On this trip to Samburu this was the first thing we saw!! These elephants were right next to the river bank and just enjoying the rich squelchy mud so much. The elephant in the top picture is actually rubbing its neck and trunk along the muddy rim of the bank. It makes a rasping noise and the low sound emanating from the elephant suggests ecstasy!
There is a favoured technique for getting up the steps of the bank. First the elephant kneels on the bank and moves its weight forward and then it raises its rear legs to also rest on the bank and from that position it stands.Of course all this has to be learnt so the tiny baby elephant we watched spent quite a bit of time sliding backwards on the sumptuous mud. Fortunately mum was there to supervise. She encouraged with her trunk when the little one slipped back but she did not push it back up.When the baby finally made it she kind of popped upright!