Animal Diaries Archive
22 June 2007
Over the past few weeks, the winter cold snap has arrived and most of the crew has been searching through our cupboards for the old favourites: jumpers, raincoats, long pants and beanies. It was only last month that our days were comfortable and warm.
Well nothing can last forever and come June we are now facing chilly mornings, warmish afternoons, wild winds and pouring rain! Not only have we been feeling the cold, the elephants themselves have been a little chilly too. However it's not so bad being an elephant, their large bodies do release a lot of heat, so they don't feel the cold as much as we do.
Elephants originate from areas in Asia and Africa, so they come from a climate that is very hot and humid. Naturally they do prefer the heat much more than the cold and find it easier to cool off rather than to keep warm.
In order to regulate their body temperature and to stay a bit warmer you will notice them applying dirt and mud to their bodies as a form of insulation. So during the colder periods, the elephants will prefer to have a dirt bath rather than swim in the pool or be washed or scrubbed by their keepers.
So unfortunately during cold days, the elephants rarely go for a swim in the pool. However if the sun's out and its relatively warm, we certainly take the opportunity to give the elephants a bath to keep their skin in tip top condition.