Keepers' Diaries, September 2016
Voi Reintegration Unit
During the peak of the dry season, the special lucerne pellets and copra cake combined have assisted a great deal in keeping the orphans and the visiting Ex Orphans looking well and healthy. The trio of Ex Orphans Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia in particular visited the Stockade almost daily this month to take advantage of these supplements. Kenia and Ndii try to avoid Lesanju and her little group as much as possible in order to try and keep the dependent orphans under their own leadership, and endeavour to move the herd out early in the morning. Whenever these older three do succeed in taking the other orphans away from Kenia and Ndii, it definitely disturbs them, and they often bite their trunks in protest! However, the dependent orphans enjoy being with the older trio since they respect them and can learn a lot from them. One day when Taveta sharpened his tusks on a rock boulder, they were in awe especially because the youngsters are still too short to reach it! Lesanju is a capable leader, guiding the younger orphans further up Musinga Hill where they might find more browse during dry times. Amongst the Ex Orphans and those older milk dependants, such as Kenia, Ndii, Panda, Kihari and Lentili, there is always competition to browse near the younger babies, such as Araba and Bada.
01 September 2016
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the orphan elephants came running out of their stockade, emptying a morning milk bottle before enjoying the Lucerne grass pellets.
It was a big day for Kenia who was happily taking charge of her herd. Soon after arriving at the browsing grounds, Kenia noticed Taveta browsing alone on the slopes of Msinga Hill and decided to lead her herd to join him but none of the orphans wanted to join her as they were content browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill and did not want to venture further.
While the orphans were browsing Nelion engaged Tundani in a tough strength testing and pushing game which resulted in Tundani bravely conceding defeat upon noticing that Nelion was determined to play the game for as long as he could.
It was fairly cold this afternoon, and the orphans had their noon milk bottle on the northern side of the Msinga Hill close to where they were browsing. After finishing her milk bottle Arruba went to suckle on Suswa’s ear. The orphans later visited the middle water hole to drink water before spending the rest of the day browsing close by.
02 September 2016
It was a wonderful morning with the earliest callers at the stockade being Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta all of whom joined the stockade dependant orphans for some Lucerne grass pellets and copra cake.
Tundani, Lentili, Ishaq-B and Bada went to enjoy a dust session on the red soil pile where they were joined by some of the others. Lesanju introduced them to a game of scratching on the rocks with Rorogoi taking up Lesanju’s scratching position as soon as she left. Tundani found his own scratching rock and scratched from side to side. Bada saw Tundani scratching and rushed in ousting him from his position, and taking it for himself. Tundani voluntarily and peaceful went to a different spot thus avoiding any controversy with Bada. Bada got a taste of his own medicine when Panda came and ousted him. Panda was then ousted by Kihari who was ousted by Ishaq-B who was left in peace to enjoy a scratching session.
The rest of the browsing day went on perfectly well with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia joining the dependent orphans.
Later in the evening a report of an orphan elephant calf was reported to the keepers by the team repairing the Didaerea wind pump. This orphan elephant calf was very thin, dehydrated and desperate for company which it got from a teenage wild elephant bull that volunteered to temporarily guard him. The orphan calf needed to be rescued quickly as it was young and could not survive without milk. The wild bull ran away upon seeing the rescue vehicle approaching, leaving the orphan elephant alone making the rescue operation a little easier. The orphan elephant calf called Wanjala was brought into the stockade for the night before being air lifted to the Nairobi nursery.
03 September 2016
It was a nice morning with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia coming down from a nights feeding session on Msinga Hill to join the stockade dependant orphans in supplement feeding.
Mashariki and Nelion went to greet the new arrival Wanjala through the metal bars but then proceeded to steal the Lucerne grass that had been given to the orphan.
Lesanju took charge of Embu making sure that she got her fair share of the Lucerne grass pellets. Embu has been slowly putting on weight following her lion attack incident a few months ago.
The orphans enjoyed some stockade games with Rorogoi blowing huge chunks of red soil onto Tundani, forcing him to abandon his lying down games. Naipoki and Mbirikani had the most unique game with both of them sitting on a rock, their buttocks touching as they scratched from side to side. Their game drew the attention of Panda who was quick to join them and add her buttock to the mix. The two were not happy to have Panda join them and got walked away a few minutes after her arrival. Arruba enjoyed a beautiful game of scratching against a tree trunk.
On noticing the games were taking too long, Lesanju pushed Tassia to begin the trip out to the browsing fields. Tassia then pushed Panda who pushed someone else and it was not long before the orphans were heading out. The stockade dependant orphans walked all the way around Msinga Hill returning to the stockade for milk and water at noon.
The plans to air lift Wanjala to the Nairobi nursery took place in the morning with the Nairobi team landing at the Voi air strip a few minutes past ten o’clock. Wanjala was quickly loaded and on the way to Nairobi.
04 September 2016
The morning was good with the stockade dependant orphans downing a morning milk bottle before settling on supplement feeding before Kenia took charge leading the group to the fields before they had a chance to play. Kenia lead her herd to the far northern side of the stockade turning slowly to arrive at the middle water hole at 11.20am.
After a wonderful milk feeding session, Ishaq-B plunged into the cold water for a mudbath. Suswa joined in by standing in the water, spraying water on herself with her trunk. Mbirikani lay on the walls of the mudbath and enjoyed sliding in the water. Nelion approached Mbirikani from the side to join in on the fun. This all resulted in the orphans having a big bathing party, after which they spent the rest of the day browsing.
05 September 2016
It was a beautiful and wonderful beginning of the day with Kenia and Ndii hurriedly moving the stockade dependant orphans away from the stockade after the morning milk bottle and supplement feeding was over, in an effort to avoid Lesanju. They were unsuccessful in their pursuit as Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia caught up with them in the bush and Lesanju quickly took over the matriarchal duties which upset Ndii and Kenia who are becoming less happy with Lesanju’s visits.
As the two were pondering their situation, Ndoria turned to welcome Taveta. Ndii and Kenia took action by hiding little Araba taking her to browse away from the rest of the group.
Mudanda went down on her knees to get a sweet branch for Rorogoi, who was approaching her, to feed on. Ishaq-B enjoyed a neck scratching moment against a tree stump.
They all later visited the water hole at noon for milk and a brief bath before heading towards the big water hole for the afternoons browsing session. Sometime after the noon mud bath, Lentili went to try and get Nelion and Tundani to stop their strength testing games, with Tundani abandoning Nelion to engage, the peace maker, Lentili instead.
06 September 2016
The morning was wonderful with the stockade dependant orphans engaging one another in some beautiful socializing games at the stockade compound. Kihari, Lentili and Naipoki then steered the others for the mornings browsing session half way up Msinga hill, before coming down and heading to the middle water pan in groups of five for milk, water and bathing.
In a big bathing action today, Suswa lay down in the water where she enjoyed some wonderful rolling water games, with Nelion becoming jealous coming and expelling her from there taking before taking the bathing position for himself.
Mbirikani settled onto her buttock for a scratching game, sitting onto the walls of the water hole, facing the others who were bathing in the middle of the water hole. Kihari went sliding on the mudbath walls diving into the water to challenge Mbirikani in her bathing games. Mbirikani soon tired of the bathing competition and went for a pretend nap right in the middle of the water. Mudanda took advantage and went to sit on Mbirikani.
Araba scooped the days bathing star title when she was left all alone in the water without a competitor, and wallowed with delight on her own. The rest of the browsing day went on peaceful close to the water hole.
07 September 2016
The day once again started well with the orphans busy with their milk and supplement feeding routine before proceeding in a nearly perfect straight line towards the browsing grounds under Lentil’s leadership.
The orphans chose to browse on the lower grounds of Msinga Hill with their browsing pace deliberately slow so as to grab as much vegetation as they could in this dry weather.
The group then made their way to the water hole at noon drinking milk and water before plunging into the water for a wallow. Panda showcased her expertise in bathing games with little Araba falling in love with her games and joining her for a wonderful noon mud bath while Tundani engaged Bada in a wrestling match.
A wild elephant herd joined the orphans who were happy to socialize with them. In the herd there was one wild bull that joined the orphans at the drum barrels for some water. Arruba had a soft spot for the wild bull and had a lovely time interacting with him. Embu then separated herself from the rest of the orphans and strategically positioned herself so that she could join the wild group when they left. The keepers saw what she was doing and called her back to the orphan herd.
08 September 2016
It was a wonderful and warm morning as the stockade dependant orphans emptied a morning milk bottle before feeding on the supplement foods. There were some brief stockade games before Naipoki and Suswa took the lead of the orphans herd to the browsing fields. The orphans moved all round Msinga hill before returning to the stockade for milk and water. On the western side of the hill, Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta came down hill joining the group a few meters from the stockade.
After a peaceful milk feeding moment, Tundani and Ndii had a wonderful dusting session in the red soil after which they had a brief bath at the stockade water hole. Taveta settled for a buttock scratch against a big boulder close to the stockade water trough. Ndoria and Lentili took one another head on in a tough bathing competition at the stockade water hole.
09 September 2016
The day was good with the stockade dependant orphan elephants coming out early in the morning at 6am and assembling for their milk and supplement foods. They later moved to Msinga Hill for the morning browsing session before returning to the stockade for the noon milk bottle and some water. On arrival they interacted with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia who had arrived a few moments before for some water. They then enjoyed splashing water on their bodies before enjoying a dustbath in the red soil.
Mbirikani enjoyed scratching against a tree trunk away from the many soil dusting orphans elephants. Lesanju approached the babies Araba and Mudanda inspecting their dusting games before signaling it was time to return to the browsing fields.
The orphans spent the rest of the browsing day with the three in Lesanju’s herd returning to the stockade in the evening for a while before they returned to the park for the night.
10 September 2016
It was a nice beginning of the day with the orphans concentrating on their usual milk and supplement feeding before engaging in some socializing pushing games, after which they headed to the browsing grounds.
Soon after their arrival in the fields Lesanju, who had spent the previous night with Taveta and Tassia, welcomed them. Taveta introduced a unique game of sharpening his tusks on a tall rock boulder with the juniors wanting to join him but being unable to do so as they could not reach the top of the rock due to being too short and as such watching Taveta had to suffice. The juniors enjoyed interacting with the three Ex Orphans before moving to the water hole at noon where they drank milk and water forgoing a mud bath as it was fairly cold today.
Back at the stockade Ngulia the orphan zebra, Kore and Tawi the orphan eland and Jamuhuri the orphan buffalo have been exploring further afield while grazing all under the watchful eye of a keeper. They occasionally returned to the stockade for the special Lucerne grass pellets that they have come to love.
11 September 2016
The morning was perfect with the stockade dependant orphans all running and assembling for a delicious milk bottle in the morning then proceeding for the supplement feeding before heading to park where they settled in single file for the mornings browsing session.
Kenia, Ndii, Kihari and Lentili took charge leading others to their favorite browsing grounds before turning and making their way to the water hole at noon. On arrival the sun was already covered with thick clouds making the bathing session close to impossible as it was too cold.
The afternoon was spent browsing at the base of Msinga Hill. Soon after arriving Kenia and Ishaq-B had a tussle, each wanting little Araba by their side, which Kenia won and Araba spent the afternoon browsing with her.
Suswa wanted to lead the others uphill, but as it was already 4.10pm, the rest of the group were reluctant to follow her as it was nearly time to start moving back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
12 September 2016
The morning was good with Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta joining the stockade dependant orphans at the supplement feeding session.
Tundani went up the beautiful constructed stockade terrace where he tackled Nelion, engaging him in a pushing game from above. His tactics seemed to be working against his stronger opponent until Nelion followed Tundani to the top of the terrace putting them both at the same level allowing Nelion to win the game.
Lesanju stayed with the stockade dependant orphan elephants in some wonderful soil dusting games. In a dramatic move, Lesanju took Naipoki, who was playing with Ndii, to play dusting games with her, leaving Ndii on her own biting her trunk in protest. Kenia on the other hand went for a scratching game between two tree trunks. The two herds browsed peacefully side by side for the rest of the day.
13 September 2016
The morning started with the stockade dependant orphans downing a milk bottle and settling on the special Lucerne grass pellets that are their favorite of all the supplement foods. Panda then took Rorogoi and Mashariki for a dustbath at the stockade away from the rest of the group who were dusting up with red soil.
Arruba went for a rock scratching game, rubbing her hind foot against a rock while Ishaq-B rubbed her belly against a rock. Tassia who had come to the stockade with Lesanju wanted to climb on Lentili. Lesanju, who was close by though, intervened and pushed Tassia away from Lentili.
On the way to the field in the morning, Naipoki remained behind at the stockade enjoying a wonderful scratching session against a big rock boulder. She then ran to catch up with the herd and was welcomed back into the fold by Mashariki and Kihari. They all then went into the browsing grounds visiting the middle water hole at noon and browsed close to there for the rest of the day.
14 September 2016
It was a cloudy and cold morning with the orphan elephants leaving the stockade to catch up with the first light of day as they headed to the browsing grounds. They had a perfect browsing moment with Ndoria, Bada, Mudanda, Arruba and Mashariki taking the lead position as they headed to the waterhole for the noon milk bottle.
Soon after drinking their milk and quenching their thirst with water, Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta arrived, joining them in to drink clean water from the half drum barrels. The weather was fairly cold today and no one was willing to enter the mud hole. Lesanju then took Panda, leaning on her back, embracing her as if she were her own baby. Taveta remained with Rorogoi browsing with her for about half an hour before rejoining the rest of the group who were browsing in single file.
15 September 2016
The morning was good with the orphan elephants coming out of their stockade in great mood swinging their trunks from side to side as they went for their milk bottle and supplements.
Kenia, Ndii and Kihari made the executive decision to explore the far northern side of the stockade in an effort to find something green to browse on in what is proving to be a very long dry period. Kenia kept close browsing ties with her adopted baby Araba.
As it is very dry at the moment, the special Lucerne grass pellets and copra cake combined had assisted a great deal in keeping the orphans full and looking healthy, unlike many of the wild elephants who are looking a little thin due to the drought situation.
The orphans arrived at the water hole to drink after 3pm as they had spent the day feeding and grabbing as much browse as they could.
16 September 2016
It was a nice beginning of the day with the orphan elephants coming out of their stockade to meet with Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta who joined them for supplement feeding before moving to the park for the day’s crucial browsing sessions.
Lesanju exercised her perfect mini-matriarchal role in leading the orphan elephants up Msinga Hill which is one of the few areas that still has some edible bushes that the orphan elephants can feast on. Kihari and Panda engaged in a show off wrestling match to impress the two older boys, Taveta and Tassia.
Later on in the day, the stockade was raised by the vet unit and the trust head offices to rescue an orphan elephant calf whose mother had collapsed and died. It was suspected that the mother was very old and had lost her teeth, making browsing impossible which resulted in her starving. The orphan elephant calf, which we named Malkia, was then rescued and brought to the Voi stockade for a night with plans to air lift her to the Nairobi nursery the following day.
17 September 2016
It was a wonderful morning with Kihari, Ishaq-B and Panda coming all the way from their upper stables to greet the new arrival orphan baby Malkia after milk feeding. The three later went to join the others for the special Lucerne grass pellets.
The plane to air lift the orphan calf Malkia for the Nairobi nursery touched the Voi air strip at 10.30am, with preparation of loading her into the pick-up and proceeding to the air strip beginning in earnest. Malkia was then air lifted to the Nairobi nursery just before 11 o’clock.
The stockade dependant orphans had a perfect browsing day on the eastern side of Msinga Hill. They only had a very brief bath on at the water hole in the afternoon.
Tundani turned down Bada’s request for a wrestling match in the afternoon, as Tundani was making browsing a priority as it was very dry.
Suswa, Arruba and Mashariki went to look for Malkia when they returned to the stockades in the evening but missed her as she had already been air lifted to the Nairobi nursery.
18 September 2016
Kenia’s herd linked up with Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta who were waiting for the stockade dependant orphans to arrive from the stockade to join them. The orphans had a lot of fun in some rock scratching and dusting games before leaving for their usual browsing activities.
A message was delivered to the stockade from the Voi gate alerting the keepers of an orphan elephant that had been stuck in a natural water hole along the water pipeline. A rescue team was quickly mobilized. The calf was alone and stuck in a small drying mud wallow. With ropes and pulleys he was hauled out and thankfully before any predators had a chance to get to him. He was exhausted from his struggle, and we named him Nguvu meaning ‘strength’ in Kiswahili. He was very weak and could not stand on his feet. The calf is three years of age and too old to be air lifted to Nairobi and was therefore brought to the Voi stockade. Ten bottles of drip were administered to him during the day and he was assisted to his feet later in the evening by the keepers with the help of ropes.
19 September 2016
Nguvu the orphan elephant was very tired and was in a deep sleep this morning, lying down on the ground as he slept. Mashariki, Suswa, Rorogoi and Mudanda passed by to greet him between the metal bars before proceeding out of the stockade for their milk bottle and supplement foods. Nguvu was later assisted by the keepers to his feet, and he was given plenty of green grewia branches and milk in a bucket in an effort to get him stronger.
Kenia, Ndii, Panda and Lentili were very happy today, taking charge of the leadership of their herd as they headed out to the park for the day. The orphans browsed on the western side of the stockade pacing slowly to grab as much food as they could as the bush has dried out and there was the need of patience to choose the edible vegetation.
The orphans visited the water hole at noon where they had a brief bath before moving on with more browsing activities at the foot of Msinga Hill. At 6.10pm, Tassia came alone, joining the stockade dependant orphans for an hour before returning to the park.
20 September 2016
Another morning has come with the stockade dependant orphans having their usual milk and supplement feeding before taking off to the browsing grounds. The orphans browsed all the way around Msinga Hill before arriving at the middle water hole at noon.
The orphans drank their milk and then went to the half drum barrels for some water. As it was cold none of the orphans had a wallow in the mudbath. The orphan elephants then went on with their browsing at the base of Msinga hill, where Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia caught up with them.
Upon seeing Lesanju, Kenia quickly moved to hide Araba between her body and Nelion’s in an effort to prevent Lesanju from taking her baby, and making sure that Araba could also not see Lesanju either. Ndii stayed with Mudanda, as Panda settled to browse with Bada. Taveta browsed close to Kihari until it was time to return to the stockade. The three Ex Orphans came into the stockade with the stockade dependant babies and stayed for a while before returning to the park late in the night.
21 September 2016
The morning was good with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia coming early in the morning to join the stockade dependant orphan elephants for supplement feeding. After a very brief playing session at the compound, Lesanju took the lead of the group and they settled to browse between some very big rock boulders at the base of Msinga Hill, where there was still a few remaining edible green branches and bushes.
On arrival at the browsing grounds, Mashariki took Ndoria for some private browsing in an effort to keep her to herself, as the other three babies, Araba, Mudanda and Bada had already been taken by Kenia, Ndii and Panda respectively.
They all visited the water hole at noon for milk and water. They then splashed water on themselves before heading back to the browsing grounds for the rest of the day. They returned to the stockades in the evening with Lesanju and her herd who remained with them for another two hours before going back to the park.
22 September 2016
It was a wonderful morning with Kenia feeling great relief Lesanju didn’t turn up at the stockades in the morning. Kenia was seen to be in a relaxed mood, allowing the other members of her herd to have fun and enjoy some ample playing time at the stockade compound before leaving for the browsing grounds.
Nelion bravely took Tundani head on for some strength testing games at the lower side of the stockade terrace while the rest of the orphans enjoyed a soil dusting session. When the tough got going Tundani ran away from Nelion, taking refuge behind a tree trunk. Nelion followed Tundani, pushing the tree, threatening to break through it. Tundani managed to sneak away but it was not long before Nelion found Tundani and launched a fresh attack. Tundani was able to get away when it was time for the orphan herd to head to the park.
A small wild elephant herd of two cows and a calf came to drink water from the stockade trough at 6.30pm. They hung around drinking and relaxing for twenty minutes before leaving for the park.
23 September 2016
The morning was perfect with the stockade dependant orphans emptying a morning milk bottle and settling for their normal supplements and games at the dust pile before heading out into the field under the careful leadership of Naipoki and Lentili.
On the way Mudanda who was busy browsing found herself left behind by the others who had moved further afield without her noticing. Mudanda then ran to join them and came charging in. Ndii was quick to turn back to welcome and warmly receive her back into the herd.
Ndoria, who had been feeling very jealous of little Araba’s interaction with Kenia recently, took advantage of Araba’s absence while out in the field to attach herself to Kenia who was happy to accommodate her.
Later in the day, Mashariki secured a nice scratching place against an acacia tree, taking advantage of her tall height to comfortably scratch the top of her back. Mudanda was in awe of what Mashariki was doing and successfully managed to do the same on a lower lying branch.
The orphans visited the water hole at noon and had a lot of fun in mud bathing games before continuing with their browsing activities for the remainder of the afternoon.
24 September 2016
It was a wonderful morning when Nguvu was able to get to his feet without any assistance from the keepers. The positivity and his will to live was seen again later in the day when he drank his milk from a bottle instead of from a bucket. He also seemed to be in a much happier mood and spent the whole day feasting and browsing on the tender and green grewia branches that had been fetched especially from him from the top of the Sagala Hills. Although he was still aggressive to the keepers and was quick to back away from them and charge at them once the milk feeding time was over.
The rest of the stockade dependant orphans had a perfectly good browsing moment with Lesanju’s herd not turning up at either the stockade or the browsing grounds.
25 September 2016
It was a good beginning to the day with the orphan elephants happily playing with the red soil at the stockade compound before moving out under the leadership of Lesanju.
The orphans browsed peacefully for the morning before making their way to the middle water hole at noon. Here they all engaged in wallowing activities, with Ndoria being the star as she enjoyed a wonderful wall scratching game.
Arruba was glued to Kenia’s side today, standing by watching and waiting for Kenia to finish her mudbath games. Ndii and Nelion sat on the walls of the mudwallow next to each other as they rubbed their buttocks from side to side. Nelion then went to get Naipoki who was busy enjoying dusting games.
After the mudbath Ndoria went to scratch against a tree trunk with Kenia and Arruba following her. Lesanju took her own separate scratching game against a big tree trunk before all the orphans settled down for the afternoons browsing session.
26 September 2016
The morning begun well with the orphan elephants running for their morning milk bottle then settling for some supplement feeding before moving to the browsing grounds where they met with Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia. They had a wonderful browsing moment with Kenia keeping close to her adopted baby Araba.
They all then went to the middle water hole at noon, where they had a lot of fun in mud bathing games. Ndii who was having the most fun at the mudbath was left behind lying in water. On seeing that she was alone she ran out of the water charging around and breaking a branch off a tree to take with her as she rejoined her friends.
Suswa and Mashariki had a wonderful dusting game in a small and shallow natural hole, with Mashariki leaning and rubbing herself in a scratch against Suswa. Ndoria, Bada and Kihari sat on a fallen tree trunk where they enjoyed scratching their buttocks.
The orphans then browsed towards the Voi River circuit before returning to the safety of the stockades in the evening. Mudanda finished her milk quickly and then tried to grab Kihari’s milk bottle. Thankfully the keepers were able to intervene before Mudanda succeeded in stealing Kihari’s milk.
Jamuhuri tried to suckle Ngulia for milk which tickled Ngulia causing her to jump and run away from Jamuhuri who kept on chasing her to get milk. The Ex-Orphan male lesser kudu Chia came for a visit and was grazing very close to the stockade water hole at 2.50pm. Chia was looking beautiful and had amazing long horns.
27 September 2016
It was a wonderful morning once again with Ngulia, Kore, Tawi and Jamuhuri having a peaceful moment of feeding on the special Lucerne grass pellets. The orphan elephants who were also enjoying the same meal on the outside of the fence did not charge them. The stockade dependant orphans then went to the browsing grounds under the leadership of Lentili and Ishaq-B where they had they spent the morning feeding.
About twenty minutes before making their way to the water hole, Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta came to join the orphans before following them to the mudwallow. Taveta took Embu for some close browsing interaction before they left for the mudbath.
Nelion had a lot of fun at the mudbath as he lay down in rolling games with Kihari getting jealous and expelling him from the bathing place to take it over herself.
Tundani and Rorogoi had a wonderful soil dusting game after the bath with their buttocks rubbing onto one another as they played.
Lesanju then tried to take Araba but was prevented by doing so by Kenia who came in and stood guard over her adopted baby making sure that none of the other playful orphan elephants would try to ride on her back.
Two wild elephant herds came to have a drink from the half drum barrels after which the browsed with the orphan herd for about half an hour before leaving joined by Tassia and Taveta who came to the stockades in the evening just a few minutes before the arrival of Lesanju and the orphan herd.
28 September 2016
The morning was good with Lesanju, Tassia and Taveta being arriving at the stockade early this morning. They had a wonderful time supplement feeding with the stockade dependant orphans before heading to the browsing grounds under the leadership of Lentili and Kihari. The orphans had a peaceful time browsing before making their way to the waterhole at noon.
The orphans arrived at the waterhole where there was no clean water for them to drink as a couple of wild herds of elephants had arrived before them emptying the water barrels and leaving them with dregs that were full of mud.
After a wonderful mud bath enjoyed by all the orphans, Taveta remained in the water with Ndii playing with one another before leaving and joining the others for soil dusting games. Tassia had a soft spot for Araba holding and caressing her back as they enjoyed the dustbath.
29 September 2016
It was a wonderful soil dusting moment at the stockade compound after a peaceful milk and supplement feeding session.
Mudanda and Rorogoi lay down next to each other in a wonderful red soil dusting encounter. Nelion fell in love with their game and stood over them like a watchman as he admired their skills. Kihari felt jealous of the two playing a dusting game and came in to chase them all away which had Nelion shaking his head and trunk in protest as he left.
Tundani went to rub and scratch himself against the stockade terrace rocks while Nelion went and got little Araba taking her for a rock scratching game before joining the rest of the group who were making their way to the browsing grounds.
30 September 2016
The morning was good with Panda stopping for a scratching game against a tree trunk while the other orphan elephants headed out to the browsing grounds for the mornings browsing session at the northern side of the stockade.
After milk feeding Nelion settled for an amazing and playful time in the mudbath together with Mbirikani and Panda. Nelion turned out to be the mudbathing star today that is until Suswa came to sit and lie on him thus hindering his movement and fun.
Soon after the orphans came out of water Lesanju, Taveta and Tassia showed up for a drink and a wallow. The group were also joined by a wild herd of elephants went straight to the water barrels for a drink before heading to the mudbath. The three Ex-Orphans joined the small herd of wild elephants for a browsing session around the Voi river circuit.
Nguvu the orphan elephant in the stockade is doing very well and is now getting to his feet on his own after having a short sleep. He is also becoming quieter and more accepting of the keepers.