Baylor and Tupelo are certainly making a splash at Houston Zoo right now.
The baby elephants, who weigh 1,100lbs and 600lbs respectively, have been given a new 120in family-size pool to paddle around in together after outgrowing their small inflatable one.
Zoo keepers have upgraded ten-month-old Baylor and five-month-old Tupelo to the bigger pool as warmer weather approaches in Texas and they need to cool down in rising temperatures.
Fun in the sun: Baby elephants Baylor, aged ten months, and five-month-old Tupelo have been given a bigger 120in pool to splash around in at Houston Zoo in Texas after outgrowing their small inflatable one
Growing fast: The calves weigh 1,100lbs and 600lbs and have been given the bigger pool as warmer weather approaches and they need to cool down in rising temperatures
In a video posted by zoo keepers, the two elephants have great fun in the blue and white pool with Tupelo leaning on it and then hilariously falling in.
‘The small, inflatable pools do not last longer than five minutes without getting popped,’ Houston Zoo elephant keeper Mandy Rinker said.
‘Baylor and Tupelo (need) a much bigger kiddie pool to play in. Playing in the pool is a fun enrichment activity for the babies and it is given to them when the weather allows.
‘The babies now get a family size pool which is 120in in length and can hold both calves. It is a lot more durable and usually lasts for about five uses before it has to be replaced.’
The zoo does not plan pool time for the elephants, so guests get lucky if they happen to be in the area around the elephant deck when the paddling sessions start.
Best friends: Zoo keepers say Tupelo and Baylor have had ‘a great relationship since the day they met’
Overshadowed: Baylor and Tupelo only weighed 250lbs at birth but are growing fast. They are pictured being put in an exhibit yard to meet the rest of the herd at the zoo last year
But the elephant calves are bathed every day at 10am in a ‘Meet the Keeper’ session.
They weighed only 250lbs at birth but have grown fast in a short time, with zoo keepers writing a ‘Trunk Tales’ blog to document their first steps and playtime antics.
As the elephants have been growing up they have been eating a variety of food, with Baylor said to be enjoying carrots, sweet potatoes and hay.
Tupelo is learning to use her trunk to feed herself and likes munching on chopped produce and hay, as well as the adult elephants’ faeces, which zookepers say is quite normal.
Mum’s the word: Tupelo cuddles up to her mother, Tess. She was given a name beginning with ‘T’ after her parents, Tess and Thai, and was named after Van Morrison’s song Tupelo Honey – a favourite of zoo staff
Sleepy: Tess tries to take a nap, but Baylor and Tupelo have other plans. Baylor was given his name from the Baylor College of Medicine, which has been heavily involved in elephant herpes research
Adult faeces provide calves with good bacteria in their bodies to help them digest food.
Daryl Hoffman, Houston Zoo large mammals curator, said: ‘These two bulls have had a great relationship since the day they met.
‘It is good to have young elephants together, so that they can spar, play and burn some energy.’
Baylor was given his name from the Baylor College of Medicine, which has been heavily involved in elephant herpes research in recent years.
Tupelo was given a name beginning with ‘T’ after her parents, Tess and Thai. Tupelo was named after Van Morrison’s song Tupelo Honey – a favourite of the elephant team.