When the summer is in full swing and the sun is out, the temperature rising, there’s nothing quite like a dip in a pool. Animals have their own affinity for water when the weather is warm, and elephants are no different. Asian elephants from Mt. Fuji Safari Park in Japan recently got their very own 213-foot long pool! Talk about making a big splash!
The pachyderm pool was erected with clear walls so that tourists and visitors to the Safari Park could see the aquatic antics of the elephants with ease. Any NatGeo elephant documentary worth its salt has a gorgeous shot of the majestic creatures gathering down at a great plains watering hole, so the fact that these elephants seem so keen in their new water refuge comes as no surprise. They even have a natural snorkel: their snout. By alternating their snouts above and below the water as they paddle-jog through the pool, the elephants can keep their heads submerged for nearly the entire length.
The five elephants who reside at Mt. Fuji Safari Park weigh in at nearly three tons each, so the acrylic glass the Japanese zoo has used for the pool’s clear viewing walls is nearly a foot (11.8 inches) thick. Reportedly, the gentle giants do between 15-20 laps per day in the pool, which officially means that these elephants exercise more than I do.
If you plan on traveling to Japan anytime soon, do keep the Mt. Fuji Safari Park on your list of possible sites. Their website boasts of more than just swimming elephants. There are lions, giraffes, chimpanzees, and there’s entire rooms dedicated to and full of rabbits, cats, and dogs (separately, of course) for patrons to visit and have a petting party!