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Nothing beats an elephant hug.
Michigan State University student Jacob Bloom spent part of his summer at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where he gained some hands-on experience taking care of the gentle giants.
Wochit

 

Nothing beats an elephant hug.

Michigan State University student Jacob Bloom spent part of his summer at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where he gained some hands-on experience taking care of the gentle giants.

The 19-year-old Farmington Hills resident is majoring in animal science and molecular genetics. Working under experienced veterinarians, Bloom and other MSU students in the Loop Abroad program learned how to feed, bathe and care for more than 100 elephants in the sanctuary:

Q: What’s it like to bathe an elephant?

Bloom: Bathing an elephant is sort of like bathing a dog, except you’re bathing something a couple of tons bigger. We would take the elephant to the river, fill giant buckets with lots of water and splash it all over the elephant. Since elephants can’t sweat, they love baths to cool off in the summer heat of Thailand.

Q: How big is an average elephant? How long do they live?

Bloom: An adult male Asian elephant is typically 12,000 pounds and the females weigh about 6,000 pounds. African elephants are even larger. Elephants in captivity typically live around 40-50 years, however, wild elephants can live for about 60-70 years. One of the elephants at the park was even approaching her 80s!

Q: How does the sanctuary help elephants?

Bloom: The Elephant Nature Park rescues elephants from the tourism and logging industry. These industries are often abusive, so the elephants are rehabilitated by giving them plenty of space, food, water and other necessities. Since…