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Andaman’s legendary swimming elephant dies

Rajan, the legendary swimming elephant of the Andaman Islands whose videos mesmerised many on social media, died sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning while grazing in the jungle, The Hindu reported.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2016 20:20 IST
HT Correspondent
Rajan, the legendary swimming elephant of the Andaman Islands, swimming in the water of the Bay of Bengal.
Rajan, the legendary swimming elephant of the Andaman Islands, swimming in the water of the Bay of Bengal.(Video screenshot)

Rajan, the legendary swimming elephant of the Andaman Islands whose videos mesmerised many on social media, died sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning while grazing in the jungle, The Hindu reported.

This male tusker was unique — despite its mammoth proportions, it was able to glide through the waters of the Bay of Bengal with the ease of an ace swimmer.

The underwater videos of Rajan in action showcase how this majestic giant of the land transformed into a weightless creature in the sea. He kicks his legs backwards, and frequently breaches the surface with his trunk for air.

Rajan’s was stranded on the Havelock island after a film shoot in 2004 as his owner could not afford to pay to have him shipped back, according to The Hindu. He subsequently fell sick, and the Barefoot Resort on the island came to his rescue.

When Rajan’s owner tried to sell him off, the resort raised funds to secure his freedom by allowing tourists to swim with him.

The 66-year-old lived and died free, mesmerising all with his spirit and elegance both on land and in water.