Learning how to properly prepare a water hyacinth for consumption while avoiding one-horned rhinos is just one of the many lessons this young elephant has to learn as she grows up. Water hyacinths, or “million dollar weeds” as they’re commonly known, are a favorite food of Asian elephants. However, like many other delicacies, proper preparation is necessary to ensure they’re safe to consume.
These plants, which are found on the surfaces of freshwater bodies of water, have oxalate crystals in their leaves, which cause mouth irritation and itching. To avoid this, elephants have a specific system of washing the plant in place prior to ingesting it. This video from BBC Earth shows an elephant family enjoying a hyacinth pool in India while giving their youngest some dining directives. It may seem like a lot of information for this little elephant to take in all at once, but luckily for her, elephants never forget.
She struggles a bit through the mud and figuring out how to properly use her legs. Thankfully, mama is nearby to lean on when she stumbles.
Meal prep and walking aside, the life of a baby elephant isn’t always so serious.
Just watch how much fun this precious little pachyderm has frolicking with some feathered friends.
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