JUL 13, 2017 7:23 AM PDT

Sri Lankan Navy Rescues A Live Elephant That Got Lost At Sea

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Elephants are land animals that prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on solid ground, but that’s not to say they don’t sometimes go for a swim, whether they do so accidentally or intentionally.

Elephants are known for swimming, but this one happened to get a little bit carried away. (Note: The elephant pictured differs from the elephant that was rescued)

Image Credit: Andy_Bay/Pixabay

They’re excellent swimmers, capable of floating upright while using all four legs for directional control. From time to time, they use their innate swimming abilities to cross bodies of water. Unfortunately, some water currents can overpower an elephant's swimming skills and carry its buoyant body far away from the intended path.

Related: Elephants born without tusks – the result of poaching?

Video footage shared this week by the Sri-Lankan Navy depicts a successful rescue attempt for an elephant that was reportedly swept away from the coastline by ocean currents. Experts believe it was trying to cross the Kokkilai Lagoon to get from one area to another when the unfortunate event took place.

The animal, which has been nicknamed ‘Jumbo,’ was spotted several miles away from dry land by Naval crew officials onboard an attack ship. It can be seen using its trunk as a snorkel to breathe above water while its head remained entirely submerged below the surface.

Naval divers jumped into the water to attach guide ropes to the elephant. They then used their boats to gently tow the floating creature back to shallower regions near the shoreline. Local Department of Wildlife officials then helped the creature get back on dry land from there.

Related: The science behind how an elephant sleeps

The entire rescue attempt took all day, as the team was careful not to harm the elephant in the relocation process. Once back on land, a quick checkup revealed that the elephant was in good health.

If the elephant wasn't found by Naval officials when it was, there's a high likelihood that it could have drowned and perished to the likes of mother nature’s wrath. It was nothing short of a miracle that the rescue attempt was successful.

Source: Sri Lanka Navy via The Guardian

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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