An African elephant demonstrates that size doesn’t matter when enjoying a romp in the mud, as captured by a photographer in a South African game reserve.
The adult bull, standing 13 feet tall, didn’t allow his impressive stature to hinder his delight, rolling around and creating enormous splashes in an attempt to cover himself entirely in mud.
Mud baths are more than just a playful pastime for elephants, as they cool their skin, protect them from parasites, and shield them from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
Photographer Anette Mossbacher, a 52-year-old German living in Bergdietikon, Switzerland, observed the elephant indulging in the muddy activity for about 30 minutes before using its trunk to clean its ears and eyes.
Mossbacher decided to follow the two male elephants she spotted heading toward the mud holes in Madikwe. She recounted her experience: “It was so much fun to watch this elephant enjoying his mud bath.”
She even imagined joining the elephant in the mud, wondering if the activity might benefit humans too.
The elephant created enormous splashes, nearly as high as its body, using all four legs to cover as much of its stomach as possible.
Although the creature made some mumbling noises, it appeared pretty content, even appearing to smile.
Upon finishing the mud bath, the elephant noticed the onlookers and briefly charged before deciding to join its companion, who was still bathing behind bushes and out of sight.