image credit: Marius_Kucharczyk cc
Ask anyone what color an elephant should be and you may get a raised eyebrow but the answer will normally be grey or greyish – perhaps even black or brown. Red would almost certainly not be the answer. Yet in the Kenyan National Park of Tsavo East you will find red elephants aplenty.
However, as you have probably already assumed, this is not the way the elephants were born. The dusty soil of Tsavo is naturally of this color and the elephants regularly partake of dust baths. The dust serves as an important anesthetic to protect the elephant’s skin. It also has the added bonus of shining up their tusks in to an almost silver appearance.