Three adorable elephants have been captured on camera as they playfully frolic in the mud in northern Thailand.
Baby elephant Ronaldo (named after footballer Cristiano) was the first one to find the pile of mud and start rubbing against it and rolling in it in Chiang Mai province on Sunday.
Two adult elephants called Boontong and Lersoo joined soon after seeing Ronaldo having fun and huddled with him until feeding time at an animal camp.
Baby elephant Ronaldo (named after footballer Cristiano) was the first one to find the pile of mud and start rubbing himself in it and against the mountain of dirt near an animal camp in the Chiang Mai province on Sunday
Mud baths are vital for elephants who use them to cool down on hot days. And the mud provides a layer of protection against the sun while also giving relief from any insect bites.
Caretaker Suthatta Seesan said: ‘After the rain, they came out and started to move along the dirt tracks. The little one was so smart, he knew that there would be mud on that spot after the rain.
‘They looked happy and enjoyed their mud bath. We just finished giving them a refreshing bath when they played in the mud. They are such silly creatures but as long as they are happy we’re good too.’
The three elephants were cleaned off by caretakers back at the camp after their mud bath before they were given food to eat along with other jumbos.
Mud baths are vital for elephants who use them to cool down on hot days
And the mud provides a layer of protection against the sun while also giving relief from any insect bites
Despite being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand, elephant camps have been largely closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
Elephants are the national animal of Thailand and an estimated 2,000 of the creatures are living in the wild while a similar number lives in captivity.
In the wild, they roam through the deep jungle and in the country’s protected national parks but often encounter humans on roads and in villages.
However, they are protected by laws and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (£25).