Excuse me dear, I’m just going to powder my nose: Elephant uses its trunk to throw dust in its face to cool down

Elephant

This elephant found an innovative way to keep cool in the sun by spraying himself with sand and dust.

Wildlife photographer Richard du Toit, 54, captured the spectacular sight in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where it is expected to be a whopping 38C this weekend.

Mr du Toit came across the adult bull elephant and followed it for several minutes until it stopped and scuffed the ground before spraying itself with the enormous cloud of sand and dust.

The African elephant spraying the dust into it's face in an attempt to keep cool in South Africa
The African elephant spraying the dust into its face in an attempt to keep cool in South Africa

Wildlife photographer Richard du Toit, 54, captured the spectacular sight in South Africa's Kruger National Park, where it is expected to be a whopping 38C this weekend
Wildlife photographer Richard du Toit, 54, captured the spectacular sight in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where it is expected to be a whopping 38C this weekend

Mr du Toit came across the adult bull elephant and followed it for several minutes until it stopped and scuffed the ground before spraying itself with the enormous cloud of sand and dust
Mr du Toit came across the adult bull elephant and followed it for several minutes until it stopped and scuffed the ground before spraying itself with the enormous cloud of sand and dust

He set up his camera equipment hoping to catch the elephant repeating the activity, standing around 50 metres away to ensure that he did not cause the animal to become anxious or angry
He set up his camera equipment hoping to catch the elephant repeating the activity, standing around 50 meters away to ensure that he did not cause the animal to become anxious or angry

He set up his camera equipment hoping to catch the elephant repeating the activity, standing around 50 meters away to ensure that he did not cause the animal to become anxious or angry.

The Johannesburg-based photographer said: ‘Elephants often take dust baths, and also spray themselves in mud.

‘The reason is most likely to cool themselves, or to provide some protection from biting flies that can torment them.

‘Although I have seen elephants do this often, it is hard to photograph well, and so I quickly set my camera up.

‘I then drove along slowly with one hand on my big camera precariously pointing out the window, and the other hand on the steering wheel.

‘I had to keep one eye on the elephant and the other on the bumpy road.

‘I was really hoping he would blast himself again, and if so that I could stop in time to get a photo.

‘When the huge elephant stopped momentarily, so did I, and a second later he showered himself in this amazing cloud of dusty sand.

‘I was thrilled to catch this sequence.’

The elephant continued to walk, oblivious to Mr du Toit’s presence, and he followed it for a few minutes before it disappeared behind thick bushes.

He said that the park is an ideal place to take pictures of animals in their natural environment.

He added: ‘I visit the Kruger National Park often, and drive there using my own vehicle. You can drive around within the park, but you have to remain in your vehicle at all times.

‘In the park, elephants are very abundant, and mostly quite relaxed.’

In 2015, a census revealed that there were more than 17,000 elephants in Kruger National Park.

The numbers of African elephants in the wild have declined by more than 100,000 in the last decade, according to the African Elephant Status Report published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

By: dailymail.co.uk

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