A heartwarming video captured a delightful moment at a Texas zoo, where a five-tonne Asian elephant named Colonel found a unique way to beat the heat.
Seeking relief from the scorching weather, Colonel submerged himself underwater in a splash pool, resembling a scuba diver, with his trunk as a snorkel.
The footage showcases Colonel, 29 years old and residing at Fort Worth Zoo’s off-site facility, comfortably lying on the pool floor, taking an underwater nap. To breathe, he cleverly pops his trunk out of the water, using it as a snorkel while he rests.
In the video, Colonel playfully rolls around in the water, creating quite a splash, as he cools off in the 5-foot-deep pool. This endearing behavior is not surprising, as Asian elephants are known to have a fondness for water.
Although elephants swimming long distances between islands in Sri Lanka can be found in the wild, Colonel stands out by his unique poolside cat naps.
Christine Del Turco, the zoo’s elephant expert, expressed her observations, saying, “Asian elephants love water.
Ever since he got used to getting in and out of the pool, he’s very comfortable, and he takes cat naps every day. He naps in a small splash pool for the elephants. It’s only 5 feet deep.”
However, Christine revealed that Colonel’s swimming skills didn’t come naturally. It required some effort to encourage him to enter the pool initially. She shared, “It took me some coercion.
For four or five days, he’d splash himself on the edge of the pool. He wasn’t sure where the bottom was. I coaxed him in there with treats. Now, whenever he sees me, he’ll run into the pool.”
Colonel has undoubtedly become a favorite among the zoo staff, including Christine, due to his well-mannered nature.
She described him as a “really wonderful elephant to work with” and “our trimmest elephant.” Colonel enjoys exercise and often runs around, making his tranquil moments lying down even more special.
The heartwarming video was filmed at Fort Worth Zoo’s off-site facility, as the zoo is currently undergoing an extensive $100 million renovation known as “A Wilder Vision.”
The project includes developing a new pool with over half a million gallons of water capacity. The upgraded facility will allow elephants like Colonel to go on swims and relax in shallow banks explicitly designed for their napping needs.
The renovation project, called Elephant Springs, is part of the four-phase plan aimed at tripling the size of the current elephant exhibit, providing ample space for Colonel and his herd to frolic and play.
The anticipated completion date for the renovations is next spring, transforming Fort Worth Zoo into a paradise for elephants.
While Fort Worth Zoo is open to the public, visitors must reserve a time slot online due to quarantine restrictions before enjoying seeing these fantastic animals.
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