Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Do elephants use tools? Amboseli elephant cleaning his toenails with a piece of wood



Elephant cleaning toenails with a stick
January 2013. This video was taken in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The elephants had been feeding in the marshes - you can see that the elephant is wet and in some of the distant shots has a waterline running along her body. When she got out, she noticed this stick and took some time using her foot and trunk to get it in exactly the correct position. Once she had, she anchored it with her full weight on her left foot and used its sharp end to clean between the toes and under the nails of her right foot. Whether she had mud or maybe a small stone wedged there from the bottom of the marsh it was impossible to see, but she certainly knew exactly what she was trying to do, and succeeded in doing it.

Elephants have been recorded using sticks before, to scratch themselves with or using foliage to swat insects. We've never seen one clean their toe nails before. If you have, let us know.

This video is courtesy of Real Africa, visit www.realafrica.co.uk


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