An Asian Elephant Was Rescued From The Ocean 10 Miles From Shore, Have Left It Exhausted
An amazing story this week out of Sri Lanka, where an Asian elephant was rescued out of the Indian Ocean by the Sri Lankan Navy. Navy personnel say that the animal was likely crossing the Kokkilai lagoon, a large stretch of water between two jungles and was caught in a riptide or current that swept it out to sea.Many people are shocked to hear about swimming elephants, but swimming is not ᴜɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ behavior for elephants. In fact, elephants are very good swimmers and in fact sometimes even swim up to 6 miles across straits between islands. While elephants are good swimmers due to their natural buoyancy and built-in snorkels (their trunks), this one was sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ mightily. If it had been swept out to sea as officials believe, the 10-mile swim appeared to have left it ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ. But saving a 5-ton elephant takes more than throwing a really big life preserver. The Sri Lankan navy and wildlife officials sent additional teams to the area in a massive rescue effort.
The Sri Lankan Navy was conducting a normal patrol on July 11, 2017 when they noticed an elephant trying to keep afloat in the sea. The huge creature was apparently carried away over ten kilometres from the shore. According to officials, the animal became disoriented by strong currents while attempting to cross a tiny body of water at a neighboring wildlife reserve.
“They typically wade over small rivers or even swim across them,” an official explained. The currents proved too strong for this pachyderm, and it was swept away. Given the elephant’s inability to self-rescue, the gallant naval workers took matters into their own hands.The elephant was desperately attempting to stay afloat and kept breathing via its trunk. The rescue took over 12 hours, and involved multiple efforts and a high level of coordination. Scuba divers aided by wildlife officials first approached the distressed elephant to tie ropes to it in order for the vessels to be able to tow it gently back to shallower waters.
One naval employee climbs upon the elephant’s back to assist in calming the animal. They gradually brought the behemoth back to the shore with the aid of the ropes. Wildlife experts waited on the shore for the elephant and examined it for ɪɴᴊᴜʀɪᴇs. They needed to ensure that the animal was healthy and undamaged before reintroducing it to the wild.