New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo has some of the coolest animals on land.


Emily and Ruth, the longtime resident elephants, are local favorites and always fascinating to watch. They've been on the SouthCoast long enough to know how to keep cool in the summer. These ladies were caught on video trying to do just that:

Hopefully, you have had a chance to check out the zoo this summer and see all the amazing animals. There's nothing like watching these majestic elephants.

So, what exactly were Emily and Ruth doing in this video?

"The female Asian elephants Emily and Ruth have a variety of ways to cool off when the temperatures rise,” Acting Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Shara Rapoza said. “If you visit on a hot day, or check out some of our social media posts, you might see Emily, who is 58, taking a mud bath, while Ruth, now 63, dusts next to her."

Mud wallows are what most animals at the zoo use to stay cool. Basically, the animals lounge in or cover themselves in mud to regulate body temperature.  Believe it or not, these mud wallows can help keep an animal cooler for longer than a dip in cold water.

The zoo has multiple ways to keep its animals cool, including pool sprinklers and, yes, even some icy treats for certain animals. All of these things are especially important as the SouthCoast experiences a heatwave this week.

If you haven't gotten to the zoo this summer, now's a great time to check it out.

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