Elephants may look like they are having a lot of fun rolling around in the mud, they probably are, but it also serves a critical purpose for them. As they have minimal hair and sweat glands, they find it difficult to cool off under the harsh African sun. The mud not only cools them down and provides a protective layer on their body to shield them from insect bites and the sun. Their skin looks very tough, but it is very sensitive, and can get sunburnt!

Elephants prepare the mud for their baths in two ways. One is to kick their foot in the water to stir up the mud and mix it with the water; the other is to churn the mud with their tusks or trunk up from the bottom when bathing elephants will either roll around in the mud or spray themselves with it using their trunk.