Keepers' Diaries, September 2018

Nairobi Nursery Unit

Watching the orphan elephant interactions amongst themselves, and also between other animals, is always entertaining. Elephants like to stick to themselves but when young they are extremely playful and cheeky as well. They have a great love of the mud bath but don’t like to share it with anyone else, especially the warthogs, and they do love to wake Maxwell the rhino up in the morning encouraging him to play with them, or chase some impala antelope babies around just for fun of it. Kiasa was perfectly happy to wake Maxwell up one morning to play with her, charging up and down on either side of his stockade. The sudden appearance of buffaloes while all the elephants were out browsing together in the forest immediately evoked the protective matriarchal qualities of the older females, so Ndiwa, Sagala, Sana Sana, Malkia and Tagwa charged and trumpeted around the bushes in an effort to chase them away. The Warthogs they can’t resist chasing whenever they encounter them and as a result they can never share in the elephants’ fun. The same can be said for Kiko the giraffe, who often finds himself charged by Malkia, and sometime even by the youngest in the group like Musiara.

01 September 2018

Sana Sana has started showing more motherly instincts and a lot more love, care and protection towards the other little orphans. It seems that she has realised she is one of the oldest and biggest in the Nursery now, along with Tagwa, Malkia, Ndiwa and Sagala and feels she needs to be a role model for the others. Having seen Tagwa and her caring and protective nature for the other little ones perhaps she thinks she needs to do the same, although she could never fully be like Tagwa who has had a maternal instinct since she was young. Today when the orphans were walking out to the forest Sana Sana saw little Luggard and Musiara far behind the group. She mindfully walked back to pick them up and escort them up to where the others were. She tried to check on them using her trunk to pat them over which made little Musiara rumble. This brought caring Tagwa back from the front of the group to see why Musiara was rumbling, but when she arrived she just found Sana Sana checking on both of them and together they all walked out to the forest, making sure to wait for Luggard as they walked out.

02 September 2018

Little Maktao is a small chap who isn’t shy to test his odds against the older male elephants at the moment. He certainly believes in himself despite his tender age. Out in the forest this morning he was spotted testing his strength against Emoli. Their game continued as whenever Emoli tried to walk away, Maktao would follow him and try and climb on his back, prompting Emoli to turn and start their game all over again! Caring Tagwa walked over at one stage to inspect their game and make sure that Emoli wasn’t bullying Maktao and that everything was fair. She tenderly patted Maktao with her trunk as Maktao played his pushing game and even at one stage tried to come in between them, but Maktao rejected her offer of help and carried on with his pushing game with Emoli. Tagwa decided to browse just next to where they were playing, just to keep an eye on the game as Emoli can be known to be a bit pushy these days.

03 September 2018

During the public visiting time today when the orphans have their noon milk feed, the first group had finished their bottles and most of them were trying to decide what to do next. Kiasa and Musiara however were having a tug-of-war over a tasty branch they had both found and both wanted possession of. When one of them won the branch the other would chase after them, head-butting and trying to grab the other end again, and so the fight over the branch continued. Finally Musiara grabbed the branch and when Kiasa chased him he turned and threatened her by holding his ears out high and wide. Kiasa did the same but when Musiara turned back around and walked off close to the rope cordon to enjoy his branch, Kiasa walked up slowly behind him and before Musiara knew Kiasa had taken his tail in her mouth and bitten down hard! Musiara ran off yelling and Kiasa walked off triumphantly with her prize. Sometimes the elephants are so funny, and the lengths they will go to get one back on each other!

04 September 2018

As most of the orphans settled down to browse in the forest in the early morning, a few of the orphans like Enkesha, Kiasa, Tamiyoi, Malima, Emoli, Sattao, Maisha and Musiara were spotted scampering around in the thicket and charging. They were in a very excitable mood as they had been trying to play with a small group of impalas. When Malima, Tamiyoi, Emoli and Enkesha tried to play with them, they all just sprinted off kicking their heels in the air, leaving the orphans in the empty bushes, which is when they started charging and bashing around in protest at losing their new playmates. Their hyper activities which grew in tempo and ended up with them trumpeting in excitement scared poor Maktao who was browsing close by, and he ran towards where the Keepers were standing. As soon as he had settled next to the Keepers, who he loves so much, Tagwa and Sana Sana also arrived as they had heard his rumbles. When the others had calmed down, Tagwa and Sana Sana escorted him back to the rest of the herd.

05 September 2018

Malima has been a very naughty little elephant recently, especially after the other older orphans moved to Tsavo in May and June. More recently she has calmed down a bit however and is starting to improve. She is not as much of a bully to her friends, or cheeky towards the Keepers. Over the past few days she has drunk her milk bottle at the noon feeding time in a much more composed manner and is not as rough. We attribute this recent character change to the fact that she was recently moved to the older group for feeding times, and the older orphans make sure she is kept in line! It seems Malima has been reformed for the time being. Ndiwa and Sagala are two other girls who can misbehave, but only sometimes. Usually they have this quiet demeanour which can lead some to believe they are shy and polite, but they can be naughty sometimes and it seems to depend on what mood they are in as to whether they show this off or not.

06 September 2018

During feeding times and especially during the public feeding hour, it is Kuishi and Malkia who are becoming the little greedy figures. They are quickly drinking their milk bottles and causing chaos by demanding extra bottles. Malkia does not take the Keepers preventative measures lightly and gets very stroppy. She has taken to charging towards the wheelbarrow holding the milk bottles sometimes and trying to push it over. The Keepers try their best to deter her but sometimes they just need to let her get close to the wheelbarrow. Most of the time they manage to keep her away until everyone has had their bottles. When she sees the wheelbarrow being taken away, she has taken to running after it recently and sucking up the leftover milk spilling out with her trunk. When she sees the wheelbarrow disappear from the mud bath area she rumbles in annoyance at being denied access to more milk… and unfortunately Kuishi has started to copy some of these bad character traits too!

07 September 2018

When the orphans settled out in the forest first thing in the morning, they all looked very relaxed and happy. They were all very busy and content browsing and none of them showed any interest in playing games as they sometimes do first thing. The peace was broken however when two buffaloes came charging through the herd, scared out of the thicket by something. Their sudden appearance scared the orphans and the older ones like Ndiwa, Sagala, Sana Sana, Malkia and Tagwa trumpeted and charged around the bushes, charging and bashing the bushes down in the direction the buffaloes had disappeared. The elder orphans felt very confident in themselves and kept charging after the buffaloes and trumpeting, feeling reinforced by each other’s company, and kept chasing them until they drove the buffaloes far away from the group. As this group of older orphans were chasing after the buffaloes, the others stayed huddled close to their Keepers, until they returned and communicated that it was safe and they could go back to browsing in the bushes.

08 September 2018

After a long spell of cold weather which prevented mud baths for the young elephant orphans, we are now welcoming much warmer weather. Today during the public visiting hour the temperature was soaring, which meant the first group of orphans quickly drank their milk bottles and rushed into the newly formed mud bath. Kiasa, Emoli and Maktao, who are used to having their milk bottles and then going to hang out close to the wheelbarrow to beg for more, today ran straight into the mud pool and got busy rolling around, covering their bodies in the cool mud. When the second group of orphans came down for their milk feed, some like Sana Sana, Sagala, Mapia and Tagwa had their first bottle and ran into the mud to cool down first, before coming back for their second one. Only greedy Malkia, Jotto and Malima stayed for all of their milk bottles before going for a mud bath.

09 September 2018

Early in the morning when the stockade gates were opened for the orphans to come out and begin their new day, it was funny to see how quickly some of them ran out of their rooms. Ambo, Tamiyoi, Kuishi, Sagala, Ndiwa, Malima, Sattao, Emoli and Mapia all rushed out, and it was not to go out into the forest to browse but all of these babies all woke up with one thing on their mind: whether or not Maxwell had any leftover Lucerne pellets they might be able to eat! They all rushed to Maxwell’s gate where the pellets are placed for him to eat. It has become a first stop for these greedy orphans, before Max can even wake up and make his way to his Lucerne pile. Today it was very chaotic as greedy ones like Sagala, Ndiwa and Malkia were bullying the other little ones because they are not as strong and don’t have tusks like them to fend them off. Even the warthogs who were also there to try and steal some pellets were given a rough time by Malkia and Sagala. Tagwa and Sana Sana tried to make space for the little ones to join the, but Malkia and Ndiwa threatened to push Tagwa and Sana Sana away. This forced the others to all move out towards the forest in the end, leaving the older, greedy ones behind to enjoy the pellets alone.

10 September 2018

Ambo and Emoli are two little boys who don’t tend to extend an olive branch to their friends when it comes to sharing greens either out in the forest, or in their stockades either. Today out in the forest, Tagwa broke down a branch of greens to feed on and since all the little ones tend to follow her, a group of youngsters including Sattao, Maisha, Kiasa, Emoli, Musiara, Ambo and Maktao all came over to enjoy the branch as well. There was a lot of shoving and pushing as they all tried to get their share. Tagwa, seeing the little ones fight over the branch, decided to leave, which then escalated the fighting between Ambo and Emoli. Their fighting made the others leave as well, and in the end it was just the two boys left fighting over one branch that was the only remaining one with any leaves; a tug of war over the branch soon ensued as they tried to snatch the branch from each other and in the end it broke in half, and each naughty boy ran off with their own half to enjoy in peace.

11 September 2018

In the morning when the orphans came out of their stockades, Kiasa didn’t want to leave the compound until she had had some fun with Maxwell. When coming out of her stable, she met with Maktao who was scratching on the side of her stable door. She shoved him and then ran away as Maktao charged after her for pushing him. Maktao gave up the chase when he came across his play mate Emoli and the two engaged in in a wrestling game. Kiasa was evidently in a very playful mood and she went ahead to push on Maxwell’s gate to wake him up. At first Maxwell didn’t seem interested but as Kiasa persisted he rose up and got into the game. Kiasa charged from the other side, pushing and pulling on the gate as Maxwell did the same from the other side. This put Maxwell in a playful mood and he went on to engage the warthogs in a game of chase as well. Kiasa was eventually driven away from Maxwell’s gate by Malkia when she arrived at the gate to look for some of Maxwell’s Lucerne pellets. She wasn’t there long as soon all of the orphans were directed out of the compound towards the forest to begin their morning of browsing.

12 September 2018

The love and affection our elephant babies feel for one another is so strong sometimes, regardless of their natural character too. Emoli is known these days to be a bit of a rough boy and rather pushy, but last evening when he came home he found the new arrival who is still very weak, with his head resting on the bars of the partition between their rooms. The new arrival was so weak he was almost afraid to lie down to rest, conscious of the fact he may not be able to get up again. Emoli seemed to realise the situation of the new little elephant, and throughout the whole night, from the moment he came back to his stockade, he kept checking on the poor new boy. He would come and rest his head across the partition bars next to the new calf’s, up until morning when he left to go out to the forest. During the public visiting time today, it seems Musiara was the star of the mud bath. Others in the first group of babies were not very sure about getting into the mud path as the weather was being unpredictable, but Musiara simply had to have a bath. After wallowing for some time, Musiara then stood in the middle of the mud pool and started splashing the mud on those surrounding the pool watching him. Eventually, apart from Sattao and Enkesha who walked away from the mud bath to dry themselves on the loose piles of soil, Tamiyoi, Maktao, Emoli, Maisha and Kiasa all joined him in the mud and started enjoying their wallowing games. There was a football there they enjoyed kicking around, and sliding over one another.

13 September 2018

The two orphans that will never run into their rooms without first passing Maxwell’s stockade in the evening are Ndiwa and Tamiyoi. They will usually first stop by Maxwell’s to grab some Lucerne pellets before proceeding to their rooms. As these two were busy collecting up some pellets yesterday afternoon, Malkia came charging up behind Ndiwa driving her towards her room. Tamiyoi ran away as Ndiwa yelled out causing lots of drama. Sagala was moved to a different room a few days ago to create space for the new baby, who we have called Dololo, and she still has to get used to her new room. She was very confused and ran around yelling. Sagala is a naturally shy and nervous elephant and it took the Keepers some time to calm her down as well. Eventually she, Ndiwa and Tamiyoi went into their stables and they all settled down. Maisha is becoming more like Malima during the public visiting time. Today a group of young orphans were playing in the mud bath when Maisha climbed out and started kicking a muddy football around. She started kicking it toward the visitors and charging around and their shouting encouraged her even more. Her trumpeting encouraged all the others to start running around as well and Emoli became very excitable, even charging towards the Keepers as they tried to calm everyone down.

14 September 2018

Today seems to be one of those days where Kiasa is in a bad mood. Before they walked out to the forest this morning, the orphans spent some time around the stockades. Some were playing and others were walking to wake their friends up who were still in their rooms sleeping. Only when all of the orphans come out of their rooms do they start to make their way out to the forest. Most of the Nursery family were convening beside Maxwell’s gate and enjoying his lucerne pellets as he still slept. When Kiasa joined them though she just started being a bully, head-butting everyone she came across. At one stage she engaged little polite boy Musiara but he took and her and pushed her up against Maxwell’s stockade posts. Sana Sana and Ndiwa ran over to save her from the revengeful boy. A few minutes later and Maktao was her next victim but there was no one coming to save her this time and instead she was disciplined by Malkia who slapped her with her trunk and drove her away. After that the herd decided to walk out into the forest. Kiasa later found Musiara at the mud bath are and decided to try and get her own back. She walked over to push Musiara but Enkesha stepped in to separate the two to prevent any fights breaking out.

15 September 2018

Sana Sana seemed to be very thirsty today and in a hurry to have her noon milk bottle. She is normally such a well-behaved baby and hardly ever does something naughty, so her actions today took us all by surprise. She watched the first group go down for their milk bottles and half way during their time down at the mud bath, Sana Sana came charging down, running in whilst Tamiyoi and the others were all in the mud bath. As they heard her and saw her come running in, they all got out and started charging in different directions. Some unlucky warthogs were caught up in the palaver as they met with Sana Sana as she came running down. She chased them away and they ran directly into Enkesha and Maisha who also charged at them and they went running into the visitors who were lined up to watch the elephants. Sana Sana meanwhile went directly to the wheelbarrow and helped herself to her milk bottle. Sattao stood beneath her and collected everything she spilt as she gulped down her bottle. When she finished her milk she started running all over the place, wanting to go back to her group in the forest, but she had to stay and wait with Tamiyoi’s group. When she went back to the forest she started running again, looking everywhere for her older group, and she remained restless until she was reunited with them after they were finished at the mud bath area too.

16 September 2018

Malima was in a very good mood this morning when she arrived out in the forest. All the others were busy browsing and she was in a very playful mood. She was trumpeting and running all over the place. Those that usually play with her like Ambo and Jotto were not interested in playing this morning. Instead it was the new little boy Merru, who is still not yet very stable on his feet, who took an interest. For the first time Merru was seen running behind Malima, trying to copy what she was doing. This was a very good sign for Merru and shows how much he is improving. After playing with Malima briefly Merru settled down with Sattao, Malkia and Jotto. Jotto later invited Luggard to a pushing game. The game did not last long though as Sana Sana came over and interrupted to take on Jotto herself. Sana Sana ended up playing for such a long time, right up until the next milk feed, whilst Luggard went and settled to browse with Sattao. Ndiwa was being a bit of a bully today towards the younger boys in the herd, and kept charging after the likes of Ambo and Jotto and poking them with her little tusks until the Keepers told her not to.

17 September 2018

The weather has been pretty hot for the orphans these past few days. This means that every time they come across a stream or have their milk feed by the mud bath, they will be sure to have a swim to cool themselves. Some of the orphans do not go straight into the water, but wait for others to go in first. Musiara is one who never hesitates and once he has made the decision to go swimming he will jump straight into the water. Today when the first group arrived at the mud bath for their noon milk feed, Tamiyoi walked straight over to the mud pool after her milk bottles. She tested the water but found it to be too cold and walked away. She was followed by Maisha, Enkesha, Sattao and Emoli who all walked away after testing the water temperature as well. As this was going on Kiasa and Musiara were feeding on the branches and Kiasa started fighting Musiara for a branch that he was chewing on. Emoli ran over to separate the two, at which point Musiara marched straight into the mud pool and starting playing. He was later joined by the others, with only Tamiyoi and Sattao deciding not to go in. Little Dololo came out of his stockade today to spent time in the forest near the compound with Luggard and Merru. He did very well and enjoyed his day out.

18 September 2018

This morning as the orphans were walking out to the forest, we watched as Ndiwa managed to lead some of the little ones away like Kiasa, Emoli, Musiara and Maisha. We watched as this funny older girl leading these little ones off in a direction opposite to the others. Ndiwa is one of the milk lovers and it was interesting to watch her lead this little group to browse close to the bottle feeding area so that they might be some of the first ones to receive their milk. Ndiwa is a good leader but she is not a perfect matriarch like Tagwa who always makes sure she can see everyone. When Ndiwa took off with some of the little ones, Tagwa actually tried to steer the rest of the group to follow up behind and join them. She wanted to make sure all the little ones were safe. Tagwa’s little favourite baby at the moment seems to be Sattao and they are quite attached for the time being. In the morning Sattao goes mad looking around everywhere for Tagwa and as soon as he finds her he settles down and wears what the Keepers call a ‘happy face’ as they walk out together to browse.

19 September 2018

At 8am this morning the elephant orphans were very joyful and happy. It all started when Jotto started a pushing game with Sana Sana, and their game escalated into them running around in the bushes, trumpeting and stamping their feet with excitement. This caught the attention of Tagwa, Malkia, Sagala, Ndiwa, Malima and Tamiyoi who joined them in charging around and bashing into bushes. In the end all the orphans joined in and everyone was charging around, including little Luggard who didn’t want to be left out and was also charging. Their excitement finally came to an end when it was time for their 9am milk feed, although it was still a challenge for the Keepers to get them to settle down as they continued running around! They needed to only let a few of the orphans go for their milk bottles at a time, so the Keepers waiting could easily feed them all, and the older girls like Tagwa, Sana Sana, Ndiwa, Sagala and Malkia were in such an excitable mood they kept trying to push past the Keepers and go for their bottles. When the Keepers didn’t let them pass they went charging back, and in the end Ndiwa, Sagala, Sana Sana plus Kiasa, Maisha and Emoli all managed to sneak pass and break through by going back around through the bushes, and escaping past the Keepers. They were very naughty and excitable this morning!

20 September 2018

Today when little Merru joined the other orphans out in the forest it was so lovely to see little cheeky Kiasa being so affectionate towards him, and welcoming him into the group with a trunk hug whilst also being quite protective. She kept pushing away little Maktao and Musiara who were also trying to greet little Merru. This little girl who is always quite rough was very gentle and patient with the new little elephant to join the herd, following him everywhere and escorting him to meet the others. Malima has been showing off such a funny character trait recently, when it is time for bottle feeding. Just as she is coming for her bottle she goes down on her front knees until her head almost touches the ground. It is almost as if she is begging for the Keepers to bring her her milk faster, or perhaps an extra bottle! But she must know that the Keepers will not give her any extra, no matter what peculiar or funny moves she makes.

21 September 2018

Lovely Maxwell woke up in a very happy mood today. He was seen scampering about his stockade and running from one end to the other and his excitement rubbed off on the elephant orphans as they came out of their rooms in the early morning. They started trumpeting and ran about, eager to get out to the forest and begin browsing. Arriving in the forest, Sana Sana, Ndiwa, Sagala, Malkia, Jotto and Mapia ran around as they carried on Maxwell’s excitable mood. They ran about kicking at roots and knocking into bushes for some time before settling down. During the public visiting time this morning, all the orphans in the first group to have their milk decided to enjoy the mud bath. Tiny Musiara was trying to climb on Sattao as he rolled around in the muddy water. It was funny to watch Musiara who decided not to fully submerge himself in the mud, but preferred to go from one elephant to the next depending on who was rolling down in the mud, and trying to climb on them. He was behaving just like a typical boy!

22 September 2018

As the orphans settled out to browse in the forest this morning, they all looked calmed and relaxed and focussed on browsing. This mood carried on through the noon milk feeding time when they remained very relaxed as the weather was cloudy and none of them felt like enjoying the mud bath. Instead they chose to browse on the tasty green branches provided for them by the Keepers. It seemed to be just a calm day for the elephants today, and none of them seemed interested in playing! Little baby Merru is really improving and his habit of walking and turning to the left has really reduced; a very positive sign considering we were worried he had a head injury from his traumatic separation with his family. Now he is walking quite far without turning around like he used to do, which is wonderful.

23 September 2018

Recently, after the public visiting hour, all the orphans have had the opportunity to spend some time with the new arrivals Merru and Dololo and Luggard too, before walking off deep into the forest and leaving these three to browse together closer to the compound. During this period of time today, when Tamiyoi’s younger group arrived, Dololo was sleeping. This is because sometimes he doesn’t sleep well at night, and this makes him tired so he is allowed to take naps during the day if he wants. Because Dololo was sleeping Tamiyoi’s group just decided to carry on browsing, and give him the space to rest. This wasn’t quite the case when the older orphans arrived! Ndiwa, Sana Sana, Sagala, Malkia and Tagwa all went in search of the three babies to find out what they were doing. Eventually Tagwa, Ndiwa and Sagala moved on to browse with Tamiyoi’s group but Malkia and Sana Sana stayed behind. Malkia went over to where Dololo was napping and tried to wake him up by gently tapping him with her foot. This annoyed Sana Sana however and she tried to push Malkia away but she wouldn’t listen. Eventually she charged at her to push her away from the sleeping Dololo, and when Malkia left she lay down next to Dololo and rested her trunk on him, gently patting him while he slept.

24 September 2018

Yesterday evening the Keepers were battling with Emoli and trying to get him to move to a grown up stockade. It was time for him to move really and they were also trying to make space for a new baby. Emoli didn’t want to be moved from his stable however. He gave the Keepers more hassle than his friend Maisha has ever done; she has always changed rooms easily and with understanding. In the middle of the night the new little calf we rescued from near Ithumba, along the Tiva River, became very unsettled and was trying to join Dololo next door and climb over the partition. Sattao’s peaceful night was cut short as it was thought he and the new little calf should swap rooms. Later in the day and after all the drama of the night, the orphans had quite a fun afternoon as they decided to enjoy a lengthy mud bath. Sattao, who does not normally enjoy such mud baths, was actually the star swimmer today. Musiara is such a soft and gentle little boy but perhaps because of his size and character he always keeps falling into fights with Kiasa, and Maktao as well sometimes. His arguments with Kiasa are understandable, because she is a naughty little girl, but we are not sure why his fights arise with Maktao. Like many occasions before, today Tamiyoi and Enkesha had to step in to save Musiara from a fight.

25 September 2018

Since the arrival of little Merru and Dololo, Musiara has been spending more time away from his long-term friend Luggard. This is because Luggard keeps the new little ones company in the forest during the day, while they still cannot walk as far as the others. When the two friends and neighbours wake up in the morning, they want to spend as much time as possible together, and spend it well before they have to part ways in the forest. This morning they walked side by side as they walked out of the compound and into the bush. Arriving out they spent some time engaged in a friendly wrestling game. Jotto and Ambo tried to interrupt their game as they also wanted to play. Musiara went to join Tagwa and Malkia who were feeding nearby, and Luggard just walked away. Ambo and Jotto were just left there and decided to start a game of their own, until Jotto, who also likes playing with Luggard, left Ambo to follow after Luggard. It was close to the milk feeding time, so Luggard wasn’t interested in playing with Jotto and just carried on walking towards where he knows the milk feed takes place. Sometimes Maisha can be a bit of a bully, but only when she is in a really bad mood and only really towards Sattao and Musiara. Today Sattao was drinking some water from the trough and for no reason at all she went over and head-butted him. She didn’t even want any water, and Sattao cried out for help so Enkesha came over to assist him and Maisha ran away. She just seemed to be in a bad mood today with the two little boys!

26 September 2018

Merru is still doing really well and this morning he had some lovely company in Sattao, Luggard, Maktao and Emoli decided to keep their new little brother company as the rest of the herd decided to walk deeper into the forest. A short while later Maktao noticed the older girls were not around, and as he is used to accompanying them, he started running everywhere looking for them. They had already moved off far into the forest, but he raised his trunk trying to get their smell and find out which way they had gone. Merru, Sattao and Emoli were following behind him. As Maktao continued his search and Emoli and Sattao followed Merru making sure he was okay, they came across some impalas who were still resting. They got up in fright and started running in different directions, but Emoli and Sattao chased them away and would not let them anywhere near little Merru. Maktao eventually led them all to where the rest of the herd were, and they were welcomed by Sana Sana and Tagwa. After the 9am milk feed, the new little calf who we have called Mukoka, was taken out to join the rest of the herd, his new family, out in the forest. A small group of orphans were brought back to the stockades to take him out, but Ndiwa was not happy to see him in her room and went to push him down, but Tagwa intervened and helped Mukoka out. When he came out of his room Tamiyoi, Malkia, Maisha, Musiara, Sana Sana, Jotto and Malima surrounded him and comforted and reassure d him, before leading him out with them to the forest.

27 September 2018

Luggard is forming his very own little herd, as he enjoys spending most of the day with the little ones Dololo, Merru and Mukoka. Merru seems to look up to Dololo but Dololo is not very nice back. Luggard is gentle and loving towards all of them. Mukoka is settling in so well and enjoying his new surroundings and friends. It’s only at the start of the day in the early morning hours that these four are away from the rest of the herd; after the 9am milk feed Merru and Mukoka join the main herd whilst Luggard stays back to keep Dololo company as he is still quite weak and walks slower than the others. Later on Luggard joined the main herd as well and Dololo stayed back with his Keeper. Mukoka behaved very well with the older herd and followed the big girls everywhere. It was still too soon for him to attend the public visit today however, so during that one hour he and Luggard walked back to where Dololo was. When Kiko joined the elephants out in the forest today, there were wild giraffe’s browsing close to the elephants. When they saw Kiko walking towards the elephants, they tried to approach him, but he kept walking away from them and keeping close to his elephant family. Now Sagala, Kuishi and Maisha have got used to their new rooms which they return to in the evening. Emoli however is still causing trouble for the Keepers to go into his new room at night. Today he fought so hard in the evening to go into his old room, but it has now been taken by Mukoka so he has to get used to his new room eventually!

28 September 2018

When the elephants walked out to the forest this morning, Enkesha and Maktao were left behind in the stockade compound. Maktao was behind Maxwell’s stockade near the lucerne store, stretching his trunk through the bars and stealing lucerne pellets. Luckily he realized his friends had left and ran to catch up with them. Enkesha however was just caught up playing with the warthogs and hiding from the Keepers. She was behind the stockades when she realized she had been left all alone and then she started yelling, running all over the place and calling the others. Tagwa heard her and the big Mamma came running back to the stockades to collect her. Enkesha was full of joy and celebrated when Tagwa approached her. With lots of trunk hugs Tagwa escorted her out to the forest. It’s not that common to find Ndiwa engaged in playing games with her age mates. This morning she seems to have been in one of her best moods however as she engaged Malkia in a pushing game. Malkia at one stage attempted to take a break from the game to browse for a bit, but Ndiwa raised her ears up and charged around her in circles so that Malkia had to abandon any hope of browsing to continue Ndiwa’s ‘sizing up’ game.

29 September 2018

The orphans are very good at telling the time – they know when it is time to go back home for bed, milk feeding time or time to go out to the forest. They are very used to their routine! This morning however, for one reason or another, there was some delay for them to come out of their rooms. Emoli is a very outgoing young bull and when he was absolutely sure it was well past their time to leave for the forest he started yelling and shouting, complaining about the delay. As soon as some of the others started coming out of their rooms, he started celebrating and trumpeting, running towards the forest in glee. Mapia and Sagala joined him in his celebration and ran trumpeting after him. Tagwa didn’t want to accompany the others before seeing Dololo, Merru and Mukoka. She went around head butting doors and banging the milk buckets to their rooms – we are not sure if she was just playing or expressing how she felt. Whenever she was encouraged in the direction of the forest, she just kept coming back and doing the same thing. It was not until the three babies were let out that she escorted them out to the forest to join the others. Jotto gets on with everyone in the family, but we do not often find him engaged in games with Kuishi. Today we watched on as these two were engaged in a friendly wrestling game for a very long time. Kuishi takes the games very seriously and is very tough, especially towards the boys, and she does not like to give in easily!

30 September 2018

Tamiyoi is a very clever girl and we all know that! She knows that the new arrivals get extra vegetation and nourishment to help them get back to health and good condition. When the others are coming out of their rooms in the morning and gather outside the stockades to wait for one another, Tamiyoi never goes straight out to the forest. She will always move towards Merru, Mukoka and then Dololo’s stables to feed on their leftovers! The Keepers try to keep an eye on her but she always makes sure to hide and get access to at least some of these rooms to find those tasty treats. Maisha and Musiara are very sweet and are trying to make friends with little Merru. Musiara always tries to avoid Maisha at the same time though, because she sometimes likes to bully him. Today for a long period of time however, these two accompanied the little boy. Jotto later took over from them and he walked over and started hugging the little boy. Jotto is so kind to the little ones; when Merru started to follow him he began breaking branches and dropping them on the ground as the leaves were too high for little Merru to reach. He was being such a kind older friend to the little bull.