Most mornings when I get to work I am still in my waking up phase of the day. I'm drinking my coffee and just thinking about how the rest of my day is going to go when SPLASH!!! Lois throws water on me. Sometimes I can see it coming but most of the time my back is to her and I have no time to prepare. Lois is a 33 year old African Elephant. She knows exactly what she is doing. Elephants can suck up around 3 to 5 gallons of water into the trunk and typically blow it into their mouths. Well, Lois takes advantage of this and throws all that water onto the keepers.
When it comes to behaviors we would like an animal to stop, the best thing to do is ignore the unwanted behavior. It takes all the fun out of it if you receive no reaction. If we were to verbally correct her, she is receiving a reward for the bad behavior because then she has gotten a reaction from us. But when you are getting drenched head to toe (she doesn't discriminate on the temperature outside) how do you just ignore her? When you don't see it coming how do you not gasp when the frigid water runs down the back of your shirt? Sometimes we can just take it because it is more of a sprinkle, but most of the time we are not so lucky.
The best part is, after she has successfully drenched us, you know she is laughing inside. And sometimes life goes a lot smoother if you just laugh with them....without her knowing it of course.