Throughout September the south of Tsavo East National Park, including Voi, has been extremely dry, a challenging time for all wildlife, with many elephants leaving the boundaries of the Park in search of food on the ranches adjacent to the Park as they traverse through to Tsavo West National Park. The wild herds have visited the water trough used by the Voi elephant orphans on an almost daily basis as they pass through, making for some very interesting and important interactions with the orphan youngsters.
It was a good beginning to the day with Emoli, Sagala and Tahri running ahead of the rest of the group for their morning milk bottle which they downed before settling to enjoy the Lucerne grass and pellets. There were some brief games around the stockade compound with Suswa and Mudanda settling to browse on a very green bush that they found. Mbegu and Lentili took the lead of the orphan herd to the browsing fields where they settled to browse in single file.
After the noon milk feed Godoma and Mbegu were seen to be in some sort of discussion after which Godoma stayed with Emoli. Baby Emoli had already been prevented from joining a wild herd that was drinking water from the baobab tree water trough. The rest of the orphan herd joined the wild group while Godoma ran ahead of Emoli and prevented him from getting to the wild herd. Once the wild herd moved away, Emoli was allowed to join the rest of the orphans and enjoyed a drink at the water trough. Ngilai then had fun playing with Godoma while Nelion went to watch two teenage wild bulls playing a pushing game, after which he rejoined the orphan herd as they returned to the browsing fields for the afternoon.
It was a calm morning with the stockade dependent orphans concentrating on the milk and supplement feeding before following Lentili and Bada to the browsing grounds. The area is quickly drying up and this has resulted in the orphans slowing their walking pace so as to concentrate their efforts on browsing.
The orphan herd made their way to the baobab tree water hole in groups of five with the milk dependent orphans having their milk bottle before joining their friends at the waterhole. Tundani went straight to the Lucerne that had been placed out for them. He took half a bale and placed it near the water trough so that he could drink as he fed. A wild elephant cow and her herd came for a drink and Tundani charged at them in an effort to keep them away from his Lucerne bale. He ended up moving away with the bale so that they could not steal any from him.
After a drink of water Emoli, Sagala, Araba and Kenia got the opportunity to interact with a wild calf and its mother. When the wild herd left, Lasayen and Ndotto engaged head-on a play fight. They both used the same tactic of hiding behind a bush and attacking each other from across the bush. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole.
The morning started as usual with the milk and supplement feeding after which the stockade dependent orphan elephants left for the browsing fields. On the way, Murit was seen looking for someone to play with and when they arrived at the southern foot of Msinga Hill to browse he engaged Ngilai in a quick game before changing his mind and joining the rest who were busy browsing.
The orphans browed their way to the baobab tree water hole in the afternoon but didn’t wallow, choosing instead to have a drink from the water trough before enjoying the Lucerne grass that had been put out for them. Once done they resumed with their browsing activities on the western foot of Msinga Hill. Kihari went halfway up the hill seeking shelter from the sun against a big rock boulder.
Mbegu and Godoma led the group back to the safety of the stockades in the evening.
The day started with the stockade dependent orphans running out of their stockades full of energy. The milk dependent babies downed their morning milk bottle before settling to enjoy the nutritious Lucerne pellets and dairy cubes.
They headed to the browsing grounds under Mashariki and Kihari’s leadership. Nelion and Bada overtook them and led the group up Msinga Hill to browse. Ndoria snuck away from the rest of the group and went down the hill making her way to the water hole long before the usual time. Mudanda saw her leaving and followed her for a while before stopping to seek refuge from the scorching sun under a small acacia tree. She was then in the perfect position to arrive first for the noon milk bottle with Tahri, Araba, Ngilai and Embu coming in a short while later. The rest of the orphans arrived in groups of four and downed their milk before proceeding to the water hole where they had a lot of fun playing mud bathing games.
It was a lovely beginning to the day with all usual morning protocols being observed as the milk dependent orphans kept themselves busy with milk feeding before joining their older friends at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. When they were done the orphan herd left the stockades for the browsing grounds.
An orphan elephant following wild elephant bulls was seen by one of Wildlife Works pilots who was on patrol over the Pika Pika hills near the Danisa area. The stockade rescue team was mobilized by the Trust’s Kaluku Operations office and began the long drive to where the calf had been seen. The Trust helicopter assisted the ground team in separating the calf from the bull so that it could be rescued, once it has been firm;y established that this was indeed an orphan calf without its mother. The calf was about two and a half years old and being milk dependent would not have survived on her own with the bulls. The calf was rescued at 1pm and taken to the Voi stockades arriving at 4pm. Upon arriving later that afternoon, Mbegu, Murit and Godoma went to greet her, stretching their trunks to touch the calf. Godoma tried to open the stockade door to get closer to the calf, who greeted her by stretching her trunk through the bars.
It was a wonderful morning as Godoma, Mbegu, Murit and Sagala came out of their stockade and passed by the new arrival, named Pika Pika to greet her, before running off for their morning milk bottle.
At noon Arruba got left behind in the bush as the rest of the orphan herd made their way to the water hole. Arruba was not too happy about being left behind and ran to catch up with the rest of the group who had already reached the lower grounds of Msinga Hill.
At the noon mud bath, Kenia had a brilliant bathing moment with Ndii and Naipoki. The three were later joined by Kihari and Tahri and they all enjoyed wallowing together. Bada, Ndotto and Ishaq-B, were busy showcasing their scratching expertise with a buttock rubbing game against the water pan walls. Suswa was busy watching Embu who was enjoying a dust bath and rolling around in the soil. The entire group then made their way to the northern side of Msinga Hill where they spent the afternoon browsing until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
It was a nice beginning to the day with Ndoria and Mbirikani, who usually spend the night out browsing, coming and joining the stockade dependent orphans for the supplement feeding. Ndotto started to play with Sagala after the supplement feeding and was trying to climb on her. He then went and enjoyed a scratching game against a rock boulder close to the stockade water trough.
Kenia led the group to the browsing fields, and they spent the morning feeding on the northern side of the stockades before making their way to the baobab tree waterhole. After enjoying the Lucerne grass that had been brought for them from the stockades, the orphans settled for a drink of water from the water trough. While quenching their thirst they were joined by a wild elephant herd. Emoli did not want to spend any time with the wild herd and ran to the Keepers, something that everyone found strange as he is usually the first one to want to interact with any wild friends. Nguvu and Ngilai left the water hole and followed Emoli, leaving Ishaq-B and Mbegu to look after the rest of the orphan herd and ensure that none of them left with the wild group.
It was lovely morning with lots of games around the stockade compound following the milk and Lucerne pellet feeding. Ndoria, who had spent the night away from the stockades with Mbirikani, was happy to get to feed and play with the younger orphans first thing in the morning. Mbirikani went straight to the water trough for a drink before joining Ndoria and the other babies.
Bada showed off his scratching game against a rock boulder until Kihari came in to take his place. The orphans let the stockade for the browsing grounds under Mbegu and Godoma’s leadership and they settled to browse on the southern foot of Msinga Hill. When it was time to visit the waterhole, Panda and Araba were left behind, and caught up with their friends about 10 minutes later.
After a brief mud bathing session, Lentili lay down to play but quickly got to her feet when she saw Nelion approaching her as she was worried he would try and ride on her back. After the mud bath the orphans relaxed under the nearby trees before resuming with their browsing activities in the afternoon.
The morning began with the stockade dependent orphan elephants downing their milk bottle before settling to enjoy the supplement foods that had been put out for them after which the headed to the browsing grounds.
They made their way up Msinga Hill where they comfortably settled to browse for the morning. Kenia, Araba, Ndii, and Kihari began moving downhill earlier than the rest of the orphan herd and waited at the base of the hill for the rest of the group to arrive so that they could make their way to the water hole. They arrived for the milk bottle in groups of five after which they fed on Lucerne grass before going to the water trough for a drink. Tundani took some Lucerne grass and dropped it into the water before fishing it out and eating it. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the water hole.
The orphans exited their respective stockades in the morning for their milk bottles after which they settled as a group to enjoy dairy cubes and Lucerne grass pellets before following Lentili and Mashariki towards the browsing grounds. The two led the group up the eastern side of Msinga Hill where they spent most of the morning browsing. As they descended later in the morning, Godoma stayed by Emoli following the youngster wherever he went.
The noon milk feed took place close to the baobab tree water hole as did the Lucerne grass feeding. While the orphans were busy enjoying the Lucerne grass. a wild elephant herd came to the water hole for a drink. Murit, Suswa and Arruba were the only ones that interacted with the wild herd.
Once back in the browsing fields Murit and Lasayen lay next to each other rolling around on the ground playing, before resuming with their browsing activities until it was time to return to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The morning began as usual with the stockade dependent elephants coming out of their stockades and guzzling down their morning milk bottles in a rush before settling for some supplement food. There were some brief dusting games around the stockade dust bath before the group followed Mbegu and Godoma to the browsing grounds.
The elephants settled to browse in single file browsing at the foot of Msinga Hill. Godoma extended her trunk in greeting to Emoli, who was browsing with Mbegu, and the youngster came to join her for part of the morning browsing session.
Soon after the noon milk feed, Tahri ran to join her friends for some Lucerne grass, nearly scaring them away as she came charging in. Ndii, Ndoria and Panda enjoyed a mud bath while their friends watched, not entering the water themselves. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole.
The orphans exited their respective stockades this morning, downed their milk bottle and settled to enjoy the supplements laid out for them. They then enjoyed some soil dusting games before following Lentili and Naipoki to the browsing grounds. The group settled to feed at the foot of Msinga Hill after which they all followed Sagala and Emoli to the water hole for their noon milk bottles and a mud bath.
After the mud bath, Godoma took off to the browsing grounds hoping that the rest would follow her. When she realized she was on her own she came charging back to join them. Ndotto also separated from the group at one point and enjoyed a scratching session against a tree stump before rejoining his friends. Lasayen, who was busy scratching his leg against a log, got left behind by his friends who were concentrating on browsing and were moving as they fed. Lasayen was able to catch up with the group who were moving slowly so as to try and eat any green vegetation they could find, as the area is fast drying up.
This morning the orphan herd made their way to the northern side of Msinga Hill to browse. Here they spread out across the area foraging on the drying grass as they filled their bellies. Upon arriving at the afternoon milk feeding area, Mbegu who had come with the first group of orphans, voluntarily left her second milk bottle and ran to the baobab tree water hole to enjoy the Lucerne grass that had been brought there from the stockades by the Keepers. Her friends joined her and they all enjoyed feeding on the Lucerne grass.
A wild herd came to the waterhole for a drink of water and Arruba was the first to go greet and join them, followed by Sagala and Murit. The wild elephant herd didn’t really pay attention to the Lucerne grass that the orphans were feeding on, though one teenage bull joined Nelion for a bit and the two enjoyed a play fighting match, after which the wild teenager rejoined his herd who were leaving the waterhole.
This morning Mbirikani and Ndoria arrived early at the stockades and joined the stockade dependent orphans for the Lucerne pellets and dairy cubes which had been put out for them all. As the juniors headed to the browsing fields, the two older orphans remained at the stockades and enjoyed feeding on Lucerne grass.
The orphans browsed in single file, grabbing as much browse as possible. Nelion, Bada and Mudanda moved half way up the western side of Msinga Hill joining, rejoining the group as they made their way to the baobab tree waterhole at noon. The orphans arrived for their milk in groups of five. Once they had downed their bottles they enjoyed feeding on Lucerne grass, after which they enjoyed mud bathing games.
Naipoki and Mashariki secured a small water pan outside the main water hole, and enjoyed a private wallow. There was some commotion when Ndoria tried to join the two who ran off as Ndoria is known to be a tail biter and they were unsure of her intentions in joining them. Ndoria then entered the main waterhole which resulted in everyone leaving the water and returning to the browsing fields for the afternoon browsing session.
The orphans began the day with the usual milk and supplement feeding after which they engaged in hide and seek games around the stockade compound. Once they were done playing they followed Mbegu and Godoma to the browsing grounds.
Nelion and Tundani engaged one another in a wonderful play fighting game. Kenia noticed that Ndii was taking the opportunity to play with Tahri and came over to place herself between the two, pushing Ndii away with her bottom while Tahri stood between her legs.
The orphans spent the morning browsing before making their way to the noon mud bath where they had their milk bottles and some Lucerne grass, before enjoying their afternoon mud bath. Rorogoi entered the water and began spraying water on her body while Mashariki enjoyed a private bath in a small water pan near the main water hole. Nelion headed to the centre of the wallow for his mud bath while Ndotto enjoyed a dust bath which Tahri and Ndii also did, and the two had a wonderful time playing before joining their friends who were walking back out to the bush to browse.
Godoma and Tahri were at the feeding area as soon as they exited their stockade, ready for their morning milk feed. Emoli came and stood between them and downed his milk without disturbing the other two. When the milk dependent babies had finished their bottles they joined Kenia’s herd at the Lucerne pellet feeding area. Mashariki enjoyed feeding on vegetation from the acacia tree branches while Naipoki and Nelion rolled around on the dust piles.
The orphans made their way to the northern side of the stockades to browse. Along the way, Tundani diverted and headed uphill in hopes of finding greener pasture, while Mbegu and her group stayed on the lower flat lands of the northern side of Msinga Hill.
After the afternoon milk and Lucerne grass feeding, the orphans joined a big wild elephant herd at the baobab tree water hole. Nelion went round and round testing his wild age mates for a pushing and strength testing game. He finally managed to find one that was friendly and would play with him. Godoma watched the two for a while, running off when she saw the wild friends trying to ride on Nelion’s back.
This morning the orphans gathered at the milk feeding area ready for their morning milk bottle after which they settled to enjoy some Lucerne pellets. Mbirikani and Ndoria, who spend the night out of the stockade, were the earliest callers of the day and were already at the pellet feeding area when the stockade dependent babies got there. Kenia came running up to join Araba who had exited the stockade earlier than she did, while Ishaq-B played with Sagala, Murit and Ndotto on the red earth piles. Kihari seemed to get a little jealous of the fun they were having and came to separate Ishaq-B from the juniors. Suswa took the opportunity to get close to Sagala to play with her.
The orphans spent the morning browsing in single file before making their way to the baobab tree waterhole for their milk and Lucerne grass supplements. Once they were done with both they headed to the mud bath where Emoli sat on the edge of water pan and rolled around while Mbegu and Godoma kept a close eye on him. Nelion went to the centre of the mud bath and enjoyed wallowing there while Godoma moved on to watch Mbirikani playing rolling games on the red earth piles.
Once the morning milk and the Lucerne pellet feeding was over the stockade dependent orphans spread out around the stockade compound to play. Kenia saw her adopted baby Araba attempting to climb one of the stockade terraces and dragged the acacia branch she was feeding on closer to her adopted baby to make sure that she would not get hurt. Mudanda enjoyed scratching her neck against the orphans’ favorite stockade rock while Rorogoi climbed on the rock to watch her from above. Tahri seemed to get tired of waiting for Mudanda to finish playing and charged at her in an effort to get her to move.
Ngilai went in search of his longtime friend Murit so as to engage him a play fighting game while Mbegu and Godoma stuck so close to Emoli that they did not give him the chance to play with any of the other orphans. After the mid-day feedings, Embu went straight into the water hole for a bath closely followed by Murit and Rorogoi. Today at the water hole, the orphans were visited by many baboons and impalas with the impalas being lucky enough to be able to share the Lucerne grass with the orphan elephants.
Emoli came running out of the stockades to the feeding area this morning followed by Tahri who was trumpeting loudly in an effort to get Kenia’s attention. Kenia did not disappoint and came running up to see what was wrong. The orphans enjoyed some games around the stockade compound before making their way to the browsing grounds. Bada saw a big group of baboons congregating and charged at them to confront them, succeeding in getting the baboons to disperse which made his morning.
The orphans made their way up Msinga Hill to browse but did not find anything fresh and green to feed on which meant they had to settle for whatever vegetation they could find to fill their stomachs.
At mid-day they came down and headed to the baobab tree waterhole where they were joined by a big wild bull. The bulls size and tusks scared Embu, Godoma, Arruba and Ndotto who were not comfortable drinking close to him. Bada and Naipoki were happy to share the water trough with him, with Naipoki staying with him the longest. The bull left at the same time that the orphans did as they returned to the browsing fields for the afternoon browsing session.
It was a bright morning as the stockade dependent elephants enjoyed feeding on their milk and Lucerne grass pellets. Murit and Ngilai were engaged in a play fighting game with Ngilai trying to get Emoli’s attention while Godoma and Mbegu, who have become the youngsters adopted mothers, prevented him from doing so.
The orphans then headed to the southern side of Msinga Hill where they settled for the morning, before returning to the stockades for their noon milk feed. Here they interacted with the school children that had been brought to see them by the Trust’s community outreach program. Arruba lay at the edge of the stockade mud bath while the rest were busy soil bathing. Lentili picked up the red soil with her trunk, spraying it over her back as she showcased her dusting skills to the children. Murit was busy rolling around on the ground showcasing his playing games.
The orphans returned to the browsing fields in the afternoon and moved around Msinga Hill to the western side, feeding there until it was time to return home for the night.
The day started with great momentum when the stockade dependent orphan elephants came running out of their stockades to down their milk bottles before settling to enjoy the highly nutritious Lucerne pellets and dairy cubes. Mashariki and Suswa were busy harvesting acacia pods and leaves but had to stop as the rest of the group were leaving for the browsing fields and they had to catch up with them. Panda, who was feeding from a different acacia tree, was left behind by her friends, and had to run to catch up with the group who were being led by Ishaq-B and Lentili up Msinga Hill.
Today the orphans again returned to the stockades at noon to interact with another group of school children. Suswa, Nelion and Rorogoi gave the school children a lot of entertainment as they rolled around on the red earth piles before joining their friends who were returning to the browsing fields for the afternoon.
Another wonderful day started with the Voi orphan elephants enjoying their milk and supplement feeding before engaging in socializing games around the stockade compound. Mbirikani and Lentili took the lead of the others towards the browsing grounds where they browsed peacefully filling up on as much browse as they could. Mbegu and Godoma made sure to stay close to their adopted baby Emoli and the three were seen browsing together.
The orphans headed to the waterhole at noon in groups of six with Emoli, Sagala, Tahri, Araba, Ngilai and Murit being the first to arrive. They gulped down their milk bottles before going to enjoy the Lucerne grass where they were joined by the older orphans in the group.
In the afternoon Lasayen and Ngilai later took a break from their browsing activities to play a tough strength testing game. Murit saw them and came between the two to take Ngilai away from Lasayen. Murit ended up caught between the two with Lasayen pushing him from the back while Ngilai was pushing him from the front.
It was a beautiful beginning to the day with the stockade dependent orphan elephants assembling for their delicious milk bottles before settling to enjoy the Lucerne grass and dairy cubes. Ndoria and Mbirikani came to join the juniors for some supplements and the Keepers could see that the dry season was taking a toll on the two who were both looking a little thinner due to the lack of nutritious vegetation in the Park, and which is common during the dry season for all animals. To help Ndoria, who was weaned off milk about a year ago, the Keepers gave her a milk bottle which she quickly drank.
There were brief games around the stockade compound before everyone followed Kihari and Ishaq-B to the browsing grounds. Panda and Ndii both wanted to interact with Tahri, with each one taking a different tactic so as to avoid getting in each other’s away. The orphans returned to the stockade compound at noon to again interact with visiting school children from the surrounding area. Murit and Ngilai engaged in a play fight, showing off their techniques to the school children. In the afternoon Ishaq-B introduced an amazing dust-game in an erosion trench with Mudanda joining her there while Araba watched and trumpeted encouragement. Ndii took Ndoria for a private browsing session before rejoining the group as they headed back to the safety of the stockades for the night.
The morning began as usual with the stockade dependent orphan elephants emptying their morning milk bottle and proceeding for the supplement feeding before engaging in a game of hide and seek, while chasing one another around the stockade compound.
Ndoria and Mbirikani visited the stockade with Ndoria bypassing the Lucerne grass heading straight for the Keepers who were happy to give her a milk bottle which she quickly devoured. The orphans made their way to the browsing fields and settled on the eastern side of Msinga Hill before returning to the stockade for the noon milk feed and for a visit from a group of school children. Rorogoi enjoyed scratching her itchy bottom against one of the stockade terraces while Sagala carried some Lucerne grass away from the feeding area to the stockade waterhole so that she could enjoy it in peace and quiet.
Later in the afternoon some of the orphans stopped browsing to play strength testing games. Murit engaged Lasayen while Mbegu took on Ndotto.
Godoma, Tahri and Emoli came running out of their stockade for their milk bottles which they gulped down before hurrying to the Lucerne grass pellet feeding area. A big baboon tried to get to the supplement feeding area to steal some pellets but was chased away by Embu, Arruba and Rorogoi. Tahri was jealous of Kenia’s interaction with Emoli and forced her way between the two managing to steal Emoli away for a few minutes without Kenia noticing, after which Emoli went and kept company with Mbegu and Godoma.
Nguvu then took the lead of the orphan herd to the browsing fields with Kihari and Mbirikani taking the lead to the baobab tree water hole at noon, allowing the milk dependent orphans to overtake them when they got close so that the babies could enjoy their milk before they all settled to enjoy the Lucerne grass that had been put out for them. The orphans, led by Murit, interacted with a wild herd at the waterhole with Emoli sharing a scratching session against the baobab tree with a wild cow. Once the wild herd left, the orphans returned to the browsing fields for the afternoon browsing session.
The stockade dependent orphans enjoyed the usual milk and Lucerne pellet feeding at the stockade compound with Bada, Mudanda, Kenia, Ngilai and Suswa lining up along one of the stockade terraces, picking up the Lucerne pellets one trunkful after another before the group made their way to the lower northern browsing grounds.
The orphan herd browsed until midday at which time they stopped to visit the baobab tree water hole with the milk dependent orphans arriving first in groups of five for their milk bottles, before enjoying the Lucerne grass that the Keepers had put out for them. Bada and Rorogoi had a drink of water from the stockade water trough before joining their friends. Embu was busy enjoying the last bits of Lucerne grass and got left behind at the waterhole while the rest of the group left for the browsing fields. When she realized what had happened, she ran to catch up with her friends who were already about one hundred meters ahead of her.
The morning began with Mbirikani and Ndoria arriving at the stockades to see the juniors, joining them at the supplement feeding area once the milk dependent orphans had finished their bottles. There were then games around the compound with Ndii and Kihari enjoying a scratching session against the orphan’s favourite rock. Nelion dug up the red earth at the dust pile and tossed huge chunks of the soil into the air, catching Ishaq-B’s attention.
Kenia, Ndii, Kihari and Naipoki gathered the juniors together and led them to the browsing grounds leaving Mbirikani and Ndoria at the stockade. The two older orphans joined the juniors in the browsing fields an hour later before accompanying them to the midday mud bath where they went straight to the Lucerne grass before having a drink of water.
A big herd of buffalo came to drink at the baobab tree and the sheer size of the group scared Embu and Mudanda, both of whom stared at the herd as if trying to count them. The orphans had to push their way through the buffalo herd to access the water trough so that they could have a drink before the buffaloes finished all the water. When the orphans were done drinking they returned to the browsing fields leaving the buffalo herd to enjoy the mud bath.
The morning began as usual with the orphans downing their milk bottles before settling to enjoy the Lucerne grass pellets and the supplement cubes. Mbirikani and Ndoria again joined the orphans this morning and enjoyed the supplements with them. There were a few games around the stockade compound before the orphan herd headed to the browsing grounds.
Ndoria spent the morning browsing on the western foot of Msinga Hill catching up with the rest of the group at the noon milk feeding area where she was given a milk bottle. The milk dependent orphan elephants came in groups of five for their noon bottles with the first group consisting of Emoli, Sagala, Tahri, Ngilai and Murit. The orphans then enjoyed feeding on Lucerne grass that had been brought from the stockade.
A small wild elephant herd of five members came to drink at the baobab tree water hole. Lasayen stopped feeding on the Lucerne to join them for a drink of water. Among the wild herd was a small calf and Lasayen was charged at by a tusk-less female that did not want him getting too close. This encounter meant that none of the other orphans dared approach the wild herd even when the calf was enjoying a dust bath on the soil piles. One teenage bull joined the orphans at the Lucerne grass feeding area, afterwhich the orphans returned to the browsing fields.
The orphan herd left the stockades very early this morning, heading out to browse as soon as the milk and supplement feeding was over. They browsed in single file for the majority of the morning, with Ndoria and Mbirikani browsing on their own away from the rest of the orphan herd. Ndoria noticed that the two of them were being left behind when the orphans began making their way to the waterhole, and ran to catch up with them, as did Mbirikani. Although Ndoria is now much more independent and spends most of the time away from the stockades with Mbirikani, she enjoys being given a milk bottle at noon.
At the mud bath the orphans had a lot of fun playing in the water. Embu, Nguvu and Mashariki engaged one another in a bathing competition and dived and swam around in the water showcasing their skills. A big wild elephant herd came to drink at the baobab tree water trough and the orphan herd was happy to join them. Mbegu hid behind the baobab tree intently watching a wild calf to see if she could get to interact with it while Sagala stood near her, keeping a close eye on a big wild elephant calf.
The orphans then returned to the browsing fields for the afternoon. Just before it was time to head home for the night Nelion engaged Tundani in a strength testing game which they both enjoyed.
It was another lovely beginning to the day with the milk dependent orphans gathering for their morning milk bottle after which they joined their older friends at the supplement feeding area. There were games of hide and seek this morning with the orphans charging and running around the stockade compound while being careful around the terraces so as to avoid any injuries from happening.
Mbegu, Godoma and Emoli took the lead of the group to the browsing grounds and they slowly browsed their way to the baobab tree waterhole. There was a big wild elephant herd drinking from the baobab tree water trough when the orphans arrived for their noon milk feed. Emoli, Sagala, Godoma and Murit, who were the first to arrive, were worried that the water would be finished by the wild herd and bypassed the Lucerne grass to have a drink themselves. The orphans had a wonderful time interacting with the wild herd in the water with Emoli rolling around in the water like a fish while Embu stood watching. A teenage wild elephant cow much older than Embu came charging out of the water kicking up mud and water onto Emoli and Embu too, who ran away from her. The afternoon browsing session took place close to the waterhole with the orphans making sure to pick up every last bit of Lucerne grass.
Pika Pika the new orphan elephant that has been in the taming stockades since her rescue at the beginning of the month, has lately been joining Mbegu’s herd in their stockade in the evening so as to get some time to interact with the orphans. As yet she is not going out to the bush with the rest of the orphan group as there are many wild elephants around and the Keepers are worried that she may run off with them which would not be good as she needs milk and care from them still to get her strength up.