Keepers' Diaries, October 2020

Ithumba Reintegration Unit

At Ithumba the dry season was punctuated by the first drizzles of rain signalling the onset of the long awaited short rains, but until we have our first deluge of rain showers and the vegetation has time to recover, the Ithumba area remains very much in demand for its life saving water sources and mud baths - and still plays host to numerous wild elephants, and our own ex-orphans as well. We had over 30 ex-orphans around Ithumba permanently this month, including four of the wild born babies as well. 

01 October 2020

Ex-orphans Kibo, Kilaguni, Melia, Chemi Chemi, Kandecha, Rapsu, Tumaren and Mutara’s herd as well, joined the dependent orphans in the morning to feed on Lucerne. Shortly later, Rapsu walked down to the water trough where he was joined by Namalok to have some water. The rest of the orphans joined moments later. After drinking enough water, the orphans headed east while the ex-orphans headed west. Barsilinga and Musiara found some suitable rocks that they used to scratch on. Wanjala engaged Karisa in a pushing game that didn't last for long as Karisa quit and went to challenge Galla. 

At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by ex-orphans Lenana, baby Lapa, Kinna, baby Kama, baby siku, Sunyei, Makena and twenty five wild bulls. Maramoja, Roi, Dololo and Sattao took some time to play with Lapa and socialize with him for a bit, before heading back out to browse. In the afternoon the sun was really hot and the orphans took a break from feeding to hide from the scorching sun. They later resumed browsing when the temperature dropped.

02 October 2020

Wild elephant bull Kijana and ex-orphan Tomboi arrived early in the morning and placed themselves strategically ready to receive Lucerne as well. Esampu and Malima entwined their trunks in morning greetings. On the way out to browse, Namalok engaged Karisa in a pushing game in which Karisa surrendered and moved to play with Sapalan. Later, Karisa moved to play with Pare while Galla played with Sapalan. Ambo followed Malima around the place. The rest of the morning was quiet and at mud bath time the orphans fully participated in the wallowing exercise. Ten wild bulls were present and enjoyed wallowing and drinking water with the orphans. In the afternoon, the orphans settled along the upper Kalovoto River an area they have come to like because of lots of vegetation they like to eat there. 

03 October 2020

The ex-orphans and their babies, Lenana, Lapa, Sunyei, Siku, Lili, Loijuk, Makena, Kilaguni, Chemi Chemi, Melia, Ishanga and Mutara’s herd, had spent the night outside the stockade and joined the orphans in the morning. The ex-orphans shared the Lucerne with the orphans before parting ways and walking off in a different direction to the dependent orphans. Orwa decided to go right into one of the stockades to check if there were any leftover branches for him to browse on. Esampu was playing around in the compound. Out in the bush, Naseku and Rapa had a game of rolling on the ground while Barsilinga settled to scratch on some nearby rocks. Kamok settled to play with Olsekki while Musiara challenged Galla. 

The sun was really hot and at mud bath time, the orphans went into the water at their own will. Often in the past the Keepers have to remind and persuade them to have a mud bath, but today they wanted to of their own accord it was that hot! The orphans went into the waterhole soon after having their milk. Fifteen wild bulls were present at the mud bath and continued to enjoy their mud bath even after the orphans left for browsing. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing. 

04 October 2020

Ex-orphans Lenana, Lapa, Sunyei, Siku, Kinna, Kama, Makena and several wild bulls showed up in the morning. The ex-orphans and two junior wild bulls joined the orphans to feed on Lucerne and later parted ways. The orphans headed north of the stockade and had a quiet morning. Mapia tried to bully Dololo by climbing on him but was cautioned by the Keepers.  

At mud bath time, twenty five wild bulls were present but this didn't bother the orphans as they took their milk and wallowed as much as they wanted. They finished their activities by drinking water before returning back to browsing. Since the sun was hot, the orphans took a break from feeding to relax under a tree and resumed browsing only after the temperature had dropped.

05 October 2020

Ex-orphans Kinna, Lenana, Sunyei, Loijuk and their babies Kama, Lapa, Siku, and Lili, plus Ishanga, Makena, Olare, Kitirua and a wild female joined the dependent orphans in the morning for Lucerne. The orphans left immediately after finishing their Lucerne. Wanjala and Karisa were in a playful mood and engaged each other in a pushing game. Naseku lagged behind as she tried to deal with Kama who had threatened to push her. Naseku wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for a game either! Musiara took a break from feeding to have fun by rolling on the ground. Mundusi played with Roi as Enkikwe tackled Galla while Sattao settled for soil dusting. Tusuja and Barsilinga sneaked off early and went to mud bath to wait for their milk. Ten wild bulls attended the mud bath as well and were there enjoying the water when the orphans arrived. In the afternoon it was quite cool and the orphans concentrated on browsing throughout the remaining part of the day. 

06 October 2020

Kinna and her ex-orphan group who are clearly very present in the area at the moment and who show up every day, joined the dependent orphans in the morning for the Lucerne feeding time. Ambo, who most of the time never bothers with the Lucerne, headed straight out to browse. After finishing as much Lucerne as they cared for, the orphans followed Ambo out to the bush as well. 

Tusuja engaged Wanjala in a pushing game as Rapa kept on trying to climb on his friends as a sign of dominance. He started by riding on Mteto then later moved to Mapia. When he got tired of his climbing games, Rapa tried to have a pushing game with Kuishi, but Kuishi appeared uninterested and moments later moved away. Namalok had a lone game of rolling on the ground. His game was cut short by Oltaiyoni who passed by and pushed him to stand up. 

At mud bath time, Tusuja and Barsilinga as usual dodged the Keepers to arrive at the mud bath early and wait for the milk car to arrive. Eleven bulls were present at mud bath today. The orphans had their milk first before heading for wallowing in the water hole, as it was a hot morning. After wallowing, the orphans went to drink some fresh water from the water troughs before enjoying some soil dusting, before returning back to browsing. In the afternoon, Malkia took Musiara in her care and browsed together with him for the rest of the day.

07 October 2020

Only Loijuk and her baby Lili were present at the morning Lucerne feeding time. Later, a wild bull joined the orphans for some Lucerne. Ex-orphan Tomboi, wild bull ‘Dad’ and some other wild bulls showed up later and enjoyed drinking water at the water trough. Namalok extended his trunk to a wild bull in morning greetings. Later, Loijuk and her baby parted ways with dependent orphans and headed south while the orphans headed east. 

Wanjala and Tusuja had a morning warm up exercise through a pushing game. Later, Rapa tackled Mapia in a pushing game that saw Rapa emerge as the winner. Later, Tusuja quit playing with Wanjala and moved to play with Sapalan as Siangiki settled to scratch her itchy ear against a tree. 

At mud bath time, thirteen wild bulls were present and were joined by the Ithumba orphans to wallow soon after they had their milk. After the orphans had enough of wallowing, Namalok engaged Tusuja in a pushing game that ended in a draw. In the afternoon the sun was so hot, making the orphans want to take a break from feeding and relax under some trees. The orphans resumed browsing only after the temperature dropped to a more favourable level. 

08 October 2020

In the morning, Rapsu and his wild friends reported at the stockade compound for water. After drinking enough water, Rapsu moved over to the rocks by the hillside, where he relaxed waiting for his friends. Musiara decided to go and scratch on the same rocks where Rapsu was standing, but Rapsu didn't bother with the small boy and continued to act as if nothing was happening around him. 

After feeding on Lucerne, Sattao led the way out to browse where he settled for a soil dusting exercise. Mapia and Malima also joined in the game of soil dusting. The rest of the morning was quiet. 

At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by ex-orphans Melia, Kitirua, Tumaren, Chemi Chemi, Bomani ,Orwa, Makena and 25 wild bulls. The sun was really hot and this prompted all the orphans to really enjoy wallowing in the mud bath after having their milk bottles. Later the dependent orphans headed for a soil dusting exercise and thereafter Naseku settled for scratching while Bomani and Chemi Chemi settled for a strength testing exercise. Shortly later, the ex-orphans parted ways with the dependent Ithumba orphans. 

09 October 2020

Ex-orphans Kinna, Loijuk, Sunyei, Lenana and their babies plus, Mutara, Sities, Kainuk, Turkwel, Kanjoro, Kilaguni, Suguta, Olare, Kenze and several wild elephants were at the stockade compound early before the orphans were let out. Loijuk and Kinna with their babies walked to the Lucerne store and waited outside for Keepers to do the necessary. Sities, Suguta and Kainuk, who were always running after little Dololo, seem to have left him for the time being and transferred their love and attention over to Lapa and becoming his doting nannies. They were seen competing for Lapa’s attention the entire morning. 

Later in the morning out in the bush, Tusuja engaged Wanjala in a pushing game while Esampu found a suitable rock that she used to scratch herself on. Siangiki settled to browse with Ambo while Kamok played with Olsekki. Mutara and her group joined the orphans at the mud bath followed by ten wild bulls. After wallowing, the orphans attended a soil dusting exercise to dry themselves off before heading back out to browse. In the afternoon it was so hot again, and this prompted the orphans to take a break from feeding and relax under some trees. The orphans resumed browsing when the temperature dropped to more favourable level. 

10 October 2020

The orphans settled for Lucerne in the morning soon after leaving their stockades. Malima left with a branch in her mouth which she continued to enjoy before settling for some Lucerne as well. The orphans were joined by Mutara’s group in the company of Kinna, baby Kama, Sunyei, baby Siku, Kilaguni and several wild elephants. On the way out to browse, Kauro came across a nice rock that he scratched on before tackling Wanjala in a pushing game. Naseku and Esampu took a break from feeding to have a game of rolling on the ground. Dololo, who is slowly trying to establish himself among the big boys, decided to challenge Rapa, Karisa and later Mapia too. 

At mud bath time, a few wild bulls were in attendance. Ex-orphans Kinna, Kama, Sunyei, Siku, Lenana, Lapa, Ishanga and Mutara were also present. In the afternoon, the orphans parted ways with the ex-orphans. The orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto seasonal river.

11 October 2020

A wild herd in the company of ex-orphans Loijuk, Lili, Sunyei, Siku, Lapa, Lenana, Kilaguni, Olare, Kinna and Kama arrived early at the stockade compound to wait for Lucerne. Once the orphans were let out, Malkia was lucky enough to have one-on-one with baby Lapa and later moved to Lili. Esampu joined her and also had good time with Lapa. Shortly later, a thirsty buffalo showed up and stood its ground as some of wild elephants tried to scared it way. The buffalo only left after it had taken enough water. 

Out in the bush, Kamok and Musiara settled for scratching while Wanjala and Tusuja engaged in a strength testing exercise that saw Wanjala emerge as the winner. At mud bath time the temperature was high and this prompted all the orphans to want to wallow in the mud bath. Forty wild bulls were present and amazingly Makena was among them, interacting freely with them. When the bulls left, Makena left with them. It appears that Makena has a boyfriend in that group that she doesn't want to leave. Only time will tell what will follow next. When the dependent orphans had enough of wallowing they walked back out to the bush to browse for the rest of the day. 

12 October 2020

Mutara and her ex-orphan group were present in the morning. When the gates were opened, Turkwel walked over to meet Dololo and they entwined their trunks in morning greetings. Shortly later, Rapsu joined the orphans at the Lucerne feeding venue. Kauro walked over to the water trough soon after having his share of lucerne. He was later joined by Kuishi and Rapsu. 

On the way out to browse, Kauro and Esampu came across a nice rock that they shared to scratch on. Karisa took some time off from feeding to have fun rolling on the ground. Rapa attempted to climb on Mapia while Enkikwe engaged Lemoyian in a pushing game. Enkikwe lost to Lemoyian and Lemoyian proved his win by riding on Enkikwe. Ex-orphans Kitirua, Kandecha, Chemi Chemi and Kalama passed by the stockade compound mid-morning. They drank some water then disappeared off into the bush again. At mud bath time, only a few wild bulls showed up. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area.

13 October 2020

Ex-orphans Kandecha, Kitirua, Chemi Chemi, Bomani, Kilaguni, Melia and Kibo were at the stockade compound in the morning. It’s interesting to note all these ex-orphans aren’t necessarily in the original groups they formed when they left their human family a few years ago now, but what matters is that they are all familiar with each other and were raised the same way, so they understand each other. 

Ndiwa decided to go for water first before settling for Lucerne. She was joined by Kamok and Mundusi as the keepers kept an eye on Kamok who likes to push the gates for fun every morning. She well understands that the electric fence is always turned off whenever they leave the stockade in the morning! Kuishi was slightly limping and upon checking on her we found that she had been pierced by a thorn but the thorn had come out. Mapia seemed happy as this meant Kuishi couldn’t run after him whenever he passes close to her (for some reason Kuishi has a tendency of pushing Mapia whenever he passes close by).

Out in the bush Bomani, who is Orwa's friend but we don’t know where he had left Orwa, had a nice time with Dololo and Sattao. Bomani appeared to be giving the two boys a lecture on what an independent life is like to prepare them for the future! Bomani informed the boys not to expect to sleep in the stockades for the rest of their lives, but a time will come and they will be ready to leave too. 

At mud bath time, only four wild elephant bulls showed up. The dependent orphans and a group of ex-orphans who attended the mud bath had the venue all to themselves. The ex-orphans present at mud bath were Bomani, Kitirua, Chemi Chemi, Kalama, Kibo, Tumaren, Olare and Makena. Shortly after mud bath, there was drama when two ostriches passed close by. Mundusi and Tusuja charged and trumpeted as they tried to scare the birds away. The two ostriches disappeared quickly on their long powerful legs, thus bringing the tension down! In the afternoon the sun was hot and Roi, who is proving to be very caring these days, decided to walk Ambo under some shade when she found him feeding under the scorching sun. The rest of the orphans were relaxing under some trees. In the evening, Kamok, Mapia and Enkikwe could not be found as the orphans gathered together to walk back to the stockades. Finally the three orphans were located a short distance from where the rest were feeding. Olsekki and Siangiki, who are slowly weaning themselves off from drinking their milk bottles, didn't bother to follow their friends in having milk, but went straight into their stockade. This means they are becoming more independent and their time soon approaches when they will build the confidence to leave the stockades.  

14 October 2020

It was a morning without much elephant traffic at the stockade compound. The dependent orphans settled for Lucerne and were joined by Zurura, wild elephant ‘Kijana’ and Bomani. Kijana has become part and parcel of the ex-orphan groups as he behaves exactly like them, popping up anytime whenever he wishes to share the Lucerne. He left with Zurura later, and Bomani was left in charge of the dependent orphans and assigned himself the role of a Head Boy, punishing the naughty boys whenever they tried to play close to him. Bomani is perhaps missing his friend Orwa. 

On the way out to the bush, Kauro passed by the far stockade and tried opening the gate to check for any leftovers. When the gate failed to open, Kauro decided there was nothing worth his time inside anyway and left with the others. Roi who understands that it is quite dry now, decided to carry a piece of Lucerne with her that she enjoyed feeding on whilst she walked. 

Later, Galla felt that he wanted a strength testing exercise but he didn't know who to invite. To find out who among the boys wanted to have a pushing game, Galla started a stretching exercise and bending down. Karisa, who was close by, saw what Galla was doing and understood his message, and started to fool around as well. This prompted Galla to draw close and start engaging Karisa in a pushing game. The game later ended up in a draw. 

Pare tackled Enkikwe but Enkikwe couldn't allow Pare to carry the day. Enkikwe wanted to prove to Pare that disability is not inability, even if he has a bad leg after his lion attack; he wanted to prove he could still defend himself! At the end Enkikwe managed to defeat Pare. 

At mud bath time, a junior wild bull joined the orphans to wallow in the water hole. He kept looking at and studying the orphans, perhaps wondering why they were all the same age and that he couldn't see their mothers. The wild junior kept on checking around for any adult elephants, but there was none, only the doting human family close by. After the mud bath, the wild junior left with many unanswered questions but seeing that the orphans were happy, and in time the orphans will no doubt communicate further with him about who they are, if he stays in the area. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto seasonal river, an area with nice trees which sheltered them from the hot afternoon sun. In the evening, the Head Boy Bomani escorted the dependent orphans back to stockades and thereafter left and walked off into the Park. 

15 October 2020

Bomani, who appears to be enjoying the company of the dependent orphans, reported early and waited until dawn for the orphans to come out of their stockades. After having their milk bottles, Ambo was the first one to leave the stockades and settled to scratch against the wall in the stockade compound. When the rest of his friends were out, Ambo rumbled, sending a message to whoever cared to listen that he was going to head out to browse. Siangiki and Kamok, who happen to be close friends with Ambo, decided to signal Oltaiyoni who was standing close to Ambo to check out what the baby Ambo wanted. Oltaiyoni immediately attended to Ambo who indicated he was ready to walk out to the bush to browse. Oltaiyoni decided not to disappoint Ambo and escorted him to the water trough before wandering off out into the Park. 

Olsekki wanted to learn some pushing techniques from Bomani who happily agreed to teach Olsekki. Karisa didn't find anyone willing to play with him and so decided to have a morning exercise of rolling on the ground to make sure he stayed fit. 

Later, Namalok attempted to attack Enkikwe simply because Enkikwe is smaller than him and an easy target because of his compromised leg. Enkikwe decided not take any of Namalok’s nonsense and to teach him a lesson that he would never forget. At first he retreated, not out of fear, but to have enough room to do a warm up stretching exercise to prepare for the upcoming task. Then Enkikwe performed an impressive nose dive into the ground, an aggressive tactic used by elephants, raising one of his back legs up in the air just to prove to Namalok how he experienced he really is. Enkikwe then went for Namalok after he had enough exercise, but Bomani intervened before the game turned nasty as he saw that it looked like the game was being driven by anger rather than play. 

Shortly before mud-bath time, Mutara, Sities, Kainuk, Turkwel, Kanjoro, Kithaka, Lemoyian and Suguta joined the dependent orphans and led them to the mud-bath. A few wild bulls attended the mud bath with one wild bull supervising the wallowing of the orphans. After mud bath time, Barsilinga decided to join Mutara and her group for the afternoon. Out in the bush, Enkikwe decided to take a break from feeding and relaxed under tree by himself. 

16 October 2020

Ex-orphans Sunyei, baby Siku, Kinna, Kama, Loijuk, Lili, Ishanga, Lenana, baby Lapa and Mutara’s herd were present at the Lucerne feeding time in the morning. Maramoja walked to the stockade for the youngest orphans to check for any leftovers. Luckily for her she found several branches but only picked one that she enjoyed on her way out. At the Lucerne feeding area, Maramoja had a standoff with the rascal Lapa who charged and threatened to push her. Maramoja looked unperturbed and just kept her distance to refrain from punishing Lapa back, wanting to avoid any trouble with his mother Lenana and the big nannies. The ex-orphans parted ways with the orphans as the Lucerne feeding began to wind up. Bomani decided not to go with the ex-orphans but instead joined the younger dependent orphans for their day of browsing, for he enjoys a lot of freedom with them and he enjoys being in their company. 

Out in the bush, Bomani had a game of rolling on the ground that was meant to entice the younger bulls into joining him. Karisa looked at him but he and the other bulls decided to ignore Bomani and continued with their browsing business. Bomani eventually quit his game and continued browsing as well. 

At mud bath time, Mutara and her herd arrived early and waited for the dependent orphans. Dololo was in the first group and was whisked away by Mutara and the others soon after he had taken his milk. Dololo enjoys the love and respect accorded to him by Turkwel, Sities and Suguta, to the envy of Musiara and Sattao who receive much less attention from the older girls for some reason. The dependent orphans and ex-orphans enjoyed wallowing with wild bulls and parted ways later when they had enough of wallowing. In the afternoon, the sun was hot and orphans browsed under trees to avoid the scorching sun. In the evening, wild bull Dad with a group of friends showed up at the stockade compound for water.

17 October 2020

As the orphans settled for the morning Lucerne, five wild bulls emerged from the south east in a hurry, as if a bell had been rung for a class to begin. Four of them settled for water while Kijana, the orphans’ wild friend, headed straight to join the orphans for the Lucerne breakfast party. As soon as Kijana had finished his share, he walked back to join the wild bulls drinking water. Kijana informed his wild friends that they had missed a very important delicious food. 

Jotto challenged Karisa in a pushing game for quite a long time. Karisa perhaps wondered why Jotto was not respecting him as his senior but in their end their duel ended in a tie. Mteto was slightly limping and appeared to have sprained his leg but was not serious. Bomani was missing in action today and appears to have gone to look for his friends. 

At mud bath time just before noon, the area was fully flooded by wild bulls, most likely because of the hot climate at the moment. Thirty five wild bulls were present and were enjoying drinking water and wallowing in the deep water hole. The orphans joined them soon after they had their milk. Olsekki walked up to join two bulls that were drinking water and seemed to be watching them in awe, wondering when he would ever grow to such a height. Shortly later, Olsekki left the company of the bulls and walked to join Tusuja who was mud bathing. 

In the afternoon two dik diks ran by and gave Musiara a fright, and he ran for safety to the Keepers. In the evening Kauro and Barsilinga couldn't be traced and the dependent orphans returned back without their two friends. Later, Kauro returned, walking majestically feeling like a wild bull walking on his own. Barsilinga was the last one to report back to the stockades. 

18 October 2020

Mutara and her group were waiting outside to welcome the babies out in the morning. Ambo headed straight to the water trough and then started walking east towards Kalovoto, rumbling to his friends that he was off to the browsing field. Kamok wasn't happy about Ambo's decision and therefore hurried to catch up with him. Kamok convinced Ambo to come back for Lucerne first, and besides it wasn't safe for him to walk on his own. Ambo accepted the advice given to him by his adopted elder sister Kamok, and they walked together to join their friends feeding on Lucerne. 

After the orphans had enough of lucerne Karisa, the street-wise boy, who at one time disappeared for three months before walking himself back to the stockades, led the orphans to the water trough to drink water. After the orphans left for browsing, ex-orphans Loijuk, baby Lili, Melia and Ishanga showed up at the stockades. It appears that the group of four had split with Kinna, Sunyei, Lenana and their babies for the time being. 

Malkia teamed up with Kuishi to browse and they walked together for quite some time before being interrupted by Kauro. Kauro passed close to them and decided to show his might by driving them away for no apparent reason. Ndiwa was fascinated by Sapalan's acrobatic skills as he played on the ground, and stood close to watch him. Sapalan got to his feet and confronted Ndiwa for watching, and then started a pushing game with her. Ndiwa decided to defend herself but then their game turned into a more serious fight. The Keepers intervened by shouting at them, and Sapalan decided to withdraw and walk away. 

Only six wild bulls attended mud bath and were joined by the orphans. Esampu and Kauro had fun by rolling on red soil soon after wallowing while Tusuja and Wanjala disagreed on an issue that only the two could tell. The disagreement led to a pushing game that saw Wanjala surrender. Tusuja tried to bite Wanjala’s tail but Wanjala increased his pace making it impossible for Tusuja to catch him. In the afternoon, Roi decided to take care of Dololo since the nannies who always like to take care of him in Mutara’s herd were not present.  

19 October 2020

Tomboi, Loijuk, baby Lili, Melia, Olare, Ishanga, Kijana and Kalama decided to grace the morning Lucerne feeding area. Later, the ex-orphans left in a different direction to the dependent orphans who headed north-east of the stockade. Ndiwa teamed up with Jotto to feed and the two had a lengthy chat. As their conversation was going on, Wanjala emerged and started attempting to climb on Ndiwa. Jotto signaled Mundusi to come and help him in driving Wanjala away, who had cut short his conversation with Ndiwa. Mundusi heeded the call and came to gang up against Wanjala. Wanjala decided to quit since he smelt trouble from the two boys. The rest of the morning was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing. 

At mud bath time, the sun was really hot. The orphans walked straight to the mud bath soon after finishing their milk. Kauro, who had been left behind after the keepers failed to find him, showed up half an hour later. He was in a hurry, thinking that he would find his milk taken by his friends already, but was happy to find his share still there. Loijuk and her small group consisting of her baby, Melia, Olare, Ishanga and Kalama joined the dependent orphans at mud bath. One of the wild bulls showed interest in Melia and went to see if she was in season. Mapia walked past Galla and wondered why he was not going into the water hole when it was so hot, but Galla threw his trunk towards Mapia warning him to mind his own business. Ambo left immediately after having enough of wallowing. Naseku and Siangiki quit wallowing to follow Ambo as well, since they know fine well his habit of just wandering off on his own with no regard for his safety! 

In the afternoon Mundusi felt that he wanted to know how strong he was and to find out, he decided to engage someone senior to him in a pushing game. After carefully considering the right elephant, Mundusi walked over to the other bulls and picked Tusuja who quickly agreed. After sometime Mundusi unfortunately, if not predictably, lost the game to Tusuja and decided to go back to the drawing board in order face him next time.

20 October 2020

Orwa and Bomani were waiting outside in the morning. After spending several days with the dependent orphans without Orwa, Bomani decided to go in search of his friend and indeed found him, and they came back together. It was a happy reunion. Bomani felt so comfortable in the presence of his friend that he lay down on the ground and slept as Orwa stood close by. Two wild bulls were comfortably drinking water at the stockade water troughs. Lucerne was provided and the orphans settled to have some. Orwa and Bomani joined to have their share and shortly later, Loijuk and her group emerged from the south east, running as they were almost late for the morning Lucerne breakfast. After the Lucerne breakfast was over, the groups parted ways. Orwa and his friend Bomani decided to go with the dependent orphans. 

Karisa and Sapalan decided to a have a warm up exercise in the form of a pushing game. When Sapalan had enough, the bulls quit playing to start browsing. Karisa felt that he had not done enough exercise though and decided to have a stretching exercise on the ground. Roi felt happy as Dololo's nannies in Mutara’s herd have decided to stay away for now, leaving Roi with all the time to spend with Dololo whenever she feels like, without competition. Later Kuishi took a break from feeding to have a soil dusting exercise. 

At mud bath time fifteen wild bulls were present and noticeable was Makena who was following her boy friend. The two love birds headed for bathing together then walked out to have a drink of water from the trough together, before slowly walking away from the mud bath. The orphans had a spectacular wallowing with Naseku emerging as the star as she had fun whipping the water using her trunk. After wallowing, the orphans left for browsing and settled north of the mud bath. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans understand that it's becoming very dry and dilly-dallying would result in returning to the stockade compound that evening without having enough to eat. 

21 October 2020

It was a quiet morning with only one wild bull showing up for water. The orphans settled for Lucerne without any disturbance from any outsiders. When they finished feeding on Lucerne the orphans passed by the water trough to arm themselves with enough water to see them through the entire morning. Naseku and Siangiki led Ambo out to browse and spent almost the entire morning together. Kamok and Olsekki, who are always at logger heads, engaged each other in a pushing game after a short disagreement. The pushing game ended in a draw. 

The bulls were not in a playful mood and decided to concentrate on browsing as they looked forward to the rains that are expected to bring down the temperatures that are currently very high. 

At mud bath time Kauro and Barsilinga dodged the Keepers and came early for their share of milk. Kauro carried a stick in his mouth but dropped the stick once he saw a Keeper lifting a bottle to feed him. A wild bull joined the orphans in wallowing and parted ways later. Despite being a hot day, few bulls showed up at mud bath. Loijuk, baby Lili and Ishanga showed up briefly then headed south of the mud bath while the orphans headed north. Given the high temperatures, the orphans decided to take break from feeding to relax under some trees until it became cooler. 

22 October 2020

Kinna, baby Kama, Lenana, Lapa and a wild elephant were outside the stockade compound in the morning. The babies Kama and Lapa were sleeping soundly as their mothers stood over watching. Soon when the orphans were let out, Kama and Lapa woke up and together with their mothers walked to share Lucerne with the orphans. The rascal Lapa started fighting Naseku and Malima who had come to babysit him. Finally Naseku and Malima gave up and left wondering what a handful Lapa is! Ex-orphan bull Zurura joined the orphans for Lucerne and left shortly later. 

Out in the bush, Ambo, who usually avoids conflicts with the others, was at logger-heads with Mapia because Mapia passed close by and brushed against him. Ambo took offence at this violation of his calm environment and this gave him the guts to attack Mapia. Mapia just turned and seemed amused, wondering if Ambo would succeed in pushing him. Before things could turn nasty, Siangiki and Kamok arrived, separating the two boys and leaving with Ambo. Later Ambo met with Olsekki who seemed to comfort the young bull as well. Kamok engaged Enkikwe in a pushing game in which Enkikwe tried as much as possible not to lose the game, as being a bull he didn’t want to lose face to Kamok. The game ended in a draw. 

At the mud bath today we were astonished to find that no single wild elephant or ex-orphan showed up, despite the very hot conditions. The Ithumba orphans had the venue all for themselves and enjoyed each moment before finally going back to browsing. Ambo led the way and took his friends to his place of choice. The remaining part of the day was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.

23 October 2020

Ex-orphans Kinna, Lenana, Loijuk and their babies plus Ishanga and Olare were at the morning feeding venue in the morning. Soon when the juniors were let out, Naseku and Sattao went straight to meet Lapa. The rascal Lapa started fighting them. Lapa was being so funny and lifting his two front legs while pushing his opponents. He kept rotating pushing Naseku and Sattao but when he came to Olsekki, things were different. Olsekki didn't mind how young Lapa was but only saw the naughty side of him that needed disciplining. Olsekki pushed the baby hard such that Lapa didn't think of going back to Olsekki again. 

The herds parted ways soon after feeding on Lucerne. Out in the bush, Roi took some time off from feeding to have fun by sitting down and playing with her trunk in the air. Esampu came in and tried engaging Roi in a pushing game that went on for quite some time. Wanjala decided to harass Mapia simply because he was senior to him. Mapia was not happy about Wanjala climbing on him without his consent and hoped that one day he might be strong enough to fight Wanjala properly. Meanwhile he will have to continue practicing and learning new pushing skills in order to be able to beat Wanjala. 

Tusuja, Kauro and Barsilinga sneaked off and headed to the mud bath using a different route. The three boys usually pretend to lag behind, so the Keepers don’t detect any of their plans, then they find a way to the mud bath undetected by their friends and the Keepers. The mud bath was almost full of wild elephants by the time the orphans arrived for their mid day milk. It appears the wild bulls arrived in large numbers and made up for the fact that they didn't show up yesterday. The orphans didn't stay for long as they decided to let their seniors have fun the way they did the previous day. The afternoon was very hot, prompting the orphans to seek shelter under trees with good shade. The orphans resumed browsing later on when it was cooler. 

24 October 2020

It was a quiet morning. The orphans strolled nonchalantly out from their stockades and settled for Lucerne. Only two wild bulls showed up for water this morning. Sattao and Olsekki were brave enough to walk to the water trough to say hello to one of the wild bulls. Sattao lost confidence when he drew closer to the wild bull and saw his size; he retreated to avoid stepping in the way of the big bull, but Olsekki went ahead and shared water with the bull. 

Kauro pushed Ambo hard thinking that he was coming for his share of Lucerne. Ambo complained bitterly since he was only passing by peacefully. This prompted Siangiki and Kamok to run to Ambo and find out if he was okay. Kamok and Siangiki comforted Ambo by placing their trunks on his back. Ambo was very happy to have these caring sisters. 

Out in the bush Tusuja and Wanjala, who hardly pass a day without engaging in some form of pushing game, went on fighting each other for dominance. As usual, the game ended in a draw though. Malkia, who these days is living a quiet and private life, led the way through the bushes in search of the best vegetation. 

At mud bath time, the mud bath was well attended by the wild bulls again. As usual, the Ithumba orphans occupied one end of the mud bath to wallow, without disturbing their older wild friends. Kuishi and Rapa quit the mud bath early and decided to have a light pushing game as they waited for their friends to come out. Soon after wallowing, the orphans attended soil dusting exercise before heading back out to browse. 

Rapa, Enkikwe and Sapalan hatched a plan to dodge the Keepers and their friends. In the evening the Keepers started gathering the orphans together to begin the process of putting them into their groups to return home, when they found that the three boys were missing. It took the Keepers about an hour to find them and when they did, the three bulls seemed totally untroubled as they were found still browsing heading in a northerly direction. This is how it begins when the bulls start to want to detach themselves from the Keepers and stockades but time will tell when they are ready; at only five and six years old however they still have a little while before they will become totally independent. 

25 October 2020

Malima, Musiara, Sana Sana and Mteto left the stockades this morning carrying branches in their mouths which they enjoyed on their way out. Only four wild bulls showed up this morning for water so the orphans settled for Lucerne without any disturbance from any outsiders. The orphans understand the challenge at the moment as it is very dry out in the bush as we await the rains, and they made sure to pick up every last bit of Lucerne provided this morning. 

Later in the morning the bulls engaged each other in strength testing pushing games that didn't last for long, as they understood that they also shouldn’t be wasting time and they should be concentrating on feeding. The weather was cloudy and at mud bath time, the orphans weren’t keen on wallowing in the water. Only a few orphans chose to join the wild bulls that were present for a short swim, while the rest opted for a soil dusting exercise. Sapalan and Rapa ganged up against Galla who was giving Mapia trouble by climbing on him all the time. Galla withdrew when he realized what the two boys were up to. 

In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The weather worked perfectly for the orphans as it wasn’t too hot so they could happily focus on browsing. The orphans browsed without resting up to five o'clock in the evening when the Keepers brought them back to the stockades. 

26 October 2020

The wild elephant known as Kijana and ex-orphan Kilaguni arrived early before the orphans were let out. The two boys stood patiently waiting for Lucerne to be provided when the orphans were let out. After having their milk bottles, the orphans joined Kijana and Kilaguni and Lucerne bales were distributed out. When the orphans had enough of the Lucerne, Ambo led the way to the water troughs where the orphans were joined by four wild bulls. The orphans started leaving one by one until Mundusi found himself the only one left sharing water with the wild bulls. Mundusi felt happy sharing water with his seniors who didn't by any means try to intimidate him because of his size. Mundusi looked like he was dreaming of becoming big just like the bulls sharing water with him. 

Sapalan, who at one time was the slowest and couldn't run to keep up with his friends, found that his friends had left him when he tried looking for a certain shrub he had an appetite for. Sapalan started trumpeting and running, heading in the direction taken by his friends. Kilaguni parted ways with Kijana and decided to follow the orphans. 

Later, Ndiwa had a disagreement with Karisa for some reason. Ndiwa showed Karisa that even though she is a younger girl she can fight for her feeding space too. The pushing ended when Tusuja came in and saved Karisa from embarrassment. The two boys left the venue as Ndiwa warned Karisa not to try her again. 

Kauro was having fun rolling on the ground which attracted the quiet Malkia over. They both lay down and took a nap for a minute before getting back to their feet again. Enkikwe was not left out as he also had fun by lowering his head down while raising his injured leg up. The knee injury is still recovering though the joint will never be able to bend properly after the wound heals completely. The good thing is that Enkikwe has kept his spirits up and can keep pace with his friends. 

At the mud bath, the venue looked deserted with only four bulls showing up. Ambo boycotted the wallowing exercise and left the area. Kuishi and Sattao opted for a soil dusting exercise. Kilaguni was the senior most ex-orphan accompanying the orphans. The gentle Kilaguni escorted the orphans back to the browsing field and later in the evening back to the stockades as well. 

27 October 2020

Kibo, Kandecha, Kalama, Kanjoro, Melia and Tumaren were at the stockade compound in the morning. These ex-orphans joined the orphans for a Lucerne breakfast. Kalama had a brief disagreement that resulted in a fight when Kanjoro tried to overtake Kalama as they all headed for Lucerne. Tusuja and Naseku headed to drink as they seemed to be deep in conversation with one another. When the Lucerne was finished, the mischievous Esampu left the area and headed to the nearby rocks where she started climbing on them. 

Out in the bush, the orphans were joined by Bomani who emerged from the bushes. Olsekki who was the first one to see Bomani ask him several questions that appeared to annoy him, and he threatened to push Olsekki, then the two boys engaged in a pushing game that lasted for quite some time. Their game ended when Kamok arrived and requested Bomani to play with her instead. Bomani accepted and played with Kamok leaving Olsekki standing to the side.

At the mud bath, fifteen wild bulls were there to wallow in the water hole. After a mud bath, Sana Sana, Ambo, Maramoja, Musiara and Dololo took a walk heading south of the mud bath. Shortly later, two warthogs ran past them which gave them a fright and the five orphans turned back running and heading towards the Keepers for safety. On the way, Ambo stumbled and fell as his friends overtook him at high speed. Sana Sana and Maramoja turned back quickly though and went back to help Ambo to his feet. Once Ambo was back on his feet, Maramoja and Sana Sana felt sorry for him. The two girls comforted Ambo with sweet rumbles and expressed their sympathy for the little calf who had fallen down. In the afternoon Siangiki took Ambo under her care to make sure he was okay and wasn’t bullied by any of the others.

28 October 2020

It was a quiet morning and the orphans left their stockades and settled for the lucerne. No outsiders were present today. The orphans enjoyed every moment unlike other days when they have to be careful not to get in the way of their seniors. Two wild bulls showed up when the orphans were finishing up their morning activities in the stockade compound. Mundusi and Enkikwe walked down to the water troughs which startled the two wild bulls who didn't understand why the two little boys were in a hurry heading towards them. When the wild bulls ambled away, the rest of the group joined Mundusi and Enkikwe to drink some water. 

Later, out in the bush, Enkikwe ran in trouble with Namalok. Namalok stumbled and fell on his knees and Enkikwe was standing beside him. Something seemed to annoy Namalok and whether or not it was because Enkikwe didn’t help him up, but when he stood Namalok decided to attack Enkikwe. Enkikwe defended himself and the two had a scuffle but it didn't last for long. 

At mud bath time close to noon, several wild elephant bulls showed up and joined the orphans to wallow. Kauro, who is known for his dislike of water since he was a young baby, was the only one who didn't take a swim today. 

In the afternoon, Dololo spent some time in a soil dusting exercise. Sapalan and Enkikwe settled together to feed as they discussed different matters. First was perhaps why they are always put in the last group when heading for their noon milk feed. Sapalan promised to sneak one day with the first group and see what the Keepers would do. The truth is the two boys are known for being stubborn whenever they get their share of milk; they don't leave and keep pestering the Keepers for an additional milk bottle and even go to the extent of peering into the crates to check if there are any bottles left – this is the reason they are always brought last to the bottle feeding!

29 October 2020

It was a cold morning following light showers received early at dawn. Challa and his wild friend visited the stockades for some water. Soon when they had enough, Challa walked up to wait for the babies to come out so that he could share the Lucerne with them. Challa invited his wild friend to join him in waiting but he was hesitant. Shortly later, the wild friend bid Challa goodbye to and informed him that they will catch up later somewhere. 

After feeding on Lucerne, Pare walked down for a drink. Jotto decided to join him drinking water but Pare tried to block him. Jotto didn't take this joke lightly and decided to force his way through to the water. This resulted in a conflict and the two boys ended up fighting. Luckily, Kamok was close by and moved forward to separate the two boys. Jotto seemed to inform Pare that he should not mistake his gentleness for cowardice, and that he can stand up for himself if he wants to. 

Later Naseku spent some time feeding with Ambo as Maramoja decided to have fun in a soil dusting exercise. Olsekki and Kamok, who enjoy a sparring session nearly every day whenever they meet, happened to meet again and engaged each other in a pushing game. They don’t seem to respect each other very much and this might only happen when they resolve who is more dominant than the other! At the moment, their pushing games always end in a draw. 

At mud bath time, only four wild bulls showed up. The orphans wallowed in the water hole soon after finishing their milk, however Enkikwe, Mteto, Ambo and Kauro boycotted the exercise. In the afternoon the orphans came across a lone buffalo and Tusuja, Olsekki, Rapa and Mundusi charged towards the buffalo trumpeting. The buffalo ran way. The bulls felt so happy after winning so easily against the buffalo. 

30 October 2020

It was raining when the orphans left the stockades in the morning. Ambo, who felt that it was too cold and that he didn't want to get too wet, remained in his stockade hiding from the rain. The rest of his friends settled to feed on Lucerne but they didn't last long as their bodies were itching and they were desperate to roll around in the wet soil. The orphans were joined by Kilaguni and when they left, Kilaguni remained behind enjoying the leftover Lucerne. 

Out in the bush, the orphans spent most of their morning playing with the wet, soft soil and mud in the open fields. It has been awhile since they have been able to do that and they were so grateful and happy that the rain has arrived. The rain brought the temperature down and it was at last very cool. 

At mud bath time the orphans only had their milk bottles and some water from the water troughs, then they returned back to browsing without needing a swim to cool down today. Only Tusuja had the courage to go into the water and enjoy a short wallowing session! Olsekki tried to join Tusuja but after testing the temperature of the water using his feet, he changed his mind after finding the water colder than he expected. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing throughout the rest of the day. 

31 October 2020

It was dry in the morning today. The previous day’s rain meant that the wild bulls and the ex-orphans chose not to visit today as they found enough water elsewhere. Enkikwe went for his treatment on his leg as usual, which is always accompanied by an extra milk bottle as a reward for always being punctual and never complaining. Ambo settled for Lucerne pellets that he loves even more than the Lucerne bales. On the way out of the stockade where he was being treated, Enkikwe grabbed a few pellets from where Ambo was feeding which prompted Ambo to complain bitterly to the Keepers. The Keepers showed Enkikwe the way out to avoid further complaints from Ambo. 

Kauro, Malima and Karisa settled for water at the newest water trough. Shortly later, Kauro turned against the two and started pushing them to go to another water trough. Karisa and Malima left quietly to avoid further trouble from Kauro who appeared to have woken up on the wrong side of bed this morning and was in a grumpy mood. Ambo left as soon as he had finished his pellets. On the way, Ambo rumbled signaling his big sisters that he was leaving. Kamok hurriedly walked towards Ambo so that they could walk out together. 

The orphans had a quiet morning as they browsed calmly given the right temperature of the day after the rain. Four wild bulls attended the mud bathing event and shared water with the orphans. Sapalan lagged behind with two wild bulls and seemed to be in awe of them. Shortly later, Sapalan left the company of the wild bulls swinging his trunk sideways expressing his happiness and joy. 

In the afternoon there was a stampede when several dik diks passed by close to the elephant orphans at a high speed. The orphans ran to the Keepers since they didn’t understand why the dik diks were running and they thought there might be danger around. The Keepers calmed them down and thereafter they resumed browsing.