Moses has now been with us for 3 weeks and we feel that we have crossed the first hurdle in that he has not had any adverse reactions to the milk formula and seems to have recovered from his trauma and is settled into his new routine. We still have a long way to go and lots of hurdles to cross before we can safely say that he will survive and he is still very vulnerable to disease and will be until he is at least a year old. With this in mind and the fact that he is a wild animal and a very tiny baby ( even though he weighs about 100kg) we are not allowing any children near him and restricting any visitors to a minimum and certainly not more than 2 in a day and only for a few minutes. He is a friendly little guy who comes up to investigate anybody that comes into his space but he does get upset if there are too many people around that are “not part of his family”.
He has settled in well to his routine, loves his 3 “mothers” Matimat, the cook, who looks after him from 7 – 9 in the morning and from 3 – 5 in the afternoon, Nyson, the groom, who looks after him from 9 – 12 in the morning and from 1 – 3 in the afternoon and myself who looks after him from 12-1 and then from 5 in the afternoon until 7 in the morning. He cannot be left alone at all although he sometimes wanders off exploring within a 20m radius of which ever “mother” he is with at the time. He is fed every 2 hours day and night and – once he has got his mothers attention by rumbling – louder and louder, and butting with his head, he walks to the kitchen door as within a day or so he had worked out that food came from the kitchen!
Moses spends his mornings and late afternoon in the garden and walking around the paddocks where he likes investigating the trees, playing with leaves and splashing himself with water from his paddling pool – he gets a bit nervous when he actually gets into the paddling pool and we think this is result of him being stuck in the river when he was rescued from Vwaza but are sure that in time he will get over this fear. He does not like mud puddles at all yet which is unusual for an elephant as they normally love their mud baths but again am sure this stems from his trauma and he will get over this in time. Evenings are normally play time when he mock charges plants, the dogs and the cats and generally becomes mischievous. In the middle of the day he is inside where it is cool and shady, he would normally spend this time of day in a shady area underneath his mother to protect him from sunburn and his ears are quite sensitive to sunburn – has sunblock put on them when he does go outside which he does not really like being put on but it is better than sunburn. He and I spend the nights in the dining room – initially it was me on a mattress and Moses on a grass bed nearby but he soon decided that he would far rather sleep on a mattress thank you and made himself quite comfortable on the mattress gently pushing me onto the grass – we have compromised by putting 2 matresses together on the floor of the dining room and sharing them! He does however insist on having sheets on the mattress and if the sheets have not been put on he just wont go to bed and he will only lie down if he can lie on top of me – either with his head on my knee or if I am lying down then he lies on top of me and I wriggle out from under him once he is asleep but he has to maintain physical contact and if he is not touching me he will wake up and get up straight away – it then means waiting until after his next feed before he will attempt to go back to sleep. He is very vulnerable to cold and so has a blanket put over him when he sleep and as we start to get into colder mornings and evenings will have a blanket on him then as well.