When the mercury starts climbing, it’s only natural to think about hitting the pool. Now, in a world first, the elephants of a Shizuoka zoo will be able to make a splash of their own, in a mammoth-sized swimming pool.

Fuji Safari Park in the city of Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture already seems like a pretty cool place in its own right: drive around, see lions and giraffes roam around in relative freedom, all with Mt. Fuji in the background.

Another attraction has been added to the list, as the park has built a 65-meter long swimming pool for its pachyderm population. Opened on July 11, the “world’s first elephant swimming pool” has already been a hit with the elephant residents, and according to park officials, a few laps around the pool has already improved the animals’ appetites.

As you can see below, the elephants aren’t likely to be challenging Kosuke Kitajima, Kosuke Hagino, or any of Japan’s other top swimmers, but they look quite comfortable in the water—and having a two-meter long snorkel makes staying submerged that much easier.

If you’re interested in finding out where two-legged types around town can take a dip, check out our guide to Tokyo outdoor swimming pools.


Added bonus: We’re going to go out on a limb and say that there aren’t many places where you can see rhinos with Fuji in the background (photo: Fuji Safari Park)

—Alec Jordan

Image: Daily Mail