Elephant swept out to sea rescued 10 miles off coast by Sri Lankan navy


Elephant swept out to sea rescued 10 miles off coast by Sri Lankan navy

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ANDREW HOLBROOKE/Corbis via Getty Images
A close up of one of the orphaned endangered wild Asian elephants rescued and now kept at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, a tourist destination in the hills of central Sri Lanka.

A distressed elephant that had been swept some 10 miles out to sea was rescued during a 12-hour effort that was caught on video. 

The Sri Lankan Navy and Department of Wildlife officers worked to rescue the elephant by tying ropes to it and then gently pulling it back to shallow water, according to the Guardian.

The incident occurred near the coast of Kokkilai in northeast Sri Lanka.

Navy personnel first spotted the Asian elephant, which they think had been caught in a current, and then solicited help from wildlife officials.

Avinash Krishnan, a research officer with the conservation group A Rocha, told the Guardian that it’s not all that uncommon for the elephant to have ventured so far from shore. 

A Sri Lankan elephant is pictured here bathing in a river at Bandaragama on the outskirts of Colombo. Elephants like the water and are generally good swimmers.  LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images

“They’re very good swimmers ... but they can’t keep swimming for long because they burn a lot of energy,” he said.

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