The African elephants at Zoo Atlanta enjoy spending time in the sun. Visiting the Mzima Springs elephant habitat in the summer usually means seeing elephants splashing in the mud, hanging out by their pool, or enjoying baths.
The wrinkles on an elephant’s skin play a critical role in temperature regulation. When mud or water is applied to the skin, moisture becomes trapped in the wrinkles of the skin and helps to cool the elephant. Additionally, an elephant’s ears also aid in thermoregulation. When elephants flap their large ears, it cools the blood running through the veins close to the surface of the ears. As that blood recirculates back to the rest of the body, it will help lower the elephant’s body temperature. Adaptations like these are essential to an elephant’s well-being because elephants do not sweat.
The elephant care team at Zoo Atlanta spends a great deal of time taking care of and monitoring the African elephants. Their health, comfort and overall wellbeing are our highest priorities and are constantly assessed in order to provide the highest quality of care possible for our largest inhabitants.
The next time you visit the Zoo, makes sure to swing the by elephant habitat to see what fun summer activities our elephants are engaged in.
Lead Keeper, Elephants