This is the adorable moment three elephants played in the mud in northern Thailand.
The baby jumbo named Ronaldo – after the footballer – was the first one to rub its body against the dirt mountain near an animal camp in Chiang Mai province on July 18.
Soon after, adult jumbos named Boontong and Lersoo saw how enjoyable the spot was and huddled with the little animal in the mud until feeding time.
Elephant caretaker Suthatta Seesan said: ‘After the rain, they came out and started to move along the dirt tracks. The little one was so smart, he knew that there would be mud on that spot after the rain.
‘They looked happy and enjoyed their mud bath. We just finished giving them a refreshing bath when they played in the mud. They are such silly creatures but as long as they are happy we’re good too.’
The three elephants were cleaned off by caretakers back at the camp after their mud bath before they were given food to eat along with other jumbos.
Despite being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand, elephant camps have been largely closed since the start of the covid-19 pandemic last year.
Elephants are the national animal of Thailand. An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild and a similar number in captivity.
In the wild, they roam through the deep jungle and in the country’s protected national parks but often encounter humans on roads and in villages. However, they are protected by laws and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).