If, like me, you live a life without air conditioning, the unrelenting heat of summer can get quite alarming. While we can’t cool things down for you, we can provide a soothing balm in the form of this video of a rhino taking the dip of a lifetime.
Posted to Twitter, the footage comes from the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, and shows a Javan rhino, Rhinoceros sondaicus, having a mud bath that looks oh-so refreshing. The footage was captured on a camera trap, securing 2 minutes and 15 seconds of unadulterated joy.
The mud bath was near the base of a waterfall in the Cingenteur Block of the Ujung Kulon National Park. According to Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister who shared the video on Twitter, the rhino is a male estimated to be around 7 years old. She explains that the rhino can be seen wallowing and rolling in the cooling mud bath, a behavior that not only maintains the animal’s temperature but also reduces the number of parasites on their skin, providing minerals needed to keep it healthy.
While a fantastic piece of camera trap footage, the behavior isn’t rare as rhinos do this at least twice a day, with some mud baths lasting as long as three hours. I’d be a literal prune with eyes if I attempted the same in my tub.
However, Javan rhinos are the most threatened of the five extant rhino species. It's thought there are only 72 individuals in the world, all found only in the Ujung Kulon National Park. They were once widespread across northeast India and Southeast Asia but poaching and habitat degradation has led to just one isolated population surviving.
If you’re currently reading this while baking in front of your laptop, we hope this pure and wholesome video brings you some relief. You might not be able to strip naked and roll in a cooling mud bath (unless?) but it sure is fun watching a rhino do it.