African Elephants Mudding

Elephants wallow in the mud to keep the bugs at bay, cool their bodies, and protect their skin from the sun. While The Sanctuary’s maintenance team stays busy digging and maintaining wallows throughout the elephants’ habitats—the Africans do their fair share of work digging their own as well. Tange has been observed using her tusks and feet to loosen dirt from the ground—then tossing it on her back.

In addition to its practical purposes, wallowing in the mud with another elephant can be a play behavior and social bonding experience.

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