Sri Lanka is one of the most exquisite creations of God. The island is teeming with unusual wild flora and fauna, as well as delightful people, and you begin to feel that this truly is heaven on earth. God has never been stingy with his inventiveness or generosity, which is why Sri Lanka is home to some of the most extraordinary things.
Sri Lanka is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and settings. Nobody expects to see an elephant swimming for its life through the seas. That is correct. 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. Officials suited up with scuba equipment and dove into the water. Once they reached the poor giant, they attempted to seize control by tying ropes around him. Even as it thrashed about in the water, the elephant was aware that it was being rescued. As a result, it remained composed and allowed the specialists to work their magic. 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 injuries. They needed to ensure that the animal was healthy and undamaged before reintroducing it to the wild.
The Navy and its wonderful workers ensured that the elephant lived to see another day. Either the elephant’s good fortune or supernatural guidance guided the Navy to that precise location. They were conducting one of their routine patrols to ensure the waters were free of unlawful activity. Nobody on board that ship anticipated seeing an elephant so far from shore. Without the Navy’s intervention, the elephant would not have lived. After a prolonged struggle in the water, the animal would have exhausted itself and most likely drowned. The courageous Sri Lankan Navy and its valiant sailors returned the elephant in one piece. Congratulations to these courageous men and that graceful giant for hanging on for as long as they did.
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Therefore, are elephants capable of swimming?
While this elephant struggled in the water, the majority of elephants are excellent swimmers. Here are a few fascinating statistics about elephants’ swimming abilities, courtesy of wildanimalpark:
Like all other mammals, elephants are excellent swimmers. The only mammals that need to learn to swim are humans and primates. Surprisingly, the huge body of the pachyderm gives them enough buoyancy to swim easily. You swim completely underwater, with your head above the water and your mouth below, and you paddle with all four legs. The biggest advantage elephants have over all other mammals is their tribe. As a very versatile trunk, they use their trunk as a snorkel. This allows them to breathe normally while swimming and swimming long distances. New research suggests that elephants can swim well because they could have evolved from mammals like the manatee. And the reason they have suitcases is that they use them as underwater snorkels!
Elephants adore water and are excellent divers. Frequently, you will observe an elephant sticking its trunk up for air and then vanishing underwater for an extended period of time. Elephant cubs enjoy splashing about in the water. They frequently attempt to clamber onto the backs of larger and older elephants before splashing back into the water. Calves will draw water into their trunks and playfully shower one another. Elephants also enjoy cooling off with mud baths. They will scrape moist soil from the bottom of a lake or river and shower it on themselves to cool down.
Elephants are hefty, yet deceptively so. We must bear in mind that elephants can move up to 80 kilometres or more every day in search of food and water. This means that their legs, which must bear the body’s weight, are extremely muscular and robust. This, combined with their capacity to swim for hours on end while using their trunk as a snorkel, enables them to swim for hours on end. Additionally, they can splay the soles of their feet to assist in propelling their massive bulk through water. Elephants are not easily fatigued while swimming, but if they are, they will simply rest in the water for a while. They do not drown due to their buoyancy. Elephants in Africa have been observed traveling 48 kilometers across the ocean and swimming continuously for six hours. According to experts, the elephants that exist in Sri Lanka are the descendants of elephants that swam across the sea from Southern India. The only obvious limitation for an elephant swimming for land appears to be hunger and thirst in sea water.
While African elephants are rarely domesticated, Asian elephants in India, Thailand, and Malaysia are. Elephants’ swimming ability is put to good use here. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are located in India, near the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. At times, the distance between these islands can be several miles. Mahouts, or elephant caretakers, move people, commodities, and lumber between islands. The mahouts will transport an expectant female elephant to an island with enough food and will remain with her. Due to the fact that newborn elephants cannot swim until they are four or five months old, and since the mother and calf will be required to remain on the island for the duration, the mahouts will select the island carefully. The pair will eventually swim back to the parent island. If an entire herd is to be transported across the sea, the mahouts will ride atop the largest elephants, ensuring an effortless voyage. When the distance between islands becomes too great, the mahouts will shepherd the herd to a nearby island for a break, which can last one or two days. Elephants are also commonly used in Malaysia to transport lumber across bodies of water.