Swimming trunk: elephant rescued from ocean 10 miles off Sri Lanka coast
An elephant was rescued from the sea about 10 miles (16 km) off the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka, the country’s navy said.
Naval personnel said the elephant was trapped in a stream off the coast near the town of Kokkilai and dragged into the ocean where it was discovered by a patrol.
Officials from the Wildlife Department and another naval ship were sent to the region and helped bring the animal to shore.
Avinash Krishnan, a research officer with the A Rocha conservation group, said the discovery that the animal off Earth was less noticeable than it appeared.
“They are very good swimmers,” he said. “Swimming about 15 km from the coast is not unusual for an elephant.”
However, he added that the intervention of the Navy was still necessary. “They can not continue swimming for a long time because they burn a lot of energy,” he said.
“And salt water is not good for your skin, so in this case, the situation is likely to justify human intervention.”
He said that Asian elephants regularly cross short distances through the water, even in the Andaman Islands, an Indian archipelago where swimming was observed among small geographic features.
Elephants use their trunks as natural snorkel and have a unique lung structure in mammals that allows them to withstand variations of pressure above and below water.
Genetically, they are also familiar to manatees and dugongs, both of the animals that live in the water.
Biologists have speculated that the first elephants could have come to Sri Lanka, taking a similar route to that which recovered on Monday in swimming in southern India.
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