Sri Lankan Navy rescues elephant struggling 10 miles offshore

By Ben Hooper
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July 13 (UPI) -- The Sri Lankan Navy said an elephant that got caught in a current was rescued from the ocean about 10 miles off the country's shore.

The navy said a patrol boat spotted the elephant struggling to stay above water Tuesday after it was apparently pulled out into open waters by a current off the coast of Kokkilai.


More navy vessels and personnel from the Department of Wildlife responded to the scene and helped tow the pachyderm back to shore. The rescue lasted about 12 hours, officials said.

The navy posted footage from the "Jumbo" rescue to YouTube.

Navy spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge said the elephant was likely caught in a current while attempting to cross the Kokkilai lagoon.

"They usually wade through shallow waters or even swim across to take a shortcut," he told The Guardian. "It is a miraculous escape for the elephant."

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