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Indian elephant rubs its face in the Jim Corbett National Park

Jumbo faceplant! Moment elephant dives trunk-first onto grass verge to give herself a mud mask

  • The Indian elephant was filmed in the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttrakhand
  • The elephant buried its head into the verge to rub its face in the mud
  • A tour guide told photographer Arpit Kooba the elephant was removing bugs  

This is the bizarre moment an Indian elephant appears to take a sudden nosedive while walking along the side of a road. 

The female elephant was filmed in the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttrakhand State as it trotted along behind a safari vehicle.

Suddenly it veered off the track and pushed its head and trunk into a grass verge, even lifting one leg off the ground as it pressed into the damp earth. 

Photographer Arpit Kooba filmed the unusual behaviour, and asked his guides what the elephant was doing. 

Photographer Arbit Kooba, pictured, filmed a large female elephant rubbing its head on the verge in the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttrakhand State

The large female elephant walking along a road moments before it gave itself the mud 'facial'

The large female elephant walking along a road moments before it gave itself the mud ‘facial’

The elephant, pictured, turned sharply to its right for no apparent reason

The elephant, pictured, turned sharply to its right for no apparent reason 

They told Kooba, that elephant was using the morning dew to soothe itches and using her trunk to mix it with soil as an exfoliant to remove parasites from her skin. 

Kooba said he had been following a group of four elephants including two females and two calves.

He said: ‘This female elephant was coming head-on towards us normally and all of a sudden she went down, and we all were like, “What just happened?”

‘The guides explained elephants use the morning dew to treat themselves for fly bites and parasite infection which are itchy for them.

‘They mix the dew and the soil and apply it for relief.

Photographer Aprit Kooba, pictured, witnessed the elephant acting in a strange manner

Photographer Aprit Kooba, pictured, witnessed the elephant acting in a strange manner 

‘It’s an elephant way to treat themselves to a facial because the forehead and trunk are very sensitive, and they don’t want to rub it on anything solid.

He added: ‘It was just out of this world to see such behaviour of how these animals use the environment to medicate themselves naturally.’ 

Kooba used a Canon 1DX Mark II with a Canon 300mm lens to take his still images of the elephant from around 500 yards.

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