It was an incredible rescue — and an even more impressive act of compassion.
The Sri Lanka Navy stepped in to save an elephant dubbed “Jumbo” in a dramatic rescue at sea earlier this month.
And, the entire amazing episode was caught on video and in photos.
On July 11, the Sri Lankan Navy’s Eastern Naval Command spotted an elephant about 8 nautical miles off the northeast coast of Kokkilai.
The animal was swimming for its life and struggling just to keep its trunk above water.
“The elephant dragged away by current was initially noticed by a Fast Attack Craft on routine patrol,” the navy said. “Another Fast Attack Craft on patrol and a team of navy divers were promptly directed to the location by the Navy.
More personnel and equipment joined the efforts dubbed the “Jumbo rescue mission.”
Eventually, a tow rope was attached to the elephant in order to tug it back to shore.
A diver even had to hop aboard the wayward pachyderm.
The Department of Wildlife also joined the “humongous task.”
Experts offered the navy vital tips to save the elephant.
“They were able to carefully direct the elephant towards the coast from the deep sea, by means of ropes,” the navy said.
The elephant made it safely to land 12 hours after it was first spotted adrift.
Watch the rescue unfold here.
Photos Sri Lanka Navy/YouTube