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[Zoonaute news] Fun in the sun for Scott at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

le Sam 19 Oct 2013, 17:37
Publié le 3 mai 2013

A baby elephant at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo covers himself in sand – seconds after keepers finish scrubbing him squeaky clean.

For 18-month-old Asian elephant Scott, bath time in the sunshine with mum, Azizah, is his favourite time of the day. And while it may seem as though he’s being a typical youngster, getting dirty the moment he’s finished his bath, it’s actually natural elephant behaviour.

Assistant Curator of Elephants, Lee Sambrook, said: “Every morning we wash Scott and the rest of the herd from trunk to tail, scrubbing them with shampoo and rinsing them with warm water.

“Almost immediately after their baths they’ll cover themselves in mud or sand which sounds counterproductive, but the layer of dirt keeps them cool and acts as sunscreen – perfect for our elephants now the weather’s getting warmer.”

Lee added: “Scott’s favourite part of bath time is being sprayed with the hose and rolling in the sand. He’s extremely playful and always tries to join in when the others are being bathed, especially when it’s mum’s turn.”

Pint-sized pachyderm Scott was born in October 2011, after a whopping 700 day pregnancy - almost two years. Not only was it the longest pregnancy ever recorded at the Zoo, Scott is also the smallest elephant calf ever born at Whipsnade, weighing just 16 stone.


Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)
· Asian elephants live in the mountains and forests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
· They eat Vegetation, fruit, twigs, small branches, bark and roots.
· Classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, there are thought to be just 30,000 to 35,000 left in total.
· The Asian elephant population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
· Whipsnade has nine Asian elephants, including Scott's half-brother George and half-sister Donna.
· Scott is an important part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for Asian elephants

"Si les abeilles disparaissaient, l'homme n'aurait plus que quatre années à vivre"; Albert Einstein

« Le but d'un zoo est de ne pas tenir des animaux, mais d'assurer le futur des espèces »
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