When it was time for the babies to bathe, we all had to go back to the walkways. Elephants are very very protective of their young so we weren’t allowed to bathe them as they will not allow us near their young. One wrong move and you’d have a elephant stampede so we stayed on the walkways as we watched the mahouts guide the herd to the river.
The mahouts taking a break as they watch their charges play in the water.
you see how the older elephants group around the 2 babies. further down the river there was another herd of elephants bathing too. if they ever got too close, the other elephants will crowd around the babies and trumpet a warning.
bath time over.
THIS IS MY FAVOURITE PICTURE!
Baby elephants learn by mimicking adult elephants. for some of these orphans, Lek has to show them how to pick up things with their trunks and even how to throw dust on their backs when she first rescues them. The lucky few who get adopted by a female elephant, like this pair above, will get the care and teaching he needs to prepare himself for adult life.
After the bath, they headed straight for the mud pits, which was what I didn’t get. shouldn’t it be the other way round? any way the mud, when packed onto their skin, actually cools them down and keeps the insects away.
2 of the teenage elephants were playing in the mud. the mahouts threw a ball inside and they started tossing it around happily.
The walkways are high enough for the elephants to walk under. sometimes they would stop and lean against one of the supporting beams and wriggled about as they scratch their backs against the rough wooden frames. it’s a little disconcerting when the walkways wobbled a little but it’s damn cute to see them close their eyes in bliss.