Keepers' Diaries, September 2021

Nairobi Nursery Unit

This has been a month of growth for our Nursery herd. We are particularly delighted to see Ziwadi’s continued evolution. Typically, she remains behind the herd, either doing her own thing or browsing with Rama, Shukuru, and Olorien. Lately, however, she has been spending more time with the whole herd. One morning, she even joined Naleku in leading the orphans out for the morning. This is a wonderful development for our quiet girl.

01 September 2021

After the orphans finished their midday bottles at the mud bath, everyone settled to browse on the greens that the Keepers had laid out for them. While most of the orphans were peacefully browsing, Kindani and Olorien had a fight over one of the branches. Neither was interested in sharing it or leaving it for the other to enjoy. They kept biting their end of the branch and pulling against each other, creating a tug-of-war match. This carried on for several minutes, until they both seemed to get tired. Kindani noticed that Olorien had let down her guard and quickly tugged at the branch, which caused Olorien to fall forward and release her end. As Olorien tried to get up, Kindani ran off with the branch, clearly very chuffed with herself.

Olorien appeared to be looking for Kindani, but she lost interest and walked over to Naleku and Kinyei who were busy dust bathing. All three were very happy, rolling around and sliding down the dust mound. 

Ziwadi continues to have her good days and her quieter days. This afternoon, as the orphans settled back to browse in the forest, she had the best time following the herd wherever they went. The Keepers were so happy to see her spending time with the herd and everyone was able to relax, as not once did she or Rama try and wander off. The orphans had a wonderful afternoon browsing in the forest. 

02 September 2021

After the orphans finished their early bottles of milk, Naboishu was so eager to get out of his stockade that he kept impatiently knocking at his door. This seemed to bother Roho and Mukkoka, as they both began to rumble deeply. The moment Naboishu heard them, he immediately went quiet, as if he knew they were upset. As all the orphans were now waiting by their doors and gates, the Keepers started to let them out one by one. 

Naboishu was watching the Keepers move door to door, which made him grow restless once again. He resumed knocking at his gate. This agitated Kinyei, Kindani, and Bondeni, who all began to knock at their stable doors. Eventually, the Keepers let all the orphans out and they all greeted each other within the stockade compound before heading off to the forest.

Once out in the forest, the orphans all settled for a lovely day of browsing. 

03 September 2021

Although the orphans follow the same daily routine of having their milk and browsing, each day brings something new. Just before 6 o’clock this morning, as the orphans were getting ready to make their way out to the forest, Maxwell came scampering out of his bedroom in a towering mood. He was stomping around his stockade and kicking up his back feet, all signs that he was marking his territory. As the orphans and the Keepers were now heading out towards the forest, Max got even more agitated and charged around his stockade, swaying his head and knocking against his wall, making a big thudding sound. 

At one point, he even charged the wall that separated his top stockade from the bottom one. He did it with such force that he managed to break some of the wooden posts. The Keepers tried to speak to him and calm him down, but it was all in vain and he continued to stomp around. None of the warthogs were around and the Keepers couldn’t see anything else that would have disturbed him, so they wondered if an unseen animal in the forest — perhaps even a wild rhino — had agitated him. 

The Keepers eventually managed to calm Max down by giving him some of his favourite greens and lucerne pellets. As soon as he started to munch on his greens, he relaxed. Once he was full, he went to have his morning nap and he appeared to be in a good mood for the rest of the day. 

04 September 2021

This morning, as the orphans were coming out of their stockades and stables, Maxwell was already up and about. Unlike yesterday, he was in such a good mood that he was even happily allowed the resident warthogs to share his morning lucerne pellets with him. After his fill of pellets, he continued with his morning activities and walked over to his neighbouring stockade where he fed on the grass and shrubs before having a nap. 

After the orphans finished their midday of bottles of milk down at the mud bath, they settled to browse on greens. As Ziwadi was happily browsing on her favourite greens, little Bondeni and Esoit came over to steal some from her. Unlike most days, it was amazing to see Ziwadi stand up for herself. As soon as the two bulls tried to grab some of her branches, she pushed them away and managed to chase them off. 

This afternoon, as the orphans settled back in the forest to browse, Esoit and Kinyei engaged each other in a fun strength testing match. They were having such a blast, barreling through the forest and pushing over any bushes that were in their way. These games are such an important part of the orphans’ growth, building their confidence and learning the skills they need to survive in the wild, especially when defending themselves against other elephants. 

The orphans had a lovely afternoon browsing.

05 September 2021

Recently, all the orphans are extremely eager to start their day of browsing. Even Shukuru has adopted this habit, even sneaking off with some of the younger orphans. Because Shukuru is so tall, the Keepers are always able to quickly spot her. This morning, she took Naleku, Roho, and Naboishu to browse in one of her favourite spots near the stockade compound. They were munching away on plants that were covered in edible creepers, which must taste delicious. They stayed together right up until 8:30am and then joined the rest of the herd. It is great to see Shukuru spending so much time with the younger orphans. Most days, she spends time with Ziwadi, Rama, Kindani, Kinyei, Olorien, Esoit and Roho. The younger orphans love being close to her. 

06 September 2021

As Mukkoka came out of his stockade this morning, he looked around for his friend Naboishu, who was still busy hanging out in his stockade. Mukkoka invited himself inside Naboishu’s room to greet his friend. They immediately began to wrestle and, as the Keepers called the orphans to head off to the forest, they came barreling out together. 

Once out in the forest, their wrestling match continued for quite some time, as neither of them wanted to show any signs of weakness by giving up. Eventually, they got tired and decided to show off their strengths in other ways. Mukkoka pushed down a small, dead tree, while Naboishu pushed against the ground. 

After a couple of minutes, they were both done showing off and immediately resumed their wrestling game. As they were chasing each other around the forest, Naboishu lost his footing and fell over. This gave Mukkoka the upper hand and he took the opportunity to climb on his back. Naboishu didn’t seem to mind as they continued to play, now rolling around and playfully climbing on each other’s backs. 

The orphans had a lovely day in the forest. 

07 September 2021

It was a bitterly called morning, as Nairobi had some heavy showers throughout the evening. It was still drizzling as the Keepers started to let the orphans out. Because it was so cold, none of the orphans were eager to leave their stables or stockades. Even the bigger orphans, such as Shukuru, Rama, Roho, and Mukkoka, stood at the back of their rooms, hiding from the rain. Unlike other cold mornings, Esoit, Bondeni, Kindani, Olorien and Naleku were all happy outside of their stables, ready to start their day. They seemed to be waiting for all the older orphans to come out. Larro and Naboishu were amongst the first of the older orphans to emerge and they led the herd out to the forest. Kinyei remained in her stable, but as soon as she saw Kindani, Esoit and Bondeni walking off with the others, she yelled out in protest and ran after them.

During the orphans’ midday feeding time, Naboishu and Bondeni were causing a lot of trouble. Naboishu kept trying to charge the visitors, so the Keepers eventually chased him away from the crowd and directed him to the back of the mud bath. Little Bondeni was charging up and down the cordoned area and every time a visitor would get excited to see him, he would bump them. The Keepers had a tough time moving him away. Bondeni loves getting all the attention from the visitors! 

After the mud bath, the orphans were led back to the forest, where they had a peaceful afternoon of browsing. 

08 September 2021

Maxwell was in a jovial mood this morning, as the orphans made their way into the forest with their Keepers. Max was running up and down his stockade, making a great show if it. Naboishu and Mukkoka were standing at his top gate, trying to entice the big rhino. Max smelled them and walked over to the gate to say hello. Naboishu kept trying to grab his ears, while Mukkoka rested his trunk on Max’s back. 

Max must have gotten ticklish when Mukkoka placed his trunk on his back, so in retaliation, he charged towards the gate where they were standing. He stopped just before the gate and kicked up soil towards the bulls. As a result ,they both ran off to join the herd and leave him in peace. 

Unlike other days, Naboishu and Bondeni were both very well behaved during the midday milk feed. Neither of them pushed any of the visitors. Naboishu is the naughtiest in the Nursery and will almost always keep the Keepers busy, but today he seemed to be giving them a break. Bondeni sweetly greeted some of the kids at the visit with little trunk kisses. 

09 September 2021

This morning, Naleku led the orphans out to the forest — and amazingly, she was up in front with Ziwadi. It was incredible to see Ziwadi maintaining her pace and following her throughout the forest. Usually, Ziwadi is happy to remain behind the herd, browsing with Rama, Shukuru, and Olorien, but today they all stuck together. Naleku has always enjoyed leading the herd and Larro is more than happy to let her. 

After the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, Esoit was enjoying all the attention from the visitors. He was happily standing near some of the guests and walking along the cordoned area. At one point, he started to be a little naughty and kept trying to crawl under the rope to chase some of the kids. The Keepers were kept very busy, ushering him away from the kids. 

The Keepers did such a good job of blocking him that he soon tired of that game and joined Mukkoka, who was rolling around on the dust mound. Mukkoka seemed more than happy to play with the little bull. He is calmer and gentler than Naboishu, so bulls such as Roho and Esoit enjoy playful moments with him. 

10 September 2021

As the orphans settled back in the forest after their midday bottles of milk, Roho, Esoit, Naleku, Bondeni, Olorien, Kindani, and Kinyei playfully chased a troop of nearby baboons. Bondeni and Esoit were trying to pursue some of the younger baboons, but as soon as they saw the elephants coming, the baboons would climb on their mothers’ backs and run. This seemed to confuse and excite the young bulls, who turned their attentions to chasing the mothers. Naleku and Kindani just chased any baboon they saw. 

For the first time this afternoon, Shukuru led the orphans further into the forest to browse. Although she sometimes used to do this with the Umani orphans, she hasn’t done so at the Nursery. The Keepers were excited to see her taking the lead. She is doing well, eating lots of green throughout the day and hasn’t been resting as much. The Keepers continue to monitor her, but they are happy with her condition. 

11 September 2021

Olorien continues to choose her own way to and from the stockades. The Keepers have never experienced this with any of the other orphans and they are not sure why Olorien refuses to follow the normal path. While her neighbours, Ziwadi and Naleku, emerge from their stables and join the rest of the orphans, Olorien always heads straight out towards the back of Maxwell’s stockade. From there, she loops back towards the herd, always accompanied by one of her Keepers. 

As Olorien came around the corner this morning, she encountered a herd of buffalo on their way back to the forest. She got such a fright and yelled out, then immediately came running back towards the stockade compound. Her trumpet also gave the buffalo a fright, and they ran off towards the mud bath and settled on the rocks. Even Maxwell got anxious from all the commotion and came over to see what the noise was. Once Max smelled Olorien nearby, he calmed down.

While all this happened, Naleku busily walked throughout the stockade compound, greeting all the smaller orphans. She started with Esoit and then greeted Bondeni, Kindani, and Kinyei, before everyone headed off to the forest. 

Kindani was being very naughty at the mud bath this afternoon, as she kept trying to bully Esoit. Unfortunately for Kindani, Larro was nearby. Every time she tried to bully Esoit, Larro would step in and chase her away. Once back in the forest the orphans had a quiet afternoon browsing. 

12 September 2021

Larro continues to be the Nursery’s matriarch, even though Shukuru is much older. Shukuru and Larro have so much respect for each other, despite their age differences. Some of the orphans prefer to spend their days with their matriarch, Larro, while others enjoy Shukuru’s company. Roho and Esoit, for example, always seek out Shukuru when out in the forest. Since Shukuru was a little girl, she has always been incredibly gentle, which is why so many of the orphans love to spend time with her. As the matriarch, Larro has her moments where she needs to be strict with the Nursery orphans, especially when they are misbehaving. 

Throughout the day, Roho and Esoit spend most of their time together. Today, they followed Shukuru everywhere. It was quite sweet, as they settled on either side of Shukuru to browse. They could even be seen grabbing greens from her mouth, but Shukuru was more than happy to share. The Keepers often wonder if all this attention has helped to improve her health. She seems to even get excited about her milk feeds now. This afternoon, she even raced Mukkoka, Naleku, Rama, and Ziwadi down for their milk. Even though Mukkoka won the race, Shukuru appeared to have a great time. 

The orphans had a wonderful afternoon browsing together. 

13 September 2021

Esoit is becoming quite a playful little bull. He always loves his games, and when he is full of energy and charging around the forest, he doesn’t seem to mind challenging any of the bulls in the Nursery — even the bigger bulls. His first choice of opponents is usuallly Kinyei or Roho. 

This morning, after the orphans finished their 9 o’clock bottles of milk down at the mud bath, they walked over for a dust bath. Mukkoka was first, followed by Shukuru and then the other orphans apart from Ziwadi, who was too busy enjoying her greens. Esoit was having fun with Mukkoka, sliding down his back and climbing up again. Eventually, Mukkoka seem to grow tired of their game and stood up, but Esoit continued to try to challenge him. The Keepers aren’t sure what happened, but Mukkoka suddenly became annoyed with Esoit and charged at him. The Keepers quickly stepped in and ushered Mukkoka away. 

Shukuru isn’t as fond of drinking water or having a mud bath as most of the others. Today, however, she walked over to one of the water troughs and began gulping down lots of water. Mukkoka and Larro stood by her side, sweetly sharing her water with her. As she trickled the water into her mouth, Mukkoka and Larro would grab some from her mouth. It is always great to see the orphans enjoying moments like this. 

14 September 2021

In the wild, rhinos and elephants do not interact so much, but at the Nursery, they are an odd little family. Max really enjoys his brief interactions with the orphans. This morning, as the elephants were starting their day, Max came barreling out of his room to greet them. By the time he got to his top stockade, Olorien and Kindani were already waiting for him at the top gate. They had a lovely moment together before the girls ran off to the forest. 

In the forest, Naleku, Roho and Esoit enjoyed chasing after the impala and baboons. Mukkoka, on the other hand, seemed to be in a bad mood, as he kept charging Naboishu and Larro. Every time they approached him, he would charge them. For the rest of the day, they kept their distance from him. 

15 September 2021

Naboishu was in one of his very naughty moods today. During their midday milk feed, he kept charging the visitors and the other orphans. The Keepers had no choice but to usher him away from the mud bath. At first, Naboishu didn’t want to go, but eventually gave up fighting his Keepers and ran off to the nearby bushes. There, he ran into some of the resident warthogs and then took out his anger on them. 

Bondeni heard Naboishu trumpeting at the warthogs and came running to join him. Naboishu gave the warthogs such a fright that they ran off towards the forest and into a herd of impala, which sent them scattering in the direction of Naboishu — which, in turn, gave him a huge fright! Naboishu yelled out as he did a U-turn and ran back towards the mud bath. Bondeni was also frightened and started yelling. This sent Mukkoka and Larro running to help him, which in turn caused the entire herd to panic. The Keepers had a difficult time trying to calm everyone down! 

16 September 2021

The orphans were all in very excited moods this morning as they headed into the forest. Mukkoka and Larro were happily wrestling and chasing each other. Their game continued for some time, until Larro settled to have a dust bath. As soon as Larro was rolling around, Mukkoka came running over and playfully started to climb on her back. Larro seemed to really enjoy their game. 

Next to Mukkoka and Larro, Roho and Naboishu were also enjoying a wrestling match. Their game continued for ages, and it would have carried on for hours if the Keepers’ radio hadn’t announced the 9 o’clock milk feed. As soon as the orphans heard the radio, they all immediately stopped what they were doing and started to race each other to get to the feeding point first. It is always so interesting to see how well the orphans know their routine. 

Naboishu and Bondeni can be quite disrespectful and naughty. Each day is a new adventure for them and the Keepers. They especially love to misbehave when there are guests. Today, for example, Naboishu charged and headbutted poor, unsuspected Roho, knocking him down to the ground. Although the Keepers weren’t fast enough to discipline him, Mukkoka was immediately on the scene. As soon as Naboishu saw Mukkoka approaching, he ran off with Mukkoka hot on his tail. While Mukkoka chased Naboishu, Shukuru and Larro walked over to check on Roho. 

After the mud bath, the orphans had a peaceful afternoon browsing in the forest. 

17 September 2021

Olorien continues to be a bit of a bully, especially to any new orphans arriving at the Nursery. On the 31st of August, we received a new rescue from West Pokot. We named her Kerrio, after her rescue location in the Kerio Valley. She arrived with mobility issues that affected her hind legs. The Keepers have been proceeding very slowly with her, but she appears to be getting stronger and more mobile. As she is doing well, the Keepers have been taking her out to the forest for short walks to meet the other orphans. 

At first, the Keepers worried how would behave Olorien with her, but she has been extremely gentle and caring towards the new girl. In fact, she babysat her throughout the morning. She kept cuddling Kerrio and constantly checked that the little girl was okay. 

The orphans had such a great time during their midday mud bath today. It all began with Shukuru chasing after the resident warthogs, who were also enjoying a mud bath. The warthogs ignored Shukuru and continued to roll around. This annoyed her, so she stepped into the mud bath to chase them. As soon as she got into the muddy water, the warthogs quickly jumped out. Bondeni and Naboishu then took up the chase, trumpeting and rumbling at them. As they were pursuing the warthogs, Shukuru enjoyed a lovely mud bath, rolling around and splashing mud everywhere. 

Shortly after the warthogs had run off, Roho and Larro joined Shukuru in the mud bath. They were soon followed by Mukkoka, Naboishu and Bondeni. Rama remained on the edge of the mud bath, splashing mud everywhere, and Kindani, Kinyei and Olorien stood behind him, getting splashed as well. After the mud bath, all the orphans enjoyed a long dust bath before making their way back to the forest for the afternoon. 

18 September 2021

Rama is doing so well, and the Keepers are so proud of his growth in confidence. He has even been wrestling with Naboishu and Mukkoka, which he enjoys enormously. He stands his ground against naughty orphans such as Olorien, and she seems to now know that she cannot push her luck with him anymore. 

Larro continues to dote upon little Bondeni. During their midday mud baths, she can even be protective if too many guests get close to him or if he runs far away. After the orphans finished their mud bath today, Bondeni seemed to have a huge burst of energy and began running up and down the rope, charging past all the guests and splashing them with mud. Larro sprang into action and tried to stop the young bull. When he refused to listen, she seemed to get very angry with him, letting out a deep rumble. As soon as Bondeni heard her, he immediately settled. 

Naboishu is always trying to annoy Naleku, much like an older brother would pick on his younger sister. Every time he sees her enjoying a dust bath, he will rush over and attempt toclimb on her tummy. As he is so much bigger and heavier than her, she cannot take his weight and will quickly protest. Today, her yells sent Mukkoka running over. He pushed Naboishu off her, but Naboishu didn’t seem to mind and continued to roll around on the ground. Roho now ran over and began to playfully climb on Naboishu’s back as Mukkoka stood watch. 

After a few minutes, Naboishu got back to his feet and tried to charge Roho. Mukkoka immediately stepped in and Naboishu ran off, as he knew he was in big trouble. Back in the forest, Naboishu and Mukkoka made up and calmly browsed together. 

19 September 2021

As the orphans headed off to the forest this morning, Esoit, Kindani, and Kinyei got distracted and were left behind in the stockade compound with some of the Keepers. When Esoit realized he couldn’t see any of the older orphans, he began to yell out loudly. Naleku was the first to hear him and started frantically looking around to see who it was. As she was busy looking, Kindani yelled out. Naleku heard them both and ran back towards the stockade compound. She rumbled in a very low tone, as if to alert them that she was on her way. Kindani, Kinyei and Esoit responded back with loud trumpets. They met up with lots of trumpets of excitement and then Naleku led them back to the forest. Once they were reunited with the herd, Kinyei and Esoit were so excited that they went bush bashing through the forest. 

Mukkoka has picked up a weird habit at the mud bath. When the orphans are drinking from the water troughs, he will walk over and push them all out the way. Then, he sucks up water through his trunk and kicks the bucket as he does so, churning the water. As he was doing this, Rama, Olorien, Larro, and Naboishu walked over to one of the other water troughs to drink. As soon as Mukkoka saw them drinking, he then walked over to them and did his funny habit. Esoit seemed to think that this was a fun game, so he joined Mukkoka in kicking the troughs until the Keepers stopped them. 

20 September 2021

Ziwadi continues to struggle with the full use of her trunk and drinks water through her mouth. When she wallows, she has trouble splashing herself with mud, as she is a bit uncoordinated. It was an excruciatingly hot day today, so all the orphans were eager to have a mud bath and cool off. Some were busy spraying mud everywhere, whereas others were wallowing right in the middle. Ziwadi, on the other hand, ran to one of the troughs and dunked her head straight into the water. As she isn’t very good at splashing herself, she has cleverly devised a workaround. She blows bubbles in the water trough and then, as the water splashes around, she dunks her head in deeper. By the time she had finished, she managed to cover her entire head and neck in water. 

Once she had moved away from the water trough, the Keepers helped her bathe by throwing shovelfuls of mud on her back, which protects her skin from the sun and bugs. This personal mud bath made her very happy indeed.

As the orphans were heading back to the stockade compound this evening, something seemed to bother them. There has been a team of workers doing repairs to Maxwell’s stockade, and today they parked their car behind Naboishu’s stockade to load their equipment. This vehicle upset all the orphans, as it was something new that they had to run past. Kindani, Roho, Larro and Mukkoka were amongst the first to react, doing a U-turn to challenge the big car. Then, Shukuru majestically arrived and began to investigate the car. Mukkoka was watching her every move and when he saw her walking away safely, he calmed down and sprinted off to his stockade. The orphans then settled for the evening.

21 September 2021

Esoit continues to be a bundle of energy and one of the most playful bulls in the Nursery. His temperament is always so carefree, and he is friends with all the orphans in the Nursery, including Olorien. This morning, as the orphans were all browsing in the forest, Olorien and Esoit engaged each other in a strength testing match. Olorien, being slightly older than Esoit, managed to overpower him, which caused him to yell out in protest. This grabbed the attention of some of the older orphans, including Larro, who intervened and separated them.

Ziwadi and Olorien continue to be close friends. After Olorien’s game with Esoit ended, Ziwadi quickly joined her for a browsing session. It is so sweet to see how these girls have maintained their friendship and continue enjoy each other’s company. 

Larro accompanied little Esoit away and kept him in her sight for the remainder of the day. She is a sweet matriarch, but as she is young, she still has a lot to learn. However, all the orphans really enjoy her company and follow her lead. Mukkoka is also a fantastic uncle, standing by her side and supporting her when it comes to keeping the herd in check. 

22 September 2021

It was a beautiful, sunny morning as the orphans were let out of their stables and stockades. As usual, Bondeni and Kindani woke up in playful moods. Unlike her two friends, Kinyei is often a slow mover in the morning, much like Ziwadi. She takes her time coming out of her room, then usually peeks into Maxwell’s stockade before going over to Shukuru’s and Larro’s rooms. 

After the orphans finished their midday bottles of milk, they were led back to the forest by their Keepers and Larro. As the they settled in to browse, Bondeni tried to entice Esoit to a wrestling match, but Esoit showed zero interest in playing. Esoit joined the bigger orphans in their browsing activities, while Bondeni ran off to find Kindani and Kinyei. 

This afternoon, the Keepers received news of an orphaned calf in Elkarama. A rescue team was sent immediately, and they returned later that evening with the young girl. She seemed to be in great condition, despite being extremely timid. 

23 September 2021

It has been extremely hot in Nairobi, much to the orphans’ delight. Because Kerrio seems to be getting stronger, the Keepers have been taking her out to the forest more regularly and letting the older orphans greet her. She is slotting into the Nursery herd very nicely but as she moves much slower than the others, the Keepers do not take her as far into the forest. While her back legs are less mobile, Kerrio is still full of energy. She is such a sweet, happy girl and loves cuddling her Keepers. 

After the orphans downed their midday bottles of milk, Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei and Olorien enjoyed a playful moment around the mud bath. Shukuru and Rama remained on the edges, splashing their bodies and covering every inch in mud. Esoit and Naleku were deep in the muddy water, but after a couple of minutes, they got out to enjoy a dust bath near Shukuru and Rama. 

After an enjoyable mud bath, the orphans went back to the forest for a quiet afternoon of browsing. As it was so peaceful, Esoit and Kindani even enjoyed a little nap between Larro and Mukkoka. 

24 September 2021

Shukuru continues to enjoy spending her time with the younger orphans, such as Esoit and Kindani. Although she has her days where she doesn’t feel well and is quieter with the rest of the herd, she seems to be having more good days now. Today, she spent most of her morning browsing with Esoit and Kindani. The younger orphans really enjoy spending time with her, as she is so gentle with them. She is even extremely gentle with new girl, Kerrio. 

Bondeni loves to spend time with both Larro and Shukuru. As he was browsing between both girls, Mukkoka went to browse near Kindani, Kinyei, and Naleku. Naleku and Mukkoka continue to have a sweet, special friendship. Often, when Naleku wants to lead the orphans, Mukkoka will be by her side. 

As the orphans settled back in the forest after their 3 o’clock bottles of milk, Shukuru wandered off on her own. Bondeni went off to browse with Rama, Naboishu, Mukkoka, and Olorien. At 5 o’clock, the orphans were led back to the stockade compound for the evening. 

25 September 2021

In the early hours of the morning, orphans such as Kinyei, Roho, Naboishu and Mukkoka were having a fun moment running through the forest, bush bashing and chasing each other. Although Bondeni, Olorien and Esoit didn’t chase after them, they enjoyed their own fun game of running back and forth from the herd with their trunks in the air, trumpeting and rumbling. It was great to see the orphans all excited and enjoying the warmer morning. 

After their 9 o’clock bottles, the Keepers brought the Nursery herd slightly closer to the stockade compound so they could enjoy some time with Kerrio. Everyone was so excited to see Kerrio, and some of the younger orphans walked slowly with her as they moved a bit deeper into the forest. Kerrio appears to love spending time with the herd and her Keepers. 

As it was another hot day, the orphans downed their midday bottles of milk and went straight over to the mud bath. Rama and Naboishu had the best splashing mud all over the place — covering not only themselves, but also many of the visitors! By the end of the mud bath, all the orphans were eager to head straight back into the forest and continue browsing. 

26 September 2021

Kinyei and Roho continue to be close friends. This morning, as the orphans were calmly browsing, Roho and Kinyei enjoyed a pushing game. Roho seems to understand that Kinyei is younger and smaller than him, so he is always gentle with her and doesn’t push her like he does with the stronger bulls. Naboishu and Mukkoka also enjoyed a wrestling match, but theirs was far more intense, with neither of them wanting to give in. They always have action-packed games, and today they continued right up until it was time for their 9 o’clock bottles of milk. 

The orphans had a quiet rest of the day in the forest. Ziwadi was happily browsing near Rama and the pair wandered away from the herd, but always within the sight of the Keepers. 

Maxwell had a long afternoon wallow in his mud bath. With the hotter afternoons, he has been enjoying more regular mud baths. This is also good for him, as it protects his skin from the sun and flies. After his mud bath, he went to rest in one of his favourite sunny spots in the long grass. 

27 September 2021

Naleku seems to really enjoy leading the orphans out to the forest. Most days, she takes the herd to their favourite browsing spots. As the matriarch, Larro will always have the final say in where the herd goes, but she is always more than happy to let this little girl lead. This could be signs that Naleku will be a good matriarch of her own one day. However, she is still young and figuring out where she will slot into the Nursery herd. 

After the orphans finished their 9 o’clock bottles of milk, Naleku led them back to the forest. Everyone followed her, including Larro, Mukkoka, Rama, Ziwadi and Naboishu. Once Naleku found an area where she wanted the herd to settle, the orphans all broke off in their own directions to browse. 

Once Naleku settles on a spot, she and Larro like to check that the whole herd is there, particularly the slower walkers, such as Bondeni, Kindani, Kinyei and Olorien. Ziwadi is usually part of the slower walkers, but as of late she has been keeping up with everyone. Once Naleku and Larro see that the whole herd is there, they too settle to browse. The orphans had a wonderful day in the forest. 

28 September 2021

This morning, the orphans all went dashing off to the forest, apart from Ziwadi, who follows her own morning routine. As the orphans exchange morning greetings, Ziwadi is busy drinking from each of the water troughs throughout the stockade. This is an important part of her day, as she gets enough water to sustain her for the morning. 

As Ziwadi was doing her rounds, Maxwell was busy eating his greens. He was shoving his least favourite branches away and then crunching down on his favourite acacia branches. His crunching is so loud the Keepers can hear it from the other side of the stockade compound. As Ziwadi finished drinking water, Max was at his top stockade, munching away on his lucerne pellets. The warthogs had eaten some of his pellets already, but he wasn’t too bothered. After he finished eating, he had a nap on his pellets and by this time Ziwadi had already linked up with the rest of the herd in the forest. 

Around midday, the Keepers got a call that there was another new rescue from Tsavo East National Park. This time, it was an orphaned little bull. He arrived at the Nursery in the early evening. 

29 September 2021

Esoit is one of the friendliest bulls in the Nursery. He will happily spend time with any of the orphans, and this morning he walked out to the forest with Kindani, Kinyei, and Olorien. They followed one another in a simple line and enjoyed little chasing games. 

Recently, Esoit has also been standing up for himself should the other orphans try to bully him. This afternoon, Kindani seemed to be in a bad mood and shoved Esoit away. This upset Esoit, who angrily pushed her back. He pushed her so hard that she flew into Rama, but as Rama is older, he didn’t react badly. It would have escalated between Kindani and Esoit, but the Keepers stepped in and ushered them away from each other. The orphans then browsed before heading home for the evening. 

30 September 2021

The new rescues all seem to be settling in well, but they are remaining within the stockade compound until they get used to their Keepers and their new environment. Sweet Kerrio is going out to the forest every day. As she appears to be getting stronger, the Keepers are walking her a little further afield, albeit very slowly. 

Larro enjoyed a playful moment with Esoit and Naleku this morning, chasing them around the forest before they lined up for their 9 o’clock milk bottles. Larro ran down in the same group as Esoit, Naleku, and Ziwadi. She is definitely the fastest of their group, so she got down to the feeding point before everyone else. They were then joined by the two fast boys, Mukkoka and Naboishu, who were followed by Rama and Olorien. Naboishu and Olorien kept trying to get more milk, so the Keepers quickly ushered them away.

The orphans then settled back in the forest to browse, before charging down to the mud bath for their midday bottles of milk. After a busy day of playing and browsing, they seemed excited to head home for the evening.