under a tree for nearly two hours. Later, Galla engaged Karisa in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw.

11 October 2018

It was a lovely morning with the orphan elephants feeding on Lucerne outside their stockades before walking out to the bush to browse. They were visited by three buffalos that came to drink water and later walked away. 

Out in the bush, they were all busy browsing as they stayed together, even with Kithaka's group and Mutara's group. Laragai was patting Oltaiyoni and sharing some food from Oltayoni's mouth. Mutara led the whole group to the mud bath for the orphans to have their milk, while the ex-orphans drank water.

After the mud bath, they all walk back out to the bush for browsing again. Olare's group also came to join them and browse together. The groups later took their way back home in the evening with the Keepers.

In the stockade compound today, we had a big group of wild bulls and ex-orphans too, they came to drink water and walk back to the bush to browse. Babies Lulu, Siku, Yoyo, Gawa and Kama were amongst them, with Lulu walking towards us very happily with her mum and nanny Murka.

12 October 2018

It was a busy morning today as we had some ex- orphans from Mutara's group visit and share the Lucerne with the orphans. Buchuma was among the ex-orphans in Mutara’s group. Enkikwe and Turkwel had their wounds treated as usual and they joined the other group. The two teams later walk back to the bush together for browsing.

In the bush, they all browsed together and stayed together while browsing. Mutara's later led the whole big team to the mud bath for the orphans to have their milk.

There were around 20 wild bulls who really enjoying wallowing at the mud bath when the orphans arrived. The orphans had their milk, walked to the trough to drink water and finally walked to the mud wallow and played there for a few minutes. After they came out and had a dust bath, they walked back to the bush, still with Mutara's group but leaving Buchuma behind as he joined the wild bulls to wallow. Sities was dust bathing in style before heading back to the bush.

All the orphans browsed together and later walked to find some shade as it was very hot. When they decided to walk home in the evening, they came across a puddle along the road and started playing in it with Mutara, Galla and Sapalan playing vigorously. When they were done they all walked back home very muddy.

13 October 2018

The orphans today met with Tomboi, Orwa, Narok and Bomani outside their stockades and started interacting around the lucerne cubes. We had also two wild bulls at the water trough who were drinking water, but one came and joined in with the orphans to eat the Lucerne as well. It was a beautiful sunrise this morning, and we enjoyed seeing the sun start to shine off the backs of the elephants browsing there. Mundusi came out of his stockade and started scratching his neck on the wall. Tomboi started play-fighting with one of the wild bulls before heading off out into the Park with the others.

In the bush, all the dependent orphans browsed with Bomani, Orwa and Narok staying with them the whole day. Namalok was checking his front feet and removing some thorns. The rest were busy browsing. They started walking towards mud bath for their noon milk bottles and the three ex-orphans accompanied them. 

At the mud bath, two wild bulls were busy playing in the water while some others stood under the trees in the shade. The orphans went straight to the mud hole after their milk as it was very hot, and started playing in it. Some walked to the water trough and met the wild bulls but there, but they were not scared, and they managed to share water with them. 

Back in the bush, Kamok was playing with Ukame and putting her trunk into her mouth. Rapa was on his own, busy browsing separately with Sapalan. The rest were under the shade resting and later they all walked back to the stockades for the night. 

14 October 2018

It was an interesting morning when we were first visited by the wild elephants in the stockades. Three thirsty buffaloes then came in for water but the bulls had occupied the two water troughs. They hung around and then decided to walk to where the waste water from the kitchen overflows and started drinking there instead. After another couple of minutes, a leopard also came in and realized that we had a lot of wild bulls around the water trough and he walked away. The buffaloes came back again very close to the elephant bulls, but the bulls did not give way for them and finally the buffaloes walk towards the mud bath in search of water.

The orphans came out of their stables and started interacting with a few ex-orphans from Mutara and Olare's herds. They all had Lucerne cubes to eat while others like Maramoja was busy scratching her bottom on the wall. The whole group later walked to the bush to browse including the wild bulls, but they left a bit later. They were all busy browsing in the bush with Sapalan browsing separately from the others. Turkwel also enjoyed browsing with Kamok. Chemi Chemi was also accompanying the group as he is recovering well and we think he can start to see out of his injured eye. Rapa and Tusuja were very hungry it seems, and they left the others to walk to the mud bath early, while Chemi Chemi led the ex-orphans towards the mud bath as well, although they would not be having milk bottles!

At mud bath, we had a number of wild bulls seriously playing in the mud hole, which meant our orphans played separately on the other side, so as not to disrupt the seniors. Mutara's group with some of the dependent orphans walked to the dust bath area, and played there for a bit to dry themselves off before walking out to browse again.

In the afternoon it was very hot and all the elephants were hiding at first in the shade. They later came out and started browsing again. Mutara and Suguta browsed together. Later on, the orphans made their way back home for their milk. Lualeni, Sunyei, Galana, Yatta and Kinna among some other ex-orphans and their babies visited the stockades to drink today and it was lovely to see them.

15 October 2018

It was a busy morning at the stockades today as we had more than 70 elephants visit, including some of the ex-orphans. Galana, Kinna, Yatta, Sunyei and Lualeni with their babies were among them. Galana was always with her baby Gawa and Lulu was with nannies Sidai, Murka and Naserian today. They stayed for a short time and walked back to the bush to browse. The injured elephants like Enkikwe and Turkwel got their medication and treatment and then joined the rest of the group.

Out in the Park, all the orphans were busy browsing. Enkikwe was with them too and was managing to keep up despite his sore leg from the lion attack. It then became quite hot and some of the orphans sought shelter in the shade. Garzi was the only one from Laragai's group who stayed with babies the whole day. Maramoja later led the others to the mud bath for their milk. Once there they drank their bottles and walked straight to the water trough to drink water and interact with the wild bulls there, before walking out to browse again. Olsekki and Siangiki were browsing together and separately away from the others. When it came time to return home they were left behind, but they reappeared later on and followed their friends home, trumpeting as they walked as if to complain they had been forgotten about.

16 October 2018

Early this morning we were visited by a big group of ex-orphans with wild elephants among them. Babies Lulu, Kama, Gawa, Yoyo and Siku were with them and their mothers. Wendi, Mulika and Nasalot with their babies did not show up. We also had Chemi Chemi in Olare’s group. He looks very active and he has started seeing much better. Lulu and Kama were together and could come right up to their Keepers, but with their attentive nannies also by their side. The orphans came out and interacted with them around the Lucerne feeding area, before they all walked out to the bush to browse.

Mundusi and Karisa were browsing together and touching each other with their trunks. Turkwel was very busy browsing high up in the trees to reach the best available food. 

When they orphans walked to the mud bath, they found some big wild bulls already there who were playing in the mud hole. The orphans had their milk bottles and walked to the mud hole for a swim. They didn't stay in long because there were quite a few wild bulls there and they had to show them some respect. Sapalan remained alone, hanging around in middle of the wild bulls but looking very comfortable. 

Later in the afternoon it was very hot and some of the orphans walked to find shade from the hot sun. Mutara's group came to join them and they stayed with them the whole afternoon, choosing to walk back to the stockades with them as well. 

In the stockade compound today, we had big group of wild bulls who visited and drank water. We noticed that one bull had a swelling on his belly on one side, and we raised the alarm to Kaluku HQ and they will send a vet to come and treat him tomorrow as it was already very late. Kanjoro was standing and posing for a photo when drinking water with one of his legs on the water trough.

17 October 2018

Today the stockade was very full as we had a big group of elephants who visited this morning. We had wild elephants and ex-orphans with their babies namely Mulika with Mwende, Yatta with Yetu and Yoyo, Wendi with Wiva, Kinna with Kama, Sunyei with Siku, Galana with Gawa and Lualeni with little Lulu, our last born here at Ithumba. Yoyo and Siku were very playful. Mwende was resting her trunk on Siku when Siku was lying down. Kama was playing with Siku and climbing on her as well. There was a slight altercation between a buffalo and a wild elephant bull by the water trough as all of this was going on as well. Kama was scratching her neck as she copied one of her nannies Ishanga who was next to her. Wendi was protecting Wiva from being pushed by the other elephants. Kama started sharing Lucerne cubes with Roi while Lulu was rolling and playing beneath her nanny Lenana. 

Later, out in the bush, Kauro and Kamok were testing their strength by play fighting. The rest were busy browsing in a line before they walked to have their milk bottles just before noon. When they reached the mud bath feeding area, they found some wild bulls playing in the water and they had to respect that. They had their milk and walked to the mud bath and occupied the smallest space possible to make sure the wild bulls still had their space. They later walked out and went straight to the water trough to drink water. 

In the bush, Garzi was busy browsing high up to reach food in the trees. The rest were busy browsing despite how hot it was. They later made their way home in the evening for their milk. Barsilinga, Laragai, Lemoyian and Kithaka today stayed on their own away from the other orphans, but this evening they arrived very late, after all the others had been locked inside already. The gate was opened for them and they were allowed inside as well.

18 October 2018

It was a very cool morning today as we received some drizzle last night which left the morning still very cloudy. The ex- orphans from Olare's group arrived early and waited for the orphans to come out of their stockades to share food with them. Chemi Chemi was among them and came straight to the wall and started scratching his bottom. Kibo, Siangiki and Mundusi started scratching their necks on the wall simultaneously as well. 

It was very cold today and there was not a lot of activity. Olare's group stayed with the orphans the whole morning, with Laragai's group as well. Kauro became a bit livelier later on and we found him rolling on the ground as he splashed some soil on his back. Kasigau started play fighting with Garzi while Galla was busy scratching his neck on a tree. Sapalan and Turkwel on the other side were busy browsing. 

At the mud bath for their milk, Galla was begging for an extra bottle but everyone had had his or her share already. It was very cold so no one bothered to have swim in the mud bath and there were no ex-orphans or wild elephants who chose to visit today either. Back in the bush the orphans carried on browsing, still with Olare and Laragai’s groups. Laragai's group later separated from the dependent orphans, but met up at the stockades with them later on in the evening.

19 October 2018

It was a cool and quiet morning today after we received some 10 mm of rain last night. It also meant the wild elephants dispersed and we had Orwa, Narok and Bomani alone as the only ex-orphans with us today. Pare and Kithaka started scratching their neck on the wall while Orwa and Narok drank water before walking out to the bush. The orphans also had some water before following the ex-orphans out too. All the orphans browsed peacefully. Turkwel and Oltaiyoni browsed together and away from the others. It was quite cold and the orphans were not very active or playful. 

At mud bath the dependent orphans had their bottles and they all then walked to the water trough to have some water. After a few minutes, they started filtering back out to the bush as they wouldn’t play in the water as it was still chilly. No other wild elephants or ex-orphans visited the orphans, except for Orwa, Narok and Bomani who stayed with the orphans for the whole day. Roi and Narok were drinking rain water along the road and later they invited Ukame and Mteto to join them. The rest started playing in the muddy puddles along the road, and later they all walked back home for their milk. Only three wild bulls came to drink water today. We are still waiting for more rain, but we are sure this is the start of the short rains.

20 October 2018

Six wild bulls were enjoying drinking water at the stockade water troughs as the orphans settled for the lucerne pellets, soon after they had their morning milk. Shortly later, Laragai led the way to the browsing field. As we wait for the vegetation to build up after the rains, the orphans have to concentrate mostly on browsing; if they waste any time, it means going home without enough food. Siangiki settled to browse with Galla as Karisa settled to browse with Tusuja. 

Two bulls briefly joined the orphans at the browsing field and created tension when one of the bulls threatened to push Galla and Tusuja who wanted to greet them. Since the two boys didn't want any conflict that would make the bulls push them, Galla and Tusuja did the wise thing of retreating as a sign of respect. As the wild bulls walked off, Galla and Tusuja smelt after them with their trunks, hoping to meet them another time. 

As the bulls disappeared, Nasalot, baby Nusu, Loijuk and Olare appeared and joined the orphans. Olare, who used to be a matriarch in her old group, appears to have quit that job and become a nanny with Loijuk, taking care of Nusu who is Nasalot's baby. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Dad, an old familiar wild bull who has fathered some of the wild born babies to our ex-orphans, in the company of twenty eight wild bulls.

 In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the western slopes of the Ithumba Hill. Rapa and Galla took a break from feeding to relax under a tree and later had a strength testing exercise. Later in the evening Nasalot, Nusu, Olare and Loijuk in the company of twenty wild elephants showed up at the stockade compound and left later after having enough water. 

21 October 2018

Ex-orphans Rapsu and Zurura in the company of thirty wild bulls were relaxing outside the stockade compound when the orphans were let out. Shortly later, Yatta, Wendi, Nasalot, Sunyei, Mulika, Lualeni, Galana and Kinna all with their babies and fellow adopted sisters reported. All the nine wild born babies were present and active. The rascal Nusu had fun climbing on Wiva while Yoyo briefly played with Esampu. Half an hour later, the orphans left for browsing, leaving the ex-orphans and the wild elephants at the stockade compound. By eight o'clock in the morning the number of elephants coming for water had hit one hundred and fifty. 

Out in the bush, Garzi started his day's activities by scratching on some rocks he came across. The temperature was moderate and the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing. At mud bath time, Dad and his company of twenty wild bulls joined the orphans at mud bath. The mud bath was brief for the orphans as they didn't want to have any conflict with the wild bulls. 

On the way back out to browse, Karisa engaged Namalok in a strength testing exercise, a game that lasted for quite some time. Roi, Kauro and Kamok dodged the Keepers and teamed up with a group of wild elephants that were travelling to the stockade to drink water, where they joined the ex-orphans and stayed to wait for their friends. It was a busy day for elephants as they checked in for water and left again to create room for their friends. A record was set for the day, as within twelve hours, the elephants had drunk 40,000 litres of water. 

22 October 2018

It was a less busy morning with only a few wild elephants visiting. The ex-orphans present included Meibai, Kibo, Murka, Narok, Bomani, Orwa, Naisula, Chemi Chemi and Melia. The ex-orphans joined the orphans to eat some lucerne pellets. One of the wild bulls also joined in for the breakfast party, and only left after making sure all the pellets were gone. The ex-orphans accompanied the orphans out to browse and spent the entire morning feeding together. At mud bath time, twenty eight wild bulls were present and had fun wallowing and drinking water for nearly three hours. The orphans found them at mud bath and left them there too once they walked back out to browse again. Roi briefly had a soil dusting exercise, a game which attracted Melia, Kibo, Murka and Tusuja. Later, Tusuja joined two wild bulls to drink water before following his friends into the bush as well. The afternoon was quiet and the orphans didn't waste much time to waste in playing, but concentrated on browsing.

23 October 2018

It was a chilly morning and the only guest elephant at the stockade compound was Buchuma. When the orphans were let out, Buchuma joined them to feed on lucerne pellets. Half an hour later, six wild elephants showed up with two young ones. The two young ones tried to join the juniors to eat pellets but Tusuja and Mundusi protected the pellets and tried to chase them away. At one point, Mundusi even knocked one of them over, and this didn't go down well with her sister who came running forward for revenge. Mundusi turned and ran away to avoid the wrath of the sister. 

Later out in the bush, the chilly weather gave way to light showers that activated the orphans playing moods. Naseku, Namalok, Oltaiyoni, Maramoja, Rapa, Ukame, Pare, Karisa and Siangiki all had fun rolling on the ground. Later, when the showers stopped, the orphans also stopped playing and resumed browsing. 

At mud bath time, the weather was still chilly and the orphans had their milk then joined ex-orphan Taita at the water trough. Taita had arrived only minutes earlier. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Late in the afternoon, Mutara’s group, who have been away for nearly ten days, appeared at the stockade compound looking very thirsty. Mutara, Suguta, Sities, Chaimu, Kainuk, Kasigau and Kanjoro took the much needed water and decided to relax in the stockade compound to recover their lost energy, and they looked relieved to be in the stockades.

24 October 2018

Mutara, Sities, Kanjoro, Kainuk, Chaimu, Kasigau, Suguta and Kilaguni spent the night outside the stockades and early in the morning, joined the orphans for lucerne pellets. After resting for the whole night, the junior ex-orphans looked better in the morning. After feeding on lucerne pellets with the dependent orphans, Mutara’s group opted to walk in the bush in morning. Sities settled to browse with Esampu as she browsed quietly and looked relieved to be with the dependent orphans and the Keepers; they must have gone for some days without finding good water. 

At eleven o'clock in the morning, the weather was still chilly and the orphans in the company of Mutara’s group drank some water then walked back out to the bush. Namalok had a stand-off with Enkikwe after Namalok thought that simply because Enkikwe has an injury, he could bully him. Enkikwe did not tolerate this and being senior to Namalok, decided to show Namalok that he had an experience in handling his juniors. Namalok quit the stand-off after realizing that he was fighting a losing battle. Namalok then moved to play with Wanjala and Galla. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the lower Kalovoto area until late in the evening, when Maramoja led the first group back to the stockades.

25 October 2018

It was wet in the morning following 12mm of rain received around dawn. The orphans walked carefully because the ground was slippery. They settled to eat their Lucerne pellets, and not one single wild elephant or ex-orphan showed up. The rain appeared to have sent them far away. The orphans were in a jovial mood following the cool temperature and settled to browse in Kone area. Roi, Mteto, Naseku and Kamok took a break from feeding to play by rolling on the ground. Galla and Namalok had a stand-off when they met to share a shrub in which each party had an interest. At last, Namalok being the junior surrendered and allowed Galla to have his way. At mud bath time, the weather was still chilly and the orphans didn't waste time; after having their milk, Oltaiyoni led the way back to the browsing field. Galla again had a strength testing exercise with Namalok, whilst Kauro opted to play with Roi. The rest of the afternoon was quiet as the orphans enjoyed the cool weather.

26 October 2018

It was drizzling in the morning when the orphans were let out of their stockades this morning. They made sure to walk carefully because the ground was wet and slippery, as they made their way for their morning Lucerne pellet feeding. Only Tomboi showed up briefly before walking away again. The drizzle stopped half an hour later and Maramoja led the way out. The orphans enjoyed feeding on the nice and wet vegetation up to mud bath time when Naseku led the first group to the mud bath. 

It looked like a herd of almost two hundred buffalo passed by the mud bath, just minutes before the orphans arrived. Two wild bulls joined the orphans to drink water, and thereafter escorted them back out to the bush. In the afternoon, the weather was chilly and the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area where Namalok and Galla briefly had a strength testing exercise before Oltaiyoni intervened by pushing the two boys away.

27 October 2018

Another quiet and wet morning today following 12mm of rain received at dawn. Soon after the orphans were let out, Laragai led the way out. Her rebel-group headed south as the other dependent orphans headed north. Laragai, who is the only female in her group and the ‘rebel leader’, then appeared to change her mind and left the boys to follow the others, while Kithaka, Garzi, Lemoyian and Barsilinga headed south. Dupotto teamed up with the independent and slow Sapalan to feed, while Kauro, Kamok, Karisa and Naseku had fun with water that had collected on the rocks. They quenched their thirst with the rain water then started splashing the rest behind their ears. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans waded through the mud water and after headed back out to browse. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared, giving way to sunshine. 

28 October 2018

The sky was clear in the morning. The orphans settled for lucerne pellets soon after leaving their stockades. The rebels, whose number has dropped to four as Laragai left their company yesterday, also walked out soon after finishing feeding on Lucerne pellets. Laragai in turn led the young ones to the Kone area where they settled to browse for the better part of the morning. At one point, the temperature rose and got quite hot, making Enkikwe and Kamok come together and feed under a tree that had nice shade. The rest of the group converged under another tree that had also a good shade. Sapalan, who is quite independent, wasn’t bothered by the temperature but continued to browse under the hot sun as the rest of his friends hid from it. At mud bath time, the orphans had their milk then headed for water with Sapalan opting for a lone mud bath, as the rest of his colleagues didn't show any interest. Sapalan had his mud bath without disturbance and competition, things that he really likes to avoid. After Sapalan had enough of mud bathing, he walked up to the water trough and again he was happy since his friends had moved a short distance away, leaving all the water for himself. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western side of the Ithumba Hill, where they were briefly joined by two wild bulls. Wanjala and Karisa raised their trunks as if waving to draw the attention of the bulls of their presence, but the bulls ignored them. The two bulls slowly walked away and disappeared into the thicket. 

29 October 2018

Karisa led the way out soon when the gates were opened. The orphans joined ex-orphans Kenze, Orwa, Bomani and Narok who had reported early before dawn. Wanjala and Ukame settled to feed on one pile of lucerne pellets with Kenze. Kenze didn't entertain the two orphans but told them to look for another pile since that one wasn't big enough for the three of them. Wanjala persisted, which forced Kenze to push him away. Shortly later, the ex-orphans and the orphans together walked out to the bush. The inquisitive Wanjala settled to feed with Kenze as he tried to understand how life is out in the wild. Kenze was not that keen on entertaining Wanjala, as shortly later he walked away. 

At mud bath time, the orphans participated in wallowing soon after having their milk. The competition was between Ukame and Esampu as each tried to get to the finish-line first; that being where the Keepers are standing with their milk bottles. When Ukame saw that Esampu was about to win, she tried to block her by pushing her from behind. Esampu didn't fight as she knew she would be fighting a losing battle, and so she surrendered and followed behind Ukame slowly. The lone and independent Sapalan joined a wild bull to drink water and later followed his group. Sapalan looked a bit tired and in the evening on the way back to the stockade he was unusually slow. Yatta and the entire ex-orphan group reported for water in the evening. Missing were Bongo and Teleki who have attached themselves to Nasalot’s group for the time being. 

30 October 2018

This morning we found Sapalan was quite unwell and had to be assisted to get up. Shortly later, he collapsed again and had no strength to stand by himself. This was very strange and had all the Keepers worried. A quick decision was made after conferring with Angela Sheldrick, and he was put to a drip to help stimulate his energy levels. Forty five minutes later, the drip proved helpful and Sapalan was helped back to his feet and he started feeding on greens and pellets. 

The orphans settled to browse in the Kone area, where some of them could not understand why Sapalan was not with them. Enkikwe visited Sapalan when he was put on a drip and kept him company. Most of the time, Sapalan and Enkikwe lag behind the others and walk together, as they are both slow walkers these days. 

At mud bath time, Esampu made sure that she was at the front of the line to run for the milk bottles, to avoid a scenario like yesterday of being pulled back by her seniors. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse and Karisa and Rapa gave the Keepers a hard time when they conspired to dodge them and run off without the Keeper’s knowing. The rest of their friends returned back to the stockade at the usual time with Karisa and Rapa still at large. A spirited effort from the Keepers bore fruit and they managed to smoke them out their hiding place. It was a happy ending as the two orphans were found and Sapalan was still in okay condition having spent the day in the stockade compound.

31 October 2018

The senior ex-orphans led by Yatta joined the orphans for pellets early in the morning. The little rascal baby Nusu had a small disagreement with Pare and Rapa as he tried to push them away from their pellets. The two boys couldn't retaliate because Nasalot, Nusu’s mother, was close by and they feared being reprimanded by her. Rapa and Pare just walked away, probably silently swearing to themselves to teach the little rascal a lesson if they met him without his mother and nannies. 

Out in the bush, the orphans were joined by Chemi Chemi, who has nearly healed from his lion attack, Murka, Orwa, Bomani, Kibo and Narok. The sun was really hot and at mud bath time, the orphans headed straight to cool-off in the mud, without having to be directed by anybody. In the afternoon, the temperature became unbearable, forcing the orphans to seek shelter under some trees to avoid the scorching sun. The orphans resumed browsing when the temperature dropped to a favourable level.