As a certified Canon Trainer I am asked to share a few stories each month on the Canon Academy community Facebook page. I’m now based in Olderkesi Conservancy, adjacent to the Masai Mara documenting the conservancy, its wildlife and rehabilitation from intense grazing. Seeing wildlife come back to this beautiful area is incredibly rewarding. Today I am sharing a fun image and some facts about an elephant I photographed the other day and his mud bath!
Elephants have lot of fun with the mud, but did you know mud also serves a critical purpose for them . As they have minimal hair and sweat glands, elephants find it difficult to cool off under the harsh equatorial sun. The mud cools them down and provides a protective layer on their body to shield them from insect bites and the sun. Elephants prepare the mud either by kicking their foot in the water to stir up the mud and mix it with the water; or churning the mud with their tusks or trunk. To bath elephants will either roll around in the mud or spray themselves with it using their trunk. Their skin looks very tough, but it is very sensitive, and they can get sunburnt!
If you want to watch orphaned baby elephants having their mudbaths and milk feeds LIVE at the David Sheldrick Trust Nairobi Nursery.. CLICK here
I captured these fun images with my trusty Canon EOS 5d MarkIII, using the lovely quiet S mode of the shutter that Canon 5d markIII, and my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5-5.6 L IS USM lens at focal length 340mm.
I made sure to use a depth of field (f/9) to make sure all the elephant is in focus (as he is quite big!) and a fast enough shutter to captured the mud clearly (1/500 sec) and ISO 400.