Keepers' Diaries, September 2017
Ithumba Reintegration Unit
It is incredibly dry in the wider Tsavo region at the moment in drought-like status; Ithumba received more rain than most areas and therefore is only just starting to dry out like the rest of the region, nevertheless large numbers of wild elephants and our own Ex Orphan herds too have frequented the watering points at the stockade and mud bath, and indulged in the Lucerne supplements we offer our dependent orphans every morning as well. We saw Galana and her herd including her baby Gawa and Nannies Loijuk, Naserian, Lualeni, Lenana, Kenze Yatta’s main herd usually consisting of the others like her baby Yetu, Mulika and Mwende, Kinna and Kama, Nasalot, Chyulu, Lenana, Wendi and Wiva, Ithumba Meibai, Ololoo, Ishanga and Sidai; sometimes they would all join forces and arrive at a particular place altogether. Their wild born babies, the youngest being Kama (to Kinna), Wiva (to Wendi) and Gawa (to Galana) like playing with the younger dependent orphans. Yatta’s baby Yetu and Mulika’s baby Mwende are slightly older at 5 years old. Little Wiva especially likes to play with Wanjala as one of the smallest in the dependent herd, but he does not often indulge in her games and often pushes her away.
01 September 2017
Shukuru, as usual left with a branch in her mouth this morning. The orphans walked straight to the water trough and joined two wild bulls that were drinking there. Then the orphans were joined by Galana, baby Gawa, Loijuk, Nasalot, Makireti, Kilabasi, Teleki, Chaimu, Kilaguni, Murka, Naisula and Kitirua. A family heard of wild elephants consisting of ten members also showed up for water at the stockade water troughs. Naseku played briefly with Gawa before following her group to the browsing field. Garzi and Barsilinga took a break from the morning browsing to engage in a pushing game that saw Garzi emerge as the winner. Their game also attracted Lemoyian and Boromoko who started a pushing game which ended in a draw as well.
Fifteen wild bulls were at the mud bath today when the orphans came for their milk. They joined them to drink water and to mud bathe as well. Boromoko had a game of riding on Naseku while Lemoyian rode on Sirimon. After mud bathing, Naseku headed for soil dusting while Olsekki engaged Boromoko in a pushing game. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area.
02 September 2017
Yatta and her group reported early at the stockade compound. The orphans were let out and briefly joined the Ex Orphans for lucerne before being led away by Shukuru. Tusuja and Boromoko had a warm up exercise that was done through a pushing game but Tusuja lost to Boromoko and decided to go and tackled Lemoyian. Ukame used her small tusks to peel bark from some trees.
Later on when the orphans went for their noon mild feed the weather was chilly and only Boromoko and Sirimon decided to go into the mud hole after. Eighteen wild bulls also came to drink water there. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area where Sirimon rode on Naseku before Galla turned on him and they had an argument that ended up as a wrestling match. In the evening Orwa, Vuria and Bomani, who appear to have formed a small group of boys, showed up at the stockade compound where they were joined later by Mutara’s group, Naisula, Murka, Kitirua, Makireti and Kilabasi. Shortly before dark, the junior Ex Orphan bulls left and walked away into the Park.
03 September 2017
Soon after leaving the stockade, Boromoko and Tusuja had a warm up exercise through a pushing game. Galana, baby Gawa, Loijuk, Kilaguni, Kasigau, Ithumbah, a wild orphan and a wild elephant joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Shortly later Bongo and Narok, who appear to have temporarily separated from Orwa, Teleki, Bomani and Vuria, emerged from the eastern side of the stockade. Teleki has joined up with Nasalot and always walks together with her while the three boys Orwa, Bomani and Vuria have formed their own small group. Only time will tell if the groups will remain as they are. Kamok led the way to the browsing field where Lemoyian, who loves pushing games, engaged Sokotei in a strength testing exercise while Sirimon tackled Tusuja. At around ten o'clock in the morning, the juniors were joined by Olare’s group, Makireti’s group and Galana’s group. Later the herd walked to the mud bath where they were joined by thirty eight wild bulls.
In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the upper Kalovoto area. Olsekki and Boromoko took a break from feeding to play, a game which came to an end when Roi passed close by and Olsekki turned to ride on her. Sirimon came and pushed Olsekki away which we thought was chivalrous but then he turned to ride on Roi himself. Kithaka rolled on the ground on his own but was later joined by Enkikwe. In the evening, a wild herd consisting of ten members came for water at the stockade compound and left later when they had enough water.
04 September 2017
The orphans were joined by the senior Ex Orphans soon after leaving the stockade. The herd shared the lucerne briefly before Shukuru took her group to the browsing field. Garzi started his day’s activities by rolling on the ground while Sirimon tried to settle scores with Tusuja in a light strength testing exercise. Enkikwe rode on Olsekki as Ukame took a break from browsing to soil dust. The orphans were very active this morning!
Eighteen wild bulls attended mud bath as the orphans had a spectacular wallowing session. Afterwards the orphans headed to the Kanziku area where they settled to browse. Garzi, Barsilinga, Siangiki, Oltaiyoni and Dupotto spent some time in a soil dusting exercise. In the evening, Ukame tried to share food with Tusuja but he threatened Ukame by pointing his trunk at her which told her not to approach! Ukame listened and left before Tusuja decided to push her.
05 September 2017
Six bulls were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. Once the orphans settled for their lucerne, Galana and Olare’s group checked in and shared lucerne with the juniors. Shortly later, Laragai rumbled, alerting her friends that it was time to leave for browsing. The orphans had a quiet morning browsing without any major observation.
It was quite warm at mud bath but the orphans didn't show any interest in mud bathing. They had their milk and had some water and then decided to continue browsing. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Narok and Bongo. They have made their own little group and only time will tell if they will join another group or even recruit other members from the dependent orphans. Narok settled to browse with Wanjala and Oltaiyoni while Bongo teamed up with Barsilinga and Garzi.
06 September 2017
Olare’s group in the company of Chaimu, Kilaguni, Lualeni, Kenze and several wild elephants joined the orphans for lucerne in the morning. The sky was partly cloudy and when the orphans were through with the lucerne, Shukuru led the way to the browsing field. Tusuja teamed up with Boromoko to browse while Wanjala settled to browse and chat with Siangiki. Later, Shukuru took a break from feeding to dust herself in the loose soil and after joined Olsekki to browse again. Twenty five wild bulls attended mud bath with the orphans. After their mud bath the orphans dusted themselves in soil before going back to their browsing. They browsed along the upper Kalovoto area and concentrated hard on getting enough to eat and did not play any games.
07 September 2017
When the gates opened for the juniors to come out, the independent orphans Orwa, Bomani, Suguta, Nasalot and Vuria tried to get in to check whether there was anything left over for them to feed on. To their disappointment, what was left behind was not enough for them so they walked out to go and eat some lucerne in that feeding area. Two wild bulls joined them to feast on the lucerne and shortly later the orphans left for browsing. Garzi lagged behind with the Ex Orphans but joined his friends later after spending enough time with his former friend’s Orwa and Bomani; perhaps he too will join them soon. Boromoko and Olsekki started their activities out in the bush by wrestling and pushing each other while Karisa used a shrub to scratch his itchy foot and leg. The sun was hot and at mud bath time, the orphans wallowed with the playful Lemoyian riding on Boromoko. Twenty eight bulls were present and as the orphans made their way back to the browsing field, the wild elephants remained at the mud bath to cool off. Galla spent some time dusting himself. Later he and Ukame had a disagreement that saw Ukame start pushing him. Laragai, who was feeding close by, acted fast to save Galla from the wrath of Ukame. She got in between them and managed to calm Ukame down.
08 September 2017
Tusuja was the first one to leave the stockade followed by Roi today. Kamok and Shukuru had branches in their mouths as they headed out. Dupotto met with Ex Orphan bull Rapsu outside the stockade and exchanged morning greetings before heading to join Kibo to feed on lucerne. Olare and Mutara’s groups in the company of Madiba, Rapsu, Kilaguni and Chaimu attended the morning lucerne feeding as well. On the way to the browsing field, Enkikwe and Olsekki briefly engaged one another in a morning strength testing exercise as Boromoko played with Sokotei. Orwa, Bomani and Vuria joined the juniors to browse while Vuria and Barsilinga held a pushing contest that went for quite some time before Barsilinga bowed out. At mud bath time the orphans were joined by only fifteen wild bulls and when they were done, Laragai led the way back to the browsing field. The orphans had a quiet afternoon until the evening when Olsekki and Enkikwe wound up the day's activities by engaging in a pushing game that lasted for a short time.
09 September 2017
The orphans in the morning were joined by Ex Orphans Galana, her baby Gawa, Loijuk, Naserian, Lualeni, Lenana, Kenze and six wild bulls. Soon after having enough of the lucerne, Shukuru led the way to browsing field. Boromoko then engaged Tusuja in pushing game that was cut short by Sirimon who wanted to join in too. Boromoko and Tusuja were not interested in playing with Sirimon and walked away. Boromoko moved to play with Lemoyian as Olsekki settled to play with Enkikwe. Galla and Wanjala took a break from feeding to play in the soil by rolling on the ground. At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans dared to step into the mud bathing water. The orphans only drank milk then water from the trough before heading back to the browsing field.
Garzi and Kithaka had brief strength testing exercise that ended when Kithaka surrendered. In the evening on their way back to the stockade, the orphans were joined by Yatta’s senior Ex Orphan group that escorted them all the way to the stockade.
10 September 2017
Mutara’s group in the company of Narok, Bongo, Vuria, Orwa, Teleki and few members from Olare’s group were at the stockade compound early in morning. They dependent orphans joined them as soon as they had finished their morning milk. A wild herd consisting of eight members and an eighteen month old baby showed up and half of the group including the baby joined the juniors for lucerne. The baby interacted with Olsekki, Roi, Boromoko and Enkikwe who had a light pushing game with the baby.
Back out in the bush, Galla had great time soil dusting while Boromoko and Olsekki settled for a pushing game that ended soon when Boromoko surrendered. Shukuru, Roi and Kamok scratched all their itchy places on nearby rocks before going back to browsing. Orok came to mud bath accompanied by his friends and then walked down to join the juniors to mud bath. Soon after Karisa had enough of wallowing, he walked up to the water trough and joined some wild bulls that were drinking water. Karisa took the water he needed and left to join his friends that had started heading back out. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The sun was still hot and Kamok, Sokotei, Enkikwe and Karisa took a break from feeding to relax under a tree. Later in the day Tusuja, Lemoyian and Barsilinga decided to dust themselves in some soil and then Kamok led the way back out to the stockade.
11 September 2017
Mutara and Olare’s groups joined the juniors for lucerne soon after they were let out. Shortly later Bongo and Teleki, who have teamed up with Nasalot, also showed up followed by Orwa, Narok, Bomani and Vuria. The orphans left for browsing soon after they had enough of the lucerne.
Kithaka and Garzi enjoyed a pushing game that went on for quite some time as neither of them wanted to surrender. At last, Kithaka gave up and went to scratch against a nearby tree. The sun was hot and during mud bath time, the venue was flooded with wild bulls that were coming for a drink and to cool off. A total of forty five wild elephants were there with Half Trunk and Dad among them. Orok, who is 13 years old now, was among the wild bulls, and joined the juniors briefly in the mud bath before getting out to drink water from the trough.
The orphans had a quiet afternoon with Wanjala taking a break from feeding to relax under a tree to avoid the scorching sun. In the evening, the orphans passed by the mud bath where they enjoyed an evening cool-off before heading back to the stockade.
12 September 2017
Nasalot and her two new found friends Bongo and Teleki were at the stockade compound early in the morning. The three joined the juniors for lucerne soon after they were let out. Boromoko pushed Dupotto when she tried to get some lucerne that he had his eye on. Dupotto wasn't happy about it, but since there was nothing she could do, she accepted it and moved on. Olsekki and Oltaiyoni led their friends to drink some water when they were through with the lucerne and then they headed to Kone area where they settled to browse.
At mud bath time, the sun was really hot and instead of Kamok going into the water to wallow, she opted to relax under a tree as Enkikwe and Olsekki kept themselves busy under a different tree whilst engaged in a pushing game. Shukuru, Naseku, Sokotei, Siangiki, Lemoyian, Boromoko, Wanjala and Sirimon loved wallowing in the cool water and after headed for soil dusting. Garzi played with Kithaka as Olsekki tackled Boromoko before returning back to the browsing field. The orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill and after they browsed calmly for the rest of the day.
13 September 2017
Only three wild bulls showed up for water in the morning at the stockade water troughs. The orphans settled briefly for lucerne before being led away by Shukuru. They settled to browse in Kanziku where Lemoyian and Sokotei had a lengthy strength testing exercise that finally ended in a draw. The rest of team concentrated on browsing until ten thirty in morning when Ex Orphan bull Tomboi joined them and then escorted the juniors to the mud bath.
At mud bath time there was drama when Lemoyian finished his milk and then turned on Olsekki to snatch more than his share from Olsekki's mouth. The keepers responded and Lemoyian left unhappy and seemed to wait for Olsekki a distance away from the keepers to take his revenge. Olsekki was clever though and after finishing his milk he used a different route to the water trough, thus avoiding Lemoyian and whatever he had planned. The weather was slightly cloudier today and none of the orphans wanted to go into the water hole. Only Tomboi and two wild bulls decided to go for a swim. Roi picked a leftover branch that was probably dropped by a wild elephant and continued to peel its bark as the rest of the team concentrated on drinking water. In the afternoon the orphans settled to browse in between Ithumba Hill and Imenti area and on the way back to the stockade, Shukuru led her friends to cool off since the weather had changed since the morning and it was now really hot. In the evening, Galana, Gawa, Loijuk, Lenana and a wild female showed up at the stockade and left shortly after dark when they had drunk enough water.
14 September 2017
Eight wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. In the company of the wild elephants were Lualeni, Tomboi, Madiba, Buchuma, Olare’s group and Narok’s group. The Ex Orphans settled for lucerne with juniors and after the juniors left to go and browse in the Park. Garzi was left behind, having a good time with the Ex Orphans, especially Kibo, and they enjoyed a pushing game together. He later followed his friends out to the Park. Lemoyian and Sokotei engaged each other in a strength testing exercise while Boromoko played with Tusuja. Ukame settled to browse with Oltaiyoni as Galla teamed up with Wanjala.
At mud bath, the weather was cloudy and none of the orphans wanted to mud bath again. Olsekki picked up a branch left behind by wild elephants and kept himself busy by peeling its bark off while Kamok, though it was cloudy, relaxed under her usual tree. Naseku was in an excitable mood and trumpeted as she ran into bushes, charging and knocking anything in sight. In the afternoon, Tusuja and Lemoyian had a light strength testing game that ended when Kithaka passed by and intervened by tackling Lemoyian. Dupotto settled to browse with Sokotei while Wanjala settled to browse with Karisa. In the evening Olsekki tried to engage Boromoko in a pushing game but Boromoko declined due to fear of losing the game to Olsekki.
15 September 2017
Soon after the orphans settled for lucerne, Yatta and her group emerged from the west and joined the juniors. Kama headed straight to where Karisa was feeding and tried to put her trunk in Karisa's mouth, but Karisa didn't entertain Kama and moved away. Kama then went to play with Naseku as Olare and Makireti’s groups emerged from eastern side of the stockade. Wiva tried to play with Wanjala, thinking that since they are almost of the same size she can push him around. The no-nonsense Wanjala pushed Wiva hard though, prompting her to yell as she ran away from him. Narok and her group arrived shortly after the orphans had left for browsing.
The orphans had a quiet morning as they concentrated on browsing without any major distractions. At eleven o'clock in the morning, Ukame led the way to the mud bath. The temperature was moderate again and only Enkikwe and Boromoko decided to go into the mud bath. The rest just washed their feet then headed for a soil dusting exercise. In the afternoon, the clouds cleared giving way to sun shine. The temperature suddenly skyrocketed making the orphans take a break from feeding and converge under a tree to hide from the scorching sun.
16 September 2017
Eight wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the juniors were let out. After the orphans settled at the stockade compound, a wild mum with her four year old calf joined the juniors to feed on lucerne. Olare, Melia and Tumaren, who are eight and nine years old now, were in the company of the wild elephants and appear to have abandoned their group. Only time will tell if they have permanently abandoned them or if it is just a temporary thing! Shortly later, Galana and her small group consisting of Galana, Gawa, Loijuk, Lualeni and a junior wild elephant checked in and joined the dependent orphans to feed on lucerne.
Olsekki and Boromoko had a brief conversation while entwining their trunks and after Olsekki moved to play with Sokotei. Garzi played with Kithaka as Lemoyian tackled Boromoko. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Madiba, Tumaren, Melia and Olare. Soon after mud bathing, Shukuru led the group to soil dust before heading out to browse. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto seasonal River and in the evening they returned back to the stockade safely for the night.
17 September 2017
The orphans left the stockades immediately after having their six o'clock milk and went to eat lucerne. They were later joined by Buchuma, Melia, Tumaren, Olare and a wild herd consisting of six members. As soon as the orphans were done, Shukuru led the way out to the Park. Olsekki and Boromoko started their activities by engaging in strength testing exercise. Later Garzi played with Barsilinga as Lemoyian settled to browse with Shukuru. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by sixteen wild bulls and Olare’s group. Olare herself was missing from the group together with Melia and Tumaren. The group was now under the command of the wild orphan. Shortly later, Olare, Melia and Tumaren emerged from the eastern side of the mud bath. There was trumpeting and ululation as the group welcomed back the three girls that had abandoned the group for two days. It was a happy reunion as the complete group now participated in wallowing. After mud bathing, Barsilinga played with Chemi Chemi while Lemoyian played with Tusuja. The entire herd participated in soil dusting and thereafter parted ways. In the afternoon, the orphans were joined by Mutara and her group. Wanjala had a brief chat with Mutara before settling to browse with her and later in evening, her group escorted the junior orphans back to the stockade. Half Trunk led a group of fifteen wild bulls who came for water at the stockade late in the evening.
18 September 2017
The orphans left the stockade early as usual and joined Yatta’s group who had reported at the stockade early before dawn. Wild born babies Wiva, Gawa and Kama mingled with the orphans. Shortly later, Kinna took Kama on a tour in the stockade, probably showing her where her home was some eight years ago. An hour later, the orphans left for browsing leaving the Ex Orphans still in the stockade compound. Out in the bush, the orphans browsed calmly except Garzi and Kithaka who from time to time tried to challenge one another.
At mud bath time, the sun was really hot making all the orphans want to wallow in the mud bath. Thirty wild elephants attended mud bath and were later joined by Yatta and her group. Soon after having enough of wallowing, the orphans, led by Shukuru, went to dust themselves in soil before heading back out to the bush. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area. The sun was still hot and the orphans converged under a tree for nearly one and half hours before browsing again.
19 September 2017
Ex Orphans including Wendi, Mulika, Yatta, Galana and Kinna with their babies were waiting or the orphans to come out of their stockades this morning. The dependent orphans interacted with them when they came out while Wiva and Kama were busy playing and scratching on one of the rocks. The orphans later walked into the bush to browse.
Everyone was busy browsing as it is so dry in the area at the moment. Lemoyian was browsing next to Galla and later started walking to mud bath. At the mud bath we had a mixture of wild elephants, Ex Orphans and our dependent elephants who were all interacting with each other. Boromoko was playing and rolling in the dust while Shukuru led the other group to play deep in the mudhole with the wild elephants. It was so nice to watch the huge elephants socializing with the young orphans as they played. Later on, they walked to the dust bath and started dusting themselves with Tusuja and Boromoko having a play fight. The orphan group later walked back into the bush leaving Boromoko, Tusuja and Dupotto standing with the wild bulls near the water trough; they later followed their friends. All the five Ex Orphan babies were present with their mothers today – Gawa, Wiva, Kama and older babies Mwende and Yetu who are now 5 years old.
It was a very hot afternoon and the orphans converged under a Baobab tree for awhile to escape the heat. Kithaka was seen scratching on the rock with Galla and the rest busy browsing and searching for some green vegetation. Later on they all started walking towards the stockade for the evening milk. Suguta's group came to the stockade to drink water with some wild bulls. They drank water and left to go back into the bush after.
20 September 2017
It was a quiet morning today with the orphans coming out of their stockades to go and eat lucerne. There were no Ex Orphans or wild elephants and it was very quiet as the orphans enjoyed the lucerne but then a short while later, a few Ex Orphans with Rapsu arrived. The orphans left not long after they arrived, leaving them to eat lucerne whilst they went out into the Park.
It was quite a cloudy and chilly day and all the orphans browsed in one group until mud bath time. At mud bath started drizzling and no one wanted to go in the water, but later on Boromoko, Galla and Naseku decided to jump in and start playing; the rest didn't bother. The three swimmers later came out of the water and followed their friends who had already gone back into the bush to browse.
It continued to rain and there was a very strong wind blowing. The orphans played on the road and rolled around in the loose soil. Olsekki was scooping and tossing chunks of soil in the air. They all looked very happy in the rain as they slowly made their way back to the stockades in the evening for their milk. A few wild elephants came to have water at the stockades during the day today. We recorded 2mm of rainfall today.
21 September 2017
The orphans enjoyed their lucerne this morning, again without the company of their Ex Orphan friends or any other wild elephants. They stayed for quite a long time and finished every scrap before leaving for the bush.
Everyone was busy browsing this morning and it was another cold day. Dupotto was browsing next to Enkikwe as they seemed to strengthen their friendship. Lemoyian and Sokotei were busy play fighting and later the whole group, led by Laragai, went to the mudbath for their milk.
It was still very cold and no one bothered to play in the water. They all finished their milk and went to the water trough and there, a big wild bull joined them to drink water. Later the orphans went out into the bush to browse again. Olsekki and Sokotei were seen browsing together as they chatted while the others were busy browsing. The weather changed in the afternoon and it became warmer, so the orphans walked back to the mud pool to cool down, before going back to the stockades for the night.
At the stockades today we had 17 wild bulls come to drink water. Kilaguni, the Ex Orphan, was the only one around and he welcomed them to the water trough. There was no rain today.
22 September 2017
This morning the dependent orphans found Wendi and her herd waiting to feast on lucerne with them. Babies Kama and Wiva were very active and playing all over the place. Wanjala was seen chatting with Kama and patting her with his trunk. The orphans then walked out for their day in the Park.
Everyone was busy browsing with Sokotei and Siangiki browsing close together. It is still very dry and we watched all the elephants concentrate on finding enough to eat – there were no games.
At mud bath it was very hot and the majority of the orphans played in the mud hole. They interacted with the Ex Orphans that were present and wild elephants as well. Lenana was paying the young dependent orphans a lot of attention. When they came out of the water they walked to the dust bathing area and played there for a bit as well, before walking back out to the bush to browse. They concentrated on finding food again and did not waste time with any games. When it was time they began the walk back to the stockades for their afternoon milk bottle and to spend the night.
23 September 2017
The orphans met the Ex Orphans when they came out of their stockades this morning. There were wild elephants here too. Kithaka led the dependent group out to the bush to browse. They very much concentrated on this task and later they met up with Wendi's group, Mutara's group and Olare's group who they browsed with before they headed to the mud bath for their milk.
It was so much fun to watch the wild bulls busy playing in the mud hole, as another group of them waited for the water bowser near the water trough. The truck arrived and they all started sharing the water with the orphans. Some of our orphans joined the wild bulls in the mud bath fun while Karisa was very busy scratching on a fallen tree. The group later walked back to the bush to browse.
Everyone continued browsing despite the hot and dry weather in the area .Mutara's group later joined the orphans as they browsed. Kithaka started play fighting with Mutara as he welcomed her into the group. They later walked as a group back home in the evening.
In the stockades today we first had a group of 17 wild bulls who came to drink water. Later on, Olare's group came in and joined them. After few minutes, Mutara's group also appeared and join the two groups. They all drank water and disappeared separately in their groups and in the order they arrived as well.
24 September 2017
The orphans walked straight to the lucerne field after their milk this morning and found two wild female elephants with their three babies drinking water from the water hole. The orphans continued feeding with Shukuru and Lemoyian separately scratching on a rock. The orphans later walked out to the bush to browse.
Boromoko and Sirimon were happily play fighting to one side while Lemoyian and Olsekki played on the other side. The rest busied themselves with finding enough food to eat. Later on, Roi and Kamok led the group to the mud bath for their milk.
At the mud bath, there was already a group of wild elephants waiting for water when the water truck arrived. They were very happy and moved aside to give way to the truck to fill the trough, and after moved back to drink some of the clean water. Some orphans went into the mud hole and started playing with the wild bulls who were already there. The wild bulls were playing and climbing on each other too; Boromoko decided to copy them and did the same to Naseku. Enkikwe was play fighting with Sirimon in the mud hole while the rest went straight to dust bath. Later on, the whole group walked back to the bush to browse again.
It is still so dry and the whole group was struggling to find fresh vegetation to eat before the day came to a close. They looked happy as they browsed together as a team. Kamok later led the group back home in the evening for their milk.
We had some wild bulls with Ex Orphans from Mutara's group in the stockade today, who sought refuge from the hot sun and hid in the shade. Half Trunk was among them. Narok's group also visited the stockade very late in the evening with Sities, Orwa, Bomani and Vuria. They all looked very healthy which was so nice to see considering the dry conditions.
25 September 2017
A family herd consisting of wild mum and her two calves joined the juniors for lucerne in the morning. Shortly later, Olare and her group with a wild orphan checked in. After the lucerne feeding session was over, the wild herd left while Olare’s group led the juniors out to the bush. It was a quiet morning as the herd concentrated only on browsing. Shukuru teamed up with Lemoyian as Enkikwe took a break from feeding to relax under a tree.
At mud bath time, only Olare’s group teamed up with some wild bulls to wallow in the mud bath. The orphans drank their milk and then some water before heading back out. They settled to browse along the western side of the Ithumba Hill up to four o'clock in the evening when Shukuru led the way to the mud bath for an evening cooling off before heading back to the stockades. Shortly before six o'clock in the evening, four groups of elephants reported for water at the stockade water troughs. One group led by Dad, another by Half Trunk, the third one by a wild female and the last one by Olare.
26 September 2017
It was a quiet morning when the orphans left the stockades and settled to eat their lucerne. Only Makireti and Kilabasi joined the juniors in the morning. Soon after the juniors were through with the lucerne, Lemoyian and Boromoko had a brief strength testing exercise before heading out to the bush. Sokotei played with Tusuja as Garzi played with Barsilinga. Shukuru, Naseku, Wanjala and Ukame briefly participated in a soil dusting exercise and after resumed browsing. At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Orok and ten wild bulls. After the orphans had enough of wallowing, Laragai led the way back to the browsing field. The orphans settled to browse around Imenti area up to four o'clock in the evening when Kamok led the way for an evening cooling off in the mud wallow.
27 September 2017
Kibo, Kitirua and Murka were standing outside the stockade when the orphans were let out. Tusuja left with a branch in his mouth that he continued to munch on as he waited for lucerne. Shortly later Olare, Kalama, Chemi Chemi, Melia, Tumaren, Naisula and wild orphan checked in and settled to share the lucerne with the juniors. Ten buffaloes emerged from south east side of the stockade and walked to the water trough where they settled for water. Kitirua spotted the buffaloes and headed towards them in a charging mood. The buffaloes stood their ground and refused to move even an inch. Kitirua had no option other than to calm down and join the buffaloes to drink water! Tusuja and Lemoyian started their day’s activities by engaging in a strength testing exercise where they all settled to browse. Karisa settled for a soil dusting exercise while Dupotto settled to browse with Kamok.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Olare’s group and thirty five wild elephants. Soon after wallowing, Boromoko engaged Lemoyian into a pushing game that ended when Murka intervened by pushing the two boys away. In the afternoon, the sun was hot making the orphans take a break from feeding and relax under a tree until the temperature dropped to a favourable level, and then they resumed browsing again. In the evening, the orphans passed by mud bath and were again joined by Olare’s group for an evening cool-off. Later, Olare and her group escorted the juniors back to the stockade for the evening, before they walked off into the Park again.
28 September 2017
Mutara and her group reported to the stockade compound early in the morning. When the gates were opened for the juniors to come out, Mutara and her group rushed in to find out if there was anything left over for them to feed on. They walked out a short while later and settled for lucerne. Sokotei and Olsekki left with branches in their mouths but Shukuru and Siangiki forced Olsekki into sharing his with them by pulling it from his mouth. Naseku spent some time scratching on the nearby rocks and shortly later, the orphans were joined by Makireti, Kilabasi, Kasigau, Madiba, Zurura, Orwa, Narok, Vuria, bomani and two wild bulls. Kainuk briefly played with Vuria before turning to Orwa. At the browsing field, Kithaka started a pushing game with Garzi, a game that prompted Sokotei to start one with Olsekki. Five wild dogs tried to access the water at the stockade compound but unfortunately were chased away by Mutara who was guarding the water hole. At eleven o'clock in the morning, the orphans attended mud bath and there after returned back to the browsing field. The orphans settled to browse along the lower Kalovoto seasonal river where Sokotei spent some time dusting himself with soil.
29 September 2017
Four wild elephants were drinking water at the stockade water troughs when the orphans were let out. Two of the wild elephants joined the juniors to eat some lucerne. Half an hour later, Yatta and her group showed up. Sirimon, Kamok and Ukame spent scratched on the nearby rocks before Shukuru rumbled, informing the group that it was time to go. The orphans settled to browse in the Kanziku area up to eleven o'clock in the morning when Kamok led the group to the mud bath. The orphans were again joined by Yatta’s group and twenty five wild bulls who had arrived at mud bath early before eleven o'clock in the morning. Garzi engaged Ololoo in strength testing exercise that went for quite some time while Wanjala settled for a soil dusting exercise.
In the afternoon, the orphans were joined briefly by Olare’s group. Melia settled to browse with Sirimon Kithaka, Olsekki and Ololoo while Oltaiyoni, Enkikwe and Lemoyian took a break from feeding to relax under a tree. When they felt they had enough rest, Lemoyian and Enkikwe engaged each other in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Shukuru settled to browse with Dupotto as Sirimon engaged Enkikwe to a strength testing exercise that saw Sirimon emerge as the winner. In evening, as everyone was getting ready to go back to the stockade, the keepers realized that Garzi and Barsilinga had dodged them. This was not their first time and they are increasingly showing signs of wanting to join the Ex Orphans, an indication that they are getting ready to leave the full time protection of their human family. The keepers left them knowing that they would definitely find their way back to stockade if they wanted to. An hour later, Garzi and Barsilinga reported back safely for yet another night in the stockades.
30 September 2017
The orphans settled for lucerne soon after leaving the stockade. It was a quiet morning without any wild elephants or Ex Orphans joining the orphans to feast on lucerne. Karisa was feeding close to Barsilinga and received a rude shock when Barsilinga just knocked him down out of the blue and for no apparent reason. This annoyed Karisa and since there was nothing he could do, he just got up and left.
Out in the bush Galla took a break from feeding to scratch against a tree while Kithaka settled for a pushing game with Garzi. Lemoyian had a lone game of rolling on the ground as Tusuja played with Boromoko. At around ten o'clock in the morning the juniors were joined by Narok’s group which consists of herself, Orwa, Bomani and Vuria. Later, Sokotei and Siangiki used the same tree to scratch their ears while Lemoyian, who loves pushing games, engaged Enkikwe to a strength testing exercise.
At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Olare’s group and fifteen wild elephants. Garzi briefly engaged Chemi Chemi in a pushing game, a game that he lost miserably to. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse on the western side of Ithumba Hill up to four o'clock in evening, when Laragai led the way for an evening cool-off in the mud bath. After they were done, the orphan’s soil dusted and then Ukame led the way back to the stockade.