An elephant dust bathing

Sam took this video of an elephant bull enjoying a dust bath right next to his safari cruiser on the 21st of September 2015. Elephants often throw sand over themselves as it acts as a sun screen and helps them to get rid of irritating biting insects. Amazing to watch the elephant going about his business while 2 young bulls are busy  play fighting in the background. This is obviously fun, but also shows them where they fit into the elephant bull hierarchy which is based on strength and age. This stops them from having serious fights later on in their lives as it can be life threatening. The musth system in elephant bulls seem to also have evolved as a way to avoid fights and deaths amongst elephant bulls. An elephant bull in musth goes to the top of the hierarchy, skipping past bulls that might normally be higher up than him. Cows also seems to prefer mating with bulls that are in musth.

Post by Robbie Prehn

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