African buffalo, Masai Mara Wildlife Refuge
An African (or Cape) buffalo emerges from a pool of muddy water on the Maasai Mara Wildlife Refuge in Kenya. African buffalo use mud baths to help regulate their body temperature and repel parasites and flies. Photo taken and donated by Natalya Pluzhnikov, a 2009 National Wildlife Photo Contest participant.

Take a Friday Photo Break

The final round of voting for the 2012 People’s Choice Award in our annual National Wildlife Photo Contest is going on right now (through August 6th). Check out the finalists and help pick the winner by voting for your favorite photo >>