Keepers' Diaries, October 2018

Nairobi Nursery Unit

The first pattering’s of the expected rains began to fall this month, signaling the end of a dry spell and the beginning of the short rains that predictably fall in November. 

01 October 2018

The big girls Tagwa, Malkia, Sana Sana and Kuishi decided to keep their distance from the rest of the herd this morning. Jotto was the only boy browsing near them, but even he was not very close. Ndiwa, Sagala and Malima must have decided to keep Tamiyoi company and help look after the rest of the herd while the big girls were off on their own. A few meters away from the older girls, Luggard’s small little group were staying beside their Keepers.

Merru these days is becoming known to the Keepers for his yelling; for such a little chap he has such a loud, strong and high voice. Sometimes he just yells for no reason at all, but the older females seem to understand him. He started complaining when with Luggard, Dololo and Mukkoka today, but they didn’t take any notice of him.

As he carried on eventually Jotto, a very soft and caring boy, did not disappoint him and he decided to go and find out what was wrong with little Merru. As he reached where Merru was yelling away, the little one just walked up to him and settled under Jotto’s neck. Jotto showered him in affection, and this was enough to calm Merru down. 

02 October 2018

It wasn’t a good start to the day for Kiko. As the baby elephants walked out into the forest this morning, in the distance the Keepers spotted a pride of eight lions on a mission. The elephants either had not seen them or did not seem to mind them, but there were no warthogs with them this morning, which means they at least must have sensed their presence. This meant that Kiko had to spend the whole day in the stockade compound area for his own safety.

Sana Sana was proving to be a good little mini matriarch today. The orphans had their 9am milk bottles around the mud bath area this morning, and some delicious vegetation was put out for them. Sagala turned into a bit of a bully though and was not being very nice to the little ones Maktao, Mapia, Kiasa and Enkesha. Sana Sana kept watching and biding her time for the right moment. She was very close to Sagala when she decided to poke Enkesha in the back with her tusks, and Sana Sana thought this was the best time to discipline the naughty girl. She too poked Sagala with her tusks and drove her away from the group. Ndiwa, who is friends with Sagala, later went over to console her and spend some time with her, to check she was okay, despite her being so naughty this morning. 

03 October 2018

After the orphans left for the forest this morning, Tamiyoi decided to return home to check on the three little ones and perhaps to find some leftovers from her friends that she might be able to enjoy. She was very determined this morning, as she was driven back to the forest several times, but she kept returning. She was so happy when she Merru, then Dololo and finally Mukkoka walk out of their rooms, that she escorted them out to the forest. The rest of the herd had already walked quite far in, and Luggard was the only one left hanging around; they decided to join him and they all walked to the main herd together. 

During the public visiting hour today, Tamiyoi’s younger group spent most of their time feeding on the vegetation put out for them. None of them showed any interest in wanting to mud bath. Just as it was nearing their time to return to the forest and allow the older ones down for their milk bottles, Maisha walked over to the mud pool. She felt the temperature of the water with her trunk and decided to just stand in the middle of the water. While she was there, a warthog also got into the water, had a drink, and started to roll around. Maisha did not want to share the mud bath and she tried to scare the warthog away, but was unsuccessful. Musiara, realizing that Maisha was scared, also stepped into the water to help her, and charged at the warthog, managing to send it away. As he was already in the water, he decided to start swimming, and rolled around in the mud. Maisha decided to join him and she too began swimming. 

04 October 2018

Luggard, Maisha and Jotto had lots of fun with Maxwell in the morning before walking out to the forest. Max was in his stockade and charging, head-butting and pushing on his gate. The three elephant orphans were doing the same from the other side. When one was distracting Max with these game however, the other two were eating his Lucerne pellets! The three elephants eventually ended up in a wrestling match, with Musiara and Luggard teamed up against Jotto, before they decided to catch up with the rest of the herd.

It is lovely to see the older females, even at their young age, still acting and behaving like mature little females. It was nap time for Merru and Luggard was guarding the little baby. When the older elephants arrived back from their mud bath where they were having their 11am milk bottle, Malkia went around looking for the little ones just to check on them. When she noticed that Merru was having a nap, she began rumbling for the other females. We know she was doing this as they started arriving one after the other, Sana Sana ans Tagwa were the first, followed by Ndiwa, Tamiyoi, Kuishi and Sagala – all of them came! They all surrounded the little boy as he slept, and it took them quite a while to decide to leave for the next location to browse, but Luggard stayed until the little boy woke up.

05 October 2018

We had a lovely visit today from our Excellency the First Lady of Kenya who was hosting the American First Lady Mrs Trump. Sagala can never be trusted to behave in situations like this, and she charged over to Mapia because of all the attention he was getting, and knocked into him which meant he almost knocked into Mrs Trump. Apart from that incident all the elephants were very well behaved and Mrs Trump was very interested in them and their stories. After the visit, the orphans walked back out to the forest with the Keepers and then it was their normal daily routine. As the orphans were all crowded together and browsing from some bushes, Kiasa decided to lead the older girls further away. Ndiwa, Malkia, Kuishi and Sagala saw Kiasa walking off and they all ran after her.

06 October 2018

Enkesha’s funny little morning routine has become the norm for her, no matter how much the Keepers try to keep an eye on her. At one stage in the morning before she goes out to the forest, she manages to dodge the Keepers and go and hide behind the stockades in a particular place. There she will start playing with the warthogs and try to chase them away. This is her funny little habit, but today when she was finished hiding she started running all over the place shouting and looking for the others. It was lovely to see Sattao, who came running from the forest to meet Enkesha and calm her down. He hugged her and exchanged trunks, entwining them together.

Ndiwa was in a very different mood today, and the whole day she has been browsing away from the others, and even Sagala did not accompany her.

Tamiyoi is always the first home in the evening from the forest, or she is always trying to be the first! Today she was accompanied by Kiasa and Maktao who were running behind her. Maktao is very possessive of the Keepers so as soon as he spotted the Keepers in the compound waiting to feed them he ran towards the first Keeper. When Kiasa tried to run towards the same Keeper, he charged at her and pushed her back, and ran into his room ahead of the Keeper so the Keeper would follow him, rather than wait for the Keeper to go ahead and lead him in!

07 October 2018

Normally Kiko will wait in the stockade compound before joining the elephants after the public visiting hour, but today he refused to wait there and ran out into the forest to find the elephants. In the end though, it was actually the elephants who helped the Keepers return Kiko to the compound, to wait for his usual time of going out to the forest. As usual it was Musiara who saw Kiko first and wanted to charge at him. He saw Kiko running towards the herd and Musiara began charging at him. Malkia, who is very fond of Musiara and never wants anything to happen to him, came charging up to support him, along with Jotto, Sana Sana and Kuishi. They all began running towards Kiko trumpeting and stamping their feet. Eventually Kiko surrendered and ran back to the stockades without needing any further convincing from the Keepers. 

Today Maktao decided to abandon Tamiyoi’s younger group for most of the day. Instead he decided to hang out with the older girls since morning. Sana Sana, Ndiwa, Sagala and Tagwa were very delighted to have the younger boy with them. 

08 October 2018

Merru received such a lovely welcome from Enkesha on his first day at the mud bath during the public visiting hour, which was lovely to see. Kiasa knows now that she has to arrive at the milk feeding point last because of her greedy, pushing behaviour around the milk wheelbarrow. So after weeks of being blocked by the Keepers and only allowed down to the feeding area at the very last minute, Kiasa has become accustomed to this routine now! 

Today she was the one, together with Maktao, who escorted Merru to his first milk bottle feeding time. Merru likes to shout after he has had his milk bottle, even with the milk bottle still in his mouth, as if he is unhappy that the milk is finished and he wants more. When Enkesha heard him shout she ran over to him and comforted him by walking around the mud bath area with him. It was as if she was showing him where to go and what to do, like browsing on greens or taking a mud bath if he felt like it. After consoling him by wrapping her trunk around him, she walked him to a water trough. They spent some time there enjoying the water, before walking over to some green branches and enjoying the browse, before opting to go over to the mud bath. The Keepers did not want him to go inside today as he is still little and they did not want him to get stuck, so they used a shovel to shower him with nice cool mud.

09 October 2018

Malima enjoyed some charging games with Maxwell the rhino this morning before heading out to the forest. She was trumpeting and pushing Maxwell’s gate from the outside, as Maxwell charged and ran in circles, pushing from the inside of his gate too. The warthogs interrupted the game however as a large number of them decided to enter Maxwell’s stockade to steal his Lucerne pellets, and Max decided to chase them all over the place. Malima tried to convince Maxwell to come back and play but he was too preoccupied, so she left for the forest to join her friends. 

Mukkoka joined Tamiyoi’s young group for the mud bath visiting hour for the first time today. He was very calm and very well behaved during the visit. He arrived with Tamiyoi, Kiasa and Merru from the forest, and no one would have been able to tell it was his first time. Tamiyoi was going to push Mukkoka at one point for taking some greens that Merru was eating, but Enkesha came over to protect Mukkoka from Tamiyoi. Sattao and Maktao were very happily engaged in a pushing game, but this was eventually brought to an end by Emoli who separated the two with the interest of playing with Maktao himself. 


10 October 2018

During the 9am milk feeding time, the orphans were in high spirits and in a very playful mood. Tamiyoi is very well known for her big caring heart. She never really engages in wrestling games. Today however and during this feeding time, she was the one initiating all the games. She engaged Ambo in a very lengthy pushing game that was only brought to an end by Ambo’s friend Jotto, who came over and took Ambo away for a wrestling game. Maktao was also doing the same with his best play mate Emoli. 

Kiasa almost got herself into trouble. With the very jovial mood all the orphans were in, Kiasa was trying to make friends with Merru. She approached him trying to invite him to a game but the little boy ran off complaining. He is a bit of a complainer and will shout for no reason at all sometimes. Sana Sana and Malima were browsing on some bushes surrounding the mud bath area and they abandoned their feeding and came rushing over to see what was troubling the little one. When Kiasa saw the older females running towards her, she ran for safety behind the Keepers as she knew they might think she was bullying Merru, when in fact she was only trying to be friendly. 

11 October 2018

One orphan can certainly have multiple characters, or perhaps they can change their spots so to speak. Kiasa for example, despite being a bit of a bully and very pushy around milk feeding time, out in the forest and during the public visiting time today she was being a very good little elephant. When she arrived at the milk feeding area she found Merru, Mukkoka and Maktao all being fed their milk bottles, but she just stood and waited patiently for a Keeper to pick up her bottle to feed her; this was something we felt like we had never witnessed before with her around the feeding area! Normally she bullies whoever is having their milk bottle first for some of their share. After her bottle she went to stand close to Merru and Mukkoka, and even later out in the forest she was browsing close to the two little boys. It seems her character has really changed with the arrival of these little ones. Later when it was time for the 3pm milk bottle feeding, all the others were running for their milk bottles but she was spotted hesitating and waiting at the back. She escorted the two little boys to the feeding area, and when they were lagging behind she was spotted running back to pick them up and follow her. These were really loving gestures we were seeing from our reformed naughty girl, who really does love Merru and Mukkoka. 

12 October 2018

Close to 7am this morning some of the orphans like Malkia, Sana Sana, Tagwa, Kuishi, Jotto and Mapia were all busy playing and rolling around on the ground enjoying a soil bath. Malkia and Sana Sana then stood up and started playing pushing games and knotting their trunks together in happiness, very joyful to begin a new day out in the bush. 

Their happy game gained the interest of little Maktao and Sattao and they walked over to where they were playing. They then began their own pushing game, where they tried to test each other’s strength. Maktao is always fond of climbing on his friends his own age and size, and he was trying to climb on Sattao’s back, but Sattao kept turning and preventing him from doing so, pushing him away, and thus starting the game all over again. Their pushing game was interrupted by the warthogs who like to accompany the elephants during the day, but Maktao and Sattao did not want them too close to them, and took up charging at them instead, and chasing them away. 

13 October 2018

Ambo can be quite a bully when it comes to sharing food of any kind, greens, pellets or anything. Today when the orphans came out of their stockades, many ran straight to the outside of Maxwell’s gate, where they could pick up some of his leftover spilled Lucerne pellets before heading out to the forest for the day. Ambo was the first one to arrive there, and he was later joined by Sattao, Emoli, Kiasa and Enkesha. Ambo really gave them all a rude welcome when they arrived, bullying them and trying to prevent them from joining him and sharing the few Lucerne pellets that could be found there. He remained unfriendly to the others until they gave up and walked away, leaving Ambo to enjoy them on their own. His victory was short lived however, as Ndiwa, Sagala and Malkia arrived and Ambo immediately gave way to the older girls.

14 October 2018

Today Luggard woke up in a very happy and playful mood. When his stable door was opened he came running out to catch up with his best friend Musiara who had walked out just a few minutes before him. On his way out he was greeted by Malima, Ambo, Jotto and Maisha who were also on their way out to the forest. Because of his happy mood, Luggard greeted Jotto with a friendly head-butt, which was well-received by Jotto who loves playing, and the two enjoyed a happy pushing game of the kind that is so enjoyed by young growing bulls. The two bulls really took their time mock-charging at each other and retreating, before charging to take each other on again. Tiny Musiara who adores Luggard, was busy scampering about in the adjacent bushes cheering Luggard on in his game. The game eventually wound down and came to an end as the Keepers walked the orphans deeper into the forest.

Sana Sana and Kiasa seem to be the two girls who really look after Merru these days. During one of the bottle feeds today, Sana Sana and Kiasa were allowed to run down with the others to where the other Keepers were waiting with their bottles, but they were very hesitant and didn’t want to leave Merru behind. They didn’t leave, so eventually the Keepers allowed them to escort Merru down to the feeding area. They happily did so, and stayed close to him as he drank his bottle before walking off to browse. For Kiasa to think of another little baby and not cause any problems at milk feeding time is quite huge; it seems this little baby has really changed her character. 

15 October 2018

Tamiyoi has developed a habit of first thing in the morning, or after any of the milk feeds, leading a group of orphans like Sagala, Kuishi, Ndiwa, Ambo, Sana Sana, Malkia, Mapia and Malima far deep into the forest. When the Keepers search for them, it is interesting to see Tamiyoi some yards in front of the group in the lead. She seems to have usurped Ndiwa and Sagala who used to be the main leaders who would take some of the orphans off deep into the forest. We are not sure how or why she developed this new habit but she seems to have been influenced by Ndiwa and Sagala as she used to accompany them on these little forays. 

We are often reminded how clever elephants are, but we like sharing these moments with you as well! Despite being a new little orphan to the Nursery, Dololo is very clever and knows all the routes back to the stockades. Sometimes when the orphans are out in the forest browsing in the early morning, towards 8am Dololo will try to sneak back from the forest to the stockades to wait for his next bottle of milk right in his stable! He has developed this funny new little habit of sneaking back to the stockades before some of his feeding times, and even though these all take place out in the forest apart from the ones at night, the Keepers are so impressed that he can find his way back home no matter where they are in the forest, using his incredible memory.

16 October 2018

This morning the orphans were very calm and settled, busy browsing without showing off in any playful games. However just as the orphans were walking deep into the forest, Sana Sana realized that none of the little ones like Merru, Dololo and Mukokka were with them. She took control of the herd leading them, and all of a sudden reeled around and began trumpeting and charging back towards the stockades because she did not want to go any further without the little babies. When the other orphans saw Sana Sana running back towards the stockades they all turned and started following her trumpets, following the lead of Ndiwa and Sagala. Sana Sana looked much more relaxed and happy when she met up with Merru. The Keepers watched her happy and slowly leading them out into the forest to browse on the bushes where the others were, along with what seem to be the nannies Kiasa and Enkesha, merrily guarding Merru. Sana Sana slowly walked out rumbling her content and calling Merru and the others to follow her, as Kiasa and Enkesha walked along on either side. 

17 October 2018

Before the orphans went for their 11am milk bottle, they were enjoying themselves and rolling around in the natural muddy puddles that had formed overnight from the rain. When it was time for them to go for their bottles, some of the babies like Tamiyoi, Kiasa, Emoli and Enkesha were so reluctant to leave their new-found mud wallow, as they felt so relaxed and happy swimming around in the water, not feeling ready for their bottles yet. They were acting like children who do not want to get out of the swimming pool to come for their lunch! One of the Keepers was even forced to go into the water to get them out, as they knew that once the orphans saw their bottles it would remind them how hungry they were. When they arrived at the mud bath feeding area, they had their bottles and then none of the orphans felt like mud wallowing, as they had had their fun out in the forest! Instead they concentrated on the greens out there by the Keepers. The orphans were very happy to have discovered this new mud bath, and are quite excited that this might be the start of the rainy season! Sagala, Ndiwa, Malkia and Kuishi all wanted to go back to the same fun muddy wallow they had found straight after the visiting time, just showing how much they enjoyed it. 

18 October 2018

We all know that elephants are clever and very intelligent animals; this is proven to us time and again with the baby elephants in the Nursery too. This morning the elephant babies were walking out to the forest to begin their day, but as the others were making their way out little Maktao sneaked off to the side where he noticed some lucerne pellets had spilled on the floor. He picked up one piece after another silently and no one realised he had been left behind. It was only when the Keepers settled down in the forest to have their breakfast tea that they realised he was missing. He is well known to hang around his Keepers, and in the morning whilst they have their tea he often pesters them, so it was very obvious as soon as they sat down that he was not with them! Once they realised he was not with them some searched in the nearby bushes as another Keeper radioed to the stockades to see if he had been left behind. As they radioed another Keeper who had made his way back to the stockades to retrieve his sweater noticed the polite little boy happily feasting on the Lucerne pellets in the corner, and escorted him out to the forest to join the rest of his friends.

19 October 2018

Kiko has been in a very naughty mood recently – both with the Keepers and the elephants as well. One of his recent favourite naughty things to do is snatch the hats off the Keepers’ heads!

As the orphans were browsing in the forest today, the ever-playful Malima didn’t seem interested in feeding but instead wanted to start a game. No one was interested in playing with her as they were all happy browsing on the vegetation. In the end she opted for rolling on the ground and throwing dust on herself, trumpeting at times to clear her trunk. Suddenly she changed tactics and tried to lure Tamiyoi to join her in her fun, but Tamiyoi was content with just browsing. To express her annoyance at not finding a playmate and being rejected by Tamiyoi, Malima took Tamiyoi’s tail and bit the end of it. Tamiyoi shouted with pain obviously, drawing the attention of the other babies who came running to help her and find out what was wrong. Seeing the others come running over, Malima quickly got up and moved away to avoid being disciplined, and the peace was restored.

20 October 2018

Maxwell’s self-imposed visitors are increasing day after day. As the Nairobi Nursery is situated on the edge of the National Park, warthogs are free to come and go, but some wild ones have taken up residence in the compound and choose to have their babies here, so there are often lots of wild warthogs around. Increasingly they choose to squeeze through Maxwell’s gate into his stockade, not to say hello to the rhino, but to share his tasty lucerne pellets. Today the warthogs were all crowded around his lucerne pile, and warthogs are quite greedy animals and not very quiet eaters. They were fighting over the lucerne, which drew Maxwell’s attention to the fact they were sharing his food. He slowly walked up to where the noise was coming from, and then charged at the invaders who scattered in all directions for safety.

Since they arrived at the Nursery around the same time at the beginning of last year, Sattao and Musiara have always been friends. Today, when all of the orphans were relaxing under a tree in the shade, out of the hot sun, Sattao and Musiara decided to go on their own to a different tree. Here they lay down facing each other and entwined their trunks, spreading their bodies out on the cool soil and flapping their ears to cool their hot bodies down. Musiara was so sweet and started patting Sattao on the back as if encouraging him to take a nap as well. 

21 October 2018

Despite being known for her usual naughty character, the sassy girl Kiasa has developed a different character as well recently, and that is one that likes to take care of the little ones. To the Keepers amazement, she is now a very caring girl! Today she stayed by the babies the whole day. We are so surprised that this little girl, who used to be a bit of a bully, now takes care of the little ones. 

This new habit does seem to annoy Sana Sana a bit as well, as she is interested in looking after some of the babies as well. When she feels like it, Sana Sana can take advantage of her age and size and chase little Kiasa away so she can have the new arrivals to herself. Kiasa vented her frustration by picking on Emoli, but Emoli turned and used his small tusks to push Kiasa away. Kiasa shouted for help and Tagwa came to her rescue by pushing Emoli away who was very angry at Kiasa for interrupting him and attempting to start a fight.

22 October 2018

There is the saying ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and our orphans seem to think this is the case as well. Mukkoka and Dololo were very busy stealing branches through the partition between their stockades this afternoon. Dololo set the ball rolling when he started pulling Dololo’s branches and Mukkoka did the same in retaliation, and also so as not to miss out on his greens! Other neighbours nearby were also having the same tussle. Ambo pulled a big branch through from Mapia’s stable as his unsuspecting neighbor was munching on a branch on the other side of his room. It was when he tried to pull the second branch that Mapia realized what Ambo was doing and he tried to pull the branch back again. A tug of war began as the two boys pulled branches back and forth between the partition of their rooms, instead of just enjoying the branches they did have! There was a loud thump as eventually Mapia charged at the wooden partition to chase Ambo away from his share of greens, which rocked the whole structure.

23 October 2018

Luggard’s friendship with Dololo is growing every day and this is for a number of reasons. First and foremost neither of them walk very deep into the forest with the others, and they both walk very slowly, which means they spend a lot of time together every day. Today when Merru and the other newcomer Mukkoka walked off with the other orphans, Luggard and his new friend decided to stay on their own in their own area, browsing from one bush to the next and taking short breaks in between. 

When it was time for the 11am public visit today, Kuishi’s love for her milk bottle was very evident when downed her share quickly and then she tried to suck the leftovers around the bottle, before moving to the wheelbarrow to do the same, as there is always spilled milk at the bottom. This ended up with her being pushed out of the way by Ndiwa however, as she moved closer and tried to have some of Ndiwa’s share. Ndiwa turned in circles to try and discourage Kuishi, and when she finished her bottle she gave Kuishi an almighty push, which even left a mark on Kuishi because of her tusks! Kuishi hurried away and began to browse on the greens, rather than get in trouble again.

24 October 2018

The three big girls Sagala, Malkia and Ndiwa are really showing signs of being quite independent babies. Soon after their 11am milk bottle and spending time at the mud bath, the three girls in the company of Emoli, Maisha, Enkesha and Jotto moved off deep into the forest. The Keepers and other orphans including Tagwa did not notice, but as this small little group made their way out, they scared a herd of impala who were grazing nearby. Their running and jumping in the air notified the Keepers that those elephants were walking off in a different direction. The Keepers did a head count and realized who was missing, so some of them started to walk off in the direction they had seen the impalas jumping, to keep an eye on those elephant orphans. Some monkeys were spotted playing in the trees ahead, when one slipped and fell, landing on the floor with a cry which gave Ndiwa and her group a fright. They came running out of the bushes running and trumpeting towards the Keepers to seek their help and safety.

25 October 2018

It was a chilly and cloudy morning this morning as the orphans made their way out to the forest. Tagwa and Malima led as the elephants as they spread out in the bushes to begin their morning of browsing. The little ones Dololo, Mukkoka and Merru wore their blankets as usual to protect them from the morning cold. Luggard, who is always determined and lively, was still at the back of the group with Dololo, Musiara and Maktao. The bigger orphans like Sana Sana, Tagwa and Malkia pulled down some of the branches of the taller trees for the little ones standing beneath like Sattao, Kiasa and Maisha.

During the 9am milk feeding, Kuishi showed off her greedy character again as upon finishing her bottle, she was reluctant to move away from the wheelbarrow, and all of a sudden she picked up an empty one and put it in her mouth, trying to lick the last remnants of milk that might be found there. The Keepers were telling her off and to put the bottle down, which she eventually did drop but just to suck up the spilled milk she could find at the bottom of the wheelbarrow. Eventually she was moved away from the area by the Keepers instead she decided to knock the whole wheelbarrow over.

26 October 2018

It was a sunny day today which meant the orphans looked happy and ready to enjoy their mud bath after their 11am milk bottle. As the first group finished having their bottles, the little mini matriarch Tamiyoi was the first one to get into the muddy water hole. There she happily sprayed herself with the muddy water. Maisha and Emoli went into the water second and then most of the others followed. Mukkoka and Merru decided to not go in the water, and stood on the edge trying to spray their bodies with their little trunks before the Keepers helped them have a bath by putting some mud on their backs with the spade. The two little boys who are fairly new to the Nursery and mud bath visiting time really enjoyed their bath, although Merru was still a little quiet and slow in his activities. 

When it came time for the older orphans to have their mud bath the activity was taken up a level as they rolled and splashed mud everywhere. As usual Malima was the most boisterous and playful, and came out of the mud hole covered from head to toe with mud, and ran along the rope cordon trying to get as many of the visitors muddy as possible, before running back into the mud bath again. She is such a funny and naughty character! 

27 October 2018

Last night’s food feud between the neighbours Ndiwa and Malkia spilled over into this morning. The two girls pushed at the posts partitioning their stockades as they fought over the leftover branches. Malkia provoked her neighbor first by stealing one of her leftover branches. As soon as the gates to their stockades were opened, they both came out and within second they had begun tussling with each other, Ndiwa probably wanting to take revenge for Malkia stealing her branch. A push and pull fight ensued as they followed the rest of the group who were walking slowly out to the forest. Ndiwa looked a bit stronger, and pushed Malkia so hard that she stumbled and fell into Maktao, knocking him to the ground. This prompted the matriarch Tagwa to step in, who wanted no harm to befall one of her precious babies, and she came between the warring girls to separate them. Ndiwa tried to turn her anger on Tagwa as Malkia walked away, but Sana Sana then came over to back Tagwa and in the end Ndiwa left in the company of Malima and Enkesha to walk off deep into the forest.

28 October 2018

Kiasa continues to show how close she is to Merru. This morning the normally cheeky girl was protecting him from Sattao, who was trying to provoke Merru and steal his blanket too. Kiasa in turn kept grabbing Sattao’s tail, probably with the intention of biting it as she is known for this naughty habit! Sattao was wise to that however and kept turning around to engage the little girl in a small fight. Nevertheless Kiasa achieved her intention of keeping his attention away from Merru. 

As the sun continued to rise higher in the sky, the orphans took advantage of that and warmed themselves. Musiara and Maktao, who are best known for hanging around their Keepers, were happily warming themselves lying down in an open glade. They rolled around and spread their legs so as to warm as much of their bodies as possible. Maisha joined them too, but first touched their bellies and ears as if seeking permission to do so. She got down on the ground slowly next to Musiara and unlike the other two, she just lay still and let the sun slowly warm her body. 

29 October 2018

Kiko’s theatrics are not new to the elephant orphans or the Keepers. Since he is the tallest in the Nursery he likes to think he is the overall boss as well and he likes to do exactly as he pleases. This morning Kiko and the elephants were having their 9am feed and Kiko reached the feeding area for his bottle first. After he pretended to feed on the nearby trees, but then he made a u-turn and came near to the milk wheelbarrow, where the orphans were having their bottles. Kiko started misbehaving and Emoli cried out as he was having his milk bottle right next to him. The naughty giraffe then intentionally kicked the wheelbarrow holding the empty milk bottles which sent them flying in all directions. The Keepers came over to calm him down and he stopped being naughty, resuming to browse from the trees nearby. When the feeding time was over the elephant orphans dispersed throughout the thicket in the forest, and Kiko followed them from a distance. 

30 October 2018

This morning was misty and then it started to drizzle. By mid-morning it was full on raining. Most of the babies were enjoying the rain but a few of them decided to take cover under some trees. Dololo, Mukkoka and Merru are not very strong enough to withstand the bad weather so they were led back to their rooms and provided with greens to browse on. Kiko decided to make his own way back to the stockades as well and stand in his own room too! The rainy weather however is certainly Maxwell the rhinos favourite and he was rolling on the heaps of soil in his stockade and running up and down, his whole body caked in mud. Kiasa was in a very calm mood again today, and remained sandwiched between Ndiwa and Malkia. Sattao and his good friend Musiara were enjoying the body warmth of the Nursery matriarch Tagwa, who took cover from the rain beneath some trees. The chilly and rainy weather seemed not to bother the two good friends and age-mates Ambo and Jotto however, and they braved the rain whilst playing in a ‘push and pull’ fight. Ambo was a bit more boisterous in the game, compared to Jotto who known to be more polite, earning him the title of ‘little mellow boy’ from the Keepers. 

31 October 2018

Malima and Tamiyoi seem to be quite close friends, and we have seen this bond developing recently. Although the mini-matriarch Tamiyoi likes to spend most of her time with the little ones, she also spares some time to play and browse close to her friend Malima. It is also evident that Malima is learning how to play the more ‘motherly’ role from her friend, and today she spent a lot of her day with Musiara, helping him pull branches down that were too high for him to reach. She was also seen twice defending him from the little bully boy Mapia. 

Kuishi and Sagala are both neighbours and friends, but when it comes to the milk bottles they seem to have a bit of a rift. This was evident during the 9am feeding today. Kuishi was the first one to finish her bottle and due to her love of the milk formula she tried to get an extra drop from her friend. Sagala turned in circles in protest to sacrificing any of her milk, even for her friend. 

All the babies love their milk bottles so much they will always come in running for them to be the first to reach the Keepers holding them, and Luggard doesn’t want to be left out, despite his limp. He was seen rushing in with the others and to the Keepers astonishment, and his friends, he overtook Dololo and Musiara to reach the bottles first – that earned him several cheers from the Keepers that morning!