As temperatures are set to soar across Australia for the upcoming long weekend, many will retreat to air-conditioned spaces while others brace themselves for a sweltering few days. However, the elephants at Taronga Zoo have found a delightful way to beat the heat by cooling off under their very own waterfall.
Footage shows five-year-old Asian elephant Luk Chai and his mother Thong Dee frolicking in the water under the glaring sunlight. Zookeepers report that the elephants wasted no time diving into the pool, with temperatures nearing 30 degrees Celsius this week. Elephant Keeper Ian Gleichman said, “On hot days, the elephants head straight for the water, submerging themselves, rolling around, and even somersaulting underwater.”
Swimming and bathing are essential for elephants, especially when the heat becomes unbearable. In the wild, they often bathe in rivers, lakes, and mud wallows. Bathing allows these colossal creatures to reduce their body temperature as their moisture-retaining skin prolongs the cooling effect of the water even after they’ve left it. Gleichman added, “The feel and sensation of the running water on their skin is something they really enjoy. Sometimes they’ll just kick back and relax with their legs in the air.”
Readers have shared their reactions to the adorable scene:
Having my say, Swansea, United Kingdom: “Made me smile.” Keith Lewis, Maidstone, United Kingdom: “How did the wife get over there?!”
Gordon, Unley, Australia: “Just another DM scare about the weather. Here in beautiful Adelaide, the forecast for Saturday is 26C, Sunday, 23 and Monday, 24. So far, the summer has been cool.”
As the long weekend approaches and temperatures continue to rise, let the heartwarming story of Luk Chai and Thong Dee remind us that simple joys can be found in the most unexpected places. Have you ever found a refreshing way to escape the heat or experienced a moment of pure joy that made you smile? Share your stories and join the conversation about these enchanting elephants and their waterfall fun.