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Photo: Elephant Gaze

Jone Haesslich
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Kariega Photo of the Week - Kariega Game Reserve 

No matter how often we see a well photographed elephant, it is hard not to be amazed each and every time. Despite being 2.5 cm thick (1 inch), an elephants skin is said to be very sensitive.The brown/orange of the skin in the below photograph is not pigmentation (elephants are grey in colour), but is in fact colouring from mud and dust thrown upon the skin for protection against insects and harmful sun rays. 

Elephants also have a hard time staying cool due to their massive size. A lot of heat is created but the surface area of the skin is relatively small in comparison to the size of the elephant, and the amount of heat given off. The intricate network of wrinkles on the elephants skin aids in keeping these big grey giants cool by creating a larger surface area and trapping moisture. 

This photograph was taken by Kariega ranger, Gerhard Van Der Westhuizen at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Thanks Gerhard for sharing this incredible shot with us. 

 G Vd Westhuisen Elephant Face Eye Kariega Game Reserve