Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who needs a Thigh Master?

A healthy elephant is a clean elephant so next on the agenda was to learn some basic elephant skin care. Apparently elephants don't sweat like humans, excluding sweat only at the point on their body that their toenails join their foot. If you look carefully you will see a sweat band at this point. An elephants skin is approximately two inches thick, except for behind the ears. Here it is half an inch thick carrying lots of blood vessels which are used by the elephant as a cooling system when it flaps it's ears. The breeze created helps to cool the blood before it circulates further. Pretty neat. Their skin, needs to be kept clean in order to more easily check the elephants health and condition. Another key cooling mechanism is to throw dust up and over their back from their trunks. This accumulation of dust, twigs and potential insects is easily removed via scrubbing. First off there is a manic slapping of a hand held "brush" made from bunches of leaves. slap, slap, slap, to cries of "harder, harder" from Benz. as far as brooms go though it worked a treat with dust and grime vanishing with each swoosh. Then off to the pond we went with bamboo bucket, scrubbing brush and swatch of tree bark which believe it or not makes a form of natural soap once wet and rubbed harshly across the elephants skin.
Elephants into the water, people into the water and lots of splashing to follow. The scrubbing is actually hard work, and to do it properly you actually have to scrub hard, except for around the eyes. There is also directional attention to be paid, following the grain so the speak. Except for the exceptions like the trunk where it seems to be ok to scrub across the grooves. Much more exertion required than you think. Working with elephants definitely has it over Weight Watchers or a Thigh Master. It is hard work, strenuous, physically demanding and I am sure that I will twinge as I move tomorrow. 28.1.2013

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