Intense video shows elephant stranded at sea being saved by rescuers

Intense video shows elephant stranded at sea being saved by rescuersThis wasn't your typical rescue mission. An intense video circulating the internet (a version of which was posted by the
Daily Mirror Sri Lanka and embedded above) shows rescuers from the Sri Lanka navy towing an elephant stranded at sea back to shore.  SEE ALSO: Elephants run to greet a rescued baby elephant because yes, they are better than us In the video, the elephant can be seen struggling to stay afloat and keep its trunk above water after being carried away by a strong current nearly 16km (9.9m) off Sri Lanka's north-eastern coast. Fortunately, the Sri Lankan navy picked up the elephant after it was spotted by a patrol boat, according to 9 News.  Image: MEDIA UNIT HA/REX/ShutterstockThe island country's naval unit then dispatched a fast naval patrol craft and divers to secure the elephant with ropes. It was later safely pulled ashore with the help of two other boats, as well as Sri Lankan wildlife officials.  The elephant was likely swept into the sea while trying to cross the Kokkilai Lagoon, which divides two areas of jungle.  "They usually wade through shallow waters or even swim across to take a shortcut," navy spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge told AFP.  Swimming out so far is definitely not a mammoth task for an elephant, who are good swimmers, with some reportedly swimming distances of up to 48 km (29.8 mi).  "Swimming about 15km from the shore is not unusual for an elephant," Avinash Krishnan, a research officer with conservation group A Rocha, told the
Guardian. But as elephants burn through a lot of energy swimming, it was plausible that the stranded elephant needed intervention. Elephants use their trunks as natural snorkels, so the fact that the elephant was struggling to keep it's trunk above water seemed to indicate that the animal was in distress. Asian elephants regularly traverse short distances through the water. They were trained to ferry logs between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, in the 19th century. Before that, elephants often crossed the short distances between islands in the island chain. WATCH: 7 more things you didn't know about 'Planet of the Apes'

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