Elephants Pool Party In Style
When it comes to backyard swimming pools, the best one in Australia is arguably in Mosman, a northern Sydney suburb. There are fabulous views of Sydney’s sparkling harbour, Opera House and bridge, the enormous natural-looking waterfall and a stupendous size. It’s one heck of a place for a pool party and that’s what the owners do – all day, every day.
Yes, who wouldn’t want to be an Asian elephant at Taronga Zoo?
Beating the heat in style
Taronga Zoo’s elephants have the best way to beat the hot and sticky weather in summer, cooling off with a shower and play under the waterfall in their pool. Baby Luk Chai, his mother, Thong Dee, and their two fellow Asian elephants, waste no time in plunging into the pool in their lower paddock when the temperature starts to climb.
“The elephants will usually head straight for the water on hot days, submerging themselves, rolling around and even somersaulting underwater,” says Elephant Keeper, Ian Gleichman. “The young calves also love to play about and dunk each other. It’s a great pool party.
“Swimming and taking baths is a major part of life for the elephants at Taronga and in the wild. In the wild they spend a lot of time in rivers, lakes and mud wallows. We’re fortunate to have two great pool areas at Taronga where our elephants can cool down and the waterfall is always a favourite. I think they really enjoy the feel and sensation of the running water on their skin. Sometimes they’ll just kick back and relax with their legs in the air.”
Ian says swimming is also a terrific social activity for the elephants, particularly Taronga’s three calves. “Playing in the water is a great form of exercise for our young elephants and it provides an opportunity for them to develop physical and social skills that they’ll continue to use as they get older,” he says.
A good time to see Taronga’s Asian Elephant herd is during the daily keeper talk at 1.15pm.
More information: https://taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo
Images provided by Paul Fahy