Human Interest

Elephant fights Florida’s summer heat under firehose spray

Miami, Jun 22 (EFE).- Ongard, an elephant housed at The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, on Wednesday was able to enjoy a nice summer shower thanks to a team of Miami-Dade County firefighters who attached one of their hoses to a fire hydrant at the zoo and gave the pachyderm a bath, the zoo said in a statement.

This was the first time that the 11-year-old Asian elephant, known affectionately as “Ardy,” had had an experience of this kind, although at first he seemed somewhat “apprehensive.”

But little by little, he got used to the idea and gained confidence and “was soon enjoying the refreshing shower.”

Ongard not only enjoyed the massage by the massive stream of fresh water on his rough and thick skin but, no doubt, he will also take advantage of the mud created by the spray to cover himself with a protective coating of the dark and sticky stuff.

When they can, elephants frequently cover themselves with mud to protect themselves from the sun and from insects.

It was “a wonderful cooling shower as hundreds of guests looked on,” said the zoo in a media release.

This is one of the many activities being coordinated by Zoo Miami personnel as part of an ongoing program aimed at both mentally and physically stimulating the animals exhibited with an eye toward maintaining their overall health.

EFE emi/jip/bp

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