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It seems contradictory: Yindee and Vinh cleaned themselves in the basin to throw sand over themselves immediately afterwards. They are clearly enjoying this dust bath. Children do comment at times that the elephants are dirty. But this procedure of water bathing and dust bathing is a meticulous skin care. All those grooves in an elephant skin harbour small insects and parasites galore. They do not get dislodged properly by bathing in the basin. That only makes an elephant visually clean. By immediately throwing sand on themselves, it gets moist and sticky. In this way, it offers protection from the sun and keeps the animal cool. While drying up again, it traps the parasites, that can be removed by elaborate scratching. A mud bath has the same result.
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Frankie_Johnnie

Very cute little African elephant @Omoli...thank you!

Omoli

Vinh is doing quite well in throwing sand, @Frankie_Johnnie. Although he looks a pro, he is still learning. It takes more years than he has under his belt before an elephant can use the trunk to full potential. I mean, we have around 700 muscles in our body, while an elephant has 100,000 muscles in the trunk alone. It takes a steep and lengthy learning process to get all those muscles under control. One can often see a baby elephant swing the little trunk around, for they don't know at all what to do with this strange thing, so they use it as a kind of toy! See this very cute short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFMWgI0qmbA

Frankie_Johnnie

Great shot @Omoli! Excellent detail in the flying sand! Does Vinh have the procedure down perfectly now? He looks like a pro!

Omoli

Well, they are particular about throwing sand in their arm pits! Of course, a specific nice and warm breeding space for insects, @poolcue!

We take a shower and then put deodorant on. Same thing.

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