But Mum… I Had A Bath Yesterday! Elephants Splash Around In The Mud To Cool Down
These baby elephants get their swimming trunks out as they enjoy a splash around in a mud bath – with a little help from their elders.
The herd of African elephants doused themselves in the muddy water for a quarter of an hour in an effort to cool themselves down.
In particular, two young elephants – thought to be just four months old – completely submerged themselves in the waterhole.
Get your swimming trunks: The baby elephant has a whale of a time being sprayed
And at one point, an older elephant in the 50-strong herd gave one of the youngsters a helping hand and showered it in mud using its own trunk.
In temperatures just over 30 degrees Celsius the elephants find the mud cools them down and protects their skin from the sun’s rays.
What’s more, once the mud dries on their body it also acts as a layer of protection from insect bites.
Wildlife photographer Mike Dexter, who works for a safari company, spotted the elephant herd in the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.
He was leading a couple of South African visitors through the reserve and managed to get within five metres of the great animals.
Mud pack: This baby elephant has managed to cover half of himself in mud… but at least the top half is clean!
Just five more minutes please! The baby elephant loved its time in the mud bath
Let us spray: This adult elephant shoots muddy water all over itself
Mike, 27, who lives on the Mashatu Reserve, said: ‘I had been waiting patiently for the elephants for over two hours before I saw them arrive.
‘The herd were making lots of high pitched trumpeting noises while they splashed around in the mud bath.
‘After one particularly enthusiastic trunk flick, a shower of mud sprayed over the two South Africans I was with and drenched their gear.
‘Thankfully I was standing a little to the side of them and was spared the shower.
‘I was silently laughing my head off as you have to try and keep quiet when in such proximity to these huge animals.
‘Fortunately the two people with me thought it was great and were laughing as well – it’s not every day you get sprayed with mud by a wild elephant.’
The wildlife snapper added: ‘I was really pleased with the way the pictures came out and I was excited to show everyone what an amazing experience I’d had.
‘My favourite is the one with the female and youngster both with their trunks in the air and mud going everywhere.
‘I’ve never seen an elephant image quite like that and I like the way it looks like they’re doing a kind of synchronised dance.’
Muddy brilliant! This adult elephant was determined not to let the kids have all the fun at bath time