Keepers' Diaries, September 2016
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
This month the most exciting news from Ithumba has been the surprise from Galana on the 3rd of the Month. The 13 year old arrived in the early morning with her first tiny wild born calf. The keepers were overjoyed to see the silhouettes in the early morning, which turned out to be that of Galana with the tiny wobbly shape beneath, a precious newly born baby who arrived during the night within the safety of the Ithumba Stockade compound, with some wild bull sentries in attendance. The baby was only hours old and barely stable on her feet - a little girl whom we named “Gawa” meaning ‘to share’ in Kiswahili. The Keepers were overjoyed but it paled in comparison to the excitement and jubilation of the other Ex Orphans when they came to the Stockade Compound that morning for water, and were met by Galana and her newborn. Trumpeting and rumbling with excitement, they shoved to get as near to the baby as possible. The day dependent orphan Laragai, who loves the babies, was the most reluctant to follow the Keepers out to browse, so excited was she to meet the new arrival.
01 September 2016
Makireti’s group consisting of Kasigau, Kilabasi, Chaimu, Kilaguni, Naisula, Murka, Kitirua and the wild orphans joined the juniors for lucerne early in the morning. Shortly later, the senior Ex Orphans arrived. Laragai took her share of lucerne and moved far away to avoid being harassed by her seniors. Narok took over the baby sitting of Wiva from Yetu, and later Laragai took over from Narok. Bomani engaged Garzi in a pushing game before moving over to play with Chyulu. Orwa challenged Yetu who was close to her mum, but not knowing that Yatta was watching and Yatta turned and pushed Orwa away. Unfortunately Orwa landed in the way of the no nonsense Ishanga and Ishanga pushed him hard out of her way. This angered Orwaand he went and found solace by standing next to Madiba. Orwa and Madiba had a brief conversation and thereafter he moved to play with Kilabasi and later withOloloo. At the browsing field, Garzi played with Kithaka and at eleven o'clock in the morning eight wild bulls joined the juniors at the mud bath. Vuria engaged Naisula to a pushing game while Lemoyian challenged Kithaka in a pushing game. Half an hour later, the juniors returned back to the browsing field.
02 September 2016
The orphans were joined by Makireti and Olare’s groups soon after leaving the stockade. Noticeable among them was the wild orphan that spent sometime playing with Narok. Bomani had a nice time scratching on the nearby rock until the exercise was cut short by Kibo who pushed him away to enjoy the same scratch. Garzi engaged Kalama in a pushing game and later played with Melia. Later in the day Boromoko had a brief conversation with Orwa and after they had a light strength testing exercise. Sokotei had fun with Bomani as they tested their strength by pushing one another. Their game ended in a draw. Boromoko later led the way to the browsing field.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and Lemoyian decided to have fun by playing with Garzi while Barsilinga used a nearby tree to scratch his itchy ear. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Orwa spent sometime having a strength testing exercise with Vuria while Kithaka settled to browse with Garzi. In the evening the orphans passed by the mud bath where they had an evening cool off and later soil dusted. Shortly before dark, Mulika and Yatta’s groups showed up at the stockade for water and later left to an undisclosed location soon after getting enough water.
03 September 2016
At around four thirty in the morning six elephants and a small one could be seen waiting for water at the stockade compound, though they could not been seen clearly. Towards day break the figures were a bit clearer and we deduced the figures were five wild bulls, Ex Orphan Galana and a new born calf! The bulls left after the stockade dependent orphans were let out leaving Galana and her wild born calf in the stockade compound. The baby could hardly walk and when she walked she was wobbling meaning that she had only been born a few hours ago and hadn't gained enough strength to walk steadily yet. We were so excited to see this new baby. Laragai was the first one to come into contact with the new one, assigning herself the role of a nanny. Amazing enough Galana allowed her to stay near to the baby but pushed Orwa and Garzi away when they came close to the baby, who we have names Gawa (meaning to share in Swahili). When it came time to leave for browsing, Laragai lagged behind after securing the permission from Galana to take care of Gawa, but persistent calls from the keepers made Laragai follow her friends, though very reluctantly.
Shortly after the orphans had disappeared into the bush, the Ex Orphans arrived. Trumpeting, ululating and bellowing filled the air as all the Ex Orphans surrounded Galana and Gawa in jubilation of the arrival of a new baby. Poor little Wiva was left to the side as her nannies surrounded Gawa and even her mother Wendi was at forefront congratulating Galana and standing close to Gawa. Wiva felt left out but luckily Kilabasi showed up. Kilabasi felt happy since the nannies that were senior to her and that normally would not allow her close to Wiva were nowhere to be found, so she had her own time with little Wiva. Sidai, Naserian, Nasalot, Loijuk, Chyulu, Lenana and a female wild elephant together with her two calves stood by Gawa throughout the day.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and Barsilinga decided to keep himself busy by playing with Kithaka as Bomani played with Lemoyian. In the afternoon Orwa spent sometime playing with Vuria and in the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath for an evening cool off. The Ex Orphans spent the entire day just feeding several metres away from the stockade compound because Gawa still hadn't gained enough strength to walk far away.
04 September 2016
Early before the orphans were let out, three bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough. When the orphans settled for lucerne, Wendi, Nasalot, Wiva and Naserian emerged from the south and joined the juniors. Shortly later, the orphans left for browsing. Lemoyian and Kithaka started their day’s activities with a pushing exercise as the rest of group settled for browsing. At around nine o'clock in the morning, Galana brought Gawa to the stockade compound. The main nannies were Sidai, Loijuk, Lenana and Chyulu. Gawa was still learning how to walk steadily but still couldn't walk long distances and that's why her mother Galana spent the night just three hundred metres away from the stockade.
At mud bath time, the sun was really hot and all the orphans went wallowing. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Imenti area where Vuria spent some time in soil dusting. Late in the evening, Galana, Gawa and her nannies came to stockade and relaxed for sometime before leaving.
05 September 2016
The orphans settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. A short while later they were joined by the Ex Orphans. The orphans didn’t stay long at the compound due to the seniors who all wanted the lucerne. Shukuru led her group to the browsing field. Wiva had only two nannies with her today, Kinna and Yetu. Narok had a brief conversation with Taita on her way to the browsing field. Garzi came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch his belly on. Lemoyian and Kithaka had a brief strength testing exercise that ended soon when Lemoyian surrendered. At mud bath time the weather was chilly and the orphans only took their milk then water and thereafter returned back to the browsing field.
In the evening, Makireti’s group with its increased members arrived for water at the stockade. The group was made up of Makireti, Kasigau, Kilabasi, Ishanga, Kilaguni and the wild orphan. Ishanga appears to have no permanent group as she was part of Yatta’s group before and now she has joined Makireti’s group. One Tusker reported for water with six of his friends. A while later one of the junior males appeared to have upset One Tusker because he was pushed and fell into the water trough. All the boys fled in fear of One Tusker after that. The junior male fitted nicely into the water trough and one would have thought that it was enjoying cooling off but in actual fact he was struggling to get back on his feet. It took the bull some time before finally he managed to get up. He looked confused once he was out of water and took a different direction from the other bulls as he walked off into the park.
06 September 2016
It was a quiet morning with six wild bulls drinking water at the stockade water trough. The Ex Orphans were nowhere to be seen as they were following Gawa who is now three days old, and Galana had taken her for a walk. On the way to the browsing field, Orwa picked up a piece of stick off the ground and walked while he rotated it in the air using his trunk, as if contacting choir or a band. Later, Vuria engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game that was cut short by Challa, who had joined the orphans a few minutes earlier. Challa and a wild friend kept the boys in check up to mud bath time when the two disappeared again, after having a mud bath with the juniors. Orwa requested for a training session from Challa before he left. Challa accepted and taught Orwa a few pushing techniques. In the afternoon, Olsekki, Sokotei and Vuria settled to feed together. Challa and his friend reappeared again in the evening and shortly later escorted the juniors back to the stockade.
07 September 2016
Olare’s group reported at the stockade compound early before the juniors were let out. Missing was Naisula who appears to have detached herself from the group and joined Yatta’s group for the time being. Soon after leaving the stockade, Lemoyian engaged Bomani in a pushing game while Garzi tried to tackle Kibo. Narok intervened in Kibo and Garzi’s game by asking Garzi to let her play with Kibo. Garzi accepted and walked away leaving Narok playing with Kibo. Teleki joined a junior bull in drinking water as Orwa opted to play with Olsekki. Shortly later, Olare and her group parted ways with the juniors. At the browsing field, it was all quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing without any major distractions. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and the orphans only drank their milk and had some water before returning back to the browsing field. Bomani engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game and later played with Sokotei. Kithaka engaged Bongo in a pushing game which he lost. Later in the evening Barsilinga played with Orwa while Garzi played with Olsekki.
08 September 2016
The sky was clear in the morning and this was an indication of a hot day a head. The orphans settled for Lucerne and briefly passed by the water trough to drink enough water that would see them through the entire morning. On the way to the browsing field, Garzi engaged Kithaka in a pushing game that ended in a draw. At the browsing field, Boromoko and Enkikwe were trying to learn how to peel bark from trees using their tusks. Towards eleven o'clock in the morning, the temperature skyrocketed making Sokotei and Laragai seek shelter under a tree. At mud bath time all the orphans participated in wallowing. Garzi and Barsilinga disagreed over something, we were not sure what. Their disagreement ended in a fight that saw Garzi opt out awhile later. Only three bulls were present at mud bath time. The orphans enjoyed a soil dusting exercise when they were through with wallowing. In the evening, Tomboi, in the company of twenty wild bulls, reported for water at the Stockade. The bulls slowly drank water and then left shortly after dark.
09 September 2016
Twenty five wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out in the morning. Olare’s group, Makireti’s group, the wild orphan, Challa and Tomboi were present. Narok ran into trouble when she passed too close to Murka and started sniffing at her. Murka pushed Narok hard until she screamed. Garzi had a pushing warm up exercise with Barsilinga that ended when Kithaka intervened and took Garzi on in a rougher pushing game.
At the browsing field, Lemoyian engaged Bomani in a strength testing exercise as Enkikwe opted to play with Olsekki. Later, Olsekki played with Bomani while Orwa played with Olare. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by the Ex Orphans and several wild elephants. Gawa was with them, Galana’s baby, who was only born about six days ago. Gawa was always under her mother, a big contrast to Wiva who used to run around everywhere. When Wiva was her age she couldn't really differentiate her mother from her nannies and she used to follow whichever nanny was closest to her. Even when Galana went into the mud bath, Gawa went in with her surrounded by her nannies too including Sidai, Naserian, Loijuk, Lenana and Chyulu. Vuria engaged kitirua in a pushing game while Barsilinga played withGarzi. Shortly later, the Ex Orphans headed towards Ithumba Hill while the juniors headed to Kanziku area where they settled to browse for the remaining part of the day.
10 September 2016
It was a quiet morning when the orphans strolled nonchalantly out from the stockades and settled for Lucerne. Kithaka led his friends into the water trough where the orphans drank enough water to take them through the entire morning. Lemoyian had a strength testing exercise with Garzi while Kithaka tussled with Bomani. Kithaka and Lemoyian lost the strength testing exercise to their respective opponents. Garzi later engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game that finally ended in a draw. At mud bath time, almost half of the group participated in wallowing. Lemoyian took advantage of Narok who was rolling in the mud and climbed on her. Two warthogs brought the wallowing exercise to a standstill when they tried to access where the orphans were cooling themselves down. Narok was the first one to spot them. She quit wallowing and charged off in the direction of the warthogs. Lemoyian and Laragai joined Narok in driving the warthogs away. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in upper Kalovoto where Bongo spent some time charging around out of his own pleasure.
11 September 2016
Sokotei left the stockade with a branch in his mouth while Enkikwe crossed over to the next stockade and tried to find out if there were any leftovers. Soon after settling for lucerne, Orwa, Garzi and Enkikwe spent some time scratching their bellies on the nearby rocks. At the browsing field the orphans concentrated on browsing as dry conditions continue to ravage the vegetation around. Bomani found sometime to play with Sokotei while Laragai decided to sort out a misunderstanding with Barsilinga through a pushing game. On the way to the mud bath, the orphans were joined by Galana, her baby Gawa, Sidai, Naserian, Loijuk, Lenana and Meibei. Laragai, Narok, Barsilinga and Vuria were pleased to have Gawa with them and surrounded her but they were told off by Sidai. The small group, that for today can be called Galana’s group, escorted the juniors to the mud bath. In the evening, Galana brought her baby to the stockade where they were later joined by Mulika and Yatta’s groups. Shortly before dark twenty eight wild bulls reported for water at the stockades.
12 September 2016
Olare and Makireti groups were at the Stockade compound in the morning. Olsekki and Enkikwe left with branches in their mouths but dropped them soon when they saw Kibo approaching. The duo knew that Kibo would push them then take away the branches. Kibo went for the branches as Olsekki and Enkikwe walked away. Narok engaged Kalama in a pushing game and shortly later, Narok lost the game to Kalama. One Tusker with several wild bulls were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans passed close by as they headed to the browsing field. Kithaka engaged Orwa in a pushing game and later Orwa lay down to play; Kithaka took advantage of him on the ground and went to climb on him. After his game with Orwa, Kithaka moved on to play with Garzi, a game that ended in a draw. Rapsu joined the orphans briefly at browsing field where Teleki spent sometime learning pushing tactics from Rapsu.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Galana, her baby Gawa, Naserian, Loijuk, Sidai, Lenana and several wild elephants. After mud bath, Lemoyian engaged Bomani in a pushing game that went on for quite some time. Barsilinga scratched his belly on Narok who had lain down to play. Narok didn't take it lightly and when she was back on her feet she pushed Barsilinga to question him as to why he had disrespected her by scratching on her. Barsilinga didn't have any satisfactory answers for Narok and so opted to surrender by running away. In the afternoon the sun was still hot and the orphans converged under trees for some time until the temperature dropped to a more favourable level for browsing.
13 September 2016
Olsekki left the Stockade with a branch in his mouth. Once he was out, Garzi spotted him and so walked towards him. Olsekki tried to deny him the branch but Garzi took it by force. Olsekki had no other option apart from to settle to eat lucerne. Narok had a light strength testing exercise with Barsilinga while Siangiki came across a fallen tree that she used to scratch her buttocks. Lemoyian took a break from feeding to play withKithaka but ended up losing the game. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Mutara’s group, Naisula, Murka and two wild bulls. Bongo and Bomani were bold enough to join the bulls in drinking water. After mud bath, Kanjoro engaged Barsilinga in a pushing game and later played with Vuria. In the afternoon Mutara and her group escorted the juniors back to the browsing field. It was a quiet afternoon as the orphans browsed calmly throughout the rest of the day.
14 September 2016
The Twenty wild bulls were busy drinking water at the Stockade water trough when the orphans came out of their stockades. Bomani finished feeding on a branch he had come out with before settling to eat lucerne. After the orphans had finished eating lucerne, Laragai led the way to the browsing field where they concentrated on browsing without any major distractions.
Galana and a group of eight reported at the mud bath early before the orphans. Gawa fell into the water trough as she tried to follow her mum. Lucky for her there was not much water in it as the bulls had finished most of it, but she was unable to get out despite her mother and her nannies trying to help her out. We found baby Gawa in the water trough as Galana, Wendi, Lualeni, Naserian, Chyulu, Sidai, Loijuk, and Ololoo surrounded the water trough trying to figure out how to help Gawa out. We helped the baby out and she started playing next to the water trough. Galana tried to discourage her by pushing her lightly with her trunk away from the water trough. The juniors arrived for mud bath and Wiva joined them. Wiva played with Enkikwe, Olsekki and later Boromoko. Ololoo engaged Teleki in a pushing game while Sokotei tackled Enkikwe. Olsekki invited Sirimon into a pushing game and Sirimon agreed but later lost the game to Olsekki. Olsekki moved on to engage Bomani in a pushing game but ended up losing it to Bomani. Orwa and Bongo wound up the mud bath activities by engaging in a light strength testing exercise. The weather was cloudy and the orphans took advantage of this by concentrating mostly on browsing.
15 September 2016
The sky was clear as the orphans left and settled for their morning lucerne. Soon after they were through with the lucerne, Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. Kithaka settled to browse with Lemoyian and Barsilinga while Orwa was pushed by Shukuru when he stepped on grass Shukuru was trying to uproot. Towards eleven o'clock in the morning, the temperatures skyrocketed making Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon withdraw water from their stomachs and sprayed it behind their ears. At mud bath time all the orphans participated in wallowing. In the afternoon the orphans spent much of their time browsing under trees that had good shade. Sokotei engaged Bomani in a pushing game that lasted just a short while. Later in the evening Mulika and Yatta’s groups reported for water at the Stockade and left shortly after dark when they had drunk the water they needed.
16 September 2016
Olare, Mutara and Makireti’s groups in the company of several wild bulls were at the stockade compound in the morning. Shortly later, Yatta and Mulika’s groups showed up. The juniors left the stockade and joined the Ex Orphans where they shared lucerne. Narok spent some time playing with Kitirua as Kibo played with Vuria. Bomani attempted to mount on Olsekki but Olsekki disengaged himself and ran away. At the browsing field, Garzi had a strength testing exercise with Barsilinga that lasted for a while before they resumed browsing.
At mud bath, the orphans were just joined by one wild bull. After mud bath, Shukuru, Kithaka and Barsilinga spent some time soil bathing while Bongo enjoyed a scratching exercise on a fallen tree. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at Kanziku area and in the evening, half of the Ex Orphan group showed up at the stockade for water. Galana, who might form her own group in future, didn't show up together with Gawa's nannies consisting of Sidai, Loijuk, Lenana and Naserian.
17 September 2016
Siangiki left her stockade with a branch in her mouth this morning. As soon as she came out, Lemoyian, who was following her closely behind, pushed Siangiki and took the branch away from her. Siangiki didn't fight back since as doing so would invite trouble from Lemoyian. Tomboi joined the juniors briefly before leaving back to the park.
At the browsing field, Bomani started his day's activities by scratching on a nearby rock while Lemoyian engaged Garzi in a pushing game. Olsekki learned some pushing tactics from Vuria by engaging him in a strength testing exercise, while Kithaka played with Barsilinga. Boromoko settled to browse with Orwa and at one time tried to take some food from him. Orwa denied him and showed Boromoko that he should toil to find his own food. At mud bath time, Galana and her small group arrived just before the orphans. In Galana's group was a wild female with a grown up child of her own. This was the same female who was assisting Galana the first day she had Gawa. As the group was drinking water, Gawa, who was playing around the water trough, fell into the water again. It was a bee hive of activity as each elephant tried to help Gawa out. At last, the wild female managed to help her out and hopefully Galana gained some experience by watching how the wild female helped Gawa out of that sticky situation. Shortly later, Galana took Gawa for a mud bath where they were joined by the orphans. After mud bath, Lemoyian engaged Kithaka in a strength testing exercise while Shukuru, Orwa, Bomani and Garzi headed for soil dusting.
In the afternoon, the sun was hot and the orphans settled to browse in Kanziku area. At one time the heat from the sun became unbearable making the orphans want to relax under the trees while continuously flapping their ears.
18 September 2016
The Ex Orphans and wild elephants flooded the stockade compound in the morning. The orphans had a difficult time enjoying their lucerne due to competition from their seniors. Ololoo had a brief strength testing exercise with Teleki while Bomani chose to scratch his buttocks on a nearby rock.
In the browsing field, the orphans concentrated mostly on browsing since it is so dry and they did not want to waste time doing anything else apart from browsing. At mud bath time the orphans were only joined by two wild bulls who left soon after they had enough water. Lemoyian, who is proving to be a tough little boy these days, engaged Bongo in a pushing game and when he lost, moved on to vent his anger out on Kithaka. Shortly later, Bongo intervened and separated the two boys. Lemoyian walked a short distance away and happened to meet Bomani and without wasting time, they locked trunks in a strength testing exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Siangiki and Enkikwe spent some time soil dusting while Bongo came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch his belly on.
19 September 2016
In the morning, fifty wild elephants and twenty two junior Ex Orphans converged in the stockade compound, all coming for water. When dependent orphans came out, the junior Ex Orphans made a quick visit into their stockade to find out if there were any leftovers. Lemoyian blocked Garzi on his way out but Garzi had no time for Lemoyian and so pushed him out of the way. The orphans settled for lucerne and were joined by Olare, Mutara and Makireti groups. Chemi Chemi had misunderstanding with a junior wild elephant and they ended up fighting one another. Chemi Chemi withdrew when he saw the mother of the calf approaching. Kibo engaged Garzi in a strength testing exercise while Vuria tried to play the wild orphan. Sities settled to feed on lucerne with Lemoyian while Orwa engaged Narok in a light pushing game.
At the browsing field Barsilinga engaged Orwa in a strength testing exercise but lost the game to Orwa. At eleven o'clock in the morning Barsilinga upset Barsilinga soon after they drank their milk; Narok ran after Barsilinga while pushing him from behind. It wasn't immediately obvious why Narok acted in such a manner, it seems these two have just not been getting on recently. Half Trunk and three of his friends were at mud bath today. After mud bath Lemoyian, who is very playful these days, engaged Kithaka in a pushing game. Orwa and Bomani relaxed under a tree and shared a branch that Orwa had picked up off the ground. Lemoyian lost his game to Kithaka and went to try his luck on Bomani. Their game ended in a draw and thereafter Lemoyian went to play with Narok.
In the afternoon, Boromoko went down on his knees to cut a shrub that he was unable to pull using his trunk. In the evening Mulika and Yatta’s groups showed up for water at the stockade. Galana and her small group didn't show up today.
20 September 2016
In the morning, the juniors were joined by Tomboi and a wild elephant. Shortly later, Mutara and her group showed up and also joined the juniors for lucerne. Garzi and Kithaka spent sometime scratching on the nearby rocks before Mutara’s group finally escorted them to the browsing field. An hour later, Mutara and her group parted ways with the orphans and left to an undisclosed location. Olsekki settled to feed with Boromoko while Siangiki settled to browse with Enkikwe. Shukuru took sometime off from feeding and had a soil dusting exercise before resuming browsing. At mud bath time, the sun was hot and almost all the orphans decided to go into the mud bath to wallow. Only Orwa, Vuria, Shukuru, Bomani and Garzi boycotted the wallowing exercise. After mud bath, Bongo engaged Vuria in strength testing exercise that went on for quite sometime. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse at upper Kalovoto area. The sun became unbearable making the orphans converge under a tree to hide from the scorching sun. Later, when the temperatures dropped to a more favourable level, the orphans resumed browsing again.
21 September 2016
It was a quiet morning with the orphans enjoying their lucerne without any competition from outsiders. Shortly later six wild bulls showed up for water. Laragai walked over to them and joined the bulls in drinking water. On the way to the browsing field, Barsilinga engaged Kithaka in a strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. Enkikwe came across a fallen tree that he used to scratch his chin on. Later, Barsilinga played Garzi but their game was cut short by Orwa who passed by and intervened by pushing them out of his way. Boromoko came across a shallow hole and spend some time trying to get soil for dusting himself. Eight wild bulls and the entire Ex Orphan group were present at mud bath when the orphans arrived. Soon after drinking their milk, the orphans joined the wild elephants and their seniors in mud bathing. Bongo, after having enough of wallowing, walked to dry himself off by participating in a soil dusting exercise. In the afternoon, the sun was still hot and the orphans took a break from feeding and relaxed under a tree until the temperature dropped to a favourable level. The evening was quiet with the orphans concentrating on browsing without any major observation.
22 September 2016
Six bulls were present at the stockade when the orphans were let out today. The orphans settled for lucerne and shortly later Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. Barsilinga and Kithaka had a brief strength testing exercise that ended in a draw. At the browsing field Shukuru came across a tree stump that was high enough to scratch her belly on while standing up. The orphans concentrated on browsing up to eleven o'clock in the morning when Boromoko led the first group to the mud bath. At mud bath, the juniors were joined by six wild bulls. The bulls were kind enough to share the water with the orphans without any problems. Lemoyian and Kithaka engaged one another in a pushing game while Sirimon and Boromoko headed for soil dusting soon after wallowing. Later on, Boromoko led the way back to the browsing field. Teleki and Lemoyian spent some time soil dusting before resuming browsing. In the evening Galana’s Ex Orphan group in the company of some wild elephants reported for water at the stockade. Gawa is growing very fast and could be seen running up and down playing with her nannies.
23 September 2016
Early in the morning, the stockade compound was flooded with Ex Orphans and wild elephants. Babies Gawa and Wiva were present with their mothers and nannies, all in good health. Siangiki, Enkikwe and Olsekki left the stockade with branches in their mouths, but dropped them when they saw Makena approaching. Makena picked them up and started feeding on them. After settling to eat lucerne, Narok picked a fight with Kalama but ended up losing the game. Shortly later, the lucerne was finished and the orphans headed east while the Ex Orphans headed west. The two groups met again at mud bath. Kitirua engaged Narok in a pushing game while Naisula played with Teleki. Shortly later, Narok dropped Kitirua and went to play Melia.
After mud bathing, Chaimu and Bomani opted for a soil bathing while Vuria engaged Kalama in a strength testing exercise. Chemi Chemi felt drawn to the game and decided to come and help his adopted sister Kalama. Together they managed to drive Vuria away. Kibo had a brief strength testing exercise with Orwa before heading to comfort Vuria after being pushed away by Chemi Chemi and Kalama. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper kalovoto area and in the evening on the way back to the stockade, the juniors were joined by Mutara and her group. Mutara’s group escorted the juniors to stockade and soon after drinking water, the group left to an undisclosed location.
24 September 2016
Twenty bulls and a wild female with a son and daughter were drinking water at the stockade water trough when the orphans were let out this morning. The orphans settled for lucerne and shortly later, were joined the wild female with her two children. Orwa tried to challenge the young son but withdrew when the mother turned and looked at him harshly. Vuria waited until the wild calf moved away from its mother then moved to challenge him. It was a brief strength testing exercise that saw Vuria emerge as the winner. Kilaguni emerged from the eastern side of the stockade and went straight to join the bulls drinking water.
After feeding on lucerne, Bongo led the way to the browsing field. Soon after arriving, Barsilinga and Vuria had a warm up strength testing exercise that didn't last for long as Vuria quit the game and went to play with Bongo. Narok engaged Orwa in a pushing game that ended in a draw. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Mutara and her group who participated in wallowing together. Kithaka and Lemoyian engaged each other in a pushing game that ended when Kanjoro passed by and pushed the two boys out of his way. Vuria tackled Teleki but Teleki wasn't in the mood for games and turned and walked away from Vuria. In the afternoon the orphans settled to feed in the Imenti area and had a quiet afternoon.
25 September 2016
It was a bright morning with orphan elephants coming out of their respective stables and joining Wendi's group of Ex Orphans for lucerne, along with Galana and the new baby Gawa in the group. Orwa, Garzi and Bomani started playing together, with Orwa rolling around on the ground and climbing on Vuria whilst playing. Barsilinga and Garzi were playing with one stick in their both their mouths. Bomani and Lemoyian later started a pushing game. We had a very big group of Ex Orphans and wild bulls in the area this morning. The orphans later walked to the bush for browsing.
In the bush Sirimon and Sokotei were playing with each other for a long time; they have always been friends since they came to Ithumba. Vuria was scratching on a rock while Lemoyian and Bomani were still play fighting as Shukuru was busy browsing. The group started walking towards mudbath and met up with Wendi's group on their way, together with Galana and Gawa. They interacted for some time and later the Ex Orphans headed to the mudbath as well.
At the mudbath, the orphans came in for their milk and interacted with the Ex Orphans and wild bulls for sometime before they isolated themselves from that senior group. Galana took her baby straight to the mudbath to be mud washed and later walked out with her so she could suckle. Kinna on the other side was scratching on a tree. After their milk and mud bathing the orphans walked back to the bush for browsing. It was very hot for the rest of the afternoon and the orphans hid in the shade. They came out again when the heat had reduced somewhat. They browsed for sometime then Barsilinga led the group back home in the evening for their milk.
26 September 2016
It was a cold morning this morning. A group of wild bulls and a one tusk female with her young baby of about one year came to the stockade to drink water. Later Yatta’s group joined the orphans in the lucerne field. Galana and her baby were among them. Mulika and her baby were present too. Later on, Wendi's group also came in with Wiva. The two young babies Wiva and Gawa are fit and healthy. Orwa the orphan started scratching on the rock while Gawa rolled on the ground and scratched on Lualeni’s legs. She was very active and playing on the ground, under the watchful eye of her nannies. Olare started playing with Garzi and after a short while, the orphans walked away. Wiva started playing with the keepers and she opened her ears and raised them high. Barsilinga started playing with a log while Vuria was rolling on the ground. Boromoko and Bomani later led the group to search for more food in the bush. Vuria was seen uprooting tree roots in the search for tasty food to eat. The group later walked slowly towards the mudbath.
At the mudbath, some of the orphans like Narok, Vuria, Laragai and Bongo played vigorously in the mud bath. Sirimon had some patches of mud on his body and he started scratching on a tree. We had also four wild bulls who came to drink water and left. Barsilinga and Garzi started play fighting. The whole group later walked back to the bush for browsing. It was very hot in the bush and this forced the keepers to bring the orphans back to mudbath to cool themselves down later in the day. The orphans then came out and walked to the bush for browsing as they headed back home in the evening.
27 September 2016
When the orphans came out of their stockades this morning they found Kilaguni, Ishanga and Chaimu waiting for them to feast on lucerne with them. We had also a group of wild bulls who were busy drinking water. After sunrise, the orphans fed happily and were very active with Shukuru. Later the orphans walked to the bush for browsing. Boromoko started scratching on a tree while Bongo tried to uproot some roots due to it still being a prevalent dry season. Orwa was later trying to climb on Kithaka for fun. Boromoko later led the way to mudbath for their milk.
At mudbath the first group of Boromoko, Sokotei and Sirimon walked straight to the mudbath after their milk and started playing in it. The second group including Narok joined them and later all the rest followed; it was very hot today! Boromoko, Narok and Barsilinga rolled on the ground and had fun in different styles. Sokotei started pushing Bomani away as they play-fought. Bomani won the game and started climbing on Sokotei. Orwa started climbing on Narok while Narok was enjoying the game of rolling on the ground. They later all walked to the water trough to drink and then headed back to the bush with the keepers, leaving the wild bulls behind still drinking water.
It was a very hot afternoon and the orphans went to settle under a tree for shade. Later on they started browsing with Garzi scooping and tossing some soil in the air, while Bongo and Teleki seemed to be having a conservation between themselves, rumbling in a low tone. Later on, all the orphans walked back to the stockades for their evening milk.
In the stockade we had a big group of Ex Orphans including Mulika, Yatta, Wendi and Galana with their babies and some wild bulls. They stayed for some time under the acacia tree before walking back to the bush in the late evening.
28 September 2016
This morning when the orphans were eating their lucerne, one wild bull came in and started interacting with them. He pointed his trunk at Garzi as they communicated. Then three more wild bulls came running in for some water; they drank water and left. The friendly wild bull later started walking away and came across some buffaloes who were coming for water. The bull sized up to them and three of them got scared and ran away. The other one was very strong but the bull was stronger and chased him away. The orphans later walked out into the bush.
In the stockade Yatta’s group with Galana and her baby Gawa came in with some wild elephants. Mulika and Wendi with their babies Mwende and Wiva were among them. Wiva started playing and scratching on the rock while Yetu and Gawa were busy breastfeeding. Half Trunk was also among them.
During the mudbath, the orphans came in after their milk and some like Narok, Vuria, Bongo, Laragai, Olsekki, Boromoko, Sokotei, Sirimon and Siangiki played in the mudhole nicely. Later Yatta’s group came in and started playing in the mud bath too, and the orphans ran away to make way for them. Galana with her baby Gawa came in for a few minutes but young Wiva stayed in for a long time. Ithumba the Ex Orphan started scratching gently on the visitor’s seat. One wild bull started scratching his neck using a big stick. The wild bulls played in the waterhole for a long time and later left for the bush.
It was very hot again today and the orphans were resting under the trees for shade. They browsed for a short time and started walking back home in the evening for their milk. We had also a small group of wild female elephants with their babies who came straight to the water trough this evening to drink water, after which they left.
29 September 2016
It was a cold morning today after we got some drizzle of rain last night. The rain was very welcome but the orphans were not very active today because of the cold. They came down to lucerne field after their breakfast and found some wild elephants drinking water down in the troughs. The wild group didn’t stay long but they left after they had drunk enough. Shukuru and Narok walked to the troughs to drink some water before they left. The others followed them and headed to the bush afterwards.
In the bush Orwa scratched behind his ears while Lemoyian and Laragai test their strength by play fighting. Lemoyian and Bomani were also play fighting. Bomani later started climbing on Olsekki and Kithaka later led them to the mudbath for their lunch milk.
At mudbath, only two big wild bulls came for water. Bongo was the only one who played in the mudbath. Later on he started rolling on the ground and finally he started play fighting with Kithaka. The group later headed back to the bush. There they met a single wild bull who scared the orphans but later he ran away. Later on, Barsilinga led the group back home in the evening.
Back in the stockade, we had only one wild bull at the water hole with Mutara’s group. They came in the late evening to drink water and left a bit later.
30 September 2016
We woke at 5am this morning and found the stockade full of elephants. The dependent orphans finished up their morning milk and joined the Ex Orphans. We had Mulika with Mwende, Yatta with Yetu, Wendi with Wiva and Galana with the little angel Gawa. There were so many elephants, with wild bulls and females among all the Ex Orphans. Gawa was the most active and playful little baby. She was stretching up and down, rolling around on the ground and scratching on her mother’s legs. She later started playing with Wiva. It was so interesting to watch them all; later they walked away into the bush to browse after the orphans had left.
In the bush, the dependent orphans were busy searching for food to eat; the area is still so dry! We are waiting for the rains.
At the mudbath, it was very hot and all the orphans played in the water vigorously. We also had five wild bulls in the mudbath who came to drink water. The orphans later started playing in the dust with narok and Bongo being the biggest show offs. The orphans later walked back to the bush for browsing until in the evening when Barsilinga led them home.
In the stockade we had Mutara's group with Suguta, Kanjoro and Sities. We had also a group of wild bulls who Kanjoro was trying to interact with.