Watching the world's last ocean swimming elephant is a real delight

This video features the remarkable 65-year old Rajan, the world's last ocean swimming elephant who lives on a beautiful archipelago in the Bay of Bengal.

Rajan, who weighs around four tons, once worked hard carrying lumber between islands but is now retired—although he still takes the occasional swim for fun.

It takes ten years to train a working, swimming elephant and it is no longer considered economically viable with the availability of modern transportation. However elephants are still valued workers and this was reflected in the $40,000 price that Rajan's keepers paid for him.

They repaid this money through a variety of means including hiring him out on photo shoots to photographers.

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DISCUSSION

Wow. The obvious breathing method and the usefulness of their foot-pads on sand (not to mention his obvious pleasure) make we wonder if elephants used to spend a lot more time near beaches. They seem perfectly adapted to an island lifestyle. Off to the encyclopaedias!