Keepers' Diaries, September 2013
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
But for one very light drizzle of rain during the month, hot and extremely dry conditions prevailed, so the Juniors have spent a great deal of time in the company of both the Ex Orphan herd now living wild and also the wild elephant friends that always accompany them. They, and hordes of wild elephants have been regular almost daily visitors at both the Stockade compound each morning, as well as at the Juniors’ mudbath venue to drink at the concrete trough provided for the Orphans. The Ex Orphans have enjoyed sharing the Juniors’ daily Lucerne handout, and this month, the Big Bull with one tusk known as “Pembe Moja” (an old friend), has also acquired a taste for it!
01 September 2013
Having enjoyed their morning Lucerne and taken a drink of water from the trough, Sities led the Juniors out into the field. At the noon mudbath venue they were joined by Rafiki and l0 other wild elephants. Kandecha and Kilaguni enjoyed sharing water in amongst all the Big Bulls before joining the others in the wallow. After the mudbath, Lualeni came to join the Juniors, and spent the remainder of the day with them, escorting them back to their Stockades in the evening.
02 September 2013
Having taken their Lucerne and water, Shukuru scratched herself against a rock before the Juniors headed out to browse. At the mudbath Rafiki and 10 wild elephant bulls joined them, Kilaguni and Kandecha comfortable to share the water trough with the Big Boys. Later the Juniors were joined buy Lualeni who spent the rest of the day with them.
03 September 2013
It was a quiet day for the Juniors since the Ex Orphans did not show up, and at the mudbath only 1 wild Bull turned up. The Orphans browsed the Kanziku area today.
04 September 2013
The Ex Orphans accompanied by 10 wild friends turned up at the Stockade compound early in the morning to share the Juniors’ Lucerne. The Ex Orphans and their wild friends were at the mudbath ahead of the Juniors, who joined them later. Kanjoro and Kilaguni enjoyed a Pushing Bout which was won by Kilaguni, after which the Juniors left the venue. The Ex Orphans and their wild friends turned up again at the Stockade compound in the evening to drink.
05 September 2013
Rafiki and 6 wild male friends came to drink at the Stockades at 6 a.m. joined later by the Ex Orphans who were with Yatta’s wild recruits called Kijana and Mgeni as well as Pembe Moja (the wild Bull with one tusk) all of whom enjoyed some Lucerne. Chaimu then led the herd out into the field, settling to browse the Kone area before heading to the mudbath venue together. The Ex Orphans left with Kandecha after the mudbath, but brought him back to the Stockades at 4.30 p.m. where he waited to again join his Junior peers when they returned in the evening.
06 September 2013
Kandecha, Kitirua, Ishanga and Naisula joined the Ex Orphans and their wild friends when they came again to drink in the morning, and remained with the Ex Orphans when their Junior colleagues left for the field. At mudbath time half of the Ex orphaned group with 2 wild Bulls joined the Juniors while 40 other wild elephants came to the Stockade water trough for a drink. Kandecha, Naisula, Ishanga and Kitirua were escorted back to the Stockades by a Splinter Group of Ex Orphans at 4 p.m. and awaited the arrival of their colleagues, who returned as usual at 5 p.m. The four then went back into their Night Stockades along with the others, as usual, having had a day’s outing with the Ex Orphans.
07 September 2013
The Big Bull named “Mshale” along with Half Trunk and a group of 10 wild elephants reported for water at the Stockades early in the morning, joined later by another herd of 10 wild elephants. Meanwhile as Tumaren was rubbing her body against a rock, the Ex Orphans began to arrive, and Kandecha and Murka decided to join the Ex Orphans rather than go with the Juniors when they left for the browsing field. At 11 a.m. another wild herd came to drink, three of whom had been arrowed, but only one had the arrow head protruding.
At mudbath time the Juniors were joined by Lualeni who wallowed and dusted with them. Chemi Chemi engaged Ololoo in a Pushing Match which was won by Ololoo who was then taken on by Kilaguni which ended in a draw. The two contestants then followed the direction taken by their Junior colleagues who were with Lualeni.
08 September 2013
Kilaguni, Kandecha and Kitirua left with the Ex Orphans who came to share the Juniors’ Lucerne, Mutara having led the other Juniors out to browse Kone until Sities led them to the mudbath venue. Kilaguni, Kandecha and Kitirua returned in the evening in amongst all the Ex Orphans.
09 September 2013
It was a cool day. The Ex Orphans joined the Juniors in the morning for the Lucerne and left Lualeni with them who led them to the Kalovoto area to browse. None of the Juniors opted for the mudbath today, it being too cool, so Lualeni led them back to browse and returned them to the Stockades in the evening. The Ex Orphans accompanied by 6 wild Bulls turned up for a drink at the Stockades in the late evening.
10 September 2013
6 wild Elephants were first at the Stockade compound this morning, followed by the Ex Orphans who joined the Juniors at their Lucerne handout. At mudbath l0 wild bulls came ahead of the Juniors, amongst whom was a new member whom the Keepers had never seen before. He was huge, with only one tusk. As soon as the Juniors arrived, Shukuru went to join the wild bulls at the trough while Chemi Chemi and Ololoo had another Strength Testing exercise.
11 September 2013
The Ex Orphans joined the Juniors at the compound. After the Juniors left for the browsing area, the Ex Orphans were joined by Mshale, Half Trunk and a few other wild friends. At mudbath 4 wild Bulls turned up, one of whom pushed Kilabasi who tried to squeeze in between to access the water trough. Kilabasi bellowed, so the Keepers shouted at the wild elephant who, realizing his mistake, ran off. Later Chemi Chemi and Ololoo enjoyed their usual Pushing Bout.
12 September 2013
6 wild bulls turned up to drink at the Stockades this morning. The Juniors had a quiet day since the Ex Orphans were absent, but Turkwel joined the bulls to drink before returning to her colleagues. Later in the day Lualeni and Kora (best friends) came to the Stockades for a drink.
13 September 2013
14 wild Elephants were with the Ex Orphans when they turned up at the Stockades in the morning and 8 wild Bulls joined the Juniors at the mudbath. Later Naisula had a Pushing game with Kasigau which lasted only a short time before Naisula surrendered.
14 September 2013
Mshale, Rafiki and 34 wild Elephants reported for a drink at the Stockades in the morning in amongst whom, amazingly was our Ithumbah. Later Lualeni and Kora turned up. When Mshale, Rafiki and all their wild colleagues left, they took Ithumbah with them while Lualeni and Kora followed the direction taken earlier by the Juniors who were browsing the Kanziku area. It was a quiet mudbath for the Juniors since no Ex Orphans or wild Elephants showed up. In the evening, Ithumbah came again to the Stockades, this time in amongst a wild herd, leaving along with them later.
15 September 2013
The Ex Orphans joined the Juniors this morning to share the Lucerne, and again joined them at the mudbath venue. In the evening the Ex Orphans came to the Stockades again, this time with some wild friends.
16 September 2013
The Ex Orphans with 9 wild Elephants came to drink at the Stockades in the morning, sharing the Juniors Lucerne later. At around 9 a.m. the Ex Orphans and their wild friends joined the Juniors at the Kanziku area and browsed in amongst them until it was time for the mudbath. They shared the mudbath with the Juniors and spent the afternoon browsing with them, escorting the Juniors back to the Stockades in the late evening.
17 September 2013
A light shower of rain fell before dawn. At 6 a.m. the Ex Orphans were waiting for the Juniors to emerge from their Night Stockades and shared the Lucerne handout, as 11 wild bulls turned up to drink from the trough. Out in the browsing field the Juniors were joined by Lualeni and a wild male friend, who escorted the Juniors to the noon mudbath. Later the wild bull peeled off and as Lualeni was escorting the Juniors back in the evening, she sneaked away with Ololoo, but returned him to the Stockades at nightfall.
18 September 2013
The Ex Orphans had 24 wild elephants with them when they came to the Stockades for water in the morning. Having shared the Juniors’ Lucerne, the Ex Orphans left along with their wild friends, but were back at the mudbath ahead of the Juniors. Mutara led the first group of Juniors to the mudbath while Kalama led the next lot.
19 September 2013
The wild Bull who fathered both Mwende and Yetu (the wild-born babies of Mulika and Yatta respectively) came to the Stockades with 9 other wild Bulls in the morning. The Ex Orphans then turned up, but after the Juniors had left. After the mudbath the Ex Orphans joined the Juniors and left with Ishanga, whom they returned to the Stockades at around 8 p.m. late in the evening.
20 September 2013
The Juniors were joined by Half Trunk and 13 other wild Elephants at their noon mudbath, after which Mutara led the Juniors back to browse. In the evening Rafiki and several other wild elephants were with the Ex Orphans who came to drink at the Stockades.
21 September 2013
It was a quiet morning, with no Ex Orphans or wild Elephants at the Stockade compound, so the Juniors had it all to themselves until Mutara led them out to feed. The Ex Orphans and several wild friends joined the Juniors, leaving Lualeni behind to lead the Juniors to the Kanziku area to browse for the rest of the afternoon and escort them back to the Stockades in the evening. Only 6 wild Elephants came to the Stockade trough in the evening.
22 September 2013
The Juniors, having taken their Lucerne, joined 6 wild elephants who were drinking at the trough this morning, after which Shukuru led the Juniors out to browse. Since it was a chilly day, none of the Juniors wallowed at noon.
23 September 2013
Another quiet morning, with no Ex Orphans or wild Elephants joining the Juniors either at the Stockades or the mudbath today. Suguta led the Juniors out. The Ex Orphans came to the Stockades with just a few wild friends in the late evening.
24 September 2013
Pembe Moja, Rafiki and other wild Elephants came to the Stockades for water in the morning. Pembe Moja has developed a taste for the Lucerne, and joined the Juniors there before Mutara led the Juniors out to browse. The Ex Orphans accompanied by some wild friends joined the Juniors at the mudbath, parting afterwards, the Ex Orphans heading in the direction of the Imenti Waterhole, while the Juniors made their way slowly back home.
25 September 2013
Many wild Elephants were joined by the Ex Orphans at the Stockade compound this morning, all of whom again joined the Juniors at their noon mudbath and browsed in amongst them during the first part of the afternoon, leaving the Juniors to head for the Stockades at 4 p.m. while the Juniors returned at 5 p.m. – their usual time.
26 September 2013
The Ex Orphans and their wild friends joined the Juniors at the Stockades this morning, leaving with Kandecha in amongst them. The Ex Orphans and their wild friends returned him to the Stockades in the late evening, so that he could rejoin his colleagues.
27 September 2013
The Ex Orphans and their wild friends joined the Juniors both at the Stockades in the morning, and also at the noon mudbath, spending two hours browsing in amongst them during the afternoon.
28 September 2013
Half Trunk and l0 wild Bulls came to drink at the Juniors’ mudbath venue, so the Juniors did not remain long but led by Shukuru soon left. Turkwel decided she had not had enough water, so she returned alone and awaited her turn at the mudbath water trough once the wild Elephants had taken their fill. She then drank, and followed the direction taken by her colleagues having finished.
29 September 2013
The Ex Orphans and 14 wild colleagues at first light were at the Stockades to drink, after which the wild elephants left, and the Ex Orphans remained with the Juniors at the Lucerne pile, thereafter remaining with the Juniors for the entire morning. At the noon mudbath they were joined by 24 wild elephants. As the number of wild elephants rose, the Juniors decided to leave and browse the Kanziku area for the rest of the afternoon before returning in the evening.
30 September 2013
It was a hot day, and given the arid nature of the surrounding environment, the Stockade compound was filled with Elephants, both wild and Ex Orphans, as was the mudbath venue and at the Stockades again in the evening. At all three venues, in amongst hordes of wild Elephants were our Ex Orphans and their two wild-born babies.