Published on the 8th of June, 2018
In the early morning of Thursday 7th June, Big Boy Laikipia returned to our Voi stockades for a visit after an absence of more than three months, having last joined the dependent Voi orphans in February of this year. Laikipia looked in fine condition with a very calm demeanor and he immediately greeted the Keepers, had his fill of water and then proceeded to enjoy some lucerne pellets that had been left behind by the dependent orphans.
Laikipia was rescued from Loisaba in Laikipia in 2000 after his mother died when he was just a year old. The reasons for his mother’s death were never conclusively confirmed, but it is safe to say that she had not been producing milk for a long time, either from the effects of the harsh drought gripping the area at the time, or a mysterious illness, given the condition of her young calf who was skeletal by the time he reached the Nairobi Nursery.
Thankfully the steadying influence of Lolokwe and the other orphans in our care at the time calmed him down quickly and he made good progress after a precarious start to life. Fast forward eighteen years and Laikipia has grown into a wonderfully handsome and extremely gentle big bull. He, of all our hand raised bulls, has chosen to return more frequently than most, and this is largely because of his very close relationship with Emily’s herd and his apparent interest in keeping tabs on the developments at the Voi stockades, which had been his home for ten years before becoming fully independent. The comings and goings of new dependent orphans has always been of great interest to Laikipia and he savors the attention his visits generate.
After a rest up at the stockades he chose to join the dependent group for a while as they headed out to the browsing fields. He soon discovered the new babies, Mbegu, Ndotto, Lasayen, Murit, Godoma, and Ngilai and while they clearly were very interested in him, constantly making furtive glances in his direction, they were not bold enough to fraternize too much and instead remained close to their Keepers. Laikipia was however soon mobbed by old friends Rorogoi, Nelion and Mashariki who couldn’t resist spending time with him.
As is always the case he gave the little guys lots of attention, which they find a great thrill, and then as they all browsed and fed on the plentiful vegetation he slowly moved away further around Msinga Hill, before later disappearing in the direction from whence he came. His unexpected visit was as always most welcomed by the dependent babies and their Keepers, and we wonder if it is a precursor to a visit from Emily’s herd in the coming days.