August 3, 2016 1:46:15 pm
As far as elephants go, Rajan was the Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Rajinikanth all combined of the animal kingdom. That’s because the legendary elephant was capable of feats such as swimming under water that none of its kind could pull off. At the age of 66, Rajan is no more. He leaves behind a legacy that few can carry on.
Known as ‘Rajan, The Swimming Elephant’, the pachyderm lived on Havlock Island in the Andamans. He was the star attraction at the Barefoot Resort, the owners of which had found him stranded in 2004. He became internationally famous because of the 2006 Hollywood film, The Fall, after which – much like small actors in big movies – he was stranded. According to reports, Rajan was supposed to have been sold off to a temple in Kerala in 2007, when the Barefoot Resort in the islands managed to collect enough funds to save him.
Rajan’s videos would occasionally make the rounds on websites such as Youtube, enthralling viewers and animal lovers alike. Many visited the Barefoot Resort in the Andamans to get a chance to swim with Rajan, who would oft be seen carrying logs, swimming gracefully through the waters. Last year, a series of profile photo shots by Russian photographer Mikhail Korostelev went viral. The photo series beautifully captured the majestic creature in the crystal blue waters, using his trunk as a snorkel.
Watch a video of Rajan’s swimming scene from The Fall.
Here is another video of the elephant, released by the Barefoot Resort.
Here’s another video that a user uploaded.
Before the photos by Korostelev, in 2014, Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai shared a series of photos oh himself swimming with Rajan. The photos went instantly viral on Instagram, where he had shared the images with the caption: “Meet Rajan, the world’s only swimming elephant! It was such an unusual, yet incredible feeling to be diving underwater next to an elephant. Who would have ever guessed that an elephant can dive using its trunk as a snorkel, while enjoying the deep waters of the ocean. Sadly, at the age of 64, Rajan is the last of its kind and can be found nearby the Andaman Islands, swimming in the great Indian Ocean.”
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