Playing in mud is so difficult! This is the adorable moment baby elephants collapsed next to each other after being exhausted when they fell into the mud.

This is the adorable moment young elephants slumped next to each other after exhausting themselves splashing around in the mud.

Photographer Annie Laing, 64, took images of the elephants playing at Addo Elephant National Park, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Annie, from Colchester, South Africa, was visiting the park in October, on a hot day when she knew the animals would be searching for water.

The little elephants are known for being cheeky and playful and she was delighted to share content of them having fun.

The mud also serves as a protective layer for the elephants against insect bites and the sun. They roll around in it or spray themselves with their trunks when they bathe.

Annie said: ‘It was predicted to be 32C degrees, so I knew I’d get footage of the elephants in the water.

‘How lucky am I to be privileged enough to live in an estate directly opposite the Addo south gate.

‘The baby elephants often behave like young children, pushing each other around whilst playing and just generally having fun.

‘As it was getting really hot, more and more of the elephants got into the water to cool off.

‘They cover themselves in mud as this helps them keep cool for longer.

‘All baby animals are cute, but baby elephants take the cake with their antics!

‘I used to shoot a lot of sports games and have covered World Cup events but shooting wildlife is my first love.’

Tiring work! Two exhausted baby elephants have a little lie down after playing around in Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa

Making a splash! This baby elephant dunks their feet into the mud, making the water surge into the air

Trunks up! Another elephant lifted their trunk as they enjoyed the muddy water in snaps taken by photographer Annie Laing, 64

Sharing the fun! Annie said it was nice to see the elephants playing and having a good time as she took photos and videos of them

Time for a snooze! This elephant decided to have a dunk in the mud and lie down next to their friends

Larking about! These two decided it was a better idea to drench each other with muddy water as they playfully raised their trunks

Taking a break! The little elephants hang out together in the water. Annie said: ‘All baby animals are cute, but baby elephants take the cake with their antics!’

Off we go! This elephant fully committed to the rest, submerging their body into the water for instant relief from the harsh sun

Pamper time! Dunking their tusks in the water, these elephants take a dive into the mud, enjoying the refreshing dip

Shut eye! This playful elephant closes their eyes so they can fully relax in the cooling water

Hey, it’s my turn! An impatient elephant climbed onto their friend as they clearly also wanted to reset and rejuvenate in the water

Mud everywhere! On the day that Annie took the images, it was 32C, and the elephants were in search of some milder temperatures so jumped at the chance to go in the mud

Cheeky! The group of elephants are camera-ready as they take their time bathing in the soothing mud in South Africa

Antics! Another pair of elephants are so zen and absorbed in the water, we cannot even see their faces

Carry on! The sun blazes down which is even more reason for these contented elephants to carry on with their water trip

Rolling! Elephants either roll around in the mud or spray themselves with it using their trunks when they bathe

Always a laugh! These elephants are having a great time splashing each other with mud and water and getting cooler in the process

Someone to lean on! This elephant bonds with its friend as it rests its head on them during their relaxing bath experience

Amazing! A happy elephant steps forward to have a walk through the muddy water in South Africa

Bath time! When elephants take a dip and put water or mud behind their ears, the circulating blood cools down faster as they can pump all their blood through their ears every 20 minutes

Trunkloads of fun! Another way of elephants cooling down even more is to spray water or mud behind their ears

Elephants prepare for their baths by stirring up the mud and mixing it with the water. They also churn the mud with their tusks or trunk up from the bottom

Easy! This adorable and cheeky elephant turned to the left as they lay down in the muddy water in South Africa

It’s working! Elephants love to take a dip in the mud to cool off after standing around in the warm sun

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