With some 34 orphans still milk-dependent at our Ithumba Unit at the moment, the Keepers certainly have their hands full. With many ex – orphans still in the area and literally hundreds of their wild elephant friends passing through for water, the Keepers have been kept on their toes! Recently several wild herds have been rushing into the stockade compound very early in the morning, eager to quench their thirst from the stockade water troughs. Of course being wild, they are also less inclined to listen to the Keepers and wait their turn. They soon became more familiar with proceedings however, and now stand back in the mornings to allow the orphans to drink their fill before heading out to browse for the day, and then they move in to drink their share too. The Ithumba water bowser has certainly been kept busy refilling the water troughs from the boreholes and the Tiva River.
Malima left with a branch in her mouth which she dropped when Dololo pushed her. Malima turned and tackled Dololo but wasn’t too rough, as she knows he is younger than her. After drinking water at the stockade water trough, Mapia engaged Galla in a pushing game that ended when Mapia decided to surrender after the game became too tough for him. Galla moved to play with Wanjala after Mapia surrendered. Mundusi had a brief chat with Roi before turning on Jotto, and they enjoyed a pushing game with for quite some time. Kuishi had her own game of rolling on the ground as Ukame had a private conversation with Esampu, as they engaged each other in a light pushing game.
At mud bath time, Mapia and namalok joined the wild bulls to wallow in the water hole. In the afternoon, the orphans settled west of Ithumba Hill an area they love to browse in very much. In the evening, the orphans were escorted back to the stockades by Mutara and her herd.
It was a quiet morning as the dependent orphans left the stockade and briefly settled for lucerne before heading straight out to browse. The orphans settled in Kone area where they were joined by Mutara’s herd who had followed them there. Sities and Suguta took their little Dololo and spent the entire morning with him.
At mud bath time several wild bulls were present as usual, as they enjoyed cooling off in the water hole and drinking fresh water from the water troughs. Lemoyian engaged Galla in a pushing game that didn't last for long. The orphans didn't join the bulls for wallowing but instead drank some water then returned back to browsing. The afternoon was again quiet as the orphans browsed calmly throughout the rest of the day.
Melia, Kandecha and Kibo were back in the morning after being away for some time. The three ex-orphans had teamed up with Mutara’s herd in the night and joined the dependent orphans in the morning. The herd settled for lucerne and later they all walked out to browse together. Dololo briefly engaged Galla in a pushing game before being hijacked by Turkwel and Roi who wanted to look after him. Later, Suguta and Sities came and took him from Roi and Turkwel because they believed they were the only ones qualified in taking care of Dololo. Tusuja and Barsilinga lagged behind drinking water while Sapalan tackled Galla in a pushing game out in the bush.
Olsekki also engaged Bomani in a pushing game in which he ended up as the winner. Later in the day, the orphans were joined by ex-orphans Kinna, baby Kama, Sunyei, baby Siku, Makena, Lenana and new baby Lapa. The senior ex-orphans with their young ones escorted the dependent orphans to the mud bath and later headed back to the browsing field together. Malima had a disagreement with Siku that ended in a fight. Their fight ended when Siku decided to surrender. Later in the afternoon, Roi had a pushing game with Galla. In the evening, fifteen wild bulls showed up for water at the stockade water troughs before dissipating back into the Park.
Lenana, Lapa, Kina, Kama, Siku, Sunyei, Makena and Kama came back in the morning and joined the dependent orphans for Lucerne. Maramoja had a disagreement with Kama that ended in a fight. The fight ended when Kama decided to surrender. The senior ex-orphans accompanied the dependent orphans out to browse. Barsilinga engaged Bomani in a pushing game that ended in a draw. Sana Sana picked a stick from the ground that she used to scratch her chest with. Wanjala had a brief interaction with Lapa before he was warned off by Lenana to keep away from her baby as he is still very little.
At mud bath time, several wild bulls were present. Mapia, Jotto and Rapa enjoyed a soil bathing exercise before heading back out to browse. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse west of Ithumba Hill and later attended a roadside mud bath on their way back to the stockade compound.
The orphans as usual were met by Mutara’s herd soon after leaving the stockades. The herd had Lucerne together and thereafter headed back out to browse. Olsekki engaged Kamok in warm up pushing exercise. Their game also attracted Kithaka and Lemoyian who also engaged each other in a pushing game that ended when Lemoyian surrendered. Roi had a game of rolling on the ground but this was cut short by Lemoyian who walked over to her and tried to climb on her while she was lying down. Roi wasn’t happy with this and got up and walked off.
At mud bath time, the weather was chilly and none of the orphans wanted to swim in the water hole. Only two wild bulls and ex-orphan Challa who had showed up to the mud bath decided to swim. Ex-orphan Lenana and her herd were also present. The playful baby Kama engaged several of the dependent orphans in a pushing game. She started with Roi, moved to Pare, before winding up with Namalok who pushed her ruthlessly. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto area while the ex-orphans headed towards Imenti area.
It was a quiet morning today as the orphans had their milk bottles before walking out to feed on Lucerne. Roi took care of Dololo this morning as she knew it wouldn’t be long before Mutara’s herd would arrive and Sities and Suguta would take over. Namalok started a play fight with Tusuja while Wanjala played with Mundusi. Kithaka, Garzi and Lemoyian were around with Kithaka who was stalking around looking for someone to start a wrestling match with. He can be quite naughty these days! When they were ready, the orphans left to begin their day of browsing.
Out in the bush, it wasn’t long before Mutara’s herd found the dependent babies and they walked straight over to their favourite Dololo. They were accompanied by Kinna, Sunyei and Lenana with their babies. The herd was very active and busy browsing, and when it was time they all walked to the mud bath together where the dependent orphans would have their noon milk bottles.
Pare, Malkia and Rapa were the first ones down to have their milk bottles. We found some beautiful birds around the mud bath today feeding on mud fish. Mapia was greeted by Kama in the mud bath and enjoyed playing with her. Lapa was feeding from his mother Lenana. When the orphans were done playing and having some water, they walked back out to browse. Garzi and Bomani started play fighting while Kilaguni and Sunyei enjoyed a play fight in the water hole too.
In the afternoon the babies were busy browsing. Malkia started digging down with her foot to find some roots to eat. Olsekki and Kamok started playing again. Kauro and Tusuja started scratching their necks separately. Mapia later led the herd back home in the evening. Later in the evening Kinna’s herd arrived with Sunyei and Lenana and their babies. It was quite cold today and there were no wild elephants around.
The orphans had their milk as usual in the morning and walked out of their respective stockades to have some Lucerne. They all fed on Lucerne and later walked out to the bush to browse for the day. They were all very active, with Kuishi diving down and rolling around in some loose soil, covering her body with huge chunks using her trunk. Galla and Esampu were busy having their own private conversation, wrapping their trunks around one another, while Naseku and Ukame were busy playing and rolling on the ground.
The dependent babies walk to mud bath at noon – it was cold and none of them felt like drinking or swimming. Back out in the bush all the orphans concentrated on browsing. Namalok, Siangiki and Ndiwa browsed together. Orwa, Kilaguni and Bomani came to join the orphans and they all browsed together. Kuishi later led the group back home to the stockades in the evening.
At the stockades this evening Kinna, Sunyei and Lenana with their babies came to visit. We also had eight wild bulls who came to drink water. Later, Mutara's herd came again and joined them too. As the older ex-orphans and wild bulls started to drift off back into the bush, Mutara’s herd decided to stay behind and sleep just outside the stockade compound.
It was a lovely but cold morning today as the Keepers woke up to prepare the milk for the babies as usual. The youngsters had their bottles and later headed to the Lucerne feeding area. We first cleaned and dressed Barsilinga's foot before he joined his dependent friends. The orphans later headed out to the bush together with Barsilinga. Mutara’s herd was also here this morning, having slept just outside the compound last night.
Out in the bush Tusuja was having a conversation with Rapa as they browsed together. Kithaka and his group later joined the orphans and their friend Barsilinga too. Kithaka was patrolling around as if he was looking for something; we suspected he might be up to no good! Later the group all walked to the mud bath together so the dependent babies could have their milk bottles.
At the mud bath today, Kilaguni, Orwa, and Bomani, as well as Melia and Kibo all visited the group who were already there. Kilaguni decided to wallow in the mud bath as usual, with Chaimu joining him for some fun playing in the water. Melia was playing and rolling around on the ground. The dependent orphans had their milk bottles and walked back out to the bush. Kainuk decided to have a dust bath where the loose soil is found. There were no wild elephants visiting today.
The dependent orphans concentrated on browsing this afternoon. The Keepers came across quite a venomous snake and changed direction! It was quite chilly but the elephants seemed to be enjoying the cool weather as they could continue browsing and didn’t have to seek shade and take a break. Later in the evening, Kuishi and Mapia led the herd back home in the evening for their milk bottles and to go to bed.
About ten wild bulls visited the stockades this evening to drink some water, before walking off back into the bush. Kinna's group also came with Lenana and Sunyei together with their babies.
The orphans started their day peacefully today with their milk breakfast and Lucerne feed before heading out to the bush to browse. Mutara's herd appeared and joined the dependent orphans, with Sities walking straight up to Dololo to take care of him.
In the bush, Enkikwe started play fighting with Wanjala, Malkia with Olsekki, while Ukame and Siangiki were having their own private conversation. Later in the morning the orphans walked to the mud bath for their milk.
At the mud bath, we had a number of wild bulls who came to enjoy wallowing in the cool water. Most of them got in straight away and started swimming. Mutara's herd arrived at the mud bath and Sities and Turkwel walked straight over to dust bath where Dololo was, and started dust bathing with Dololo in between them. Some wild bulls shared water from the water trough together with the dependent orphans. When they were done the orphans walked back out to the bush. Kithaka went to join the wild bulls drinking at the water trough, then he walked to the dust bath and started playing in with Mutara. Kibo was also busy playing on the piles of loose soil, enjoying a dust bath after swimming in the water hole. Some ex-orphans joined the wild elephants at the mud bath and they all enjoyed wallowing together.
Back out in the bush, the elephants were enjoying browsing. It was quite hot today, so Jotto had to take a break from browsing to find some shade. The Keepers found him under some tall bushes, hiding from the hot sun. Later in the evening all the orphans walked back home to the stockades for the night.
It was a cold morning today as the Keepers woke up to perform their daily tasks. The orphan babies had their milk bottles as usual, with Mutara's herd already at the gates waiting for them to join them. Dololo was immediately escorted away by the older girls. The babies fed on Lucerne and then they all walked out to the Park. Mutara’s herd tried to take a different direction with Dololo but the Keepers tried to keep him with the main herd as he is too little to accompany them yet. Musiara later led the group to the mud bath for their 11am milk bottles.
At the mud bath there was a large group of wild bulls who were playing in the water. The dependent orphans had their milk bottles and then some of them decided to join the bulls in the water. Ex-orphans Kinna and Sunyei were also amongst them with their babies Kama and Siku. Kama came out and started play-fighting with Naseku. Mteto and Ukame were on the other side of the mud bath, playing in the soil. Lenana, her baby Lapa with some other ex-orphans and one wild bull were standing relaxing under a tree in the heat of the day. Bomani was rolling in some loose soil separately to the others, and later the orphans walked off to continue browsing.
The afternoon wasn’t as hot today, and Jotto and Kauro browsed separately from the others. Mapia later led the herd back home in the evening. We had a big group of 21 wild elephants who arrived at the stockade compound late this evening to drink water from the troughs before walking off again.
It was a fine morning today with the babies having their milk bottles this morning and additional Lucerne supplements before heading out to the bush. Mutara's herd came in and joined them for Lucerne feeding and to pick up their favourite Dololo. The orphans walked out to the bush to browse with Mutara's herd amongst them. Kamok started to play fight with Olsekki while Karisa was playing rolling down the ground. It was hot and everyone could feel it. Wanjala enjoyed a play fight with Mapia and tried to climb on him. Turkwel stayed with Dololo and later Sities took over and finally Suguta.
There were some wild bulls drinking at the water trough and wallowing in the mud bath when the orphans arrived there for their milk bottles. Some of the orphans headed to the water troughs after having their milk bottles. Pare was having a lovely dust bath alone while Lemoyian was play fighting with Tusuja. Ex-orphan Lenana arrived with her baby Lapa and Mutara's herd rushed to welcome them with joy. Wanjala had started a wrestling match with Tusuja when Lemoyian had walked away, but Lemoyian returned and tried to climb on him. Olsekki, Tusuja and Galla were busy rolling around and playing with each other as they enjoyed a dust bath.
Back out in the bush later in the afternoon, all the orphans looked active and comfortable enjoying the browse. It was quite hot and some were hiding under some shade. Later Mapia led the whole group back home in the evening for their milk and to go to bed for the night. We had a group of wild bulls in the compound too drinking water; they stayed for a long time until it was dark, and then walked off back into the Park when they were satisfied.
It was quite cold this morning as the babies had their milk as usual and walked down to the Lucerne field for the supplement grass. Mutara's group were already waiting for the babies outside the stockade compound. They immediately picked up little Dololo and Musiara who are the youngest ones, and walked out with them to feed on Lucerne. When they were done the whole herd walked out to the bush together.
Mutara’s herd browsed with Musiara and Dololo as Sattao stayed with the rest of the herd. Ndiwa browsed separately at a slight distance from the others; perhaps she had found something good to eat. Kuishi later led the herd to the mud bath. When the orphans arrived they found some wild bulls who had come to drink water and some were busy wallowing in the water hole. Some of our ex-orphans went to join them, like Suguta and Sities, who played vigorously. Mutara and Kalama were on the other side actively rolling on the soil mounds.
When the orphans were done with their milk bottles and had some water they walked back out to the bush, where they concentrated on browsing as it was a hot afternoon. Some of the orphans had to retreat to some shade, while others decided to brave the heat and continue browsing. Later in the evening they returned home to the stockades for the night. A big group of wild bulls arrived later in the evening to the stockade compound where they had a drink of water. Lenana, Kinna and Sunyei with their babies also arrived for a drink and then left shortly after.
It was a lovely morning today with the elephant babies woke up and had their milk bottle breakfast as usual. A big herd of wild elephants visited this early morning to drink water. They came with their babies and started interacting with some of our orphans like Rapa. The orphans walk to have some Lucerne and started feeding. Mutara's herd later arrived and they all joined the dependent orphans, paying particular attention to Dololo of course.
Out in the bush it was very hot and dry, and the orphans concentrated on finding enough food to fill their tummies. Mutara's herd stayed with the dependent orphans the whole morning and escorted them to the mud bath just before 11am.
The orphans arrived to find some wild bulls wallowing again. Kilaguni and Kandecha joined them and started play fighting. Suguta, Dololo, Mutara, Sities and Orwa went to the dust bath and started playing there. Dololo was placed between Sities and Suguta.
Back out in the bush, Lemoyian walked away from his semi-independent herd of Kithaka’s, to join up with the dependent babies. He was in a naughty mood and kept pushing some of the youngsters around. He was chased away from the group by the Keepers and Mutara when he pushed Musiara and he fell over. Mapia led the herd back to the stockades in the evening.
In the evening we had a big group of wild elephants who visited to drink water. Challa came to join them and later Mutara's herd came too. They stayed a very long time, until it was dark.
Seven wild bulls were waiting for water outside the stockade compound this morning as the orphans were let out. Mutara and her group showed up with Sities and Suguta going for their favourite Dololo. Namalok and Tusuja passed by the water trough and raised their trunks in the air, directing them towards the wild bulls to greet them and get a sense of who they were.
Out in the bush, the bulls were in a playful mood. Karisa played with Pare as Wanjala played with Tusuja while Galla played with Sapalan. Later, Tusuja had a game of rolling on the ground. The rest of the morning was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing. At mud bath time, the orphans all decided to swim in the mud bath soon after finshing their milk bottles. Esampu was excited after wallowing and started running up and down, trumpeting with exhilaration. Later, the orphans were jointed briefly by Lenana, Kinna, Sunyei and their babies, along with Makena, Chemi Chemi, Kitirua, Tumaren, Olare and Ishanga. In the afternoon, the dependent orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto seasonal river.
A wild herd with a tiny baby was at the stockade compound in the morning. As soon as the water was filled in the water troughs, the wild elephants drank their fill and then left. The orphans settled for Lucerne and later left for browsing out in the Park. Dololo had a pushing game with Galla and later played with Namalok. Shortly later, Namalok started a game of rolling on the ground and was joined by Rapa. As soon as the two bulls had enough of rolling on the ground, Rapa moved to play with Pare. Maramoja and Esampu enjoyed a moment of privacy, discussing issues that only they know. Roi assigned herself the role of taking care of Dololo since Sities had not yet arrived. The moment Mutara and her group showed up though, Roi decided to quit her role as a nanny as now the big girls were around.
At mud bath time, it was sunny and very hot, prompting the orphans to have a mud bath soon after finishing their milk bottles. The afternoon was quiet as the orphans browsed calmly without any major distractions.
We had a few ex-orphans and a number of wild elephants visit the stockade compound this morning. The orphans had their milk as usual and walked down to Lucerne field for a hearty breakfast. Enkikwe and Barsilinga had their leg and foot respectively washed and treated, before they joined their friends to walk out to the bush. The babies and ex-orphans from Mutara's herd all made their way out. In the bush, Kanjoro started play fighting with Chemi Chemi, while Kauro played with Namalok. Mapia was with Wanjala and Kamok with Olsekki as they apparently enjoyed a conversation together. Naseku chatted with Ambo while Lemoyian played with Galla. Out of the bush came some African Wild Dogs which gave the orphans a fright and they all ran to where their Keepers were. They soon settled down and decided to walk to the mud bath for their milk bottles. Mapia led the way.
At the mud bath the dependent babies had their milk bottles and after, some of them decided to go into the mud bath to wallow while others went to drink some water. After wallowing, the same group decided to go and dry off in a dust bath. Dololo met his nannies there and he stayed with Suguta in the first round, Turkwel in the second round and finally with Sities, who all took turns looking after him. The babies later walked back out to the bush to browse, leaving behind the ex-orphans from Mutara’s herd and the wild elephants enjoying a mud bath.
This afternoon out in the bush it was very hot, and most of the babies stayed under the shade for the majority of the afternoon. Just before 5pm they started to make their way back to the stockades for the night. Lenana and Loijuk and their babies visited this evening and later walked away with some wild bulls.
In the early morning today before the orphans had their milk bottles, a big herd of wild elephants, who appeared to be very thirsty, rushed in for water. The orphans had their milk bottles and came out of their stockades to walk down to the Lucerne feeding area. Mundusi and Rapa scratched their trunks simultaneously on one rock while Wanjala greeted Mapia. Dololo was first taken by Turkwel and Mteto this morning and they kept him in the middle in between them and offered him full protection. Mapia started stretching and doing some exercises while the wild elephants played just in front of the stockade compound. Bomani was scratching his bottom. Mutara's herd were late this morning and came running in as well for some water and Lucerne grass.
When the orphans eventually made their way out to the forest they concentrated on browsing, apart from Naseku who was communicating with Jotto. Chemi Chemi and Kanjoro were in the bush with the dependent orphans too. Just before 11am, the whole group walked to the mud bath so the dependent orphans could have their milk bottles.
At the mud bath Loijuk, Sunyei, Kinna and Lenana were there with their babies. Mutara’s herd came with the dependent orphans and there were a number of wild elephants at the mud bath as well. Some ex-orphans and their babies were playing in the water with the wild bulls and when they came out they walked to the dust bath area. Baby Lili was scratching on the tree next to the mud bath. Ex-orphans Kobo, Melia and Kainuk played on the soil mounds. Some of the young dependent orphans shared some water from the water troughs with some large wild bulls there too. When they had their fill, they walked back out to the bush to continue browsing for the afternoon.
All the orphans looked active and happily browsed in the bush. It was very hot and later some of them decided to seek some shade. Later the whole herd walked back home in the evening.
Later in the evening Kinna’s herd arrived with wild elephants. Her baby Kama walked over to the water trough and started playing and swimming around in it, before being able to climb out on her own.
It was a very busy morning today as we had a very large group of both ex-orphans and wild elephants coming for water. The water bowser vehicle had to negotiate the many elephants there who were eagerly awaiting some water, but they managed and successfully filled the troughs as well. The nannies to wild born babies Kama, Siku, Lapa and Lili surrounded the babies, keeping them in the middle of the group, to keep them safe. A wild herd of elephants had a young baby with them as well, who decided to wait for water by scratching on the main rock in the compound. Lapa and Lili started playing together as they try to scare away the wild baby. The Ithumba milk-dependent babies had their milk bottles and walked down to the Lucerne area to feed, but most of them decided to continue on out to the bush, as there were so many ex-orphans around!
Out in the bush, Namalok started a play fight with Mundusi. Orwa and Bomani were busy browsing with the dependent orphans.
Later the orphans made their way to the mud bath to have their noon milk feed. They found a big group of wild elephants who were there for water, as it is very dry everywhere now in the midst of the dry season. They know they can find water here or at the stockade compound during this dry season. Kauro, Tusuja and Galla have a new habit of sneaking away from the herd to run to the mud bath area before the others, and before the milk is even ready there! Olsekki came running in for his milk bottle and picked it up all by himself. The orphans had a lovely time wallowing alongside some wild elephants, ex-orphans and their wild born babies as well. Some of the orphans walked to the dust bath after wallowing. Kauro trying to climb on Tusuja while playing on the soil mounds.
Back out in the bush, all the orphans continued browsing despite the hot weather. They concentrated on browsing until it was time to return back to the stockades in the evening. Some wild bulls visited the compound this evening, and so did Mutara and Kithaka's herds.
It was a lively morning today with lots of wild elephants and ex-orphans visiting the stockade compound for water. Before the water bowser arrived, they were all milling around very restless and pushing each other for space. The Ithumba babies had their milk bottles and walked down the feed on Lucerne. The ex-orphans from Mutara's herd, Olare's herd, Kithaka's herd of three and some wild elephants all came to feed on Lucerne as well. It was hard for the dependent orphans to find space! Lenana and her baby Lapa arrived too and luckily for them, found some space to drink water from the troughs as well.
As the orphans were browsing in the bush some African Wild Dogs came running past again which gave the orphans a bit of a fright, but the Keepers managed to keep them calm. Enkikwe started play fighting with Namalok, Wanjala with Tusuja, Esampu with Jotto and Mapia was busy climbing on Sana Sana. Karisa later climbed on Mapia in a revenge move. Sapalan was spotted hugging Ndiwa while playing with her. Roi walked over to Sapalan and started patting him with her trunk as well. Later, Kuishi led the way to the mud bath for their noon milk bottles.
At the mud bath, the orphans had their bottles of milk and some started wallowing in the water. Dololo was following Sities and Suguta around. There was a group of wild elephants wallowing in the mud bath as well. The orphans walked to the dust bath and started playing there to dry their bodies.
Out in the bush later on in the afternoon, Kauro, Malkia, Ambo and Naseku were browsing together. Rapa, Sapalan and Galla later walked away from the group of dependent orphans and joined Mutara's herd. Mapia, Sattao and Musiara led the herd back home in the evening for their milk bottles. Some wild elephants were drinking at the stockade compound with Olare's herd. Mutara's herd came running in 20 minutes later after the babies had been fed their milk bottles, but without Galla, Sapalan and Rapa with them! Some Keepers were left behind in the bush looking for them, and when they found them they escorted them back to the stockades. They seem to want to be promoted to ex-orphans as this is their third time sneaking away from the group! But it is too early for that just yet.
It was a normal morning for the orphans today as they woke to have their milk bottles and then head to the Lucerne feeding area. There were a lot of wild elephants around too this morning, who had come for some water, and it was difficult for the orphans to find enough space to eat. Eventually they decided just to head out to the bush, led by Namalok.
We watched as Lemoyian chatted with Wanjala while Sana Sana and Kuishi greeted one another. Rapa was playing and rolling around on the ground. Dololo was doing some exercises and later Roi came over and pulled him closer to her, hugging him with her trunk. Two ostriches came to visit the elephants and watched them with their Keepers. Namalok was browsing with Sities. The babies later walk to the mud bath for their milk.
At the mud bath Dololo decided to skip his milk bottle, which is his second time doing that. Yesterday he was with Sities when he did that and today he was with Suguta. He walked past the milk feeding area with her and walked straight to the water trough! The other orphans had their share of milk and walked over to the mud bath to wallow and cool their hot bodies. Sattao, Musiara, Sapalan and Namalok were struggling to get out of mud wallow as the edges was steep and slippery. In the end they had to find another route out. The orphans then walked to the dust mounds and started playing in the loose soil there before walking back out to the bush to continue browsing.
It was a very hot afternoon and some of the orphans spent most of the afternoon under shade. The dependent herd was later led back home by Mteto. There was a herd of wild elephants at the stockade compound this evening, with Mutara and Olare's herds too.
It was quite a busy morning today as some wild elephants came running into the stockade for water. They appeared to be very thirsty and came charging in before we even had time to clean the water troughs. Some of the elephants were quite happy to stand close to the Keepers to wait for the water to be offloaded, but others were more lively and we had to move them away to prepare the water troughs first. The Keepers blocked the wild bull elephants also so the orphans could have a drink of water first before carrying on out to the bush, and then they let the bulls have their turn. Mapia led the way out today.
Out in the Park this morning Ndiwa was chatting with Rapa. Enkikwe and Galla started play fighting and later the two formed a group with Ndiwa, Rapa and Namalok, who all started chatting together as a group. Enkikwe was very active today and was rolling down on the ground in the dust playing next to Olsekki, while Ndiwa, Kuishi and Jotto stared at him watching.
When the orphans made their way to the mud bath just before noon, they found a few wild elephants there who had come to drink water and enjoy a swim. They played in the mud bath and some of the ex-orphans from Mutara's herd with Orwa, Lemoyian and Bomani came to join them. Lemoyian then walked to the dust bath with Jotto and started playing. Kithaka also walked to the dust bath for some fun. A small group of the dependent babies went to join them and when they were done they walked off back into the bush, leaving Kamok enjoying the soil mounds alone until the last minute, when she ran to catch up with her herd.
It was a very hot afternoon again and the dependent orphans bounced between browsing and seeking shade. Later Mapia, one of the most active bulls, led the herd back home in the evening.
Another lovely morning today with few a wild elephants appearing at the stockade this morning for a drink. The babies had their morning breakfast bottles as usual and then they walked to feed on Lucerne. While the orphans were feeding on Lucerne, the wild elephants were anxiously waiting for the water which was being filled by the water bowser. Today the wild elephants were very well behaved as they waited for the orphans to drink their fill, and then they came in after. Mteto walked straight to the big rock and started climbing on it to do some morning exercises. Kamok and Tusuja were playing with each other. Siangiki was most playful this morning, running here and there.
Out in the bush, Enkikwe started play fighting with Pare while Tusuja, Wanjala and Kuishi were busy playing, with Kuishi rolling down the ground. Tusuja started play fighting with Wanjala and Malkia conversed with Karisa. The babies later walked to the mud bath for their milk.
There was a group of wild bulls who were already in the mud bath wallowing. The ex-orphans from Mutara and Olare's herd came to join them. The babies had their bottles of milk and some joined the elephants in the mud bath too. It was so interesting to see the three groups wallowing together. Ukame came out and started scratching her neck on the tree beside the mud bath and then they all walked back out to the bush to continue browsing.
It was another hot afternoon and the elephants were very relaxed in the shade. They came out to feed a few hours later and then they started to make their way back home in the evening for their milk. We had some wild elephants visit this evening for some water. Kithaka has been quite naughty and a disturbance today, as he came back to the stockade early before the dependent babies arrived and started trying to scare the casual workers, until the Keepers returned and told him to stop his naughty behaviour!
The sky was partly covered by clouds when the orphans left their stockades this morning. Ex-orphans and wild elephants were in the stockade compound too waiting for water. As soon as the lorry started filling the water troughs, the elephants started drinking without waiting for water troughs to fill up. Lemoyian engaged Kithaka in a pushing game that didn't last for long.
Out in the bush, Namalok had a game of rolling on the ground while Sattao engaged Karisa in a light pushing game. Shortly later, Karisa felt that Sattao was not challenging enough for him, and so moved to tackle Namalok. Namalok immediately quit his rolling game and stood to face Karisa. Esampu settled for scratching while Musiara teamed up with Malkia to browse.
At mud bath time the orphans joined fifteen wild bulls and a breeding herd that had shown up for water. Also present were ex-orphans Kinna, Sunyei, Lenana, Loijuk with their babies, Makena, Kitirua and Olare. Naseku competed with Kainuk and Sities in trying to impress baby Lapa, but Lapa was totally unconcerned as he kept on following his mother. It was dusting time soon after wallowing and after, the dependent orphans parted ways with rest of the elephants. The Ithumba orphans settled to browse north along the upper Kalovoto seasonal river. The rest of the day was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.
Sities walked straight into the stockades soon after the gates were opened for the orphans to come out. She ignored all the other babies and went straight to her Dololo. Turkwel held a brief meeting with Musiara while Ambo headed straight out to browse. Sattao headed in a different direction and was followed by his friends. This prompted the Keepers to go after Ambo and persuade him to accept the decision of the majority. Ambo then walked back to rejoin the rest of the herd.
Out in the bush, Sapalan and Pare had some kind of conflict that ended in a pushing game. At mud bath time, it wasn’t that hot but half of the herd decided to have fun in the water. Only one wild bull showed up at mud bath and joined the orphans to drink water and wallow. In the afternoon, the orphans headed north of the mud bath. The temperature was moderate and the orphans enjoyed each moment as they concentrated on browsing.
The orphans were joined by the ex-orphans Mutara, Sities, Kainuk, Suguta, Orwa, Bomani, Lemoyian, Turkwel, Garzi and Kithaka at the Lucerne feeding area soon after leaving the stockades this morning, as four wild bulls were waiting for water. Dololo and Tusuja passed by close to the wild bulls just to say hello. Tusuja and Namalok enjoy greeting and spending time with wild bulls whenever they get any chance. Perhaps this means that the two are the most likely to leave the human family next when the right time comes.
Out in the bush, Galla had a brief strength testing exercise with Mapia. At mud bath time, the temperature was again moderate and only five wild bulls showed up. The dependent orphans had fun in the water before heading for soil dusting. The rest of the afternoon was quiet and in the evening ten wild bulls showed up at the stockade for water.
Four junior wild bulls were at the stockade compound when the orphans were let out this morning. The orphans settled for Lucerne and shortly later walked down and joined the wild bulls to drink water. Kuishi decided to have fun rolling on the ground, a game that also attracted Karisa. Esampu, the cheeky girl, started running up and down and when she saw that no one was joining her, she stopped and started walking towards the bush to begin her day of browsing.
Later Karisa engaged Namalok in a pushing game while Kamok played with Olsekki. Shortly later, a flock of guinea fowl birds happened to meet the orphans. This put Galla, Naseku, Esampu, Wanjala and Namalok in a playful mood and they decided to start charging after the birds. The orphans played a hide and seek game with the guinea fowls until they got tired and left the guinea fowls to continue with their business. Rapa played with Karisa and later climbed on Mapia.
At mud bath time, the wild bull known as Dad with several wild friends were present. The orphans had their milk bottles and some water before returning back to the browsing field. The orphans took a break and relaxed under a tree for some time before resuming browsing.
The orphans left their stockades and settled for Lucerne soon after taking their morning milk bottles. The orphans were joined by Mutara, Sities, Turkwel, Kainuk, Kithaka, Suguta, Orwa, Bomani and two wild bulls. Shortly later, Musiara decided to lead the way out to browse. After walking for nearly hundred meters, he realized that there was no one following behind him! Musiara panicked and turned back, bellowing as he ran back to his friends. Mutara, who rarely responds to baby cries, was the first one to respond. This is good; as a future mother she needs to learn how to respond and tend to the young ones, as we believe her own baby will be on the way late next year. Kainuk, who always responds fast into such issues, joined Mutara in calming Musiara down and assuring him that they were just winding up with their feeding so that they could follow him.
Out in the bush, Karisa practiced how to push his fellow age mates by attacking a tree. He later used the same skills to wrestle with Rapa. Mapia played with Wanjala but their game didn't go on for long as Mapia surrendered and went back to browsing.
At mud bath time, the temperature was moderate and the orphans joined ten wild elephants in wallowing. Later, Sattao joined Tomboi to drink some water and as soon he had enough, Sattao left to follow his friends. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the slopes of Ithumba Hill and browsed calmly throughout the remaining part of the day.
A wild herd consisting of seven members reported early at dawn and waited for water. Soon when the orphans were let out, Malima walked down and extended her trunk to say hello to one of the wild babies her size. The mother didn’t want her socializing with her baby however, and made to push Malima, so Malima made the wise choice to leave before the mother made her threats real. Mutara, Sities, Suguta, Turkwel, Kanjoro, Kibo, Kilaguni, Kithaka, Garzi and Lemoyian joined the dependent orphans for Lucerne in the morning. The ex orphans then parted ways soon after they were done with the supplement food.
On the way out to browse, Sapalan engaged Galla in a pushing game while Karisa played with Pare. Sattao opted for a soil dusting exercise before settling to browse. Mapia and Olsekki settled to scratch on some rocks while Ambo teamed up with Siangiki to browse.
At mud bath time, wild bull Dad, in a group of ten wild bulls, were found relaxing under some acacia trees when the orphans showed up. The orphans had their milk bottles and some water from the water trough, before going to mud bath and enjoy a soil dusting exercise. Later, the Ithumba dependent orphans headed north of the mud bath and settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto River for the rest of the day.
Turkwel welcomed Musiara and Sattao out of their stockade in the morning. Instead of going for lucerne, Turkwel took the two boys down to the water trough to have some water. Six wild bulls were present in the morning and two of them joined the orphans to feed on Lucerne too. The wild bulls left only after making sure that they had cleared up all the Lucerne on the ground.
Out in the bush, Enkikwe had a pushing game with Namalok while Dololo played with Karisa. The rest of the morning was quiet as the orphans concentrated on browsing.
At mud bath time, the orphans fully enjoyed walling in the water after they had their milk. They were joined in their wallowing session by ex-orphans Kinna, baby Kama, Sunyei, baby Siku, Loijuk, baby Lili and Olare. After wallowing, the ex-orphans left while the orphans headed north of the mud bath along the Kalovoto River where they spent the remaining part of the day browsing.
After leaving their stockade, Mapia, Karisa, Esampu, Galla and Jotto were in playful mood. Mapia engaged Galla in a pushing game while Esampu played with Karisa. Esampu used a trick of stepping on a rock to make herself taller so as to intimidate Karisa. Karisa didn’t buy Esampu's tricks but wrestled her until she came down. Jotto played with Sapalan as Ambo decided to lead the way out for the day.
Later in the morning Namalok engaged Wanjala in a pushing game. Shortly later, seven African Wild Dogs passed close by creating tension amongst the orphans as they turned and started running towards their Keepers. The orphans calmed down after the Keepers assured them that all was well. The Wild Dogs disappeared as fast as they had appeared.
Naseku enjoyed her own game of rolling on the ground while Roi decided to play nanny to Dololo, as Sities and Suguta had not yet arrived. Mutara’s group did arrive shortly later however, and as to be expected, Suguta came to take over looking after Dololo.
At mud bath time, thirty five wild bulls were present and were joined by the orphans to wallow. Once the orphans had enough of wallowing they left the mud bath, leaving the wild bulls still enjoying the cooling off exercise. In the afternoon, the orphans settled to browse along the upper Kalovoto River.