Zoo News 17/09/2012
This imprint in the sand was left by a sleeping Sundara, our eight-year-old Asian elephant.
Elephants lie down on their sides to sleep for around four hours a night and usually turn over once, meaning they sleep for approximately two hours on each side.
All of our paddocks are covered in a thick layer of sand which gives our herd a nice, soft surface to sleep on. The elephants prefer to sleep on a slight slope, so every couple of days the sand is turned over and banked up into piles for them to lean against.
We know all of this because every night we record what happens and review the footage the next day. This allows us to note where the ele's have slept, who they have been sleeping next to and how long they have slept for.
We can therefore check that everyone is getting enough sleep, that the babies aren't keeping the older girls awake all night, and keep an eye on the social dynamics of the group.