Mud Wallows are Popular This Season

The mud wallows have been a big hit so far this year. Since the dry season began, the elephants have been making the most of getting wet and dirty lately. We have to fill the wallows in manually, since there’s no rain to do the job for us. We have several plumbed with water pipes going into them, so those are being filled on a regular basis, keeping everyone happy.

Here you can see Guille, Maia, and Bambi covering themselves with muddy water at two different spots – Maia at one and Guille and Bambi at the other. Bambi begins to walk away as Guillermina joins Maia at her particular muddy spot. Maia eventually sits and squishes her bottom in the water, getting nice and dirty. She rolls from side to side, making sure to cover her whole body with the cooling mud. At one point, the two elephants get a little frisky, rubbing their heads together and twisting their trunks around each other. It’s good, gentle fun between two girls who definitely know how to play when they want to. 

P.S.: You may notice that, as she stands up, Maia is holding her trunk. We believe this is for two purposes – initially, it is to prevent herself from stepping on it as she rises, and after it’s because she’s very sleepy. She’s nice and cool and ready for a nap.


  1. REPLY
    Linda says

    Can you say why they do not become a herd. Is it because there are only five of them. Perhaps they are a herd (but not by choice). Just wondering about that. The behaviour reports are very interesting and educational. A bit like humans?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Matriarchal herds are generally all related. Because the elephants at sanctuary aren’t related, they aren’t an official herd.

      • Beji says

        What a messy, muddy menagerie. Looks 😊 fun

  2. REPLY
    Merry says

    omG; priceless

  3. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    Love seeing them together having fun doing what they do. Have a question? You said that’s Bambi walking away. Does she also have issues with a front leg. She walks like Rana with the stiff front leg. Am I confused about this? Doesn’t Rana have a rod in one of her front legs that keeps it from bending when she walks?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Rana doesn’t have a rod in her leg. It’s just fused from an old injury. Bambi has problems bending her leg since she fell down and couldn’t get back up.

  4. REPLY
    Sue says

    This was so enjoyable to watch, especially seeing the playful interaction between Maia and Guille! And thank you for pointing out about Maia holding her trunk! I had never seen that before and found it so interesting. The complexity the Girls show never ceases to amaze me and I can’t tell you how interesting it is to learn about things with your generous sharing of knowledge. ❤️🐘❤️

  5. REPLY
    Bonnie says

    It’s nice to see them having fun and enjoying the mud

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