Animals

By Mikey Jones 

This elephant calf seems desperate to go for a piggy back – as he dunks his pal right under the water while playfully climbing on his back.


As the baby elephant came across a pool with its herd in the midday sun, they all decided to stop and cool off.

But while the adults took the opportunity to relax, this excitable baby wanted to play.

Using its little trunk as a snorkel the youngster went swimming between the other elephants.

PIC BY Inger Vandyke / CATERS NEWS

It then took to jumping on the back of a slightly older member of the pride and trying to hitch a ride.

Eventually the play came to an end and the elephants headed off to take shelter in the shade at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka.

The pictures were taken by Australian photographer Inger Vandyke, 47, who currently lives in Clitheroe, Lancs.

Inger said: “Over the years I’ve seen some very funny things in baby elephants but I rank this experience as one of the funniest.  That little elephant was like everyone’s naughty baby brother or sister.

“We were on our way out of Yala after an early morning safari in the park when we saw a small herd of elephants.

“They were approaching a waterhole right next to our car so we thought they were thirsty and merely wanted to drink.

PIC BY Inger Vandyke / CATERS NEWS

“Instead, all of them decided to go for a swim to cool off.  After all it was the heat of the day and the water hole was full.

“We watched the entire group enter the water but the baby was the funniest to watch.

“At first it was getting squashed in amongst the other elephants so it would jostle its way around them using its trunk as a snorkel each time they pushed it underwater.

“It finally broke free from the group and started to play with some slightly older young elephants.

PIC BY Inger Vandyke / CATERS NEWS

“It continuously jumped on the back of the others and they often tried to throw him off.  It even tried to piggy back on one of them, anchoring itself by trying to wrap its trunk around the other elephant‘s head.

“Although the whole swim only lasted around 10 minutes, it was the funniest thing we watched all trip and we never wanted it to end.

“Sadly they emerged from the water hole in a group and went to rest under the shade of a large tree nearby.”