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What Do Elephants Do In the Rain?

One of our more frequently asked questions is, “What do the elephants do in the rain?”  It’s mostly asked with concern.  As humans, we instinctively seek shelter from the rain, just like cats, some dogs, and other domesticated species. Even when they are captive-born, elephants aren’t considered domestic species. The barn is available if they choose to seek shelter, but that’s not where they head when it rains.

So, what do they do when it rains?  Whatever they want! They seem to have two favorite activities when it rains – swimming and playing in the dirt. Mara practically runs to the ponds when it rains. Others also enjoy splashing, swimming, and playing in the pond during storms. They also tend to head to the nearest dust pile. Dirt and rain make a great exfoliating scrub that they use to scratch all their itchy spots. They rub it all over their bodies and then rub themselves on their friends’ bodies.

Before their arrival, we were told that several of these elephants didn’t like water – that they don’t like the rain, swimming, or even bathing. That’s not something we have seen since they arrived. It doesn’t matter if it’s a light drizzle, a torrential downpour, or a thunderstorm, they are generally out playing in it, with or without their friends.

Video from several months ago of Mara and Bambi eating in the rain, filmed by our team. The second two clips are from our habitat camera.

Comments(16)

  1. REPLY
    Audrey says

    In my mind, I can see them frolicking in the mud & water, and just having a great old time.
    When it rains is when it’s fun time.

  2. REPLY
    Carol in BC, Canada says

    Thank you for my Ele-fix! Love the idea of the girls playing in puddles, making a beautiful mess.

  3. REPLY
    Nanette Cummings says

    I have learned so much here. I hope you can keep this going.

  4. REPLY
    Wim says

    Not surprising as all animals and Elephants in particular stand much closer to nature than humans. Rain really makes you connect with Earth. ??

  5. REPLY
    Merry says

    I can’t seem to get the videos. Is it me?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      The video seems to be working on our end. Maybe try to open it in a different browser?

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Give it another shot now. Hopefully it’s all fixed!

  6. REPLY
    Deb Moore says

    I am remembering those rain parties at TES, was it Debbie and Ronnie running around trumpeting and acting so SILLY? I can still see them out there in the DOWNPOUR having a real party.

  7. REPLY
    Deb Moore says

    Nope, I cannot see it either. Usually I can no problem. Try youtube.

    • REPLY
      Sara says

      Try again now. Hopefully it’s corrected!

  8. REPLY
    Merry says

    Video’s good now! Many thanks.

  9. REPLY
    Deb Moore says

    ALL GOOD, thanks Sara.

  10. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH YES THE LADIES CERTAINLY ENJOY RAIN ‼️ I GUESS THE GRASS ??TASTES BETTER WHEN ITS WET!! PLUS IM SURE THE BUSH HELPS THE LADIES RUB. THERE BODIES! AS FOR RANA! ?BAMBI ?AND MARA?THEY LOVE THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR RAIN?IT LOOKS LIKE BAMBI AND MARA SNOOOZING DURING THE COOL ?RAIN BEATING DOWN OF THEM! THE LADIES FEEL GREAT WHEN THEY HAVE RAIN AND WATER HOSE SHOWERS! I BELIEVED THE ZOO COMMENTS WERE FALSE FROM START! ELEPHANTS? LOVE WATER AND MUD‼️ITS IN THEIR DNA?SHAME ON ZOOS?. THESE LADIES DESERVE THE ULTRA BEST! RAIN OR SHINE THEY R VERY HAPPY?❤️

  11. REPLY
    Sallie says

    I remember years ago, having a blast observing the many orphans at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, having a muddy blast, rolling in the holes of water and mud, and getting a refreshing spray of water from the Keepers, having the time of their lives! Of course, they came up to you and shook like crazy, testing your love and patience! What the heck. I knew enough to wear black and a plastic poncho. Soooooo much fun for us all. I can only imagine the GSE Gang of Girls here, going wild, taking advantage of the wet below and from the sky above, as they rolled around in Mud Heaven . . . Ahhhhh, what a life!

  12. REPLY
    fernande poitras says

    ça me rappelle jeune à la maison nous sortions tous dehors pour jouer sous la pluie et prendre notre douche c était drôle il y a une sorte de plénitude à rester sous la pluie je suis certaine que les filles se sentent comme de grands enfants en plus la libre de le faire

  13. REPLY
    Alfie says

    Wow 🤩

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