A baby elephant has taken his first dip at Melbourne Zoo, and not even the freezing water could have stopped him.
The six-month-old Asian elephant calf, Man Jai, dived into the 4.5m pool alongside his big sister Mali.
The first time Man Jai has swum in the ‘deep pool’ with it previously being off-limits to the calf.
Keepers say Man Jai showed a keen interest in swimming days after he was born but has only been allowed to use the elephant paddling pool.
The freezing temperatures failed to deter the elephants, and they’re known for swimming regardless of the climate.
CCTV footage from the zoo last winter even showed them going for a dip in the middle of the night.
The manager of the elephant enclosure at Melbourne Zoo, Dominic Moss, said visitors could expect to see Man Jai swimming most days from now on.
Man Jai is the fourth elephant calf born at the zoo.
His sister Mali was the zoo’s first-ever elephant calf and the first female calf ever born in Australia.
Man Jai still relies on his mother Dokkoon’s milk for his nutrition, but keepers say he is beginning to play with the food the others are eating.
The breeding program at the zoo is part of the regionally endangered species breeding program for Asian Elephants after three young females arrived from Thailand at Avalon Airport in 2006.