Sri Lankan Navy rescues elephant struggling 10 miles offshore

  • Sri Lankan Navy rescues elephant struggling 10 miles offshore

Sri Lankan Navy rescues elephant struggling 10 miles offshore

Sri Lanka Navy in a dramatic rescue at sea yesterday saved an elephant, caught in a current, from drowning.

On Tuesday the Asian elephant was spotted by eagle-eyed staff from a fast attack craft off the coast of Kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai, Sri Lanka.

Believe it or not, finding an elephant frolicking in the sea is not all that unusual. The harrowing 12-hour mission was caught on camera and shows a member of the navy in the water tying a rope around the animal.

A second fast attack boat and a team of divers joined the rescue operation. The actions for the rescue of the elephant were made following the advice of experts from the Ministry of the Environment and Wildlife.

The elephant drifted 8 nautical miles (14.8km) off shore. They are strong, skilled swimmers, with a unique lung structure that helps them withstand dramatic differences in pressure above and below water.

Genetically, they are also close relatives of manatees and dugongs, both water-dwelling animals.

Krishnan did add that the navy's involvement was likely important because elephants can't swim for too long due to the substantial amount of energy burned through swimming. "And the salt water isn't good for their skin".