Sri Lanka navy res­cues two ele­phants washed out to sea

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Two young ele­phants washed out to sea were saved from drown­ing yes­ter­day by the Sri Lankan navy in the sec­ond such in­ci­dent off the is­land in as many weeks. The navy said the pair of wild ele­phants were brought ashore af­ter a “mam­moth ef­fort” in­volv­ing navy divers, ropes and a flotilla of boats to tow them back to shal­low wa­ters. Pho­tos showed the ele­phants in dis­tress, barely keep­ing their trunks above wa­ter in the deep seas about one kilo­me­tre off the coast of Sri Lanka.

“Hav­ing safely guided the two ele­phants to the shore, they were sub­se­quently re­leased to the Foul Point jun­gle (in Trin­co­ma­lee district),” the navy said in a state­ment.”They were ex­tremely lucky to have been spot­ted by a pa­trol craft which called in sev­eral other boats to help with the res­cue.” Two weeks ago, the navy mounted a sim­i­lar op­er­a­tion in the same re­gion to save a lone ele­phant washed eight kilo­me­ters off the Sri Lankan coast into the deep wa­ters of the In­dian Ocean.

Navy of­fi­cials say the an­i­mals were likely swept out while cross­ing shal­low la­goons in the re­gion. They are not the only wildlife to en­counter trou­ble in the bio­di­verse is­land. In May, the navy and lo­cal res­i­dents saved a pod of 20 pi­lot whales that be­came stranded in Trin­co­ma­lee, a nat­u­ral har­bor that is pop­u­lar for whale watch­ing. The wa­ters around Trin­co­ma­lee, which were used by Al­lied forces as a stag­ing post dur­ing World War II, have a high con­cen­tra­tion of blue and sperm whales, while the sur­round­ing jun­gles have herds of wild ele­phants.

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