Elephants & Water

Elephants need to drink approximately 40 gallons of water each day.  So an ample water supply is critical for any elephant group.  As a consequence, it is not surprising that the annual cycle of monsoon rains in the weather pattern of Asia plays a major role in determining where elephants live and why they move from place to place throughout the year.  During the rainy season when running streams are available everywhere, obtaining sufficient water is an easy matter.  However, during the dry seasons, elephants often need to travel over long distances just to find enough water to satisfy their needs. 


photo M. Noonan

During dry seasons, elephants move long distances to reach water

More than just drinking water, elephants almost always bathe in it as well.  This seems to be a way in which they cool off, as well as an important part of their skin care.  It also, quite frankly, appears to be just plain fun for them.  
photo M. Noonan
Whatever the reason, it is in the nature of elephants, when they encounter open water, for them to wade in, wallow around, and even roll and swim, using their trunks like snorkels.  In fact, they enter the water so often, and they move so well when in it, some scientists refer to elephants as almost semi-aquatic in nature. 
photo M. Noonan

ConserveNature.org is a program of Canisius College, Buffalo, NY.                                                  Web Design by Ivan Andrijevic