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Big bull elephant sits down to enjoy body scratch in the mud

It was during a recent safari in the Kruger National Park that I managed to film a big elephant bull letting his inner child out for a moment, hilariously sitting down before adamantly scratching his back side, looking rather awkward. Having lived and worked among the wildlife of Africa for many years, elephants are still by far my favourite animals in the African wild. Being in the presence of the world’s largest land mammal is already an incredible experience on its own. Elephants are almost always active and busy doing something. Watching these giants going about their many activities is just fascinating, with many encounters turning out to be a very entertaining. While baby elephants are adorable and by far the most playful and entertaining members of an elephant herd to watch, there are a few unexpected occasions when the adult members of the herd can surprise you with their child like behaviour. When I came across a herd of elephants standing around a mud wallow, I decided to switch off my vehicle and spend some time watching these giants going about their business. It was an extremely hot morning in the bush and the elephants were splashing themselves with mud in order to cool themselves down. Baby elephants and sub adult elephants would many a time go lie down or even role around in the mud, as getting back onto their feet is also a lot easier. I suddenly noticed a large elephant bull kneeling down onto his back knee before sitting down flat on his back side. To me this looked awkward and hilarious at the same time as you just don’t see big elephants sitting down like a dog. This bull elephant had only one mission in mind and that was to adamantly scratch a serious itch that was just too hard to reach in any other way. The bull elephant was adamant to get rid of his itch and he was moving back and forth on the slippery mud, looking really funny. After enjoying a good scratch in the mud, the bull elephant got back onto his feet without any real difficulty. Seeing such a large elephant sitting down made me think of the trained circus elephants from an era gone by. This elephant bull clearly does not need any trainer or circus to behave in such an entertaining manner. We left the herd to continue with their muddy business while we continued with our safari.