Napping Elephant Leaves Perfect Imprint Of Its Face In The Sand At Chester Zoo

by : Emily Brown on : 19 Apr 2020 17:28
Napping Elephant Leaves Perfect Imprint Of Its Face In The SandChester Zoo/Facebook

A young elephant managed to quite literally create a piece of art in his sleep when his face left a perfect imprint in the sand. 

Chester Zoo in the UK welcomed Anjan the Asian elephant to their family nearly two years ago, and keepers have been keeping animal-lovers up to date with his antics ever since.


The zoo is currently closed to the public, but that hasn’t stopped staff sharing stories of what the animals are getting up to, with a recent post displaying Anjan’s lovely work of art.

Asian elephant calf, Anjan, puts his best foot forward 🐘

Posted by Chester Zoo on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

At first glance, the picture could easily be mistaken for a real, intentional artistic creation because of its intricate detail, but it’s actually just the result of a sleepy elephant.

It’s entirely normal for elephants to sleep on their sides for around four hours a night, which is plenty of time for them to leave an imprint in the sand beneath, but a spokesperson for Chester Zoo told UNILAD that it’s rare to find an imprint that hasn’t been disturbed.


They explained:

Our zookeepers quite often come across imprints in the sand but rarely do they see them quite so intact and quite as perfect as this one of Anjan!

It’s quite remarkable really that none of the other elephants in the herd, or indeed Anjan himself, stepped on it and disturbed it before the zookeepers got to it the following morning.

Anjan the elephant makes quite the impression! 😮This PERFECT IMPRINT was left in the sand where young Asian elephant,…

Posted by Chester Zoo on Sunday, April 19, 2020

The perfect outline could have easily been spoiled if Anjan moved in his sleep, or if he disturbed the image when getting up, but thankfully staff managed to snap a picture of the imprint before it was damaged.


The image perfectly depicts Anjan’s ear, eye and wrinkly trunk, easily making it one of the best self-portraits I’ve ever seen in my life — human or otherwise.

Good work, Anjan!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, Art, elephant, Sleep


Chester Zoo/Facebook
  1. Chester Zoo/Facebook