Keepers' Diaries, September 2018
Voi Reintegration Unit
This month was cloudy and dry throughout the southern area near the Voi Reintegration Unit, as is typical of this time of year. Because of this our ex-orphan elephants choose to venture further afield within the greater Tsavo Conservation Area so unsurprisingly we did not see them throughout the whole of September. With the short rains due towards the end of November, we are sure they will be back visiting the stockades to greet their human family, and check in on their dependent orphan friends as soon as the rains break and the waterholes fill. With the dryer conditions even the dependent orphans have to walk further each day from the stockades, and up onto the higher slopes of Msinga Hill where other animals don’t reach. The orphans stretching their trunks up to the highest branches was not an uncommon sight, and Panda surprised Ndii and Ishaq-B one day by even standing up on her hind legs to reach up as high as she could. Every morning the orphans ate their fill of the delicious and nutritious supplements provided for them by the Keepers, including copra cake and Lucerne pellets, which set them up nicely to begin their days. As a result they all remain in immaculate condition!
01 September 2018
The orphan elephants came out of their stockades and headed straight for their milk bottles. Ngilai was a little greedy and went around demanding his friend’s ones too, but ran away when he got to Ndoria, who was not happy about his intentions and was ready to fight him. The orphans then assembled in a line to feed on Lucerne grass a pellet, taking up trunkful’s of the pellets and stuffing them into their mouths. Before leaving the stockades for the day Tahri enjoyed a soil dusting game while Godoma and Nelion had a scratching session against the various outcropping rocks around the stockade compound. Bada felt that the stockade activities were taking too long and headed towards the browsing grounds. He was quickly followed by the rest of the orphan herd who did not want to fall behind. At noon the orphans visited the baobab water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games. In the evening a wild herd visited the stockade water trough for a drink. Mbegu, Godoma and Murit rumbled greetings to them from inside their stockade.
02 September 2018
The morning was wonderful with the orphan elephants busy feeding on Lucerne grass pellets before engaging in socializing games around the stockade compound. Tahri, Mudanda and Rorogoi enjoyed scratching against rocks while Ngilai played on the red earth piles with Mashariki, Kihari and Ishaq-B. Panda had a disagreement with Nguvu over a scratching position against a tree. Naipoki came in to help Panda tackle Nguvu, who left to avoid a confrontation with the two of them. Mbegu and Ndii stood together watching the goings on until it was time to head to the browsing fields.
On the way out Ndotto stopped at the foot of Msinga Hill, and had a funny wrestling match with a big rock that was he could not move. When it was time head to the baobab tree water hole Ndotto engaged Murit in a brief strength testing game. The orphan herd had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games following their milk feed. The rest of the days browsing activities took place close to the waterhole.
03 September 2018
Following a restful night in their stockades the orphans began the day by with their milk and supplement feeding. Mudanda mischievously went to engage Nguvu in a play fight but was unsuccessful as Nguvu did not want to play, and ran off. Nelion and Tundani took each other head on in a tough head-butting game that raised a huge cloud of dust in the air. Lasayen and Godoma, thinking that they were in a real fight, ran away from the two and stood at a distance, watching them.
The orphan elephants made their way to the bush under the stewardship of Lentili who was followed closely by Bada, Ndoria and Mashariki with Suswa and Tundani bringing up the rear. The orphans browsed in single file, with Kenia taking charge of the days browsing movements.
At mid-day the orphan herd visited the baobab tree water hole where they enjoyed the mud bath before resuming with their browsing activities. Mbegu and Godoma led them back to the safety of the
04 September 2018
It was another beautiful beginning to the day as the stockade dependent orphan elephants rushed out of their stockades, grabbed their milk bottles and downed the contents quickly before proceeding to the supplement feeding area. Kenia and Ndii kept a close watch on their adopted babies Araba and Tahri throughout the feeding time.
Lentili and Mbegu joined forces to lead the orphans out to the browsing fields. They settled to browse on the northern side of Msinga Hill until it was time to visit the baobab tree water hole. It was an extremely hot day and the orphan elephants couldn’t wait to get into the water, plunging straight in as soon as they had finished their milk feed.
Mbegu shone at the mud bath as she rolled around in the water. Ndotto went and lay on Mbegu, disrupting her fun, while Ndoria sat on the walls of the water trough and scratched her bottom. Mashariki enjoyed rolling around in the nearby grass. When the fun and games were over the orphans made their way to the eastern foot of Msinga Hill for the afternoon browsing session.
05 September 2018
The orphans gulped down their delicious milk bottle before settling to feed on copra cake and Lucerne grass pellets. Panda enjoyed a scratching session against a rock close to the stockade waterhole. Tahri saw the fun Panda was having and went to join her. Panda was happy to allow Tahri to scratch with her but made sure to stand in such a way so as to prevent any of the other orphans from doing so.
The orphans left the stockade compound for the browsing grounds under Mashariki and Rorogoi’s leadership. After browsing for more than four hours, Lentili went and lay in a shallow erosion trench where she enjoyed rolling around in the soil. Mudanda and Embu went and stood by the trench watching Lentili’s game.
The orphan elephants thoroughly enjoyed their mud bathing games after which Mbegu, Murit, Lasayen and Ngilai surrounded Ndotto, who was dust bathing, to prevent Bada and Embu from coming and disrupting his fun.
06 September 2018
The morning was cloudy and cold as the stockade dependent orphan elephants concentrated on their milk and supplement feeding before commencing with their usual socializing games.
Some of the orphans enjoyed a dust bathing session on the red earth piles while Kenia and Godoma enjoyed scratching against a rock. Murit came up behind Godoma, pushing her away from Kenia so that he could take over the scratching post. Godoma moved to a different rock but found Nelion sitting there taking up the entire space. Lasayen was also stood there waiting for Nelion to finish so that he could take a turn. Lasayen and Godoma got tired of waiting for Nelion to finish and went and sat down, squeezing themselves next to Nelion who moved over as much as he could to accommodate them.
The orphan elephants enjoyed a peaceful browsing session on the northern side of the stockade before visiting the water hole to drink milk and water before continuing with their browsing activities close to the baobab tree water hole.
07 September 2018
The orphans welcomed another day by running out of their stockades, downing their morning milk bottle in a matter of seconds before proceeding to the supplement feeding area for Lucerne grass pellets.
The weather was fairly cold as Mbegu and Ngilai took the lead towards the browsing grounds.
Mudanda and Lentili followed the two closely making sure not to overtake them. On arriving at the foot of Msinga Hill, most of the orphan elephants moved uphill to browse while Ngilai and Godoma chose to stay at the base.
In the afternoon the orphans came down to join Godoma and Ngilai as it was time for their noon milk feed. They made their way to the baobab tree water hole where they had their milk and a drink of water. None of them entered the mud bath as it was too cold.
08 September 2018
The day started well with the milk and the supplement feeding taking place first before the orphans moved onto games of hide and seek coupled with some amazing dusting games before Embu and Mashariki took the lead of the group to the browsing grounds.
The stockade dependent orphan elephants browsed in single file on the eastern and northern sides of Msinga Hill before slowly making their way to the baobab tree water hole at noon. They had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games with Kihari, Mudanda and Ndii performing the best as they rolled around in the water like mudfish.
The orphans then browsed towards the Mzima-Mombasa water pipe line before making their way to the northern side of Msinga Hill for the last few hours of the day. Nelion pushed Mbegu very hard to get her away from a tree that she was scratching against. Ndotto, Murit and Lasayen charged up and nearly launched an attack on Nelion, but his long grown tusk was a deterrent and they backed away.
09 September 2018
Today Mbegu’s herd interacted with the older stockade dependent orphans when they came out of their stockades in the morning. The group had their milk bottles, after which they enjoyed the supplement feeding before making their way to the browsing fields. On arriving at the northern side of Msinga Hill, Bada, Rorogoi and Panda led the group up the hill and then they spread out, browsing between some large rock boulders. Ndii stuck close to her adopted baby Tahri. Suswa came and joined the two and kept touching Tahri, being affectionate towards her.
At 10am a report was received from the officer in charge of Kutima Ranch. He reported that they had rescued an orphan elephant calf which was very weak and could not get to its feet. The Tsavo Veterinary team together with the stockade rescue team got there as quick as they could, putting the calf on drips to revive it while waiting for the rescue team to arrive from Nairobi so that the calf could be flown to the Nairobi Nursery.
Kenia led the group down at noon to the baobab water hole where they all had a lot of fun playing mud-bathing games following their noon milk feed. Ngilai, who has taken to running eagerly to every milk feed, enjoyed leading the group back to the safety of the stockades in the evening, followed closely by Lasayen and Ndotto.
10 September 2018
This morning the stockade dependent orphan elephants engaged one another in some wonderful socializing games after the milk and supplement feeding. Murit and Araba were busy chasing the baboons away when Araba, who was extremely excited, fell and nearly landed on the electric fence. Soon after the orphans made their way out to browse and they settled on the northern flat area of Msinga Hill for the rest of the morning.
At 10.15am, a big herd of buffalo encountered the orphan elephants on their way to drink water at the baobab tree water hole. Lasayen, Murit, Godoma and Mbegu charged towards the buffalo who were not at all perturbed or threatened by the orphans. Ndii, Kihari, Kenia and Embu came in to reinforce their friends but were also ignored by the buffalo herd. Lasayen, Murit, Godoma and Mbegu then ran away from the herd of buffalo, taking refuge close to the Keepers while Ndotto and Ngilai eventually settled close to the herd of buffalo to browse together with their older orphan elephant friends.
11 September 2018
As usual the orphans made a bee-line for their milk bottles in the morning which they grabbed and downed in a matter of minutes, before making their way to the supplement feeding area. The orphans then hung around the stockade for some socializing games until the Keepers signaled that it was time to head to the Park.
While browsing, a wild herd of elephants approached the orphans wanting to join them. Bada went up to them, followed by Panda, and the two welcomed the wild herd to join the orphans. One wild elephant bull was quickly surrounded by the twenty six orphan elephants in a highly charged greeting. Tahri enjoyed interacting with the matriarch of the wild elephant family before the orphans headed to the baobab water hole for their afternoon milk bottle. They all enjoyed wallowing after which Suswa secured a scratching position against the baobab tree before rejoining her friends for the afternoon browsing session.
12 September 2018
The stockade dependent orphans enjoyed their milk and supplement feeding when they exited their stockades following Nelion and Mashariki. While at the stockade compound Ngilai, Lasayen and Godoma enjoyed soil bathing games, trumpeting loudly to show how much fun they were having. Ndoria had fun scratching her belly on some rocks. Lentili decided to take the lead this morning, heading out before everyone was ready to ensure that she would be the one that they would follow when they moved to the browsing fields.
At noon the orphan elephants had their milk bottle close to the baobab tree water hole, after which they had a drink of water and a wallow in the mud bath. Arruba went to the middle of the water pool, splashing herself with water. Tahri saw the fun she was having and went to join her. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
13 September 2018
It was a happy beginning to the day with the orphan elephants gulping down their morning milk bottle before proceeding to feed on some Lucerne grass pellets. They then teamed up in groups and enjoyed socializing games around the stockade compound.
Ishaq-B hooked up with Murit and the two enjoyed a wonderful rock scratching game around the rocks in the compound. The two then enjoyed a soil bathing game where Ishaq-B picked up huge chunks of red earth and tossed them into the air, getting dust over anyone that was close to her. When the two were done dust bathing Ndotto came in to have a turn while Tundani, Panda and Kihari utilized their height to reach nice green leaves high up the acacia trees.
In the afternoon the orphans visited the baobab water hole for their milk feed. However as it as a chilly day none of the orphans entered the mud bath, choosing instead to have a drink of water and return to the browsing fields settling to feed on the western side of Msinga Hill.
14 September 2018
The sun was shining down on the orphans this morning as they exited the stockades. They quickly downed their morning milk bottle before heading to the supplement feeding area. There were some brief stockade games before the group followed Mbegu and Godoma out to browse.
The group slowly browsed their way to the baobab water hole where they had their milk bottles before enjoying a drink of clean water from the water trough. They then plunged into the water for a mud bath. A wild herd approached the waterhole but stood a short distance away waiting for the orphans to finish enjoying their bath so that they could come in and enjoy wallowing as well. Bada stood waiting to welcome the wild herd when they arrived.
Ndii was having such fun at the mud bath that she ran out of the water and climbed into the water trough where she wallowed while her friends watched. Ndoria entered the water wanting to wallow with her friends but ended up on her own as they exited a few minutes after she arrived as they were all worried about having their tail bitten by her. Mudanda sat on the edge of the waterhole to wallow, thus ensuring that her tail was never in Ndoria’s reach.
When the orphans returned to the safety of the stockades for the night they enjoyed feeding on Grewia branches and Lucerne grass pellets after which Mbegu promptly lay down and went to sleep, seemingly exhausted from a long day out browsing and playing.
15 September 2018
The orphan elephants came out of their stockades full of excitement for their morning milk bottle and supplement feeding. Ngilai rushed past all of his friends to grab his milk bottle. He finished his milk in a matter of seconds and then started pushing and shoving Godoma who was still feeding. The Keepers had to intervene, escorting Ngilai to the Lucerne grass pellets so that Godoma could finish her milk in peace.
Once the feeding was done Lasayen engaged Murit in a friendly pushing which lasted a while. Panda sought green browse from high up in the acacia trees which had her stretching her trunk as far as it would go, while standing up on her hind legs to give her some extra height as well. Ndii and Ishaq-B were amazed by Panda’s feeding style and came to watch her so as to employ similar tactics in the future.
The orphans settled to browse on the southern side of Msinga Hill. They returned to the stockades at noon for their milk bottle and a drink of fresh water. While they were there they interacted with a visiting school from the Trust’s Community Outreach Program. They returned to the browsing fields for the afternoons browsing activities.
16 September 2018
Once the orphans had finished their milk bottle and supplement feeding they engaged in games around the stockade compound. Ngilai took on Murit in a pushing strength-testing game which Lasayen kept trying to interrupt as he wanted to play with Murit. Tahri sat on a rock at the stockade compound where she enjoyed a scratching session. Naipoki stood guard over her game making sure that none of the other orphans would bother her. Ndii, Kihari and Lentil were busy rolling around on the red earth piles thoroughly enjoying a dusting session.
When it was time to head to the browsing fields, Ndoria was happy to take the lead. None of the others dared to overtake her as they were scared of having their tails bitten by her as she is a notorious tail biter.
In the afternoon, the orphans had their milk before proceeding to the baobab water hole to quench their thirst and have a mud bath. Arruba, Murit and Tahri were the first ones to plunge into the water for a bath followed a few minutes later by all their friends. The afternoon was spent browsing close to the waterhole.
17 September 2018
It was a bright morning as the orphans exited their stockades for their morning milk bottle and supplement feeds. Ngilai came running out trying to overtake Ndotto who was in front of him, and he ended up tripping over. Ngilai quickly got back to his feet, grabbing his milk bottle as if nothing had happened. Once he was done with his milk bottle he went to enjoy the Lucerne pellets.
Today Bada took the lead to the browsing grounds as Mbegu and her group kept to the back of the orphan herd. The orphans settled to browse on the Western side of Msinga Hill. Suswa was feeling quite hot and chose to stay at the foot of the hill where she felt it was cooler. At noon the orphans came down and together with Suswa made their way to the baobab water hole. Nelion, Mudanda and Mashariki stayed atop the hill browsing a while longer before joining their friends for a mud bath.
18 September 2018
The stockade dependent orphans exited their stockades in a happy mood ready to begin their day. Mudanda was pushing Rorogoi for a wrestling match that Rorogoi was not at all interested in playing and screamed loudly in protest. Tahri stuck close to Kenia, not happy to hear Rorogoi screaming, and Ndii came running up to ensure that Tahri was ok. Lentili and Mbegu took the lead of the others towards the browsing field. At noon they brought the group back to the stockade for water and milk as there were some school children visiting.
In the afternoon Suswa managed to get Ndotto to browse with her at the base of Msinga Hill as she didn’t want to follow her friends up the hill for the afternoon browsing session. When they came back down to make their way to the safety of the stockades for the night, Nelion and Tundani engaged one another in a strength testing game and nearly got left behind by the others. When they realized they had ben left behind they ran to catch up with the others.
19 September 2018
The milk bottles were ready for the orphan elephants at 6am as they came running out of their stockades eager to begin their day. After the milk and supplement feeding they hung around the stockade compound for games. Mashariki stretched her trunk high to reach some green acacia tree branches. Naipoki teamed up with Ngilai, Murit, Nelion and Rorogoi for a game of hide and seek game. Nguvu who has been always shied away from playing games with the others welcomed Araba, and Mudanda for a bottom scratching game on the stockade terrace wall.
The orphans settled to browse on the halfway up the southern side of Msgina Hill returning to the stockade for their noon milk feed and wallow as there were school children visiting them. Nelion enjoyed scratching his stomach while the children watched, thrilled at this antics.
The Keepers noticed that Kore the orphan eland might be pregnant as her stomach is growing. If she is the father is most probably Tawi who mated with her before he went wild a little while ago.
20 September 2018
The orphans woke up ready to begin their day. After the milk and supplement feeding Lasayen and Ndotto enjoyed lying down on the red earth piles playing rolling around games. Arruba led the orphan elephant herd to the browsing fields with Mbegu bringing up the rear, waiting until the last minute to leave the stockade compound as she was busy feeding on Lucerne grass pellets
The orphans settled to browse on the western side of Msinga Hill. The Tsavo area has started to dry up and as such the orphans are always stretching their trunks as far as they can to reach the greener and more palatable browse found higher up the trees.
At noon the orphan elephants returned to the stockade for the mid-day milk feed after which they cooled off in the mudwallow. Kenia had a wonderful time lying down and bathing with Tahri. When they were done Suswa managed to steal Tahri away for a soil bathing game. Ndii enjoyed rolling around in the water hole where she was joined by Bada, Ngilai, Arruba and Kihari.
The orphans ended the days browsing activities on the southern side of Msinga Hill.
21 September 2018
Murit and Ngilai had a wonderful beginning to the day as they enjoyed running up and down the stockade terrace playing strength testing and wrestling games. After the supplement feeding Kihari was busy browsing stretching her trunk to reach the higher branches in search of green leaves.
Lentili led the orphan herd away from the stockade to the browsing fields today with Tundani and Suswa bringing up the rear. Tahri went to keep Kenia company, abandoning Ndii for a while. This change had Araba feeling a little left out as she considered Kenia to be her adopted mother.
The orphans visited the baobab water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games. Arruba and Embu plunged into the water for a bath with Arruba lying down, submerging her entire body in the water. Ndotto was not interested in entering the water, choosing instead to stand at the edge of the mud bath and spray his body with water drawn up from his trunk.
22 September 2018
It was another lovely beginning to the day as the orphan elephants assembled in a straight line for their morning milk bottles. They then enjoyed some brief games around the stockade compound before following Mashariki and Rorogoi to the browsing grounds.
Once at the eastern foot of Msinga Hill, Ndii and Tundani took over the leadership of the group and had them all going up Msinga Hill to browse. Ndii was determined to explore the area and found herself at the peak of the hill. Tahri browsed together with Panda and Arruba who did not want to follow Ndii to the top of the Hill. The orphans browsed until midday when they descended and returned to the stockades for their noon milk feed and to interact with some visiting school children.
Today a teenage wild elephant bull left his herd and came to interact with the orphan elephants. Nelion had a wonderful time playing a strength testing and wrestling game with him.
The wild elephant boy followed the orphans for a while before returning to his herd who were busy browsing on Msinga Hill.
23 September 2018
The morning milk and supplement feeding went well with Godoma downing her milk bottle as fast as possible before settling to enjoy some Lucerne pellets. Nguvu started running when he saw Ndoria running behind him, thinking she was going to try and bite his tail, when in actual fact she was simply running to catch up with her friends who were at the supplement feeding area. Mudanda was surprised to hear Nguvu screaming and came charging in to see what the problem was. The orphans enjoyed interacting and playing around the stockade compound before Lentili and Rorogoi led them out to the browsing fields.
On arriving on the western side of Msinga Hill, Mashariki attempted to lead her friends uphill but was met with resistance from her friends who wanted to browse at the foot of the hill. At noon the orphans made their way to the baobab water hole for a wallowing session. Mbegu’s herd had arrived their before their senior friends and were stood in the water, undecided as to whether or not to have a mud bath. Ndotto broke the stalemate by lying down in the water and rolling around. His friends soon joined his game and they all had a lovely time bathing.
Tawi the ex-orphan eland was seen at about 1:30 in the afternoon. He looked very happy and comfortable with his wild zebra and eland herd that was stood at the Northern side of the water hole.
24 September 2018
This morning the stockade dependent orphan elephants enjoying socializing games around the stockade compound before following Mbegu heading to the browsing grounds. On arriving at the northern foot of Msinga Hill, the orphan elephants enjoyed a scratching session. Ndii took position against a tree trunk while Rorogoi waited patiently for her to finish so that she could have a go as well. Mudanda, Mashariki, Kihari and Bada each took separate big stone boulders to enjoy their scratching game against. Ndotto lay down on the ground to draw warmth from the soil, but upon seeing Ngilai’s games of sliding into an erosion trench he quickly got up and went to watch Ndotto’s game.
The orphans came to the stockade in the afternoon, for their milk bottles and a drink of water, and to interact with the visiting school children. Ngilai was the biggest attraction as he caught them off guard, sniffing their faces with his trunk which they found was the most amazing experience, and taught them so much about elephants. He was quite happy with their surprised reaction and after playing with the school children, he went and stood on top of the terrace and engaged Ndotto in a play fight while Arruba enjoyed a scratching session against a rock which seemed to impress the school children. The afternoon browsing session took place on the southern side of Msinga Hill.
25 September 2018
This morning the stockade dependent orphans left the stockade compound for the browsing fields a few minutes after they had finished their milk and supplement feeding. The browsing day was peaceful with Kenia and Ndii keeping close to their adopted babies Araba and Tahri.
Once again the orphans returned to the stockade for the noon milk feed and to interact with visiting school children. Nelion enjoyed a scratching session against a rock in front of the children who enjoyed watching him. Kenia on the other hand decided to jump into the stockade water trough in an effort to impress the school children. Suswa and Araba watched her antics and were full of amazement at what she was doing. Tahri was busy enjoying a scratching session when Rorogoi came in to disrupt her fun. Tahri screamed loudly which brought Arruba running to her aid. Arruba stood guard to ensure that no one else bothered Tahri giving her time to enjoy her scratching activities. The orphans then left the stockade for the park and spent the afternoon browsing close to the middle waterhole.
26 September 2018
The orphans were in a joyful mood this morning as they teamed up in groups of friends to play around the stockade compound before leaving. They browsed in single file for the better part of the morning before returning to the stockade at noon for their milk bottle and a drink of water from the water trough. Once there, Ngilai lay down close to the stockade terrace in an attempt to scratch his back, while also trying to catch the attention of the visiting school children.
Later in the afternoon, a report was given to the Kenya Wildlife Service research center by a tour driver regarding a female baby buffalo that was seen abandoned on the Ndara plains. The Voi stockade rescue team was informed of this orphan and quickly left to rescue the buffalo. The orphan buffalo, a female, was about 6 months old and was very malnourished and dehydrated. Despite her weak condition, she was quite aggressive towards the rescue team who finally managed to catch her, strap her down and load her onto the stockade pickup truck so that she could be transported back to the stockades. Ngulia the orphan zebra and Ol-tukai the orphan baby buffalo were curious about the new arrival, Didea that had been placed in a neighbouring stockade so that they could get used to her.
27 September 2018
It was a wonderful beginning to the day as the orphans concentrated onto their milk and supplement feeding before leaving the stockades to go out and browse. The orphan elephants browsed in single file on the northern side of the stockade with Ishaq-B, Embu and Panda teaming up in in an effort to snatch little Tahri and Araba from Ndii and Kenia. The two older girls stayed with their adopted babies, thwarting their friend’s plans.
The orphans visited the baobab water hole where they had a brief bath before proceeding to the northern side of Msinga Hill where they settled to browse under the shade of an acacia tree. Lasayen decided to start pushing a fallen dead tree trunk to get it to fall over. Mashariki was watching him and was perhaps annoyed at what he was doing as she walked over and started trying to push him! We think this was to get him to stop pushing the tree.
Kenia and Ndii then took charge wanting to lead the orphans towards the big water hole to browse. Mbegu tried to ignore their lead, and led her group further uphill while Lentili, Bada and Arruba headed in the opposite direction. Kenia and Ndii gave up their browsing ideas and instead settled to browse between the two groups.
28 September 2018
It was a bright morning as the orphans exited their respective stockades in a happy mood, hungrily downing their morning milk bottles before proceeding to the supplement feeding area. Tahri kept close to Kenia, Naipoki and Panda. The stockade dependent orphans then headed to the browsing fields under Bada and Embu’s leadership.
Soon after arriving out in the bush, Mudanda was seen chasing Nguvu for a fight, but no one knew why Mudanda wanted to engage Nguvu who seemed to have no interest in wanting to play. A few minutes before noon, Ngilai engaged Murit in a play fight and like Nguvu, Murit ran away wanting to continue with his browsing activities. The orphans then made their way to the baobab tree water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games after their noon milk feed. Arruba entered the water and rolled around before submerging herself and using her trunk as a snorkel. She was soon joined by Embu, Tahri, and Murit, all of whom wanted to copy her bathing style. Ndoria stood at the edge of the mud-bath watching the others play. The afternoons browsing session took place close to the water hole.
29 September 2018
The orphans came running out of their stockades for their milk bottles as soon as the stockade doors were opened for them. The Keepers had been awake since about 3am, as Kore gave birth to a baby girl who came out to greet the other orphans in the morning. Ol-tukai, who stays in the same stable with Kore was very comfortable and at ease with the new born baby. Ngulia the zebra however, was not happy with the new baby and was running around trying to charge after it. The Keepers intervened and placed Kore in the big enclosed stable and gave her Lucerne grass pellets and green grass to feed on. Ngulia had to be locked in the elephants stockade several times during the day to allow Kore to walk around outside with her baby.
The orphans enjoyed playing hide and seek games around the stockade compound, trumpeting happily as they did so. They then made their way to the Park and browsed for the day.
30 September 2018
The excitement over Kore’s new baby, Karibu, is still being felt all over the stockade compound. The Keepers were especially happy as they had noticed the signs of her pregnancy a few weeks ago.
The orphans exited their stockades for their milk bottles. Ngilai was in a rush today knocking Godoma to the ground as he overtook her to get to the milk bottles first. When Mudanda came running over everyone was busy having their milk. Suswa moved to the side to offer Mudanda her milk bottles, then moved to stand next to the Keepers to receive the rest of her share, and ended up being given a little more for her kindness, so her generosity was rewarded!
Nelion enjoyed a scratching session against a rock close to the stockade water trough before allowing Mudanda to have a go, followed by Embu then Kihari. Lentili took the lead to the browsing grounds where the orphan herd spent the day browsing peacefully.
Sadly the orphan buffalo that was rescued on the 26th September died today. The orphan was too malnourished and dehydrated on rescue and was so extremely weak; despite the Keepers best efforts it was just unable to pull through and gather any strength.